Blog Entry

QUICK HITS: Florida 24, Ohio State 17

Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:06 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

FLORIDA WON. The Florida Gators used two special teams touchdowns to break the Gator Bowl open, and Ohio State's late rally wasn't enough to bring the Buckeyes back in a 24-17 Florida victory. Andre Debose, seen at right, was named Gator Bowl MVP after he took a kickoff 99 yards to the house, and fellow Florida speedster Chris Hainey later blocked a punt that was returned 15 yards for a touchdown.

HOW FLORIDA WON: As mentioned before, Florida made big plays on special teams that turned the tide of this game, but it should also be noted that the reason OSU only scored 17 points was that Florida effectively bottled up Braxton Miller on the ground. Miller led the Buckeyes with 15 rushes, but he was only able to get 20 yards total on the ground, and Florida's six sacks on defense were a huge part of that. Ohio State depends heavily on its run game, so when Florida held that ground game to under four yards a pop, half the Gators' work toward getting the W was done.

WHEN FLORIDA WON: The Gators had held a healthy lead for most of the game, but Braxton Miller found Jordan Hall on a swing pass late in the 4th quarter, and about five jukes later, Hall was in the end zone and OSU was within seven points with under a minute left. Alas, Drew Basil's onside kick found its way into the arms of Florida WR Stephen Alli, and that would be all.

WHAT FLORIDA WON: If nothing else, it was enjoyable to see an SEC team win the way SEC teams win: SPEEEEEEEEEED. What Florida did not do, however, is move the ball reliably and turn first downs into scoring drives with any regularity. Florida avoids its first losing season in over 30 years with the win, and Will Muschamp has a bowl win over the Big Ten's historical powerhouse on his resume already, so although six-loss seasons aren't going to be tolerated in Gainesville for very long, this is at least a high note for the Gators to end on and to keep the mood at Florida congenial -- for now.

WHAT OHIO STATE LOST: This isn't goodbye for interim head coach Luke Fickell, who's going to be the co-defensive coordinator for Urban Meyer next year, but this was his swan song as Ohio State's head coach, and if anybody deserved to be carried off the field on the team's shoulders this year, it was Fickell. This wasn't a good Ohio State team. Urban Meyer wouldn't have been able to get more than seven or eight wins out of it. So for Fickell to just go out as a sub-.500 head coach at the end of the year would unfairly obscure the work he did. 

THAT WAS CRAZY: In the first quarter, Ohio State knocked the ball out of Florida QB John Brantley's hands as he was passing it. The ball bounced and hit OSU LB Ryan Shazier, who tried to recover it, but his effort was unsuccessful and shortly thereafter the officials blew the play dead as an incomplete pass before anybody else recovered the ball. The play was sent to further review... at which point the replay official awarded the ball to Ohio State for recovering the ball. The fumble was a good call; the recovery was not. Fortunately for Florida, OSU did not convert the turnover into points.

FINAL GRADE: D. This wasn't much like the Ohio State team we'll see next year, thanks to the impending arrival of Urban Meyer. So a game featuring three total offensive touchdowns, two limited offensive performances, one play's worth of end-game drama (a failed onside kick, at that), and zero lead changes isn't exactly going to be exciting. Bah.


Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2012 4:04 pm

QUICK HITS: Florida 24, Ohio State 17

it was enjoyable to see an SEC team win the way SEC teams win: SPEEEEEEEEEED

Good God, Mr Jacoby, any speed advantage Florida may have had was negligible at best, and had nothing to do with the outcome.  The difference in the game was the Gators ability to capitalize on OSU special teams mistakes.  Yes, Rainey deserves props for being fast enough to block that punt, but the only reason he got there was because an inexperienced Freshman blew a blocking assignment.  As for the kickoff return, poor coverage by OSU and good blocking by Florida set up a return play that any guy on either team weighing under 250 lbs should have been able to return for a TD.  Dubose is fast, but speed was not the reason no Buckeye got within 5 yards of him.

OSU outgained Florida both running and passing.  OSU's offense outscored Florida's offense.  OSU controlled the clock with a 5 minute advantage, won the turnover battle and had fewer penalties for much less yardage.  Florida won because it blitzed Braxton Miller from every angle & position (just like everyone else who beat OSU this year), and the Freshman QB couldn't handle it.  That and taking advantage of the two previously mentioned OSU special teams gaffes.

Please try to come up with something a little more insightful than this trite little SEC speed cliche.  The SEC team won because it made fewer mistakes, not because of speed.

Since: Nov 16, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:36 pm

QUICK HITS: Florida 24, Ohio State 17

Ohio State got beat up on a few special teams plays and couldn't claw their way back into the game.  It was not an exciting game.  Maybe Ohio State will win next years bowl game.  oh wait, nevermind...

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