What positive takeaways are there from Florida’s loss?


Florida football floundered in the 2022 edition of the Las Vegas Bowl against the Oregon State Ducks, who pummeled the Gators to the tune of a 30-3 defeat that nearly snapped the Orange and Blue’s nation-leading scoring streak. That run nearly came to an end until a late fourth-quarter field goal spared Billy Napier from ignominy as he wraps up his debut campaign.

Make no mistake about it, this was a difficult game to watch for the Gator Nation as its beloved football team looked completely lost on offense while the defense was simply outmanned by the top-20-ranked Beavers. While many expected OSU to finish on top, few foresaw Florida’s impotence on offense.

The Gators Wire gang convened after the conclusion of the embarrassing postseason loss to give its collective takes on what they saw on the field Saturday afternoon. Take a look below at what each of us had to offer on the final game of Florida’s 2022 season.

Adam Dubbin – Managing Editor

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

GOOD: Um… well, the defense kept the game from getting out of hand in the first half. So we had that going for us, which was nice. But that did not last.

BAD: The last time I saw a Gators offense this bad was long before the Head Ball Coach took the reins of the program. Almost getting shut out for the first time since before half the fanbase was born was not a good look, and frankly, I do not think I have ever seen a team so lost and I hope to never see it again.

UGLY: The running game, where art thou? While the Gators were shorthanded overall on the roster Florida still had two of the three-headed master in [autotag]Montrell Johnson Jr[/autotag]. and [autotag]Trevor Etienne[/autotag]. However, one can make excuses all day long but a unit that was among the most successful in the nation completely falling flat is the epitome of “ugly”.

David Rosenberg – Assistant Editor

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

GOOD: In hindsight, Florida making the Las Vegas Bowl instead of an East Coast bowl was a good thing. Can you imagine a stadium full of Gators fans paying to watch that performance? Thank whatever committee spared the masses from attending that disaster.

BAD: All of it? Florida didn’t do anything right in this one except on [autotag]Adam Mihalek[/autotag]’s kick at the end to preserve the scoring streak. The running game couldn’t get going behind a new-look line, and the passing game never opened up to make things more difficult for the defense. Just an abysmal performance.

UGLY: Not to name names, but [autotag]Jack Miller III[/autotag]’s debut for Florida left a lot to be desired. I was in favor of Florida getting someone from the portal to challenge him in camp for the starting job and back him up while Jaden Rashada develops, but now it feels like the Gators have to get a starter from the transfer portal. Maybe that’s an overreaction to just one game, but Miller was uninspiring.

Pat Dooley – Staff Writer

David Becker/Getty Images

GOOD: Florida played better defense than usual in the first half. The blocked field goal kept the game in play and almost produced an incredible moment. The defense gave up 185 yards in the half but only 10 points.
But if that’s the good, you know what follows will be really bad.

BAD: Everything. Jack Miller was what we were afraid he might be with no live snaps this season. The Beavers didn’t have to worry about his legs and that took a lot away from what the offense could do.

The penalties? Yeah, that’s a real problem for the third game in a row. Special teams made a big play, then blew it by having a miserable second half.
It wasn’t exactly a well-called game either, especially the two fourth-down ties and calling a timeout with two minutes to go seemed foolish.

So, yes, everything was bad.

UGLY: Watching a game with those two teams wearing home uniforms would be a start. But the real ugliness is that Florida has now lost three bowl games in a row and hasn’t looked like it was that excited to be in any of them.

That certainly isn’t on this staff, but the bowl record is now dead even at 24 both ways. More importantly, Florida finished Billy Napier’s first season with three straight losses, which sounds very McElwain-ish.

Sergio De La Espriella – Staff Writer

David Becker/Getty Images

GOOD: The season is over.

BAD: Scoring streak lives, I guess.

UGLY: Everything.

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