Las Vegas Bowl Game with Oregon State and University of Florida: Game Recap


Jason May

Redshirt junior wide receiver Jesiah Irish sprints up the field on a punt return during the Las Vegas Bowl against Florida on Dec. 17. Irish’s longest punt return was for six yards.

Ryan Harlan, Sports Writer

For the first time since a 2013 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl victory, the Oregon State Beavers have accomplished something they’ve not done since the 2013 football season and that is win a bowl game.

The No. 14 Oregon State Beavers secured a dominant 30-3 win over the University of Florida Gators in the Las Vegas Bowl in Allegiant Stadium on Saturday. The bowl game win has been an achievement that has been over nine years in the making for the Beavers.

“Yeah, obviously just really proud of the group, these players from the get-go, day one to obviously finishing the thing now,” head football coach Jonathan Smith said of the team’s performance, “They wanted to play well in this game, a lot contribution from a lot of different guys and so we finished the way that we wanted to.”

After securing their ninth win of the season over bitter rival the No. 15 University of Oregon Ducks in a 38-34 win at Reser Stadium to propel the team to the Las Vegas Bowl. The Beavers have now earned their tenth win of the season with their victory over the Gators, giving them a record of 10-3 to end the 2022 football season.

The last time the Beavers finished a season with ten wins was during the 2006 football season where they finished with a 10-4 record. The 2022 season is the third time in program history that Beaver Football has finished with ten wins in a season.

Early in the game, it was a stalemate for both the Beaver and Gator defenses as they held both offenses scoreless through most of the first quarter. Wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey ended the stalemate on an 8-yard touchdown run to give the Beavers the first points of the game, making the score 7-0.

The Gators on the ensuing drive looked to answer the early scoring drive from Oregon State. However, the Beaver defense forced the Gator offense to turn the ball over on downs giving the ball back quickly to the Beavers.

On the ensuing drive for the Beavers off the turnover quarterback, Tristan Gebbia checked into the game for Oregon State for quarterback Ben Gulbranson in the second quarter. The Beavers added to their lead with a field goal from kicker Everett Hayes extending the Oregon State lead 10-0 with 4:32 in the second quarter.

“It had brewing in me a little bit just watching him practice the last month,” Smith said on the decision to insert Gebbia for a series in the game, “This guy has been throwing it really well, he has been playing as good as I’ve seen him. I look at his influence of being a captain on this team and the way that guys rally around him.”

Gulbranson returned to the game on the next drive for the Beavers in the second quarter. On the final drive of the first half, the Beaver looked to add to their lead heading into halftime, but Florida blocked the field goal attempt from Hayes at the end of the second quarter.

After halftime, the Beavers added to their lead with a 15-yard touchdown throw to Silas Bolden to extend the Oregon State lead 17-0.

On the ensuing Florida possession, utility player Jack Colletto blocked the Gators punt giving the ball to the Beavers at the Florida seven-yard line.

The Beavers capitalized off the blocked punt with a seven-yard touchdown run from Gulbranson extending the Oregon State 23-0 with 9:09 in the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter Oregon State added another scoring drive extending the lead 30-0 on a two-yard touchdown run from running back Jam Griffin.

On the ensuing drive for the Gators, Florida turned the ball over on downs after running back Montrell Johnson Jr. failed to pick up the first down to keep the drive alive for the Gators, giving the ball back to the Beavers.

The Gators offense in a last-ditch effort to avoid being shutout scored their first points of the game on a 40-yard field goal from Florida kicker Adam Mihalek cutting the Oregon State 30-3 at the end of the 4th quarter.

For many of the seniors on the team, such as safety Jaydon Grant, Colletto, Gebbia, and offensive lineman Brandon Kipper this is the last game that they’ll play in a Beaver Uniform. The means a lot for both Grant and Colletto as they have been a part of the football program since Smith took over as head coach in 2018.

Both Grant and Colletto have seen a lot of ups and downs through their tenure as Beavers and now leave the program in a better place than it was when they arrived at Oregon State.

“You just think back about of all the work and the body of work that it has taken to get to this point. Jaydon [Grant] was here the year before me and I got here in 2018, we couldn’t win a ball game to save our lives,” said Colletto, “To go from 2-10, a record like that in 2018, to completely changing the program and flipping it on its head, and not only doing that but also finishing off the right way, that was the motto this whole week to be able to do that there is no better feeling.”

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