Instant Analysis: Florida holds on for 31-28 victory despite Richardson’s struggles

Sep 17, 2022 | 1 comment

For the second season in a row, Florida has defeated USF, but this year’s rematch was anything but pretty. However, the Gators are now 3-0 all time against the Bulls and 2-1 on the season.

Inside the Gators’ Instant Analysis takes a quick look at how the game unfolded.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: USF kicker Spencer Shrader missed a 48-yard field goal with 23 seconds left. Frankly, Florida did not deserve to win this game. Both of USF’s second-half interceptions were contenders, but somehow and some way, the Gators dug down and escaped with the win.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: USF’s rushing offense. No matter what the outcome would have been, the Bulls’ rushing attack shined tonight. Coming into tonight’s matchup with 312 total rushing yards, South Florida dominated on the ground with 286 yards on 46 carries. Both running back Brian Battie and quarterback Gerry Bohanon rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown. The Gators simply could not contain the Bulls on the ground, and it nearly gave the Bulls the win

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: Anthony Richardson’s lack of passing touchdowns. It would make complete sense to put USF’s rushing stats (286 yards versus Florida’s 217), but this is a glaring stat for the Gators. For the third-straight game, the Gators failed to find the endzone through the air. On the season, Richardson has four interceptions against zero touchdown passes. It’s been well over 25 years since Florida has gone this long without a passing touchdown to open a season.

THIS MATCH-UP PROVED KEY: Richardson vs. himself. As tempting as it would have been to put USF’s rushing attack versus a Ventrell Miller-less Gator defense, Richardson, once again, stole the show in a bad way. Many expected a bounce-back performance, but the quicksand caught him, and he sunk in the second half. USF was not doing any special coverages as he just simply missed open guys or threw it right to the defenders. For the second-straight week, Florida’s quarterback could not get out of his own head, and it nearly cost Florida.

WHAT A PLAY: Jalen Kimber’s pick-six in the second quarter. Not only was the interception Kimber’s first interception of his career, it was Florida’s first pick-six since the 2018 Peach Bowl when Chauncey Gardner-Johnson intercepted Shea Patterson’s pass to seal the win. Ultimately, Kimber’s score was the difference maker, and without it, who knows what the final score would be?

UP NEXT: With the win, Florida moves to 2-0 in non-conference play on the season. However, don’t expect the AP voter to bump the Gators up in the poll coming off this sluggish performance. Next week, the Gators face their first road test of the season against No. 15 Tennessee, who Florida has defeated in 16 of their last 17 matchups.

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