Dooley At The Half: Perine coming up huge for Gators

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Florida running back Lamical Perine, left, celebrates with offensive lineman Nick Buchanan after scoring a touchdown during the first half Monday of the Orange Bowl against Virginia in Miami Gardens. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley looks at the first half of the Orange Bowl game between Florida and Virginia at Hard Rock Stadium:

* Who says Florida can’t run the ball? It started early with Lamical Perine’s 61-yard touchdown run 40 seconds into the game and the Gators kept piling up the rushing yards. The Gators came into the game ranked 119th in the country in rushing at 120 yards per game, but finished the first half with 189 yards. Perine had 102 yards all by his lonesome.

* Perine, in his last game as a Gator, certainly made the case for bowl MVP in the first half. He also added 36 yards receiving and three touchdowns in the game, becoming the second Florida player to record a receiving and rushing touchdown in a bowl game. (Percy Harvin was the other).

* Florida struggled to stop Bryce Perkins throwing the ball as he completed 10 of his first 12 passes. The Cavs made two of the best catches you’ll see, including Terrell Jana’s touchdown catch. Perkins made an incredible scramble play before finding Jana in the back of the end zone. Florida did limit him rushing the ball (eight yards).

* It looked like Kyle Trask was a little off early and maybe that’s because of all the time off. But he bounced back to complete his last six passes and had a nifty throw back across the field to Jacob Copeland on a third-down play. Trask had several balls batted down and his first pass of the game was almost a deflection turned interception. Virginia obviously took note of the number of quick passes in the Florida offense.

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