Andre Debose returned a kickoff 99 yards – the longest scoring play in Gator Bowl history – and Chris Rainey blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.
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 former Florida coach Urban Meyer, who officially takes over at Ohio State this week, will make it a priority to improve special teams. He did that in his six seasons in Gainesville, Fla., and Rainey and Debose were two of his most prized recruits.
Ohio State fell to 0-10 in bowl games against teams from the SEC. The Buckeyes beat Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl last year, but that victory was vacated.