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January 2, 2012

College Football Report - 2011 Bowl Picks - Gator Bowl: Gator Bowl

Florida (6-6) vs. Ohio State (6-6)

V S.

1 PM, ESPN 2, Monday, Jan. 2, Jacksonville, FL

Why Watch: How quick does the tide turn in major college football? Just five years ago, these two were fighting it out for a National Championship. This season, they’re both just fighting for a winning record. The Charlie Weis experiment at Florida lasted just one season, as the Gators will have to rely on an interim offensive coordinator against the Buckeyes. Newly hired OSU coach Urban Meyer will look on as his one year removed Gator’s team faces off against his future Buckeye team.

Who to Watch: Neither side has a whole lot of offensive playmakers, that’s why the two are where they’re at today. They do however have defensive players that can takeover games. A former No.1 recruit, Florida safety Matt Elam finished second on the team with 72 stops on the season. Elam also led the team in tackles for a loss from his safety position and brought in two interceptions and seven pass breakups. Buckeye’s defensive end John Simon turned out to be one of the lone bright spots of this OSU team. The junior from Youngstown registered 50 tackles and 15 tackles for a loss, to go along with his seven sacks on the season.

How it’s Going Down: Losing Charlie Weis could turn out to be a good thing for a Gators team that averaged just 13 points a game against FBS teams in their last seven games of the season. The Gators have had a shuffling of quarterbacks through the position, where John Brantley and Jacoby Brissett have manned the duties as of late. The Buckeye’s haven’t been much better offensively. They lost their last three to end the season, including an overtime loss to Purdue. Freshman quarterback Braxton Miller has played good football at times this season, but he has been asked to do too much down the stretch. Still, Miller poses a bigger threat to the Gators than anything UF has to offer at this point. If running back Boom Herron can help Miller move the ball on the ground, the Bucks will get out of a miserable season with a winning record. Pick: Ohio State 20 – Florida 14

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