Oklahoma State football: Who has edge between Miami's D’Eriq King and Cowboys' Malcolm Rodriguez in Cheez-It Bowl?
ORLANDO, Fla. — Here’s a look at three key matchups for the Cheez-It Bowl between No. 21 Oklahoma State and No. 18 Miami, set to kick off at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Camping World Stadium:
Miami quarterback D’Eriq King vs. OSU linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez
King is a talented thrower, but defenses — and Cowboy fans — dread a mobile quarterback. King is a threat to scramble out of the pocket or run on designed plays. Keeping him contained will fall first on defensive linemen, then on linebackers like Rodriguez, whose speed and tackling ability will be critical.
OSU running backs vs. Miami defensive line
The Cowboy run game could fall on multiple backs — LD Brown, Dezmon Jackson or Dominic Richardson — and all of them have shown the ability to make plays and grind out yards. Miami’s defensive front has collected 28 sacks this season, but hasn’t been a standout unit against the run, allowing over 180 yards per game.
OSU receiver Tylan Wallace vs. Miami cornerbacks
The Hurricanes are without their best cornerback in Al Blades Jr., a second-team All-ACC player who was diagnosed with myocarditis in early December. That leaves DJ Ivey and Te’Cory Couch to try to cover Wallace. And Miami has lost its top two pass rushers in Jaelen Phillips and Quincy Roche, who have opted for the NFL Draft. That should give OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders a little more time to find his favorite target.
Scott Wright, Staff writer
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