Gator Bowl: Florida 24, Ohio State 17 -- Now About that Offense ...

Florida did score a touchdown on offense today. Let's get that out of the way first, because that's about the most that can be said in the plus column for that offense today.

Sound harsh? That 80-yard touchdown drive was the longest of the day for Florida and the only one of more than 53 yards. It was one of two for more than 38 yards. There were four in single digits if you don't count the clock-killing drive at the end of the day. We could go on and on here if we wanted to, but just suffice it to say that the Gators' offense was not cured simply by Charlie Weis finding gainful employment elsewhere.

But the defense and special teams -- especially the special teams -- came through. Florida's three turnovers might have cost them more dearly if the defense hadn't forced Ohio State to commit two, and Andre Debose's 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown gave Florida the lead for good. Add on the blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown in the third quarter, and it's easy to see that the 14 points scored without the offense taking the field were the margin.

So Florida avoids its first losing season in a long time, but it can't quite correct the feeling of a second consecutive lost season. No one expected Florida to be instantly fixed between the end of the regular season and bowl game, but the fact that the Gators couldn't crack 150 yards of either rushing or passing offense is a stark reminder of just how far this team has to go. And you have to wonder if the third offensive coordinator in as many years is really the solution.

For now, though, Florida fans get to celebrate a win and wait to see who will take over that beleaguered offense. For any candidates who were watching the game Monday, it was as clear a picture as they'll get of the challenge ahead of them.

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