2012 Gator Bowl Final Score: Florida Beats Ohio State Again, 24-17

The 2012 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl was not where either Florida or Ohio State dreamed of finishing its 2011 season. But it was the Gators who got the 24-17 win in Jacksonville to avoid ending their season with a losing record.

The Gators got 132 passing yards and a touchdown pass from John Brantley and 71 rushing yards and a blocked punt from Chris Rainey, and scored touchdowns on Andre Debose's 99-yard kickoff return touchdown and Graham Stewart's return of the blocked punt.

The game was closer to a nightmare for Ohio State, which had problems stopping Florida, moving the ball, and on special teams. And yet, with less than a minute to go, the Buckeyes were within a touchdown; an onside kick recovered by Stephen Alli preserved the Gators' win.

Braxton Miller, who threw for 71 yards and a touchdown on that final drive to close the game to a single possession, finished with 162 passing yards and two touchdowns on the day.

The Gators improved to 7-6 on the year, and dodged their first losing season since 1979. For the Buckeyes, their 6-7 record makes 2011 the first year since 1897 that Ohio State has had seven losses.

For more on the Gator Bowl, visit Florida blog Alligator Army and SEC blog Team Speed Kills, and Ohio State blog Along the Olentangy and Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire.

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