Gator Bowl: Florida holds off Ohio State

Ohio State's Braxton Miller

Gator Bowl: Ohio State vs. Florida Highlights

(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. 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. Read the full AP recap, get Tom Dienhart’s reaction, see the box score and view our photo gallery.

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TicketCity Bowl: Houston tops Penn State, 30-14

Penn State's Stephfon Green

TicketCity Bowl: Penn State vs. Houston Highlights

(AP) Penn State’s tumultuous year ended with a 30-14 loss to Houston in the TicketCity Bowl on Monday, a dispiriting finish to a season in which coach Joe Paterno was fired as part of a child sex-abuse scandal that shook college sports. The 24th-ranked Nittany Lions were picked apart by Cougars star Case Keenum, who threw for 532 yards and three touchdowns. Penn State was allowing 162 yards passing per game, but Keenum threw for more than double that by halftime. He burned the Nittany Lions’ veteran secondary with touchdown passes of 40 and 75 yards to build a 24-7 lead by halftime. It was the school’s first bowl game without Paterno as head coach since the 1962 Gator Bowl, a 17-7 loss to Florida. Read the full AP recap, get Tom Dienhart’s reaction, see the box score and view our photo gallery.

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Big Ten Geeks: New Ballgame

Every year, it’s a test of one’s will to avoid drawing any conclusions prior to the beginning of conference play. For instance, two years ago the Texas Longhorns jumped out to an undefeated mark before beginning their conference slate. Non-conference opponents included Pitt, UNC, and Michigan State. After opening conference play with wins over what turned out to be the bottom of the Big XII, Texas sat atop both polls (I still don’t understand the point of polls in college basketball) and was generally recognized as the best team in the country.

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