Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gator Bowl preview: Florida Gators vs. Ohio State Buckeyes; 1 p.m. Monday

When/where: 1 p.m. today; EverBank Field, Jacksonville

TV/radio: ESPN2; 1250-AMLine: Florida by 2

Notable: This is the first meeting between the two schools since Florida's 41-14 victory over Ohio State in the 2006 BCS national championship game, and the Buckeyes' first time in the Gator Bowl since 1978 when they lost to Clemson in Woody Hayes' final game as head coach. Hayes was fired after punching a Clemson player during the game. UF is making its 21st consecutive bowl appearance, which is first in the SEC and second nationally behind Florida State. Both teams are coming off losses in their regular-season finales and in need of a victory to keep from ending the season with losing records.

What to watch for: Ohio State's leading receiver has just 14 receptions on the season, so the passing game isn't nearly the threat that QB Braxton Miller, left, poses for Florida. The Gators have struggled against dual-threat passers, and Miller has improved since the season began. Florida RBs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps are healthy and eager to go out on a winning note, and Ohio State said its biggest concern is the speed of that duo and keeping them contained on the inside. The Gators will be without two key starters, DL Dominique Easley (knee) and OL Matt Patchan (back) out of Armwood. Both teams have spent their bowl practices working heavily on fundamentals, so it should be interesting to see how much each has improved in areas they've struggled with all season.

Antonya English, Times staff writer

Gator Bowl: Florida (6-6) vs. Ohio State (6-6)

Gator Bowl preview: Florida Gators vs. Ohio State Buckeyes; 1 p.m. Monday 01/01/12 [Last modified: Sunday, January 1, 2012 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays series preview: Who are the Mariners?


    The Rays are back home again, duking it out with another club in the American League Wild Card chase — the Mariners, who have a slight advantage over Tampa Bay. Here's the information you need to know about Seattle before the action kicks off.

    Record: 61-61, third in AL West

    Starter Erasmo Ramirez will face the Rays after they traded him to the Mariners in July.
  2. Florida Gators' Malik Zaire: 'This is everything to me'


    GAINESVILLE — We're two weeks and one day away from the Florida Gators' Sept. 2 season opener against Michigan, and the quarterback position remains unresolved.

    "This is everything to me..." said Malik Zaire, the grad transfer from Notre Dame. "I have everything to prove, everything to lose."
  3. 1997 USF Bulls: Jay Mize, a 'relentless, fearless' safety and entrepreneur


    USF football alumnus Jay Mize, 39, poses for a portrait at Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery located at 1611 W Swann Avenue in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. Mize, a member of the first USF football team, has evolved into an immensely successful businessman and entrepreneur and he owns the Irish 31 pubs.
  4. Revisiting the inaugural 1997 USF Bulls football roster


    The 1997 USF football team. (University of South Florida, USF Bulls)
  5. 1997 USF Bulls: Charlie Jackson navigates life's speed bumps


    USF wide receiver Charlie Jackson (1) strives for extra yardage as he is brought down from behind by the Citadel's Rob Nichols (29) in the first quarter on Sept. 14, 1997. (Times 1997)