Orange Bowl final: Florida 36, Virginia 28

Virginia safety Chris Moore (7) reacts as Florida running back Lamical Perine (2) scores during the first half of the Orange Bowl on Monday in Miami Gardens. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Live updates from Monday’s Orange Bowl game between No. 9 Florida and No. 24 Virginia at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens:


Florida scored on the third play from scrimmage, a 61-yard run by Lamical Perine. The three-play, 75-yard drive took 40 seconds.

UVA goes three-and-punt on its first series.

UF quarterback Kyle Trask intercepted by Virginia defensive back Nick Grant at the Gator 34.

Cavalier quarterback Bryce Perkins connects with receiver Terrell Jana for a 34-yard score to tie the game at 7-7 at the 11:27 mark.

Emory Jones comes in at QB for UF and runs for 17 yards.

Trask hits Perine for a 16-yard score to cap a 13-play, 75-yard drive for a 14-7 lead at 6:26 and converted on 3rd-and-10.

Virginia deep in UF territory when quarter ends.

Florida 14, Virginia 7

What went right: It was the Lamical Perine show on offense in the first quarter for the Gators. Perine’s 61-yard run on the third play of the game gave Florida an early six-point cushion, and his 16-yard receiving touchdown on UF’s third drive put his talents on full display. Perine has now had back-to-back bowl games with a receiving touchdown and a rushing touchdown.

What went wrong: Nick Grant’s diving interception on UF’s second drive led to Bryce Perkins’ 34-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Jana just a play later. And Trask looked a tad bit off on UF’s third drive, although Perine’s score alleviated any concern Florida would come away empty with the game tied. Florida’s defense has looked a little shaky in coverage early, and Virginia has missed some scoring opportunities, too.

Play of the quarter: Perine’s 61-yard run gave the Gators the early momentum, although the defense hasn’t allowed UF to truly capitalize on said advantage.

Trending: Virginia has 3rd and 8 inside Florida’s 10-yard line with an opportunity to pull even at 14 apiece.

-Graham Hall

Virginia       7

Florida      14

Note: The Gators, the visiting team, will start out on offense after the Cavs won the coin toss and elected to defer. End Jabari Zuniga and linebacker Amari Burney with the starts for the Gators, returning from injuries.


Perkins evades a UF rush to complete a 9-yard TD pass to Hasise Dubois to cap a 14-play, 88-yard drive in 6:33 to tie the game at 14-14. Score came on 3rd-and-8.

Evan McPherson connects on a 23-yard field goal to give UF a 17-14 lead at 9:39.

Gators stop the Cavs’ ensuing drive when Perkins is sacked for the first time, as Ventrell Miller and Zuniga do work. 

UF rush end Jon Greenard limped off the field and is limping on the sideline. He’s come in and out of the lineup since.

On 4th-and-8, Trask hits Freddie Swain for an 11-yard gain to extend the drive to the Virginia 24.

Perine remains on a roll, scores on a 10-yard touchdown run. That’s three TDs for him in the first half. The score capped a nine-play, 74-yard drive for a 24-14 lead at 2:13 remaining.

The Gators have piled up 311 yards of total offense in the first half. Perine had 102 yards rushing, 36 yards receiving and three touchdowns in the first half.

Florida 24, Virginia 14

What went right: After Van Jefferson’s 37-yard reception, the Gators managed to overcome a pass interference penalty to make it 10 unanswered on Perine’s third touchdown of the night several plays later. Give Florida’s defense a lot of credit, at it held Virginia to just 33 yards in the second quarter.

What went wrong: First off, credit Hasise Dubois for his spectacular catch to tie the game at 14. Then, the Gators had to settle for a 23-yard field goal on their next drive, a drive that saw UF go away from Perine despite the senior accounting for Florida’s first two scores at the time. Fortunately for Florida the offense amended for that decision on the next series.

Play of the quarter: Perine’s 10-yard touchdown was his second rushing touchdown of the night, but the play of the quarter was Van Jefferson’s 37-yard reception — one of three catches on the drive by the redshirt senior — on the first play of UF’s fourth drive. Jefferson doesn’t get enough credit for his speed after the catch, but that reception proved otherwise.

Trending: Holding a 10-point lead, Florida’s defense gets 15 minutes to rest up before the second half commences.

– Graham Hall
Florida      14      10

Virginia       7        7


Virginia punts for its third consecutive series to open the second half.

Nothing happening for UF on its first possession of the half, forcing the Gators to punt for the first time.

The announced attendance is 65,157.

McPherson gives UF a 27-14 lead with 16 seconds remaining with a 49-yarder.

UVA hits a huge play in the passing game on the last play of the third quarter — 52-yarder. Cavs on the UF 23.

Florida 27, Virginia 14

What went right: Florida’s defense, for one. All three Virginia drives ended in punts, keeping the Gators firmly in the driver’s seat. The Gators added the lone points — another field goal from Evan McPherson, this one from 49 yards out — just before the end of the quarter to extend the lead.

What went wrong: The Cavaliers weren’t the only ones punting. The Gators came away with nothing on their first two drives, and UF allowed Virginia to rattle off the biggest play of the quarter just before the decisive period rolled around.

Play of the quarter: Evan McPherson’s 49-yard field goal pushed UF’s lead to 13, although Tanner Cowley’s 52-yard reception has the Cavaliers deep in Florida territory with a chance to make it a one-score game once again.

Trending: Virginia’s offense has some momentum and a chance to cut into Florida’s double-digit lead.

— Graham Hall

Florida      14      10      3

Virginia       7        7      0


Perkins connects with receiver Joe Reed for a 7-yard TD to complete a six-play, 75-yard drive to bring the Cavaliers to within 27-21 with 13:05 showing.

Perine, who earlier in drive converted a fourth-down play, puts the ball on the UVA 1 with a 23-yard run.

Trask scored a play later from the 1 to cap a 7-play, 65-yard drive with 9:33 showing. The pass for the two-point conversion fell incomplete.

Freshman cornerback Kaiir Elam intercepts Perkins at the UF 3 with 5:11 left.

Trask to Jefferson on a receiver screen for a 53-yard gain.

McPherson nails a 42-yard field goal to put UF up 36-21 with 2:32 remaining.

Perkins caps an 8-play, 75-yard drive with a 2-yard TD pass to Dubois with 38 seconds remaining to bring Virginia to with 36-28.

Swain recovers the onside kick attempt for the Gators to seal the win.

UF finishes the season at 11-2, while UVA is 9-5.

Perine is MVP of the Orange Bowl, 181 total yards, three scores.

Florida finishes with 549 yards, its most in a bowl game since the 2010 Sugar Bowl (2009 season) against Cincinnati.

“The 2019 Gator football team was really special,” UF coach Dan Mullen said. “The 2020 team will be born in a couple of weeks. If we want to go from 11 (wins) to 12, it’s a lot harder to go from 11 to 12 than it is from 10 to 11.”

The win means Florida, led by second-year coach Dan Mullen, will likely finish in the Top Ten in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2008-09.

Florida 36, Virginia 28

What went right: Despite seeing the lead cut to 27-21 at the top of the quarter, Florida answered on the very next drive and then erased any hopes the Cavaliers had of pulling the comeback with Kaiir Elam’s interception in the red zone. Lamical Perine’s stellar night continued, as did Van Jefferson’s (team-high 6 receptions for 129 yards), and Evan McPherson tacked on another field goal to help the Gators secure a 36-28 victory.

What went wrong: Virginia cut it to one-score in the final minute, forcing UF to send the hands team out for an onside kick recovery — but that’s about it. The Gators overcome a strong performance by Virginia to cap off an 11-win season.

Play of the quarter: Jefferson’s 53-yard reception not only set up McPherson’s final field goal — it forced Virginia to burn all three timeouts. Considering Virginia technically had a shot at the end, it was a crucial play on a critical drive.

— Graham Hall

Florida 14 10 3 9 36
Virginia 7 7 0 14 28

First Quarter

FLA_Perine 61 run (McPherson kick), 14:20.

UVA_Jana 34 pass from Perkins (Delaney kick), 11:27.

FLA_Perine 16 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 6:26.

Second Quarter

UVA_Dubois 9 pass from Perkins (Delaney kick), 14:53.

FLA_FG McPherson 23, 9:39.

FLA_Perine 10 run (McPherson kick), 2:13.

Third Quarter

FLA_FG McPherson 49, :16.

Fourth Quarter

UVA_J.Reed 7 pass from Perkins (Delaney kick), 13:05.

FLA_Trask 1 run (run failed), 9:33.

FLA_FG McPherson 42, 2:32.

UVA_Dubois 2 pass from Perkins (Delaney kick), :38.

First downs 25 20
Rushes-yards 34-244 21-52
Passing 305 323
Comp-Att-Int 24-39-1 28-41-1
Return Yards 23 32
Punts-Avg. 2-33.0 6-48.2
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 4-40 3-14
Time of Possession 31:51 28:09


RUSHING_Florida, Perine 13-138, Trask 8-37, Pierce 6-34, E.Jones 4-32, M.Davis 1-3, Toney 1-1, (Team) 1-(minus 1). Virginia, Perkins 14-24, J.Reed 2-14, Taulapapa 5-14.

PASSING_Florida, Trask 24-39-1-305. Virginia, Perkins 28-40-1-323, (Team) 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING_Florida, Jefferson 6-129, Perine 5-43, Cleveland 3-51, Pitts 3-39, Swain 3-21, M.Davis 1-9, Copeland 1-7, Grimes 1-7, Toney 1-(minus 1). Virginia, Dubois 10-83, Jana 7-126, J.Reed 7-52, Cowley 3-60, Kemp 1-2.





  1. Grantham better step up the defense in the 2nd half — these guys want this game. I don’t have the impression that they’re “over achieving” since that’s an oxymoron if there ever was one……they’re a good football team and so far they’re playing, for them, lights out. We need to crush that spirit in the last 30 minutes. Go Gators!

  2. 36 points should’ve been enough to win this game comfortably. Instead, we had to survive an on-sides kick at the end in order to finally put away Virginia.

    That Gator defensive backfield really missed McWilliams. With the front seven preoccupied with containing Perkins, it was up to the DBs to hold coverage on Reid and Dubois. They failed miserably!

    All’s well that ends well I guess, but boy does that DBU need to work this offseason!

  3. Perine is the man! Look forward to seeing Pierce next season, though. If we never see another soft zone when trying to protect a lead again, it’ll be fine with me.

    Congrats, Gators, on another NY6 bowl victory and an 11-win season. Go Gators!!!

  4. I am SOOO pisssed off! What was THAT? Even Trask was off. Playing like that they wouldnt have beaten half the teams they played. Va isnt a very good team. they played flat AND Im so sick of Granthams secondary. We have lost the monicker DBU. They play soft coverage, let guys catch passes then tackle rather than play tight like DBU and deflect passes. How many times tonight did the line do a valiant job while the secondary let guys run wide open to give their QB somewhere to throw the ball, usually for a 1st down! I’ll bet they didnt have good practices and were acting like they were on vacation. They played like they practiced as if they had it in the bag. It would serve them right if they fell out of the top 10 in the final poll! Clemson just beat this team 62-24. They are better than that yet showed the nation and recruits this garbage play!

    • Daz, I commented on your same comment on the other article. To be pissed off after a bowl victory is absurd. You really need to reevaluate your life if you come out of a game your team wins with that kind of reaction. I would have liked a blow out victory but we won the game to cap off an 11 win season. That’s something to be happy about. A lot of great plays were made by both teams and it was exciting. Try to see the positive in life rather than being so negative. And GO GATORS! HAPPY NEW YEAR!