BEAVERS COME UP BIG OVER GATORS
LAS VEGAS – Oregon State held Florida to its lowest offensive output since 2015 and won the 30th edition of the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl, 30-3, at Allegiant Stadium.
The 14th-ranked Beavers (10-3) reached 10 victories for the third time in program history, and for the first time in 16 seasons.
“It means everything,” said OSU safety Jaydon Grant. “We worked so hard, starting back in January, then spring ball, summer workouts, fall camps, up and down in season, to playing the best possible game. It’s a really good win for the program.”
The Beavers came close to shutting out the Gators for the first time since 1988. However, Florida owns the longest active NCAA streak without being shut out, now 436 games, after Adam Mihalek made a 40-yard field goal with 37 seconds left.
“Yeah, we really wanted a shutout, but at the end of the day, 30-3 isn’t too bad,” Grant added.
Oregon State quarterback Ben Gulbranson was given the Rich Abajian MVP trophy after finishing 12-of-19 for 165 yards with one touchdown. Gulbranson also rushed for 15 yards on five attempts, including one touchdown.
“I just love playing ball, I felt like we had a good gameplan,” Gulbranson said. “We know all the work we put into this. We’re winners. We accomplished a 10-win season and capped it with a Las Vegas Bowl win. I think we got a great culture at Oregon State.”
Deshaun Fenwick came off the bench to rush for 107 yards on 21 attempts.
Silas Bolden caught a TD pass and Las Vegas-product Tyjon Lindsey ran one in for the Beavers. Damien Martinez also rushed for a TD before exiting the game in the second quarter.
“Proud of the group,” said OSU head coach Jonathan Smith. “Those guys, they wanted to play well in this game. We finished off the way we wanted to.”
Oregon State, which won seven of its final eight games, improved to 2-1 in the Las Vegas Bowl. The Beavers beat New Mexico in 2003 and lost to BYU in 2009.
The Beavers broke out early on the Gators (6-7), taking a 10-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, and seized control of the game early in the third quarter, when they took a 17-0 lead while dominating on defense.
Florida, which came in 16th in the nation with 213.7 yards rushing per game, was stymied by a Beavers defense that ranked 20th in allowing just 114 yards rushing per contest, to a mere 39 yards.
The 219 yards by Florida was its lowest output of the season and ranked seventh for fewest by a team in Las Vegas Bowl history.
The Gators closed their first season under head coach Billy Napier with three consecutive losses.
“I felt like those guys wanted the challenge,” Smith said. “This defense has a lot of pride. I think they were dialed in at practice (during bowl week).”
The Pac-12 improved to 10-10 all-time in the Las Vegas Bowl, while the SEC dropped to 0-2 in appearances.
“We don’t take anything away from the SEC or the Florida Gators,” Grant said. “Our thing is, we’re saying something about us – the Pac 12.”
2022 SRS DISTRIBUTION LAS VEGAS BOWL GAME NOTES
-This game marked the first prescheduled meeting between the SEC and Pac-12 in a bowl game since 1989 when Florida played Washington in the now-defunct Freedom Bowl in Anaheim, California
-The Pac-12 improved to 10-10 all-time in the Las Vegas Bowl. Only the Mountain West has more wins in the Las Vegas Bowl at 12-8.
-The SEC appeared in a Las Vegas Bowl for just the second time. Hometown UNLV downed Arkansas in the 2000 edition played at Sam Boyd Stadium
-After playing last year’s game on the evening of December 30, this year’s version kicked off at 11:35 am PT on December 17
-This marked the first-ever meeting between the Gators and Beavers in the sport of football
-OSU improved to 2-1 in the Las Vegas Bowl (downed New Mexico in 2003 and lost to BYU in 2009)
-The teams both wore dark colors with the visiting Gators in all blue (orange helmet) and the home Beavers in all black (black helmet)
-Florida’s last-minute field goal allowed the Gators to avoid becoming the first team to be shut out in a Las Vegas Bowl. UF’s three total points still tied for the fewest ever in the game with Utah, which scored only a field goal in a loss to Boise State in 2010
-OSU quarter redshirt freshman quarterback Ben Gulbranson was named the winner of the Rich Abajian MVP Trophy. The redshirt freshman completed 12-of-19 pass attempts for 165 yards and a 15-yard touchdown pass. He also finished with 15 net rushing yards, including a seven-yard touchdown run in the third quarter
-Deshaun Fenwick turned in the 21st all-time 100-yard rushing game in the Las Vegas Bowl. The junior ran 21 times for 107 net yards
-There were zero turnovers in the game but a blocked field goal by Florida and a blocked punt by Oregon State
-The last team to not commit a turnover in the Las Vegas Bowl was Washington in 2019 vs. Boise State
-The blocked field goal by UF’s Jordan Young marked the first in a Las Vegas Bowl since Danny Shelton of Washington blocked a Boise State attempt in 2012
-The blocked punt by OSU’s Jack Colletto marked the first in a Las Vegas Bowl since David Bomar of North Carolina blocked a San Diego State attempt in 1998
-The 219 yards by Florida ranked seventh for fewest by a team in Las Vegas Bowl history