NCAAF: Florida cruises past Eastern Washington in Ian-delayed game


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Florida’s big-play offense scored three times on drives of two plays or fewer Sunday, leading the Gators to a 52-17 win over Eastern Washington in Gainesville, Fla. in a game that was moved back one day due to Hurricane Ian’s landfall.

Anthony Richardson completed 8 of 10 passes for 240 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for Florida (3-2). He left briefly in the second quarter after being tackled at the ankles but soon returned.

In his collegiate debut, backup Jalen Kitna — the son of former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna – completed 8 of 12 for 152 yards and tossed a long score to Caleb Douglas. Justin Shorter and Xzavier Henderson had TD receptions.

On the ground, Ricky Pearsall scored on a 76-yard reverse, and Montrell Johnson Jr., Nay’Quan Wright and Lorenzo Lingard Jr. added TD runs.

Florida’s only other Sunday game was a 37-14 loss to Texas A&M in the 1977 Sun Bowl.

Gunner Talkington went 24 of 37 for 250 yards with a 28-yard touchdown to Jakobie James, but FCS program Eastern Washington (1-3) lost its third straight game.

Kekoa Visperas rushed for a 25-yard score, and Marlon Jones Jr. recorded an interception.

The matchup was originally slated for 2020 but was moved back two years because of the COVID-affected season.

Coming off a 38-33 Southeastern Conference loss at Tennessee last week, Florida fell behind on the first series as the Eagles went 49 yards on 13 plays before Seth Harrison’s 44-yard field goal.

But the Gators rebounded with a fourth-down stop deep in their own territory, and the offense responded by scoring twice on its five plays in the quarter. Richardson tossed a 75-yard long ball to Shorter for one and Johnson tallied on a short run for a 14-3 lead.

In the second quarter, Wright scored on a short run and Pearsall dashed down the home sideline for 76 yards. Henderson completed the half’s scoring with a 21-yard reception for a 35-3 advantage.

Adam Mihalek nailed a 36-yard field goal, and Kitna lobbed a 62-yard strike to Douglas. Lingard scampered in from 11 yards in the final quarter before James and Visperas tallied for the Eagles.

–Field Level Media


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