Florida Gators vs. Ohio St. Buckeyes
Two teams accustomed to bigger things meet in the Taxslayer.com Bowl as Florida Gators meet the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Gators are -1 point favorites over the Buckeyes with an over/under point total set at 43.
Both the Florida Gators and the Ohio State Buckeyes are far more accustomed to playing in BCS Bowl games and for National Championships but this one is to see who finishes above .500 and who finishes below .500 on the year. While both of these teams have had several Heisman Trophy winners, including several recently, neither of these teams did enough offensively consistently to win in the SEC or the Big Ten.
Looking purely at the team numbers they are very close with Florida averaging 25.6 points and gaining 334.1 yards while OSU averages 25.1 points and 319.5 yards. Gator QB John Brantley never looked at home in the UF system as it’s based on the running game and short passing game to speedy backs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps who are as fast as any players in the country. Ironically Ohio State’s offense didn’t appear to be a great fit for QB Braxton Miller’s skills as he has plenty of speed to get outside and roll out but he was called upon to drop back and he and running back Dan Herron looked to be asked to primarily run between the tackles.
The Florida passing game was non-existent and while they had years of recruiting top receivers with sprinter speed, it all went to waste as Deonte Thompson and Frankie Hammond Jr just don’t have any kind of numbers. For Ohio State DeVier Posey missed most of the year and a lot of the action went to possession receiver Jake Stoneburner.
Defensively once again it’s splitting hairs to separate these two as Florida allows 20.6 points and 299.6 yards while Ohio State allows 20.8 points and 328.6 yards per game. The Florida defense entered the year inexperienced and they gained it along the way with Jon Bostic being a virtual tackling machine. The Buckeyes defense spent a lot of time on the field and while Andrew Sweat wasn’t in the Buckeyes loss to Michigan and missed most of the loss at Purdue, he’ll be playing in this one.
This is an odd one as both of these teams are loaded with speed and talented athletes and are such historically strong programs but we just haven’t seen much from either of them all season. The numbers suggest these teams are very similar and I see this one as a low scoring game that stays under the total.