Beavers dominate Florida in Las Vegas Bowl, reach 10 wins
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Deshaun Fenwick came off the bench to rush for 107 yards, and No. 17 Oregon State nearly dealt Florida a rare shutout, winning the Las Vegas Bowl 30-3 on Saturday.
The Beavers (10-3) reached 10 victories for the third time in program history and the first time in 16 years. They first accomplished the feat in 2000, when coach Jonathan Smith was the team’s quarterback.
Oregon State won seven of its final eight games.
After the Beavers took control early in the third quarter by going up 17-0, the only real question was whether Florida would keep its NCAA-record scoring streak intact. The Gators last were shut out in 1988, a span of 436 games and 57 games longer than any other team.
The streak remained alive when Adam Mihalek made a 40-yard field goal with 37 seconds left.
It was the first start for Florida redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Miller, and it showed. He completed 13 of 22 passes for 180 yards. Miller, an Ohio State transfer, was elevated to the starting lineup when Anthony Richardson declared for the NFL draft and backup Jalen Kitna was arrested on child pornography charges.
The Gators closed their first season under coach Billy Napier with three consecutive losses. This also was their second 6-7 record in a row.
Fenwick entered this game third at Oregon State in rushing with 446 yards. But he was called into duty when Pac-12 Conference offensive freshman of the year Damien Martinez went out with an apparent shoulder injury on the Beavers’ second drive.
Martinez had rushed for at least 100 yards in six consecutive games and needed just 30 yards to become the fourth freshman in program history to gain 1,000 for the season. He had only 12 yards on three carries before the injury.
Fenwick and the Beavers’ defense led Oregon State to the emphatic win.
Florida was 16th in the nation with 213.7 yards rushing per game, but Oregon State also had the 20th-best rush defense in allowing a 114-yard average. This was the fifth time the Beavers didn’t allow an opponent to rush for 100 yards, holding the Gators to 39.
Oregon State allowed just 219 yards while gaining 353.
Florida: The Gators get tested right away at the start of next season with a trip to Pac-12 Conference champion Utah. Florida beat the Utes at home, 29-26, to open this season. Florida will have a much different roster next season, so that game will be the first opportunity to see where the Gators line up in coach Napier’s building plan.
Oregon State: The Beavers have what could be a tricky opening game at San Jose State, which is 7-4 and plays in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Tuesday. Oregon State, though, needs to show right away that its success this season is a sign of what’s to come and not just a blip.
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