Florida Football Recap: Anthony Richardson continues to struggle, ground game paces Florida’s win against South Florida
Richardson has yet to throw a touchdown in 3 games this season
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Florida’s narrow, three-point victory against South Florida on Saturday, in The Swamp, was a huge relief, and yet, equally disturbing for fans of the orange and blue.
For the second game in-a-row, Gators (2-1) sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson displayed signs of the inexperienced starter he is - throwing a pair of interceptions and zero touchdowns in the team’s 31-28 win against the Bulls (1-2). It marked the third time in Florida’s first three games Richardson has yet to throw a touchdown this season. He does have a trio of rushing scores to his credit, but all three of those came in Florida’s win against then-No. 7 Utah in the season opener.
So far, Richardson’s stat line reads 41/77 for 423 yards, 0 touchdowns and 4 interceptions - a far cry from the numbers Gator fans believed the Gainesville native would produce by this point in the fall campaign.
Lucky for Head Coach Billy Napier, the Gators rushing attack continues to be the dependable foundation of the offense. Montrell Johnson, Trevor Etienne, and Nay’Quan Wright each ran for a touchdown and accounted for 217 of the team’s 329 yards. Johnson led Florida with 103 yards on just 6 carries. His 62-yard touchdown run with 14:49 in the second quarter was the longest run of the game by either team and put the Gators ahead 10-7.
Wright found the endzone next for Florida. He scampered in the front right corner from 7-yards out to cap off a 12-play, 88-yard drive that ate up 6:00 to bump the team’s lead to 17-10 with 4:45 remaining before halftime. Wright ended up with 37 yards on 6 carries for the game.
As for Etienne, he scored Florida’s final offensive touchdown of the contest with 5:50 left in the fourth quarter to put the Gators ahead for good, 31-28. He had the most carries of any running back Florida with 8. His longest run of the evening was a 16-yard rush.
The Gators have now rushed for 100 or-more-yards in 14 of their last 16 games. Florida posted its eighth game of 200-plus rushing yards in the last 16 contests and its second of the 2022 season.
Anthony Richardson will need to improve quickly as the team prepares for its first road game of the season, when they face No. 11 Tennessee on Saturday, Sept. 24.
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