2022 Las Vegas Bowl: Florida Faces Oregon State

2022 Las Vegas Bowl

The 2022 Las Vegas Bowl takes place on Saturday at 2:30 pm Eastern time. This bowl game pits the 6-6 Florida Gators against the 9-3 Oregon State Beavers. In his first season at the helm, Gators head coach Billy Napier has the team flying across the country to face their second opponent from the Pac-12 this season. Star quarterback Anthony Richardson will not compete in the game as he is preparing for the 2023 NFL Draft.

2022 Las Vegas Bowl: Florida Faces Oregon State

This will be the first meeting between the two programs. With a bowl game up for grabs, there could be a lot of points scored in this game. However, with Richardson not playing, the Gators’ offense might not be able to move the ball well enough through the air. Florida has no clear third-string quarterback. But for this game, former Ohio State transfer Jack Miller III could earn the start. He is a dynamic passer that has solid accuracy and a strong arm in the pocket.

At running back, Trevor Etienne will lead the way. On the season, he has rushed for over 700 yards and six touchdowns. Montrell Johnson Jr. leads the team in rushing with 10 touchdowns. The one-two punch at tailback could be the spark this offense needs to notch a huge bowl win.

Gators’ Passing Attack Could Be Limited

As mentioned above, Miller III could earn the start. But, that could also limit Florida’s passing attack. Miller has seen no playing time this season but has had ample time to learn the playbook. Although, Oregon State allows 228 passing yards per game. Finding open receivers like Ricky Pearsall and Justin Shorter will give this unit a big boost.

Also on the outside, Xzavier Henderson and tight end Keon Zipperer will give the quarterback extra targets. While Florida has struggled in the air this year, this could be the game that all changes.

Oregon State’s Offense Likely Too Much for Florida

The Beavers offense led by quarterback Ben Gulbranson averages just under 400 yards of offense per game. Oregon State uses a balanced attack, and the numbers between passing and rushing are nearly identical in terms of total yards per game.

Freshman running back Damien Martinez has been a quick asset for the Beavers. In 2022, he has 970 yards and seven touchdowns. Containing him could be tough for the Gators’ defense. He is a shifty and quick tailback with quality catching skills out of the backfield.

Even if Oregon State is forced to go one-dimensional, Martinez has the ability to lead the team down the field and into the end zone.

2022 Las Vegas Bowl Prediction

As the Gators and Beavers meet for the first time, this isn’t the typical Gators team fans are used to seeing. There were struggles in the regular season that equated to a 6-6 record. For Oregon State, a 9-win regular season on the cusp of a 10th win is phenomenal.

Without Richardson, Florida’s offense is losing a key piece to their ability to maintain pace with the Beavers. As a 10-point favorite, Oregon State wins the 2022 Las Vegas Bowl easily. 37-21 Beavers.