Miami Hurricanes passing game will be tested against OK State in Cheez-it Bowl

Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Hurricanes passing game will be tested against Oklahoma State in the Cheez-it Bowl.

Oklahoma State will post a challenge for quarterback D’Eriq King and the Miami Hurricanes receivers passing in the Cheez-It Bowl. The Cowboys are 35th nationally allowing 205.2 passing yards per game, are 36th in opponent passer rating at 124.80 and 26th allowing opponents to complete 57.1 percent of their attempts.

The Cowboys are 23rd allowing opponents only 6.6 yards per passing attempt. Miami has been inconsistent passing this season. Miami is 30th averaging 269.4 passing yards per game and a 149.91 passer rating. Miami is 40th completing 62.2 percent of their passes and 35th averaging 8.1 yards per attempt.

King provides Miami a dimension of being able to get out of trouble and run when pressured. King has run for 520 yards and four TDs. The Miami passing game has improved throughout the season. When healthy, wide receiver Mike Harley and tight end Brevin Jordan provide King with a pair of sterling receivers.

Harley leads Miami with 49 receptions, 730 receiving yards and six receiving TDs in 2020. Jordan had 30 receptions for 480 receiving yards and four TDs despite missing three games with injuries. Wide receivers Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins matched Jordan with 30 receptions each and both went over 400 receiving yards this season.

Oklahoma State will be without top 20 nationally cornerback Rodarius Williams for the Cheez-it Bowl. Jarrick Bernard-Converse has switched from safety and is now the top CB for the Cowboys. According to Pro Football Focus via The Oklahoman, Bernard-Converse allowed 15 receptions for 255 yards with six pass breakups.

Scott Wright of the Oklahoman reported that Bernard-Converse gave up big plays against Texas Tech and TCU. Oklahoma State was good in pass defense in the intermediary completions, but often gave up big plays of 30 yards or more. The Cowboys allowed 15 completions of 30 yards or more and 11 of 40 yards or more.

Oklahoma State finished eighth in the Big XII in completions of 30 or more yards and ninth in pass plays of 40 yards or more. The Miami Hurricanes have improved throughout the season on throwing the deep ball. Miami is seventh in the ACC with 20 completions of 30 or more yards and sixth with 10 of 40 or more yards.

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The ability to connect on the big play through the air will help open the Miami offense. Earlier in the season opponents were able to stack the box and force Miami to throw over the top. With Jordan healthy and the WRs playing at a much higher level than early in the season, Miami should have opportunities against Oklahoma State.