JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's special teams came up big in the Gator Bowl, scoring twice as the Gators beat Ohio State 24-17 on Monday in a game between Urban Meyer's old team and his future one.
Andre Debose returned a kickoff 99 yards - the longest scoring play in bowl history - and Chris Rainey blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown.
The speedsters helped the Gators (7-6) avoid their first losing season since 1979 and pick up some much-needed momentum after losing six of their previous eight games.
Ohio State (6-7) finished below .500 for the first time since 1986. The Buckeyes can take solace in knowing that Meyer, who officially takes over at Ohio State this week, will make it a priority to improve special teams. Meyer did that in his six seasons in Gainesville, and Rainey and Debose were two of his most prized recruits.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)