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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.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.