2012 Gator Bowl: Ohio State Struggles On Special Teams, Loses 24-17

For more on the Ohio State Buckeyes, go to Along The Olentangy.

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Ohio State Vs. Florida, 2012 Gator Bowl: Urban Meyer Era Ready To Begin

After suffering its first four game losing streak since 1943, first losing season since 1988, and its first seven loss season since 1897, the Ohio State Buckeyes and their fans are naturally frustrated as they move into the 2012 season. Without the promise of a bol game, it will be a rebuilding year, as Along the Olentangy points out:

As Meyer heads into his first offseason in Columbus, he will also have to replace three offensive line starters and a steady tailback. The Buckeyes have plenty of talent at tailback, but Meyer must recruit and develop offensive line talent. Losing Mike Adams and Mike Brewster will hurt next season, but without a Big Ten championship to play for, it was a lost cause anyway. Take next year to develop the young players for a national championship run in 2013 when Braxton Miller is a junior. That is the goal now, and everything Meyer does this offseason will be working towards it.

The goal of a National Championship is quite lofty for a program coming off of a 6-7 season, but that is always one of the goals in Columbus. It is clear Meyer has his work cut out for him.

For more on the Ohio State Buckeyes, check out Along The Olentangy. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.

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Gator Bowl 2012 Final Score: Special Teams Cause Buckeyes To Lose 24-17

The Ohio State Buckeyes fell behind early in the 2012 Gator Bowl, and when they were able to respond with scoring opportunities, they began shooting themselves in the foot, giving up big touchdowns on special teams to eventually bury them by a score of 24-17. After Ohio State tied the game at 7-7 in the second quarter, the ensuing Drew Basil kickoff was fielded by Andre Debose, who took it 99 yards for a touchdown, putting the Florida Gators back on top 14-7.

OSU would go on to get on the board again, with a field goal late in the first half, but Florida once again asserted themselves in the third, when Chris Rainey blocked a punt and it was taken back for a touchdown. Later in the fourth, Caleb Sturgis added a field goal to take the game to 24-10.

With under a minute to go, Braxton Miller hit Jordan Hall for an 11-yard touchdown to bring the score to 24-17, but it was too little, too late. The miscues hurt them, especially when you consider the stats. Miller was efficient, going 18-for-24 for 162 yards and two touchdowns, better than Florida's John Brantley, who threw for 132 yards and a touchdown, but with an interception as well. OSU rushed for the same amount of yardage, at 131, and the deal-breaker came on special teams.

For more on the Ohio State Buckeyes, check out Along The Olentangy. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.

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Gator Bowl 2012 Score Update: Miscues Have Buckeyes Trailing 24-10

Trailing 14-10 heading into the half, the Ohio State Buckeyes received the opening kickoff, and started to drive pretty well. They moved from their own 20-yard line into Florida territory, but after a sack on 3rd and 10, the team was forced to punt. Unfortunately for them, the punt was blocked by Chris Rainey and Graham Stewart, and was taken into the endzone for a Florida touchdown, bringing the game to 21-10 in favor of Florida.

The remainder of the third quarter was full of mistakes. The Buckeyes took over again, and were able to pick up a couple first downs, but once again were forced to punt after nearing Florida territory. They pinned Florida down at the nine-yard line, and the pressure forced the Gators into making a mistake. After a couple rushes and a pair of first downs, John Brantley had a pass intercepted by Tyler Moeller, so the Buckeyes took over in Florida territory.

They were unable to take advantage of the good field position, though, as Braxton Miller hit DeVier Posey on third down, who fumbled the ball and gave the ball right back to Florida. The Gators started driving and got the ball into the red zone as the quarter came to an end. They settled for a field goal at the start of the fourth and took a 24-10 lead.

For more on the Ohio State Buckeyes, check out Along The Olentangy. For an opposing view, check out Alligator Army. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.

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Ohio State Vs. Florida, Gator Bowl 2012: Buckeyes Respond, But Trail 14-10 At Half

The Ohio State Buckeyes started the second quarter of the Gator Bowl at their own 41-yard line, after a couple of fumbles to end the first quarter. They started to drive, trying to answer back to Florida's touchdown in the first, and they were able to. A pair of Braxton Miller passes set them up in good position, hitting Jeff Heuerman for 25 yards and DeView Posey for 11 yards. From the five-yard line, Miller hit Posey again, this time for a touchdown. After an extra point, Ohio State had it tied at 7-7.

Unfortunately for them, Basil's kickoff was returned by Andre Debose for a 99 yard touchdown, and Florida was instantly up again. So it was back to work for Ohio State, who launched an eight-play drive that ... took them only 15 yards, and they were forced to punt from their own 37-yard line. Defensively, they held fast immediately after, forcing a Florida three-and-out, and after a botched Kyle Christy punt, they took over at mid-field.

Ohio State drove with the clock running out, getting inside the red zone, but Braxton Miller was sacked by Jaye Howard for a loss of 11 yards on third down. Still, they were within field goal range, and Drew Basil nailed a 47-yard field goal with time running out. Florida got the ball back, but killed the clock, and took a 14-10 lead into halftime.

Below, the kick return touchdown:

For more on the Ohio State Buckeyes, check out Along The Olentangy. For an opposing view, check out Alligator Army. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.

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Gator Bowl 2012 Score Update: Florida Strikes First, Take 7-0 Lead Into Second Quarter

Florida took the opening kickoff in the 2012 Gator Bowl, and squandered an early opportunity to get things done. The Drew Basil kickoff sailed out of bounds, giving the Gators a chance to start at their own 40-yard line. They'd eventually make their way into Ohio State territory, all the way up to the 27-yard line, but John Brantley fumbled the ball after being hit by Adam Bellamy, and Ohio State took over.

After driving from their own 26-yard line, the Buckeyes eventually had to punt after reaching midfield, and it went for a touchback. Florida then took over again and started driving big time. From their own 20-yard line, they had gains of eight yards, nine yards, and then a 20-yard completion from Brantley to Chris Rainey to give them a nice chunk of yardage. Rainey then rushed for ten yards to take them to just outside of the Ohio State red zone.

Mike Gillislee added a five-yard rush, and then Brantley hit Deonte Thompson for a 17-yard touchdown, giving Florida the 7-0 lead in the first. Near the end of the first, there were a couple of fumbles, but in the end, Ohio State had the ball as it came to an end and will try and drive to start the second. Dan Herron fumbles for OSU, and then Brantley fumbled for Florida.

For more on the Ohio State Buckeyes, check out Along The Olentangy. For an opposing view, check out Alligator Army. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.

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Ohio State Vs. Florida, 2012 Gator Bowl: Time, Location, History And More

The Ohio State Buckeyes will play in their final bowl game for at least a year, as they are guaranteed to miss the postseason in 2012 for the first time since going 6-6 in 1999. Before doing so, however, they face the Florida Gators in Tuesday's TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl. Both teams come in with disappointing 6-6 records, and incoming coach Urban Meyer is the main topic of discussion.

The Buckeyes are awaiting Meyer to take over a program that struggled mightily due to NCAA suspensions and the loss of Jim Tressel as head coach. Today's 1 p.m. game on ESPN will see the Buckeyes try to avoid finishing the season on a four game losing streak, something that has not happened since 1943. The Buckeyes are also trying to avoid their first losing season since 1988.

For more on the Ohio State Buckeyes, check out Along The Olentangy. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.

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Gator Bowl 2011: Ohio State Could Have Jake Stoneburner Available In Limited Capacity

The Ohio State Buckeyes could have one of their better offensive weapons in action for the Gator Bowl against, who else, but the Florida Gators. According to head coach Luke Fickell, Jake Stoneburner could be available to play following a surgery in late November. Stoneburner had surgery following a 40-34 loss at Michigan and hasn't missed a game this season.

Fickell noted that Stoneburner likely wouldn't be able to play much because he's not in shape to play extended snaps, but added that he hoped the Buckeyes would have some situational plays to use him in, according to CBS Sports. It's unclear how often he could be used in the game, but if he gets in there and plays well and feels fine following the arthroscopic knee surgery, then he could likely see more time. It will definitely be a "wait and see" kind of thing.

Stoneburner has 14 catches for 193 and a team-best seven touchdowns on the season.

For more on the Ohio State Buckeyes, check out Along The Olentangy. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.

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2011 Gator Bowl Preview: Ohio State vs. Florida Gators

Ohio State faces a tough task against the Florida Gators in the 2007 BCS Title game rematch

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