Halftime analysis: Florida 14, Ohio State 10

January, 2, 2012
1/02/12
2:41
PM ET
Turning point: Florida was handed a chance to take a two touchdown lead late in the first quarter, but the Gators blew it by turning the ball over. UF defensive tackle Omar Hunter had caused Ohio State running back Dan Herron to fumble, and safety De'Ante Saunders recovered the loose ball and took it to the Ohio State 32-yard line. That put the Gators in position to potentially go up 14-0, but they botched the snap on second down and Ohio State's John Simon recovered the fumble. The Buckeyes turned the turnover into a touchdown -- Braxton Miller hit DeVier Posey for the score -- to tie the game, 7-7.

Stat of the half: Florida's Andre Debose returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to break a 7-7 tie. It was the longest scoring play in Gator Bowl history, eclipsing a 96-yard touchdown run by Texas Tech's Mikell Simpson in 2008. Desbose now has three kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career, the most in school history. He had been tied with Bo Carroll and Stacey Simmons. Debose also had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against South Carolina last season.

What Florida needs to do: The Gators have done a decent job moving the ball but have to quit turning it over. UF lost a pair of fumbles inside the Ohio State 40-yard line, the first coming on the game's opening drive when Brantley was hit by Adam Bellamy and fumbled as he was throwing the ball. The Gators entered the game with a minus-11 turnover ratio.

What Ohio State needs to do: The Buckeyes haven't been able to get quarterback Braxton Miller out in the open much. He's Ohio State's leading rusher but has just 1 yard on 10 carries in the first half. He got on the edge a few times and scrambled for one first down on third-and-7 but he hasn't made a big play with his feet yet.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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