D’Eriq King is the most dynamic quarterback Oklahoma State has faced all season.
Expectations were high when the fifth-year senior announced his transfer to the University of Miami.
He exceeded those expectations, leading Miami to its best offensive production in years.
King has completed 64% of his passes for over 2,500 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions coming into the Cheez-It Bowl, to go along with 520 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but it’s worth noting Miami has only played nine games in the strangest college football season ever.
Those numbers would be near identical to a past record-breaking Big 12 quarterback. In fact, OSU defensive end Tyler Lacy said he is King’s closest comparison.
“Jalen Hurts,” Lacy said. “He reminds me of him running the ball and trying to get down the field and do something with his legs, and he also can just sit back in the pocket and release the ball.”
King’s measurables are on par with Spencer Rattler’s arm and Sam Ehlinger and Mux Duggan’s legs — the three quarterbacks who were able to take advantage of the Cowboy defense this year.
Jim Knowles said he stresses a defense’s preparation in all aspects of the game.
“He's extremely mobile,” Knowles said. “ I don't think there's anything he can't do . . . he's really a complete quarterback when it comes to the modern-day college football game.”
Limiting the number of King’s big plays will be a top priority for the Cowboys. He’s had at least one pass go for 40 yards in eight games and a run of at least 20 yards in five.
After each loss, coach Mike Gundy harps on giving up big plays late in the game. In order to win, the OSU defense must be disciplined and the offense mustn’t give King short fields.
If they contain King, Gundy said they can contain Miami.
“He makes them go,” Gundy said. “Sometimes he'll pull down, take off and make a throw or make a run and change the game for him. This will be a great challenge for us.”