The final contest of the Gators 2022 season has ended with Florida being battered by Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl, 30-3, to finish the year with their seventh loss.
After trailing 10-0 at halftime, the Gators retook the playing field with the necessity to get a stop in hopes of remaining in the contest. With little signs of offensive competency, limiting the Beavers scoring was Florida’s only hope to emerge victorious.
However, that didn’t happen.
The half opened with the Beavers receiving the kick after winning the coin toss and deferring their option to take the ball to the second half. They earned favorable field position as the Gators were forced to kick from their own 20-yard line after a personal foul call on UF to end the half.
Driving down the field on a ten-play, 64-yard drive — sustained by multiple Florida penalties — the Beavers began to impose their will on Florida. Ben Gulbranson found Silas Bolden to go up 17-0.
The Gators failed to answer on the ensuing drive, going three and out for the fourth time on the day — and had Jeremy Crawshaw’s punt blocked and recovered at the UF seven-yard line.
The Beavers converted the short field into another score. Gulbranson took it in himself for a seven-yard touchdown scamper. Oregon State missed the extra point but still held a 23-0 lead at that point. He finished 12-for-19, 165 yards and one touchdown through the air and added 15 yards and a score on the ground.
From there, the Gators’ defense was gashed at an efficient rate both through the air and on the ground by the Beavers. Oregon State added another six points to begin the fourth quarter with a two-yard touchdown off a pitch by running back Jam Griffin.
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The Jack Miller III-led offense failed to mount any production until a 30-0 deficit staring them in the face. After 93 yards in the first quarter, the Gators combined for just seven total yards in the second and third periods.
In the fourth, Florida pushed deep into Oregon State territory after a 28-yard pass to Ricky Pearsall and a pass interference call jumpstarted the drive. But, despite the promise, the Gators failed to take advantage. On 4th and two at the OSU 20, Montrell Johnson was stuffed in the backfield for a loss of three.
They eventually got on the board with under a minute remaining as Adam Mihalek knocked through a 40-yard field goal, but failed to cross the plane for a touchdown on the day.
Not only did Miller struggle to find success through the air, outside of a few big plays, but the rushing game — a part of the unit that was expected to shoulder a major portion of the workload — struggled to find its footing. The unit combined for just 39 total yards on 33 attempts. Miller finished 13-for-22 for 180 yards in his first career start.
In the end, Florida’s mass exodus to end the season and altered starting lineup proved harmful — as expected — as it fell to the Oregon State Beavers by 27 points.
The Gators finish at 6-7 for the second straight year.
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