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Doug Costin rises to the occasion

<p>Senior defensive lineman Doug Costin (middle) lines up against Ohio State during a 76-5 Miami loss Sept. 21 at Ohio Stadium.</p>

Senior defensive lineman Doug Costin (middle) lines up against Ohio State during a 76-5 Miami loss Sept. 21 at Ohio Stadium.

Doug Costin tried to play it cool after achieving both of his goals against Ohio.

The senior defensive lineman helped Miami contain the explosive Bobcat offense, catapulting the RedHawks to a 24-21 rivalry win on Nov. 6. The victory gave them sole possession of first place in the Mid-American Conference East, which they never lost.

Then, Costin met ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe.

Before the game, he talked about how he admired Rowe. After the victory, she sought out Costin and interviewed him on national television. He tried to act business-like but couldn’t stop himself from smiling. 

Rowe ended the interaction, thanking Costin and telling him, “You showed out.”

Those words describe Costin’s entire 2019 season, especially in big games.

A fumble recovery and 15-yard return against Iowa. Five tackles, including one for loss, against Cincinnati. A half sack against the Buckeyes before motioning “O-H” in hostile Ohio Stadium. Two tackles for loss in Miami’s 2019 turning-point victory over Buffalo.

Costin can’t explain it.

Maybe it’s the big-game atmosphere or the pressure of anchoring his defensive unit. He doesn’t know. He simply tries to carry the same business-like mindset into every game. Nothing changes.

Against Ohio, Costin recorded two tackles for loss while putting consistent pressure on quarterback Nathan Rourke.

“I definitely felt like I was in the zone,” Costin said two days after his team’s victory over the Bobcats. “The crowd kind of got me hyped up, kind of got me going, too. I definitely feel like it was one of my better games, but I still want to improve.”

In the MAC Championship game, Costing wrote the same story. He, once again, caused constant stress for Central Michigan quarterbacks and finished with a half sack.

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He and the RedHawks now turn their attention to next month’s LendingTree Bowl against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.

“Obviously, we’re very excited that we get to play a bowl game,” Costin said. “Last year, we sat out. We were 6-6. A lot of us have this sour taste in our mouth. We saw the opponent, and honestly, it’s the same as any week for us.”

But, for Costin, it’s not just any week.

The LendingTree Bowl is the last time he will play college football.

“I want to enjoy it, but at the same time, I want to go out on top,” Costin said. “I want to go out with a win.”

One more game — a big one.

He wants to show out.