Photo by David Rosenblum | Getty Images

The Florida Gators cruised to a 52-17 win over Eastern Washington in a game delayed a day due to Hurricane Ian making landfall in Florida and making it’s way across and through the state.

Despite the lopsided final score, it wasn’t always easy for the Gators. The Eagles actually got on the scoreboard first following a thirteen play opening drive that resulted in a 44-yard field goal. However, Florida showed their superiority offensively immediately. On their first play from scrimmage, QB Anthony Richardson found a wide open Justin Shorter for a 75-yard score.

Following an eleven play drive by EWU that stalled on downs, Montrell Johnson found the end zone from three yards out to increase the lead to 14-3.

By halftime, the Gators led 35-3 with Ricky Pearsall scoring on a 76-yard reverse followed by Xzavier Henderson catching a touchdown pass late in the second quarter.

The only blemish on the day came on Florida’s first possession out of the break as Anthony Richardson was intercepted, but he came back to lead the Gators to a field goal the very next possession, before being substituted out.

Redshirt freshman QB Jalen Kitna won’t forget his first passing touchdown with Florida. WR Caleb Douglas was streaking down the home sideline and Kitna hit him in stride for six points.

Kitna finished the game 8-12 for 152 yards and the score. Richardson went 8-10 for 240 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior Lorenzo Lingard led the rushing attack with five carries (all in the second half) for 45 hards and scored from eleven yards out in the fourth quarter.

As a team, the Gators put up 666 yards of total offense including 392 in the air. Defensive woes continued, though, as the Eagles possessed the ball for 36:23 of the clock and accumulated 411 yards of offense.

Florida (3-2, 0-2) will remain home to face Missouri at noon on Saturday. The Tigers are 2-3 overall and 0-2 in conference play. Missouri held a lead late in the fourth quarter against then-No. 1 Georgia on Saturday before falling, 26-22.

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