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Bucks Lose to 'Gators
2012 Gator Bowl Highlights
Ohio State Falls Short Against Florida, 24-17, In Gator Bowl January 2, 2012 Source: OSU Official Site - Florida's defense and special teams came up big in the Gator Bowl, recording six sacks and scoring twice as the Gators beat Ohio State 24-17 on Monday. Andre Debose returned a kickoff 99 yards - the longest scoring play in bowl history - and Chris Rainey blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown. The speedsters helped the Gators (7-6) avoid their first losing season since 1979 and pick up some much-needed momentum after losing six of their previous eight games. "We don't want to be remembered as the team that lost, so it was a big game for us," Howard said. "Not only for the seniors, but the program as a whole. It's a building block for next year." Ohio State (6-7) dropped four straight to finish below .500 for the first time since 1988, and lost seven games for the first time since 1897...
10 Things We Learned from a Gator Bowl Loss Jamuary 3, 2012 Source: The Ozone - 1. It’s time to hit the reset button. There are million things we could talk about that went wrong this season, but why bother? Why take the time to analyze something that was hard to watch the first time? Everyone in that locker room deserves a fresh start, and so do the fans...2. Braxton still has a long ways to go...The future is bright, and under Meyer it stands to reason that Miller will blossom into one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country...3. Luke should spend a few years as a coordinator before he takes another head coaching job...4. Ohio State needs to get faster on offense. This is not a debate about SEC vs. Big Ten speed, because the Buckeyes have had plenty of speed on their roster over the years. It was obvious Monday, however, that this current Ohio State team is lacking speed at the skill positions on offense, and it really hurt them against the Gators...5. DeVier Posey is going to have a career at the next level...6. The Buckeyes showed little improvement over 13 games...7. Shazier has guts, skill. Speaking of Shazier, how about the freshman gutting it out again with an injury. He said he felt about 70% after tweaking the knee on that early fumble recovery, and yet he stayed in there and led the team in tackles. He has the kind of toughness Urban Meyer is going to love and when he gets healthy, look out...8. John Simon was Ohio State’s real MVP. We can’t mention the words toughness and Ohio State together without talking about John Simon...9. Special teams require Meyer’s immediate attention...10. This game was much ado about nothing. In the end, Ohio State finishing 6-7 instead of 7-6 is big because it means the first losing season since 1988. Otherwise, it hardly mattered...
What I Learned
1. The offense is getting better. Braxton Miller has had ups and downs all season as a true freshman starter. But he played one of his better games today in hitting 18-of-23 passes for 165 yards with two touchdowns and no picks. Miller has a bright future and will be better as the young wideouts continue to mature.
2. Urban Meyer will have plenty of ammo to use as motivation. This is Ohio State’s first losing season since 1988 and its first seven-loss season since the late 1880s. And losing to his former school has to sting for Meyer, too. It’s time to show some pride.
3. The special teams need work. The Buckeyes allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown and had a punt blocked for a touchdown, as Ohio State fell to 0-10 vs. SEC teams in bowls.
Key stat: 2-of-9, Ohio State’s third-down conversion rate. Source: Big Ten Network
First impressions: Giving up one special teams touchdown was survivable. Giving up two was not, especially when the Ohio State offense once again struggled to find consistency. The Buckeyes outgained Florida 299-263, but big whoopee. This matchup of 6-6, mediocre teams was destined to come down to who made the most mistakes.
Obvious stars: Florida running back Chris Rainey delivered the play of the day, the block of Ben Buchanan’s punt early in the third quarter that was returned by Graham Stewart for the TD that upped the Gator lead to 21-10. Gainey also led the Gators in yards rushing (71) and in pass catches (3). OSU senior running back Daniel “Boom” Herron led the Buckeyes with 82 yards rushing, but a lost fumble and then just 12 runs overall put a damper on his day.
Unsung workers: Freshman linebacker Ryan Shazier topped the OSU defense with eight tackles, despite playing on a braced left knee which he said was about 70 percent healthy after he got hit early in the game. Florida linebacker Jonathan Bostic led his team with 7.5 tackles, but more than that, like safety teammate Matt Elam he often seemed to show up at the right spot at the right time, and in a hurry.
Star of the game: Florida running back Chris Rainey. He led the Gators in rushing with 71 yards and in receiving with three catches, and he blocked a punt early in the second half.
Turning point: Rainey’s block of Ben Buchanan’s punt. Even though the Buckeyes had given up a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half, they were still in the game until Graham Stewart returned Gainey’s block to the end zone for a 21-10 lead.
Repercussion: Now begins the Urban Meyer era, with no postseason possible for next season because of NCAA sanctions. It promises to be another interesting year for the Buckeyes.
How the team sees it: You know it’s a tough season when gold pants are not even available to sell.
How the pollsters will see it: There’s always next year, er, make that the year after next.
How Buckeye Nation will see it: Dead and buried.
Gospel according to Luke
What he said: “I told (the players) afterward in the locker room that this feeling should hurt.”
What he meant: “And I didn’t mean me banging my head against the wall.”
They said it
As heard on TV: Maybe you’ve heard that former ESPN analyst Craig James is running for office? Well, as bad as James was in the booth, the two announcers who did the Gator Bowl -- Mike Patrick and Ed Cunningham -- should be run out of the ESPN office. Where to begin? How about with Patrick informing viewers that DeVier Posey missed most of the season because of an injury. Then there was Patrick’s attempt to pronounce Etienne Sabino’s name six different ways. Some advice, Mike: When in doubt, go with “youngster.” It works for Brent Musburger.
As heard from Florida fan: “Coaching that sad team will give Urban more health problems.”
Numbers for dummies
1897: The last time Ohio State lost seven games in a season. The Buckeyes were 1-7-1 that year.
24: Consecutive winning seasons for Florida, longest in the nation
3,334,786: Mentions of Urban Meyer’s name by Ohio State fans during the game
Exposed: On the critical punt block, the Gators simply overloaded the right side of the OSU proctection front and freed up two men, including Solomon Patton, who could have done the honors. Rainey just beat him to it, almost taking the ball off the foot of Buchanan.
Stat that matters: Besides the two special team touchdowns, the Gators also sacked OSU freshman quarterback Braxton Miller six times. That was a season high for Florida. Source: Columbus Dispatch
IT WAS OVER WHEN ... OSU made things interesting with a late TD but couldn't keep the ensuing on-side kick.
GAME BALL GOES TO ... Chris Rainey. He turned in over 100 total yards but his blocked punt gave UF a 21-10 lead.
STAT OF THE GAME ... 7. The loss gives the Buckeyes their highest loss total since 1897. Source: ESPN
Braxton Miller talks about his bowl debut Source: BuckeyeGrove.com
Ohio State Report Card January 2, 2012 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - A -- Ohio State defensive lineman Nathan Williams..., C -- This bowl experience..., F -- Ohio State special teams...
The Bottom Line January 3, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Ohio State Report Card Offense (2 leaves), Defense (3 leaves), Special teams (1 leaf), Coaching (2 leaves), Opponent (3 leaves), Officiating (2 leaves)
1. Free Braxton: Ohio State saw what Braxton Miller could be in the Michigan game, as the freshman quarterback accounted for 335 yards (225 pass, 100 rush) and three touchdowns against one of the Big Ten's best defenses. Offensive coordinator Jim Bollman must continue to take the reins off of Miller against the Gators. What does Bollman have to lose? He's not coming back next season, and the offense showed a lot of life against Michigan with a more relevant passing game. Ohio State will attack a stout Florida defense on the ground, but Miller should take some shots downfield against the Gators, particularly with top wide receiver DeVier Posey on the field.
2. Turn the defensive line loose: Florida struggled to protect quarterback John Brantley at times this season, surrendering 23 sacks. It's important for Buckeyes star John Simon to get in the backfield along with fellow linemen like Johnathan Hankins and Michael Bennett. Simon, who leads Ohio State with 15 tackles for loss and seven sacks, goes against Florida tackle Matt Patchan, who colleague Michael DiRocco reports has had some difficulties with speed rushers this season (Simon is more of a power guy, but he can scoot). Ohio State's pass rush disappeared down the stretch as the team recorded only two sacks in the final three games. The Buckeyes need a stronger effort to prevent the Gators offense from gaining confidence.
3. Make Florida pay for mistakes: Florida's defense doesn't generate many takeaways (12 all season, tied for 115th nationally) and has committed 23 turnovers, putting the team 113th nationally in turnover margin. Ohio State has been more disciplined with the football, and the Buckeyes need to capitalize on any Gator giveaways. They failed to do so in losses to Michigan State and Miami but were more opportunistic in a win against Illinois. Florida also is one of the nation's most penalized teams, ranking 113th in penalties per game (7.75). Translation: the Gators will hurt themselves, but the Buckeyes must cash in.
2012 Gator Bowl: Why Ohio State Will Avoid First Losing Season in 23 Years December 31, 2011 Source: Bleacher Report - Let's take a look at the five keys to Buckeye success against the Gators in the appropriately named Gator Bowl. No. 1: Ohio State Must Open Up the Offensive Playbook like in the Michigan Game...No. 2: The Remaining Players of the "Tattoo Five" Must Dominate Another Bowl Game...No. 3: The Buckeye Defense needs to Avoid Giving Up the Big Play...No. 4: Ohio State Cannot Afford Any More Injuries...No. 5: The Gators Cannot Be Allowed Multiple Long Drives...
OSU press conference with Fickell and captains Mike Brewster, Boom Herron, Andrew Sweat and John Simon Part 1 December 31, 2011 Source: Bucknuts
OSU press conference with Fickell and captains Mike Brewster, Boom Herron, Andrew Sweat and John Simon Part 2 December 31, 2011 Source: Bucknuts
Zach Boren on...
Braxton Miller: "I expect big things. The last couple of years our quarterback has come out and done huge things in the bowl game and we're expecting the same thing from him. He's gotten better throughout the season and now he's seeing what the defenses are giving us pre-snap, and even after the ball is snapped he is making quicker decisions."
The game slowing down for Braxton: "The game slows down once you get mentally into it. Once you start knowing that they are showing cover 2 pre-snap but then are going into cover 3 after the ball is snapped...once you start mentally and physically seeing that in your head and knowing that, the game slows down."
Jordan Hall on...
What he likes about bowl games: "I like getting to play another team from another conference and seeing where we can match up."
Ohio State's offense: "I think we have all the pieces to be a good offense and one of the best offenses in the country. Things just didn't go our way, but I think that we will be all right."
The pride factor for this game: "This game isn't about the bowl game. This is about Ohio State and Florida. And Florida is a good program. We are a good program, and we obviously want to beat them."
Andrew Norwell on...
Florida's defensive front: "All the guys really move well and they really move their hands well."
On the 2006 Game: "It doesn't matter to me. I was in high school then...maybe a freshman. I'm just focused on this game."
On one of the teams having a losing record once game is over: "It means a lot. You prepare for every game like you want to win. You just have to work hard this week in practice and we'll see who the better team is."
Reid Fragel on...
The importance of the game: "We all want to go out on a winning note. Obviously Florida is a good team and a winning program so it's going to be a big game and we are looking forward to it."
Luke Fickell on...
The team's spirited practice: "They were ready to get back to work this morning. We got up this morning and had decided we were going to get rolling at it. We had a good four or five days off, and they were excited to get back at it this morning."
Two powerhouse programs having atypical years: "We [Fickell and Will Muschamp] haven't really talked about it but we both understand the situation we are in. ... We are excited about where we are. It is a definite privilege and I reminded our guys of that this morning."
Fickell speaks to reporters after Buckeye practice Wed at the Univ of North Florida.
Updates from the Gator Bowl, with video December 28, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - There's some hope for the OSU offense to come together for this game and build off what was a better offensive performance against Michigan in the last regular-season game of the year. Asked if the Buckeyes would put two quarterbacks on the field together at the same time, as they did in the Fiesta Bowl during Terrelle Pryor's freshman season, OSU head coach Luke Fickell jokingly said they'd actually be putting three quarterbacks out there together.
Zach Boren talks about the Buckeyes' offense after Gator Bowl practice on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011
After practice, Fickell and four players – Zach Boren, Reid Fragel, Jordan Hall and Andrew Norwell – met with the media for interviews on the practice fields. Some thoughts from the day:
Zach Boren on…
Braxton Miller: “I expect big things. The last couple of years our quarterback has come out and done huge things in the bowl game and we’re expecting the same thing from him. He’s gotten better throughout the season and now he’s seeing what the defenses are giving us pre-snap, and even after the ball is snapped he is making quicker decisions.”
The game slowing down for Braxton: “The game slows down once you get mentally into it. Once you start knowing that they are showing cover 2 pre-snap but then are going into cover 3 after the ball is snapped…once you start mentally and physically seeing that in your head and knowing that, the game slows down.”
Jordan Hall on…
What he likes about bowl games: “I like getting to play another team from another conference and seeing where we can match up.”
Ohio State’s offense: “I think we have all the pieces to be a good offense and one of the best offenses in the country. Things just didn’t go our way, but I think that we will be all right.”
The pride factor for this game: “This game isn’t about the bowl game. This is about Ohio State and Florida. And Florida is a good program. We are a good program, and we obviously want to beat them.”
Andrew Norwell on…
Florida’s defensive front: “All the guys really move well and they really move their hands well.”
On the 2006 Game: “It doesn’t matter to me. I was in high school then…maybe a freshman. I’m just focused on this game.”
On one of the teams having a losing record once game is over: “It means a lot. You prepare for every game like you want to win. You just have to work hard this week in practice and we’ll see who the better team is.”
Reid Fragel on…
The importance of the game: “We all want to go out on a winning note. Obviously Florida is a good team and a winning program so it’s going to be a big game and we are looking forward to it.”
Luke Fickell on…
The team’s spirited practice: “They were ready to get back to work this morning. We got up this morning and had decided we were going to get rolling at it. We had a good four or five days off, and they were excited to get back at it this morning.”
Two powerhouse programs having atypical years: “We [Fickell and Will Muschamp] haven’t really talked about it but we both understand the situation we are in. … We are excited about where we are. It is a definite privilege and I reminded our guys of that this morning.”
Florida CBs Cody Riggs and Jaylen Watkins vs. Ohio State WR Devier Posey
Posey (6-foot-2, 213 pounds) has a size advantage over Riggs (5-9, 179) and Watkins (6-0, 187), but those two have been dealing with that issue all season. Posey has been suspended for all but two games, but in those two games he has caught seven passes for 124 yards and one touchdown, so the Buckeyes certainly missed him. Riggs and Watkins have combined to break up seven passes but haven't forced any turnovers.
Florida DT Sharrif Floyd vs. Ohio State C Mike Brewster
Floyd is ecstatic to be playing tackle in place of the injured Dominque Easley. It's his more natural position, and he has the potential to be an All-SEC player there. The 6-3, 295-pound Floyd has been at end all season because of a lack of depth there, and he might still see time there during the game. He's quick, which is something that gave Ohio State trouble the last time these teams met. Brewster is 6-5 and 305 and has done a good job creating space in the middle. Ohio State is averaging 195.7 yards per game rushing.
Florida OT Matt Patchan vs. Ohio State DE John Simon
Simon (6-2, 270) leads the Buckeyes with 7.0 sacks and 15.0 tackles for loss. He also has broken up three passes. He's the player the Gators will have to control to have success in the passing game, especially since he'll be coming from John Brantley's blind side. Patchan (6-6, 292) has had trouble with speed rushers, and the offensive line has struggled as a whole in pass protection, giving up 23 sacks.
Florida WR Andre Debose vs. Ohio State CBs Bradley Roby and Travis Howard
Debose is the only receiver who has shown the ability to make a play on the ball. All four of his touchdown catches have been from 64 yards or longer, and all were basically on fly patterns. He's got good size (5-11, 191) and great speed. Roby (5-11, 195) and Howard (6-1, 190) are bigger corners who have combined for five interceptions. The question is, can they run with Debose?
Florida S Matt Elam vs. Ohio State QB Braxton Miller
Miller (6-3, 210) is a nightmare for defenders. He's a mobile quarterback (team-high 695 yards and 7 TDs rushing) who has gotten better as a passer (997 yards, 11 TDs). His specialty is turning a broken play into a big play, mainly with his feet. Elam (5-10, 206) has to be disciplined enough not to give up on pass plays too soon, but he's also going to have to be ready to chase Miller down if he gets in the open field.
Source: ESPN December 26, 2011
Sweat, Shazier Expected to Play, Together? December 28, 2011 Source: The Ozone - For a few minutes, it looked like Ohio State was going to have to finish out the Michigan game without its two best linebackers. With senior Andrew Sweat sidelined by head and shoulder injuries, the Buckeyes turned to exciting young freshman Ryan Shazier to fill their void at linebacker. Making his first start ever, Shazier had recorded a team-high 15 tackles against Penn State, but he suffered a left knee injury early in the Michigan game. Ohio State didn’t have many options at linebacker, so they stuck with Shazier, even though he was a shadow of the player he had been a week earlier against the Nittany Lions. Now the Buckeyes may have both players in the lineup together when they take on the University of Florida in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2...
Job 1: Stop Braxton Miller December 25, 2011 Source: ESPN - Florida's run defense will be tested by the Ohio State freshman quarterback
...As they prepare for the Jan. 2 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, Florida's players aren't getting too caught up in the fact that former coach Urban Meyer is now the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. They're more worried about Braxton Miller...
Ohio State is making its first appearance in the Gator Bowl since 1978 when No. 20 Ohio State lost to No. 6 Clemson, 17-15, in Woody Hayes’ final game as head coach of the Buckeyes.
This will be Ohio State’s first bowl game in the State of Florida since the 2002 Outback Bowl.
This is Ohio State’s 11th consecutive bowl appearance. The last time Ohio State did not go to a bowl was after the 1999 season.
Ohio State has a 19-22 record in bowl games, dating back to the 1921 Rose Bowl, where the Buckeyes were defeated 28-0 by California. The
Buckeyes have appeared in 11 different bowl games during their storied history. The Buckeyes are 5-3 in eight BCS game appearances. Ohio State holds a 15-19 record in bowl games played on New Year’s Day or later.
Only Second Meeting Ohio State and Florida have met only once before on the gridiron, and that meeting was significant. The game was the 2007 BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Ariz., and the No. 2 Gators, coached by Urban Meyer, defeated the No. 1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, 41-14, to claim the national championship. It was the first of two national championships over a three-year period for Meyer's program.
Fickell: Buckeyes Deserving "These guys deserve this bowl game," Fickell said. "All they've been through...they deserve this."
Gator Bowl History Ohio State has played in one Gator Bowl. It was the 1978 game between Ohio State and Clemson, and won by the Tigers, 17-15. It was the last game coached by Woody Hayes, something that Fickell is very much aware. "We'd like to put a completely different spin on Ohio State's Gator Bowl history," Fickell said.
Bowl History The TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl will be the 42nd bowl game for Ohio State. The Buckeyes are 19-22 all-time in bowl games, including a 2-6 record in bowl games in the state of Florida.
Buckeyes haven't had a losing season since 1988; Florida not since 1979. Source: OSU Official Site
-- Ohio State is mourning the death of longtime assistant coach Joe Daniels, who died at the age of 69 on Sunday after a lengthy battle with cancer.
-- Fickell said linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee) should be OK for the Gator Bowl, but he would be sidelined from workouts another week or so.
-- Muschamp confirmed that strength and conditioning coach Mickey Mariotti has left to join Meyer's staff at OSU.
-- Although he didn't get into specifics, Fickell alluded to the possibility some of the current coaches on OSU's staff might not be with the team by the time the bowl game arrives, possibly taking positions at other schools. Source: News Herald
A Look at Ohio State's Florida Bowl Games: 1977 Orange Bowl – Ohio State 27, Colorado 10
1978 Gator Bowl – Clemson 17, Ohio State 15
1986 Citrus Bowl – Ohio State 10, BYU 7
1993 Citrus Bowl – Georgia 21, Ohio State 14
1995 Citrus Bowl – Alabama 24, Ohio State 17
1996 Citrus Bowl – Tennessee 20, Ohio State 14
2001 Outback Bowl – South Carolina 24, Ohio State 7
2002 Outback Bowl – South Carolina 31, Ohio State 28
Source: The Ozone
Captains: Mike Brewster, Andrew Sweat and Dan Herron & Johnny Simon.
The Buckeyes will be wearing two additional decals on their helmets for the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl in the memory of two special individuals who lost their battles with illness earlier this month: former quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels and Jean Bruce, wife of coach Earle Bruce. A white decal with a black JD and a scarlet Buckeye leaf will honor Joe and a black decal with a white JB will honor Jean.
Fickell said linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee) should be OK for the Gator Bowl, but he would be sidelined from workouts another week or so.
Fickell confirmed Saturday that Stoneburner underwent arthroscopic knee surgery shortly after the end of the regular season. While the junior has not been ruled out of Monday’s Gator Bowl matchup with Florida, it doesn’t appear he will see the field much if at all.
Ohio State DE John Simon vs. Florida LT Chaz Green Simon (6-foot-2, 270 pounds) leads the Buckeyes with 7.0 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. The junior will be a tough test for Green (6-5, 306), a redshirt freshman who has battled an ankle injury late in the season. Ohio State has recorded 23 sacks while Florida has given up 23.
Ohio State RT J.B. Shugarts vs. Florida Buck Ronald Powell Powell (6-4, 248) has been somewhat disappointing in his first season as a starter, but he does lead UF in sacks (5.0) and he has come on in the final quarter of the season. Ohio State has allowed 40 sacks this season. Remember how things worked out the for the Buckeyes when they lined up some beefy tackles (Shugarts is 6-7, 300) against quick UF defensive ends?
Ohio State LB Etienne Sabino vs. Florida TE Jordan Reed Sabino (6-3, 242) is the Buckeye's strongside linebacker, which means he'll sometimes draw Reed (6-3, 239) one-on-one. If Reed's ankle is completely healthy, he's a tough matchup because of his speed and athleticism. Source: ESPN
Ohio State-Florida 2012 Gator Bowl matchup actually could have some teeth December 18, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - And these are six reasons to at least take a peak at what happens Jan. 2.: 1. The SEC thing:...2. Michigan matters:...3. The Bollman offense:...4. The no-Weis offense:...5. Big Ten pride:...6. Avoiding a losing season: In the first 121 seasons of Ohio State football, the Buckeyes had 12 losing seasons. They don't want this to be losing season No. 13...
Buckeyes, Gators have a lot in common December 6, 2011 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Reputation and tradition were the forces most responsible for setting up a meeting in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2 between Ohio State and Florida. Otherwise, these are two teams coming off lackluster 6-6 seasons under first-year, learn-on-the-job coaches who are looking forward more to next season than putting a cap on 2011...
Fickell On Meyer, Transition Period; Luke Fickell, OSU's coach through the Gator Bowl, sat down with the media on Friday (12/9/11) evening after the first full bowl practice session...more Source: Bucknuts.com
Mike Brewster Interview Friday evening after the first full bowl practice session. Source: Bucknuts.com
Mike Adams Interview Friday evening after the first full bowl practice session. Source: Bucknuts.com
Boom Herron Interview Friday evening after the first full bowl practice session. Source: Bucknuts.com
2012 Gator Bowl: Guide to Ohio State vs. Florida December 5, 2011 Source: Bleacher Report - Bowl Information...Strength of the Buckeyes: Running Game...Strength of the Gators: Offensive Gamebreakers...Weakness of the Buckeyes: Perimeter Defense in the Back Seven...Weakness of the Gators: Inconsistent QB Play...Ohio State's Best Player: John Simon...Florida's Best Player: Jeff Demps...How the Buckeyes Got Here...How the Gators Got Here...
5 Keys for Buckeyes in Gator Bowl December 5, 2011 Source: Bleacher Report - Braxton Miller Must Be Allowed To Play to His Strengths...Establish the Running Game...Make Florida Beat You Passing the Football...Limit Mistakes and Turnovers...Don't Look Ahead to Next Season...
Ranking the 35 2011-2012 Bowls December 5, 2011 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - 11. Ohio State vs. Florida TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl January 2, 2011 Jacksonville, FL, 1:00 pm ESPN2
Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl
1. It's the Urban Bowl. It might be Ohio State vs. Florida with Luke Fickell and Will Muschamp as the head coaches, but there's a very large figure looming over the game. With the game played in Jacksonville – Tebow Territory – it'll be interesting to see what the mood is like from the Gator fans toward the new regime, even though Meyer won't be on the sidelines.
2. Braxton Miller is one of college football's brightest new stars. Buckeye fans are already salivating over what he's going to do in Meyer's offense and this is another great showcase game on a national stage.
3. If ever a program of Florida's caliber was going to try, it would be this game. After an awful season, to close out 6-7 would be a disaster. To lose to an Ohio State program that just barely got over the SEC hump past year would be apocalyptic.
And Why You Shouldn't Care A Lick: Neither team can throw the forward pass. Florida is 102nd in the nation in total offense and it can't stop turning the ball over. Ohio State is 116th in the nation in passing.
Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You
1. DE Ronald Powell, Soph. Florida
2. DE John Simon, Jr. Ohio State
3. LB Jonathan Bostic, Jr. Florida
Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim:
Ohio State 23 ... Florida 13
Gator Bowl Preview: Ohio State Versus Florida Jamuary 2, 2012 Source: Eleven Warriors - The bigger matchup here will be Posey versus the Florida secondary; Posey may be the best overall athlete on the field today and if Braxton is able to connect on at least one of the bombs he missed against Michigan then it should keep them honest enough to allow Boom Herron the breathing room he hasn't been able to get since November 5th (less than 3.5 ypc in his last three games). Beyond that, I really have no idea what version of the Ohio State offense will show up. I think the lynchpin here is Braxton Miller's rushing ability; how he goes, so goes the rest of the offense...
Gator Bowl Preview: Florida vs. Ohio State Jamuary 2, 2012 Source: BuckeyeBanter.com - Overall, Florida averages 25.6 ppg on a typical output of 334.2 total ypg. Despite running the fewest offensive plays in the country (735), the Gators average 5.5 yards per attempt. Third downs have killed the team all season, as it converts just 31 percent of the time. The Gators have a near two-to-one deficit in turnover margin, coming up with just 12 takeaways while giving the opposition the ball on 23 occasions. With generating turnovers being such a problem, the Florida defense was on the field for nearly 32 minutes per game during the regular season, but despite that fact, the Gators yield just 299.6 total ypg. They have been particularly tough against the pass, permitting just 167.2 ypg with an average of roughly one passing score allowed per outing. Conversely, they have surrendered 16 rushing scores, and an average of 20.6 ppg as a result...
Ohio State vs. Florida Preview Jamuary 1, 2012 Source: The Ozone - Running backs coach Brian White will call the plays for Florida, and while the offense should still do what it has done all season, it might look a little different here and there simply because that's what happens in bowl games. The Gators run a pro-style offense, but do it mostly out of the shotgun, pistol and single-back formations. With Weis, the running backs and tight ends were as much, if not more, of the passing game than the receivers. That will probably change a bit this time around, especially if Ohio State's cornerbacks continue to give large cushions before the snap...
Ohio St.-Florida Preview Jamuary 1, 2012 Source: ESPN - "I don't know that you could get any more distractions than what we've had," said Fickell, who has been offered a spot on Meyer's defensive staff in 2012. "I think our guys are just so excited to have some clarity about what's going to happen in the future so they can put those things behind them. I don't think this will be nearly as hard on them. "That you're playing Florida, all the other stuff with coach Meyer and that's where he came from, to me, won't have an effect on our guys." Florida will be without starting right tackle Matt Patchan, who injured his upper back during practice. Xavier Nixon, who has struggled all season and was eventually benched, likely will move back into the starting lineup...
Gator Bowl: Ohio State vs. Florida Jamuary 1, 2012 Source: ESPN - WHAT TO WATCH: Will the real Ohio State defense please stand up? The Buckeyes were uncharacteristically sloppy with their tackling and techniques down the stretch while losing their final three games. Penn State stunned the defense by running the Wildcat, while Michigan racked up 444 total yards in a 40-34 win. Key injuries and youth prevented this from being a vintage Silver Bullets squad this year. The unit should be healthier now, with players like linebacker Andrew Sweat back to full strength, and the young players have had more practice time...
Breaking Down the Gator Bowl January 1, 2012 Source: The Buckeye Battle Cry - The intangibles appear to be a toss-up between these two teams. The one intangible that I haven’t discussed is heart. This Buckeye team has been through a lot and their pride will not let them finish the season on a 4 game losing streak. The Buckeyes haven’t finished a season with 7 losses since 1897! The longest such streak in college football. They also want to win this one for their coach. These players have been close to Coach Fickell this season and had at one point held out hope that he would retain the job. As things would have it, the way the season ended, it just wasn’t to be. Coach Fickell gets to stay as the Co-Defensive coordinator and will do his best to have this team ready for this match-up. Edge to Ohio State...
On Monday, January 2nd, the Ohio State Buckeyes will go up against the Florida Gators in the Gator Bowl. Which team will come out on top? Jason Horowitz and Spencer Tillman go inside the numbers to preview this upcoming matchup.
Ohio State at Florida December 27, 2011 Source: CBSSports.com -This will be the best running game that the Buckeyes will face this season, and that includes the Miami Hurricanes, who rushed for 240 yards against them, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who rushed for 232 yards. Unfortunately for Ohio State, this will also be the best passing game they will face as well. Quarterback Russell Wilson is second in the nation in passing efficiency (204.91), and has thrown for 1,780 yards and 16 touchdowns, with just three interceptions...
2012 Gator Florida vs. Ohio State December 30, 2011 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com- What Will Happen: It’s not exactly going to be a different Florida team than the one that sputtered so much throughout the season, but it’s going to be more energized. There might be motivation for Ohio State to win its last bowl for a while, but there’s just as much need for Muschamp to come up with an important win and interim offensive coordinator Brian White wants to show that he can succeed where Weis was an utter failure. The speed and athleticism of the Gator defensive front seven will bottle up Miller, while the Gator offense will look quicker and more effective with Brantley, Demps, and Rainey all able to finally move like normal. However, Ohio State will be able to power away with Dan Herron and will win the turnover battle in a tough, interesting game. This won’t be a shootout in any way, but it’ll be a more entertaining than it might seem between such mediocre offenses. CFN Prediction: Ohio State 27 ... Florida 23...
2012 Gator Bowl: tOSU-Florida Game Preview December 29, 2011 Source: Buckeye Planet - This game on paper looks like the completely resistible force against the easily movable object, as both offenses failed to crack the top 100 of FBS this season. Still the paths of the 2 teams seem to be different at the end of the year, as the Gators seemed to regress somewhat against Florida State and the Buckeyes put on their best offensive game of the season against Michigan. Turnovers killed the Buckeyes against Penn State as well, though they moved the ball some during that game. With Posey back receivers are also getting open more frequently, and though Miller has missed a few he hit a few against Michigan as well. The biggest factor in this game will likely be turnovers. As evidence, Florida was +2 in their 6 wins and -12 in their 6 losses...
Ohio State vs. Florida 2012 Gator Bowl — Outlook, History Lesson, and Prediction January 1, 2012 Source: Block O Nation - The 2012 Gator Bowl features two of the top programs in college football despite each having an atypical .500 regular season. Something has to give and it's not likely going to be Ohio State's defense. The Gators lost six of their last eight games to end the season and in those games, they averaged less than 225 yards and 12 points. Look for the Silver Bullets to ramp up the heat on Brantley -- who was picked off three times in the season finale by Florida State -- and to score or at least set up an easy score or two for Miller and the OSU offense. This meeting feels like it's going to be close throughout with moderate scoring, unlike the 41-14 loss Ohio State suffered at the hands of their new coach and his 2006 Gators team, but Miller and the Buckeye defense SHOULD be the difference...
SEC: 2012-Gator-Bowl-preview January 1, 2012 Source: ESPN - PREDICTION: Ohio State 20, Florida, 13. Both teams really struggled on offense this season, but the Gators' defense ranks ninth nationally, while Ohio State's is 24th. Florida should be motivated to play the Buckeyes, but even with a new man calling the offensive shots, it's hard to tell if things will be much different Monday...
Gators and Buckeyes Have Unique Offensive Opportunities Entering Gator Bowl December 29, 2011 Source: Florida Official Site - The Florida-Ohio State matchup in Monday’s Gator Bowl has potential to be a razzle-dazzle affair. That would probably be fine with ESPN2 viewers. On one side, interim offensive coordinator Brian White will be calling plays for the Gators in what is viewed by some as an audition to replace Charlie Weis permanently. On the other side, longtime Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman is calling his final game after 11 seasons. Incoming Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer has already hired Iowa State assistant Tom Herman to replace Bollman, a longtime Jim Tressel assistant and like Meyer, a native of Ashtabula, Ohio. So should we expect White and Bollman to draw up game plans that feature an array of flea-flickers, reverses and halfback passes? That seems highly unlikely if you listen closely...
Getting to know Florida's bowl opponent – Ohio State December 5, 2011 Source: Orlando Sentinel - -- Like Florida, they are young. Ohio State (6-6) has played 14 true freshmen this year, most notably QB Braxton Miller. When Meyer was introduced in Columbus on Dec. 5, he said meeting Miller was the most exciting part of the day. The fact that he fits the mold of another quarterback Meyer coached explains why...
Dominique Easley has torn ACL December 5, 2011 Source: ESPN - Florida sophomore defensive tackle Dominique Easley will miss the Gators' bowl game because of a torn ACL in his left knee, coach Will Muschamp said Sunday...The 6-foot-2, 282-pound lineman was a five-star prospect in the class of 2010, arriving at Florida as ESPNU's No. 1 defensive tackle in the nation. He emerged in his sophomore season as a disruptive force on the defensive line, recording 37 tackles, 1½ sacks and 7½ tackles for loss in playing all 12 games...
Ohio State to face Florida in the Gator Bowl on Jan 2 December 4, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - The Buckeyes (6-6) will play Florida (6-6) in Jacksonville, Fla., at 1 p.m. on Jan 2 in the Gator Bowl, which will be televised on ESPN2. The matchup will feature the Buckeyes against new coach Urban Meyer's former team. Meyer went 65-15 and won two national titles in six seasons at Florida between 2005 and 2010. Meyer will not coach Ohio State, which will continue to be led by Luke Fickell during bowl practice and for the game, but the talk of Meyer's past, present and future will spice up a matchup between two .500 teams. Jacksonville is 70 miles from Florida's campus in Gainesville.
The Gator Bowl trip is the first for Ohio State since Dec 29, 1978, which served as the last game in the coaching career of Ohio State legend Woody Hayes. Hayes was fired the day after that 17-15 loss to Clemson for striking Clemson defender Charlie Bauman on the sidelines after Bauman intercepted a pass from Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter...
Two of the biggest nightmares in Ohio State bowl-game history are the 1978 Gator Bowl and the 2007 BCS National Championship Game against Florida. The Buckeyes now have the opportunity to exorcise both ghosts on Jan. 2, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla...
The last time the Buckeyes and Gators met, No. 1 Ohio State was thrashed by No. 2 Florida, 41-14, in Phoenix.
And the last time the Buckeyes played in the Gator Bowl, legendary coach Woody Hayes slugged a player from Clemson during the Tigers' 17-15 win over Ohio State, which ended up being Hayes' last game coaching the Buckeyes.
"We'd like to put a completely different spin on Ohio State's Gator Bowl history," said OSU coach Luke Fickell on Sunday night after accepting the bowl invitation from Gator Bowl chairman Gregory Smith... December 5, 2011 Source: Wilmington News Journal
The Buckeyes (6-6, 3-5) and Gators (6-6, 3-5) have identical overall and conference records. Ohio State finished fourth in the Leaders Division, while Florida was third in the SEC East. Traditional powers, each school floundered under first-year coaches...
This will be the first non-BCS bowl Ohio State has played in since the 2004 season, when Ohio State finished 8-4 after winning the Alamo Bowl over Les Miles-coached Oklahoma State.
It is the second consecutive bowl Ohio State is facing a school from the SEC. Last season, the Buckeyes knocked off Arkansas in dramatic fashion, 31-27, in the Sugar Bowl. It was Ohio State's first win over an SEC school in a bowl game, upping its record to 1-9. It has since been stricken from the books because of the TatGate scandal... Source: BuckeyeGrove.com
Complete 2011-12 College Football Bowl Schedule
Gildan New Mexico Temple vs Wyoming
Albuquerque, N.M. University Stadium
Dec 17 2pm
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Ohio vs Utah State
Boise, Idaho Bronco Stadium
Dec 17 5:30pm
R+L Carriers New Orleans San Diego State vs Louisiana-Lafayette
New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Dec 17 9pm
Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Florida International vs Marshall
St. Petersburg, Fla. Tropicana Field
Dec 20 8pm
S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia TCU vs Louisiana Tech
San Diego Qualcomm Stadium
Dec 21 8pm
MAACO Las Vegas Arizona State vs Boise State
Las Vegas Sam Boyd Stadium
Dec 22 8pm
Sheraton Hawaii Nevada vs Southern Miss
Honolulu Aloha Stadium
Dec 24 8pm
AdvoCare V100 Independence Missouri vs North Carolina
Shreveport, La. Independence Stadium
Dec 26 5pm
Little Caesars Western Michigan vs Purdue
Detroit Ford Field
Dec 27 4:30pm
Belk Louisville vs NC State
Charlotte, N.C. Bank of America Stadium
Dec 27 8pm
Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman Toledo vs Air Force
Washington, D.C. RFK Stadium
Dec 28 4:30pm
Bridgepoint Education Holiday California vs Texas
San Diego Qualcomm Stadium
Dec 28 8pm
Champs Sports Florida State vs Notre Dame
Orlando, Fla. Florida Citrus Bowl
Dec 29 5:30pm
Valero Alamo Washington vs. Baylor
San Antonio Alamodome
Dec 29 9pm
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces BYU vs Tulsa
Dallas Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Dec 30 Noon
New Era Pinstripe Rutgers vs Iowa State
Bronx, N.Y. Yankee Stadium
Dec 30 3:20pm
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Mississippi State vs Wake Forest
Nashville, Tenn. LP Field
Dec 30 6:40pm
Insight Iowa vs Oklahoma
Tempe, Ariz. Sun Devil Stadium
Dec 30 10pm
Meineke Car Care of Texas Texas A&M vs Northwestern
Houston Reliant Stadium
Dec 31 Noon
Hyundai Sun Georgia Tech vs Utah
El Paso, Texas Sun Bowl
Dec 31 2pm
AutoZone Liberty Cincinnati vs Vanderbilt
Memphis, Tenn. Liberty Bowl
Dec 31 3:30pm
Kraft Fight Hunger Illinois vs UCLA
San Francisco AT&T Park
Dec 31 3:30pm
Chick-fil-A Virginia vs Auburn
Atlanta Georgia Dome
Dec 31 7:30pm
TicketCity Houston vs Penn State
Dallas Cotton Bowl
Jan 2 Noon
Outback Michigan State vs Georgia
Tampa, Fla. Raymond James Stadium
Jan 2 1pm
Capital One Nebraska vs South Carolina
Orlando, Fla. Florida Citrus Bowl
Jan 2 1pm
Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl Ohio State vs Florida
Jacksonville, Fla. EverBank Field
Jan 2 1pm
Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio Wisconsin vs Oregon
Pasadena, Calif. Rose Bowl
Jan 2 5pm
Tostitos Fiesta Stanford vs Oklahoma State
Glendale, Ariz. U. of Phoenix Stadium
Jan 2 8:30pm
Allstate Sugar Michigan vs Virginia Tech
New Orleans Louisiana Superdome
Jan 3 8:30pm
Discover Orange West Virginia vs Clemson
Miami Sun Life Stadium
Jan 4 8:30pm
AT&T Cotton Kansas State vs Arkansas
Arlington, Texas Cowboys Stadium
Jan 6 8pm
BBVA Compass Bowl SMU vs Pittsburgh
Birmingham, Ala. Legion Field
Jan 7 1pm
GoDaddy.com Arkansas State vs Northern Illinois
Mobile, Ala. Ladd-Peebles Stadium
Jan 8 9pm
Allstate BCS National Championship Game No. 1 LSU vs No. 2 Alabama
New Orleans Louisiana Superdome
Jan 9 8:30pm
For the first time in Big Ten history, 10 conference teams have been selected to participate in postseason bowl games. The total of 10 bowl teams betters the previous mark of eight in 2003 and 2007. This marks the seventh straight year that seven or more Big Ten teams will go bowling. Here are some thoughts on the Big Ten bowl bids... Source: Bucknuts