Florida vs. Oregon State: Prediction, pick, odds, spread, Las Vegas Bowl game time, watch live stream, TV

By OnlyGators.com Staff
December 17, 2022
Florida vs. Oregon State: Prediction, pick, odds, spread, Las Vegas Bowl game time, watch live stream, TV

Image Credit: Graphic by Michael Nash

Despite a tremendous fight in their regular-season finale, the Florida Gators enter their fifth straight bowl game limping to the finish of the 2022 season. Florida sits at 6-6 in Year 1 under head coach Billy Napier, without nearly two dozen players who saw action this season — due to a mix of NFL opt outs, transfer portal entries and dismissals — and down their top two quarterbacks in the game.

Napier has not only had to prepare a severely short-handed team for an exceedingly rare West Coast game, he has been doing it while simultaneously trying to close out a top-10 recruiting class that will largely be decided in the next five days.

In other words, it could be better for the Gators as they enter the 2022 Las Vegas Bowl against the No. 14 Oregon State Beavers, their seventh opponent ranked at the time of kickoff this season and fifth listed in the final College Football Playoff Rankings of the year. The Beavers, meanwhile, appear to be in the midst of a turnaround as they enter nearly full strength seeking their third 10-win season in program history.

Florida will be playing a game this far West for the first time in 33 years when it kicks off in the state of Nevada for the first time in program history. It also marks the first time the team will play two Pac-12 opponents in the same season.

What will go down Saturday afternoon as the Gators battle the Beavers for the first time? Let’s find out.

Tale of the tape

Florida GatorsNo. 14 Oregon St. Beavers
Head coachBilly NapierJonathan Smith

Injuries and absences

Active despite departure (2): DL Gervon Dexter Sr. (NFL), OL Richard Gouraige (NFL)

Not available due to departure (21): In total, nearly two dozen players who saw action this season will not play in the bowl game due to a mixture of NFL opt outs, transfers and dismissals. Most notable among them: LB Ventrell Miller (NFL), OL O’Cyrus Torrence (NFL), QB Anthony Richardson (NFL), WR Justin Shorter (NFL), QB Jalen Kitna (dismissal)

Out due to injury (5): TE Keon Zipperer (lower body), DB Tre’Vez Johnson (upper body), DB Ethan Pouncey (upper body), OL Richie Leonard IV (lower body), OL Jalen Farmer (upper body), LB Justin Pelic (upper body)
Out for season (2): CB Devin Moore (shoulder), LS Marco Ortiz (upper body)

Viewing information

Game: 2022 Las Vegas Bowl
Date: Saturday, Dec. 17 | Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium — Las Vegas, Nevada [65,000]

TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Kirk Herbstreit, Pat McAfee | Laura Rutledge)
Live stream: ESPN+ | SiriusXM: 99/204 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Florida is 24-23 all-time in bowl games but on an 8-4 streak since 2009, 10-6 since 2006.
» The Gators are playing a bowl game for the fifth straight season (three New Year’s Six games) and 30th time in the last 32 years.
» Florida and Oregon State will meet for the first time on the gridiron.
» The Gators are 7-4-1 all-time against Pac-12 opponents with a win over Utah this season in UF’s first game against a team from that conference since 1989.
» 2022 marks the first time Florida will play two Pac-12 teams in the same season.
» The Gators are 0-2 against Pac-12 teams in bowl games with losses to Washington (1989 Freedom Bowl) and UCLA (1987 Aloha Bowl).
» The Las Vegas Bowl will be the farthest West that Florida has played a game since that 1989 Freedom Bowl in Anaheim, California. It is also the first time UF will ever play a game in the state of Nevada.

» Florida has scored 24+ points in 10 of 12 games this season.
» Florida is 6-2 this season when rushing for 150+ yards and 5-0 when leading after the third quarter.
» The Gators are third nationally in yards per rush (5.8) and 16th in rushing offense (213.7 yards per game).
» Florida is 11th nationally in turnovers gained (24) and eighth in turnover margin (+10). Its 14 turnovers lost this season are the third-fewest in program history.
» The Gators are 7-14 against ranked opponents (2-5 vs. top five teams, 5-7 vs. top 10 teams) and 32-10 against unranked opponents since 2018. They are 1-4 against AP Top 25 teams this season.
» Florida this season will play seven teams ranked at the time of kickoff and five in the final College Football Playoff Rankings following the Las Vegas Bowl.
» UF this season lost to a team that will finish the campaign with a losing record for the first time since 2004 (Vanderbilt, 5-7). Florida and Alabama were the only FBS teams nationally without such a defeat in the last 17 seasons.
» The Gators have scored in 435 consecutive games, an NCAA record.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida +8 | O/U: 53.5

Predicting Gators game has been exceedingly difficult this season (as the record below proves), and this is right up there with the toughest calls of the year. There’s no question that Florida and Oregon State face completely different motivations entering this game. Though the Gators do have a couple of their departed players suiting up, they are missing their offensive and defensive captains, the quarterback who stepped in for Richardson all season, one of their top two pass catchers and a massive depth issue across nearly every position. The Beavers, meanwhile, are at full strength and seeking their third 10-win season in program history in a Pac-12 that’s in the midst of rebuilding itself.

Florida’s eyes since the final whistle against Florida State have been firmly focused on recruiting and the transfer portal. That’s not to suggest Napier & Co. have not prepared the Gators for this game, but its importance is far more about evaluation for the future than winning in the present. Redshirt freshman QB Jack Miller III will not only be making his first career start but playing for the first time all season after missing significant time due to injury (thumb) and losing his backup job in the process. And everyone has seen how this defense plays in general, but particularly without Miller on the field.

If this game played out 100 times, Florida would not lose all of them — but it would lose the vast majority. The simple fact is that the Gators are headed for their second straight 6-7 season, third losing campaign in the last six and fourth below .500 in the last 10 years. This should be a double-digit win for Oregon State (and it might even get ugly) unless Florida finds a way to play pure ball control by dominating on the ground. That’s a tall task against the nation’s 20th ranked rushing defense. This should also fall under the total due to pace and lack of playmakers on the Gators’ side.

2022 records: ATS picks 4-8 | O/U picks 8-4

Odds and ends

» Uniforms: Florida will wear blue jerseys, blue pants and orange helmets.

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