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Las Vegas Bowl: Previewing the Florida Gators

Oregon State is looking for a better postseason showing this year

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Florida at Florida State Photo by Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Florida Gators

  • Head Coach: Billy Napier (1st Season)
  • 2022 Record: 6-6 (3-5 in SEC)
  • Key Players: QB - Anthony Richardson, RB - Trevor Etienne & WR - Ricky Pearsall
  • Best Wins: Utah, South Carolina & Texas A&M
  • Worst Loss: 24-31 at Vanderbilt


  • Points per Game: 31.8 pts (43rd)
  • Yards per Game: 441 .2 yds (32nd)
  • Pass Yards per Game: 227.5 yds (69th)
  • Rush Yards per Game: 213.7 yds (15th)


  • Opp. Points per Game: 28.75 pts (90th)
  • Opp. Yards per Game: 415.8 yds (103rd)
  • Pass Yards per Game: 239.7 yds (89th)
  • Rush Yards per Game: 176.2 yds (101st)

What to Know:

Florida played one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year. They played six teams that are currently ranked in the top 20 and that’s not including disappointing, but talented squads like Texas A&M or Kentucky. Florida has a really good offensive line but suffered a bunch of injuries to wide receivers/tight ends, so they’ve increasingly relied on their running game this season. Anthony Richardson has officially declared for the NFL and will not play against Oregon State in Las Vegas.

Regardless of Richardson’s absence, make no mistake this game will be won or lost via each teams rushing attack. Trevor Etienne and Montrell Johnson can rack up yards in a hurry for the Gators. Meanwhile on the flip-side a large dosage of Damien Martinez is usually a recipe for Oregon State victories (Jonathan Smith said Martinez should be good to go for the Vegas Bowl). Despite their tough schedule and injury concerns the Gators have and will run the ball with success.

Gator fans are a little concerned about their teams roster availability in Las Vegas. And they may have a good point, just take a look at the list of players that definitely won’t play against Oregon State. There could be more added to the list as guys continue to opt out and prepare for the NFL draft.

  • Anthony Richardson, QB - (NFL Draft)
  • Justin Shorter, WR - (NFL Draft)
  • Gervon Dexter, DT - (NFL Draft)
  • O’Cyrus Torrence, OL - (NFL Draft)
  • Jalen Kitna, QB - (Dismissed)
  • Brenton Cox Jr, OLB - (Dismissed)
  • Chief Borders, LB - (Transfer Portal)
  • Donovan McMillion, S - (Transfer Portal)
  • Daejon Reynolds, WR - (Transfer Portal)
  • Josh Braun, OL - (Transfer Portal)
  • Diwun Black, LB - (Transfer Portal)
  • David Reese, LB - (Transfer Portal)
  • Kamar Wilcoxson, DB - (Transfer Portal)
  • Lorenzo Lingard, RB - (Transfer Portal)
  • Trent Whittemore, WR - (Transfer Portal)
  • Nick Elksnis, TE - (Transfer Portal)
  • Griffin McDowell, TE - (Transfer Portal)
  • Marco Ortiz, LS - (Transfer Portal)
  • Avery Helm, CB - (Transfer Portal)
  • Nay’Quan Wright, RB - (Transfer Portal)
  • Corey Collier, S - (Transfer Portal)

Underclassmen QBs Jack Miller III (thumb) or Kyle Engel are in line for their first collegiate start on December 17th. Oregon State will be without Rejzohn Wright (thumb surgery), but their secondary will still be dangerous, especially for a first time starter. Look for the Gators to lean on their strong run game and get their quarterback comfortable with some easier completions and simple reads.

This Florida defense reminds me a little of USC’s for good and bad. They forced 24 turnovers, good for 10th in the nation. Like usual holding onto the football and not throwing interceptions will big for Oregon State in this game. The Gators have some great athletes and playmakers on defense, but they struggle to stop the run at times. Will the Beavers have the same urgency and level of physicality at the line of scrimmage as they did against Oregon?

Some Oregon State fans are probably feeling disappointed to be facing an unranked Florida team after the Beavs finished the regular season ranked #14, but Florida is somewhat of a sleeping giant. Billy Napier has got the team going in the right direction in his first season. Would anyone really be surprised if Florida was one of the top teams in the SEC next season? The Beavers are rightfully favored ahead of this matchup. The Gators are stocked with talented players and former 4/5 star recruits, but they’re in the midst of reloading. If Oregon State is focused and determined, they should be able to walk away with a 10-win season which would be a fantastic accomplishment.

Player To Watch

Trevor Etienne (#7) - Running Back

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 15 LSU at Florida Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Travis Etienne’s little brother is making a name for himself in the SEC as a true freshman. He’s elusive and has game breaking speed. Montrell Johnson (#2) has also been great for the Gators at running back. I expect both of Florida’s main running backs to get a lot of touches against Oregon State. If the Beavs can contain Trevor & Montrell they’ll give themselves a good chance to win.


A roster that’s reconstructing is too much for Florida to overcome. Oregon State wins it 37-24.

Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, December 17th
  • Time: 11:30 AM
  • Location: Allegiant Stadium (Las Vegas, Nevada)