for this game

Florida stuns Ohio State to win BCS title game

Jan 9, 2007 - 6:45 AM GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Maybe now Florida quarterback Chris Leak will feel some love from Gators fans.

Badly outplaying Heisman Trophy-winning counterpart Troy Smith, Leak executed coach Urban Meyer's game plan to perfection, leading second-ranked Florida to a shocking 41-14 rout of No. 1 Ohio State in the BCS title game.

Oft-criticized for failing to live up to his potential, Leak completed 25-of-36 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown in his final collegiate game for the Gators (13-1), who won their second national championship and snapped the Buckeyes' 19-game winning streak.

"We have worked so hard to get to this point," said Leak, the game's MVP. "I'm just so proud of, you know, how hard we worked over the four years and we finally got to this point, that we took advantage of this opportunity."

Leak's backup, true freshman Tim Tebow both passed and ran for a touchdown for Florida, which won its previous title 10 years ago, when Gators legend Steve Spurrier coached the team and Heisman-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel led a "Fun n' Gun" offense.

A four-year starter, Leak - the nation's No. 1 overall recruit in 2003 - broke several of Wuerffel's career records this season, but he was not beloved by Gators fans - something that is sure to change after Monday night's stunner.

"We are national champs," Leak said. "That's what you strive for. That's what you play for. Ever since you were a kid, this is what you dream about. And we are able to accomplish this goal. My legacy was to get University of Florida football back here, and with my teammates and my coaches, we were able to do that."

"He is officially one of the top two quarterbacks to play at the University of Florida," Meyer said. "We made this comment two years ago, it is the way you are judged at Florida. ... There have only been two in 100 years of football, there have been two quarterbacks win a national championship, and Chris Leak is one of them."

Smith, who was a member of the scout team that helped Ohio State stun Miami to win the national championship in the Fiesta Bowl four years ago, had a woeful final collegiate contest, going just 4-of-14 for 35 yards and an interception. He also lost a fumble.

"We came out. We fought," Smith said. "If we come up short and you know this is the worst thing that happens in life to us, then I'm pretty cool. But, you know, the other guys, my seniors, I want to apologize to them because I wasn't able to send them out on the right note. And I think I could have played better."

It also was a bitter defeat for sixth-year Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel, whose team had been idle since booking a spot in the game with a 42-39 win over then-No. 2 Michigan on November 18, a layoff of a record 50 days. Ohio State (12-1) had been 3-0 in BCS games - all at the Fiesta Bowl in nearby Tempe - under Tressel, who was outcoached by second-year Gators leader Meyer, a former Buckeyes assistant.

"How do you think I feel right now?" Meyer said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime deal."

Florida, which limited Ohio State to just 82 total yards, became the first school to simultaneously hold the national titles in both men's basketball and football.

"Everybody stepped up tonight," said Gators defensive end Derrick Harvey, who tied a BCS bowl game record with three sacks. "It took a lot of time and preparation to be able to stop a team that is as good as Ohio State. Everybody came out and played as hard as they could and that is why we are national champions."

Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr. returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown but Florida scored 21 straight points and did not look back. Ginn suffered a sprained foot and was on the field for just one more play.

Leak tied the game on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Baker on Florida's first drive and pitched the ball to freshman speedster Percy Harvin for a go-ahead four-yard run with 5:51 left in the first quarter.

Smith was intercepted by Reggie Lewis at the Florida 29 with 2:49 to go in the opening quarter and Leak marched the Gators down the field before DeShawn Wynn scored on a two-yard run for a 21-7 lead on the first play of the second period.

With under four minutes to play in the half and his team trailing by 24-14, the normally conservative Tressel elected to have the Buckeyes go for it on 4th-and-1 at their own 29. Freshman tailback Chris Wells was stuffed for no gain, and four plays later, embattled kicker Hetland nailed his second field goal, a 40-yarder.

"We thought we could make it, and the good news was is our defense did a great job of holding them to three, which was outstanding," Tressel said. "But, you know, it ended up being the wrong call, obviously."

On the very next play, Smith was sacked by Jarvis Moss and lost the football. Moss' fellow defensive end Derrick Harvey recovered and ran it nine yards to the Ohio State 5, leading to Tebow's one-yard TD pass to Andre Caldwell that opened a shocking 34-14 halftime advantage.

Leak completed 16-of-24 passes - including his first nine - for 150 yards in the first half, while Smith was just 2-of-8 for 24 yards.








  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA (2) 14 20 0 7 41
    OHIO ST (1) 7 7 0 0 14 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OHIO ST - TD, TED GINN JR. 93 YD KICKOFF
    RETURN (AARON PETTREY KICK),
    0:16. OHIO ST 7-0
    FLORIDA - TD, DALLAS BAKER 14 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS LEAK (CHRIS H

    Jan 8 11:57 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD FLORIDA
    TIM TEBOW 1 YD RUN
    (CHRIS HETLAND KICK)
    FLORIDA (2) 41
    OHIO ST (1) 14 10:20 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 11:37 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA (2) 14 20 0 34
    OHIO ST (1) 7 7 0 14 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OHIO ST - TD, TED GINN JR. 93 YD KICKOFF
    RETURN (AARON PETTREY KICK),
    0:16. OHIO ST 7-0
    FLORIDA - TD, DALLAS BAKER 14 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS LEAK

    Jan 8 11:18 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA (2) 14 20 34
    OHIO ST (1) 7 7 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OHIO ST - TD, TED GINN JR. 93 YD KICKOFF
    RETURN (AARON PETTREY KICK),
    0:16. OHIO ST 7-0
    FLORIDA - TD, DALLAS BAKER 14 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS LEAK (CH

    Jan 8 10:16 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD FLORIDA
    ANDRE CALDWELL 1 YD PASS FROM TIM TEBOW
    (CHRIS HETLAND KICK)
    FLORIDA (2) 34
    OHIO ST (1) 14 0:23 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 10:12 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    FG FLORIDA
    CHRIS HETLAND 40 YD
    FLORIDA (2) 27
    OHIO ST (1) 14 1:53 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 10:06 PM
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    katieb Added 10 roots

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 9:58 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    FG FLORIDA
    CHRIS HETLAND 42 YD
    FLORIDA (2) 24
    OHIO ST (1) 14 6:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 9:56 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD OHIO ST
    ANTONIO PITTMAN 18 YD RUN
    (AARON PETTREY KICK)
    FLORIDA (2) 21
    OHIO ST (1) 14 13:32 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 9:28 PM
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    hotdawg Added 10 roots

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 9:27 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD FLORIDA
    DESHAWN WYNN 2 YD RUN
    (CHRIS HETLAND KICK)
    FLORIDA (2) 21
    OHIO ST (1) 7 14:56 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 9:22 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA (2) 14 14
    OHIO ST (1) 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: OHIO ST - TD, TED GINN JR. 93 YD KICKOFF
    RETURN (AARON PETTREY KICK),
    0:16. OHIO ST 7-0
    FLORIDA - TD, DALLAS BAKER 14 YD PASS FROM
    CHRIS LEAK

    Jan 8 9:18 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD FLORIDA
    PERCY HARVIN 4 YD RUN
    (CHRIS HETLAND KICK)
    FLORIDA (2) 14
    OHIO ST (1) 7 5:51 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 9:01 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD FLORIDA
    DALLAS BAKER 14 YD PASS FROM CHRIS LEAK
    (CHRIS HETLAND KICK)
    FLORIDA (2) 7
    OHIO ST (1) 7 10:31 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 8:43 PM


  • BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    AT GLENDALE AZ
    NCAAF BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    TD OHIO ST
    TED GINN JR. 93 YD KICKOFF RETURN
    (AARON PETTREY KICK)
    FLORIDA (2) 0
    OHIO ST (1) 7 14:44 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 8:36 PM
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    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 8 8:34 PM
  • 10
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 10 roots

    Florida vs. Ohio StateJan 2 4:39 AM