Lamical Perine had the hole.
Florida's senior running back took the hand off from quarterback Kyle Trask on the third play of the game in the Capital One Orange Bowl against Virginia. He stutter-stepped to the left side to allow another millisecond for left tackle Richard Gouirage and tight end Kyle Pitts to widen the hole enough for him to fit through.
He darted through it and was instantly in a foot race down the field for the goal line. He beat UVA safety Chris Moore to the pylon.
It put Florida up 7-0. Virginia never led at any point in the game and the Gators eventually held the trophy full of oranges victorious by a score of 36-28. The victory capped off an 11-win season for second-year head coach Dan Mullen's program and his second-straight double-digit win season.
Perine was the story of the first half, he finished it with three touchdowns. Two were on the ground and one was in the air when he caught a swing pass from Trask and took it 16 yards for a score. That along with an Evan Mcpherson field goal made it 24-14 when Gavin Degraw came out to perform the halftime show.
And as the second half wore on, one thing became obvious.
It was a tale of two halves.
The first half of this game was fireworks. Perine's touchdown early, answered by a UVA interception, which opened the door for a touchdown from quarterback Bryce Perkins to Terrell Jana.
Then another Perine touchdown, then another Perkins touchdown pass to Hasise Dubois, then another Perine touchdown.
This was all in one half of football. It was a total of 38 points.
One quarter later?
Outside of a 49-yard kick from Evan McPherson, neither team scored in the third quarter of play. It was largely a back-and-forth punting affair, and whoever could string together more first downs before having to punt was winning the field position battle. But that offensive struggle boded well for UF in terms of winning the game, since UVA was the team with ground to make up.
And early in the fourth, that is exactly what happened.
A screen pass in the red zone became a touchdown for the Cavaliers to narrow the gap 27-21. It was the first time since the first half that the game was a one-score affair.
The next drive, UF responded in a way that was needed for a Florida side that was winning but playing sloppy football. Mullen rolled the dice and went for it on fourth down and one on his own 44-yard line. Trask ran an option play with Perine and pitched it to him to barely reach the first down.
The next play, Trask found Tyrie Cleveland for a 30-yard catch down the seam. A few plays later, Trask faked a handoff on the one-yard line and walked into the end zone for an easy score.
Two possessions once again.
It was 33-21 in favor of the Gators. A game where it felt like UF was not playing very good football was still a game where the Gators posted a double-digit lead with less than 10 minutes to play.
But UVA was not finished. A few chunk plays found the Cavaliers back in the red zone again. Perkins tried a short go route on the right side against Kaiir Elam.
Intercepted. Gator ball.
The next play?
A 53-yard catch and run from Jefferson to put the Gators back in Cavalier territory. At 33-21, it was an unbelievable opportunity to shut and lock the closing door for Virginia. A few ineffective runs later, however, McPherson was back on the field to kick a 46-yarder.
Three more for the Gators put UF up 36-21. It was still a two-possession game, but a much harder two-possession game to climb back into with only a little over two minutes to play.
But a 47-yard pass from Perkins to Jana got UVA back in scoring position quickly.
And Dubois a few plays later caught a touchdown to make it one possession. But UF recovered the ensuing onside kick and ended up victorious 36-28.