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Cheez-It Bowl: Oklahoma State holds off Miami rally

Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The Oklahoma State Cowboys stormed out to a 21-0 lead before they held off a late Miami Hurricanes rally to win the 2020 Cheez-It Bowl.

Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders completed 27 of 40 passes for 305 yards and four scores in the 37-34 win on Tuesday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

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"[We are] playing with 22 people, and there's 11 people on defense and 11 people on offense," Sanders told reporters. "I feel like everybody deserves it. It's not just one person. And I feel like I did a great job of spreading the ball this game."

The Cowboys (8-3) and Hurricanes (8-3) combined for 930 total yards in the postseason matchup.

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"That was probably an outstanding ballgame, highly competitive," Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz said.

"At no point did I think we would lose that game, and I don't think our team did, either, until it hit triple-zeros. The way we battled, the way we fought, the way we played for each other was inspiring."

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The Cowboys began the game with 15 consecutive pass plays. They used that script to produce touchdowns on their first three drives.

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Sanders threw a 30-yard score to Brennan Presley on the opening possession. L.D. Brown ran for a two-yard touchdown on the Cowboys second drive.

Sanders then threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Presley for a 21-0 Cowboys lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Hurricanes answered when quarterback D'Eriq King threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Brevin Jordan to start the second quarter. Miami added a field goal on its next drive, but lost King for the remainder of the game due to a right knee injury.

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Oklahoma State held onto a 21-10 lead at halftime.

The Hurricanes got a second Jose Borregales field goal to start the second half. Miami then cut the Oklahoma State lead to two points with a Cam'Ron Harris 42-yard touchdown run with 8:45 remaining in the third quarter.

The Cowboys answered with a Brady Pohl field goal on their next drive. They then capitalized on a Hurricanes fumble to push their lead to 31-19 at the start of the fourth quarter. Sanders threw a touchdown toss to Dillon Stoner to end that drive.

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The Hurricanes and Cowboys then traded touchdown drives before the Oklahoma defense tightened up and secured the victory.

N'Kosi Perry threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes for the Hurricanes. Presley also caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Sanders in the final frame.

Presley had six catches for 118 yards and three scores in the win. Perry completed 19 of 34 passes for 228 yards and two scores for the Hurricanes. King completed 10 of 13 passes for 113 yards and a score for Miami.

"This was a really, really good college football game and we beat a good football team," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said.

"Miami is very talented and very athletic. I don't know if anybody has done their research, but the last four years, they have had 26 players that are in a draft-able position for the NFL. That will give you some kind of idea of what kind of talent and players that they have."

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