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D’Eriq King vs. Trevor Lawrence. 5’10” vs. 6’6″ and likely the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The quarterback who wasn’t supposed to be this good vs. Adonis. The guy with 10-1 Heisman odds vs. the guy the Heisman committee wants to win it and be the face of it for the next four decades.
King is playing with house money as the Miami Hurricanes travel north (Saturday, 7:30 ET, ABC) to face Clemson as two-touchdown underdogs. King is supposed to lose, the Hurricanes are supposed to go back to being contenders for some random bowl not in the College Football Playoffs, and Lawrence is supposed to go on to legendary status as a college athlete and beauty specimen.
But it’s 2020 and King won’t have to deal with a packed house at Death Valley. He’s saying all the right things this week, and this just might the breakout star of 2020 and the right moment for King to shake up college football.
“I think you just have to go out there and be yourself. There’s going to be ups and downs this game. They have a high-scoring offense. I think we do, too, so we got to go out there and just do it,” King said this week. “You can’t press or try to do too much because that’s usually when things go bad, so we got to let the game come to [us], especially on the road. You got to just take what’s there early and then just hit those shots when you get the opportunity to.”
It’s not like we’re talking about some freshman under center for the Hurricanes. King is two seasons removed from accounting for 50 touchdowns at Houston where he threw for 36 and ran for 14. Now he finds himself at Miami after taking advantage of a NCAA redshirt rule after playing in just four games for Houston in 2019.
Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz made it a priority to get King out of the transfer portal.
“I really wanted him to see who we were in person,” Diaz told Sports Illustrated. “I wanted him to watch our players go through a workout, see that we were serious about winning down here. We really have a culture that is intact but just needed a leader at the quarterback position to make that shine, make that come out. I think there’s always a perception of who Miami is on the outside versus who Miami is on the inside.”
King and Diaz made the match happen, and now the ACC gets its biggest game of the year and a legitimate big boy quarterback matchup. The experienced Miami quarterback thinks he just might see a way to beat Clemson, who is coming off a 41-23 win over Virginia and has lost just two ACC games since 2014.
“Watching what the Virginia quarterback did, he found some lanes here and there,” King said. “It’s like that every single game. You go back, you read through your protection, nothing there, you try to find a seam and take off. Nothing’s out of the equation this week.”
One CommentLeave a Reply
I’m a long time U fan. They’re my favorite team of any sport. If they can stay competitive in this game, I’ll be very happy.