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)

No Urban Meyer when Florida Gators face Ohio State Buckeyes in Gator Bowl

Florida coach Will Muschamp echoes Ohio State’s Luke Fickell: Urban Meyer will not be a distraction in their matchup.


Florida coach Will Muschamp echoes Ohio State’s Luke Fickell: Urban Meyer will not be a distraction in their matchup.

GAINESVILLE — Forget the storyline of former Florida coach Urban Meyer's old team taking on his new team in a bowl game. According to Florida coach Will Muschamp and Ohio State acting coach Luke Fickell, the 2012 Gator Bowl is about two proud, storied programs that have fallen on hard times and desperately need this opportunity to end on a good note and move forward for next season.

Florida (6-6) will play Ohio State (6-6) in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2.

"We've got the best fans in the country, and they are upset and frustrated and I don't blame them," Muschamp said. "But our guys are going to work hard to put on a good show for the fans in the bowl game."

Fickell, who will coach his final game at the Gator Bowl before Meyer takes over as head coach, said the fact that the Buckeyes were invited to a January bowl game is a reflection of the program's tradition.

"It's a great respect of the history and tradition, the great fans and the great support Ohio State has throughout the country," Fickell said. "Obviously we've had the kind of year we haven't had in a long time. But I think they've seen the growth and potential our team has. All those things added together makes for a very interesting and intriguing bowl game."

So does the added element of Meyer, who took a year off after leaving UF then was hired by the Buckeyes on Nov. 28. It took about 30 seconds on a national teleconference Sunday night before questions about Meyer began. Fickell said he's unsure if Meyer will attend, and to what degree he'll be involved in helping with preparations. He said Meyer won't be a distraction.

"I don't know that you could get any more distractions than what we've had," Fickell said. "I think our guys are just excited to play. I don't think this will be nearly as hard on them, this situation."

Muschamp said there will be no distraction for the Gators, either.

"We've moved on," he said. "Urban did a great job coaching the University of Florida, and we're very appreciative of what he did. But we've moved on."

Florida quarterback John Brantley (concussion) will play, Muschamp said, but starting defensive tackle Dominique Easley will miss the game. Muschamp said he suffered an ACL injury in a loss to FSU; surgery is scheduled Wednesday.

Antonya English can be reached at

.fast facts

Gator Bowl: UF vs. Ohio State

When/where: 1 p.m. Jan. 2, EverBank Field, Jacksonville.


Tickets: $65 for stadium seats or $125 for Club seats. The Gator ticket office will begin taking orders at 8:30 a.m. today. Order, visit the Gator ticket office, or call toll-free 1-800-344-2867, ext. 6800. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday.

No Urban Meyer when Florida Gators face Ohio State Buckeyes in Gator Bowl 12/04/11 [Last modified: Sunday, December 4, 2011 10:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'


    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.