WATCH OUT FOR ... Whether Florida's real defense shows up. Alabama ran all over the Gators (12-1), who at the time had the No. 1 defense in Division I-A. The Bearcats (12-0) average 39.8 points per game and 464 total yards. Cincinnati QB Tony Pike has thrown for 2,350 yards and 26 touchdowns despite missing four games because of injury. Backup Zach Collaros has played in 12 games and is a running threat. The Gators will have to contain Cincinnati's primary receiver, Mardy Gilyard, who has 80 receptions for more than 1,100 yards. This is the final game for Gators QB Tim Tebow who will face a defense that allows just more than 200 passing yards per game. Both teams have had to face adversity, and both have a lot to play for. The winner most likely will be the team that is more motivated.
Antonya English, Times staff writer
Florida will take the field for the first time since the loss to Alabama in the SEC title game and at the end of a week in which coach Urban Meyer resigned, then decided instead on an indefinite leave of absence. The Gators' emotional state remains to be seen. With a victory, Meyer could clinch his sixth bowl victory in seven years. Meanwhile, Cincinnati is one of five unbeaten teams in the nation, trying to secure a 13-0 season and prove that it's worthy of being considered among the top programs. The Bearcats have had their own drama, with head coach Brian Kelly leaving for the job at Notre Dame and interim head coach Jeff Quinn running the show tonight, but say it's all behind them.
Florida vs. Cincinnati