BCS Championship Bowl Player Profile & More

Posted Dec 14, 2006

2007 Tostitos BCS Championship Bowl Player Profile, History & More

Florida (12-1) vs. Ohio State (12-0)

January 8th, 8:00 p.m. ET, Fox

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By Richard Cirminiello

BCS Championship Player Profile
WR Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio State ... You think you know a player because you've seen him run a million routes, catch a thousand passes and do hundreds of post-game interviews. However, when you get under the helmet, do you really know what makes him tick? Doubtful. Gonzalez is one of those complex, deeply cerebral individuals, who is defined by so much more than his athletic ability. Yes, he is one of the country's most underrated receivers, a sure-handed, speedy pass-catcher with a knack for coming up big in the clutch. Despite being the "other" receiver on a team that boasts Ted Ginn, Jr., Gonzalez has a career-high 49 catches for 723 yards and eight touchdowns through 12 games, including personal bests in catches and yards in the win over Texas. If the big-game receiver doesn't haul in a touchdown in Glendale, it'll be an upset. Still, there's a whole lot more to Gonzalez than what you see on Saturdays. He's an Academic All-American, who plans to be a lawyer once his playing days are over. Better yet, the son of a Cuban immigrant would like to someday be the first Hispanic-American U.S. president. How's this for six degrees of separation? The junior's grandfather went to school with Fidel Castro and helped overthrow Fulgencio Batista in the 1950s. Gonzalez is a young man with a plan. A national championship or two. The NFL. Stanford Law. Maybe the White House. Considering his unwavering focus, work ethic and passion for success, who's to stay he won't pull it all off? It may not be evident on a highlight tape, but few players at this level are more mentally tough or driven to perfection than the Ohio State playmaker. Those are just two of the many reasons that Buckeye fans have been gonzo for Gonzo since his role in the offense permanently increased last year.

Best Buckeye Bowl Moment ... Beyond the plethora of Rose Bowl wins, nothing could compare to the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. In one of the most thrilling college football games of all-time, Ohio State upset Miami in overtime to cop its first unanimous national championship in 34 years. A distant runner-up was the come-from-behind win against USC in the 1969 Rose Bowl that put the finishing touches on that last national title.

Best Gator Bowl Moment ... The 2004 Outback Bowl marked Florida's 11th consecutive season playing a bowl game in the New Year. No win during that stretch, or at any time in school history, was more profound than the 52-20 annihilation of No. 1 and unbeaten Florida State in the 1997 Sugar Bowl. Three touchdown passes from Danny Wuerffel to Ike Hilliard gave the Gators revenge for a three-point loss earlier in the season and a long-awaited national championship.

Ohio State's best win ... Ohio State 42 ... Michigan 39
Ohio State won a classic as Troy Smith threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers highlighted by a 39-yard pass to Ted Ginn off a fake for a 21-7 second half lead and an eight-yard strike to Anthony Gonzalez for a 28-14 halftime advantage. Michigan roared back with a stop on OSU's first second half possession to go 60 yards in five plays finished off by the second of Mike Hart's three touchdown runs. The Wolverines pulled within four on a 39-yard Garrett Rivas field goal, but the Buckeyes got their second big touchdown run of the game, the first coming in the first half on a brilliant, spinning 52-yard dash from Chris Wells, on an Antonio Pittman 56-yard dash. Michigan capitalized off a fumble with a short Hart scoring run, but head coach Lloyd Carr chose to kick the extra point rather than go for two allowing OSU to be up by four. With an 11-play, 82-yard drive that took five minutes and was kept alive on a penalty from a helmet-to-helmet hit on a third down misfire, Smith hit Brian Robiskie on a 13-yard touchdown pass for a 42-31 lead. Michigan marched back with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Ecker and the two point conversion, but the Buckeyes recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock. 

Ohio State's worst performance ... Ohio State 17 ... Illinois 10
Ohio State's high-powered offense was held to 224 yards surviving thanks to a big first drive going 80 yards in 14 plays finishing with a two-yard Chris Wells touchdown run while using a short field to finish with a one-yard Antonio Pittman scoring run. The Buckeyes finished off their scoring late in the first half with a 50-yard Aaron Pettrey field goal. Illinois hit a 37-yard Jason Reda field goal and got a three-yard Rashard Mendenhall touchdown run with 1:40 to play, but couldn't get the ball back until late with the ball on its two with only four seconds to play.

Florida's best win ...
Florida 23 ... LSU 10
Florida overcame a 7-0 deficit with 23 straight points highlighted by a funky one-yard jump pass from Tim Tebow to Tate Casey with :22 left in the first half. Tebow ran for a one-yard score and threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Louis Murphy for the offensive points, and then the defense and special teams came through as LSU combusted. Early Doucet fumbled the second half kickoff on the three and got dropped for a safety, there was a fumbled snap on the one-yard line, had a punt blocked and fumbled a punt. The Tigers only managed a 45-yard Colt David field goal in the second half.

Florida's worst performance ...
Auburn 27 ... Florida 17
In a tale of two halves, Florida dominated in most of the first half scoring easily with a big Percy Harvin run leading to a 16-yard Tim Tebow scoring run and Dallas Baker making a brilliant 15-yard touchdown catch on the way to a 17-8 first half lead, and then Auburn turned up the defensive pressure. The Tiger pass rush couldn't be stopped in the second half with Gator QB Chris Leak rushing his throws and making mistakes, with the biggest a controversial slip on what was ruled a fumble, even though his arm appeared to be going forward, leading to a 34-yard John Vaughn field goal. Tre Smith turned a blocked punt into a touchdown and Patrick Lee returned a fumble 20 yards for a score with no time left on the clock.

Florida Bowl History (15-17)
2005 Outback Florida 31, Iowa 24
2004 Peach Miami 27, Florida 10
2003 Outback Iowa 37, Florida 17
2002 Outback Michigan 38, Florida 30
2001 Orange Florida 56, Maryland 23
2000 Sugar Miami 37, Florida 20
1999 Citrus Michigan St 37, Florida 34
1998 Orange Florida 31, Syracuse 10
1997 Citrus Florida 21, Penn State 6
1996 Sugar Florida 52, Florida State 20
1995 Fiesta Nebraska 62, Florida 24
1994 Sugar Florida State 23, Florida 17
1993 Sugar Florida 41, West Virginia 7
1992 Gator Florida 27, NC State 10
1991 Sugar Notre Dame 39, Florida 28
1989 Freedom Washington 34, Florida 7
1988 All-American Florida 14, Illinois 10
1987 Aloha UCLA 20, Florida 16
1983 Gator Florida 14, Iowa 6
1982 Bluebonnet Arkansas 28, Florida 24
1981 Peach West Virginia 26, Florida 6
1980 Tangerine Florida 35, Maryland 20
1976 Sun Texas A&M 37, Florida 14
1975 Gator Maryland 13, Florida 0
1974 Sugar Nebraska 13, Florida 10
1973 Tangerine Miami, Ohio 16, Florida 7
1969 Gator Florida 14, Tennessee 13
1966 Orange Florida 27, Georgia Tech 12
1965 Sugar Missouri 20, Florida 18
1962 Gator Florida 17, Penn State 7
1960 Gator Florida 13, Baylor 12
1958 Gator Mississippi 7, Florida 3
1953 Gator Florida 14, Tulsa 13
Ohio State Bowl History (18-19)
2005 Fiesta Ohio State 34, Notre Dame 20
2004 Alamo Ohio State 33, Oklahoma State 7
2003 Fiesta Ohio State 35, Kansas State 28
2002 Fiesta Ohio State 31, Miami 24 (2 OT)
2001 Outback South Carolina 31, Ohio State 28
2000 Outback South Carolina 24, Ohio State 7
1998 Sugar Ohio State 24, Texas A&M 14
1997 Sugar Florida State 31, Ohio State 14
1996 Rose Ohio State 20, Arizona State 17
1996 Citrus Tennessee 20, Ohio State 14
1995 Citrus Alabma 24, Ohio State 17
1993 Holiday Ohio State 28, Brigham Young 21
1992 Citrus Georgia 21, Ohio State 14
1991 Hall of Fame Syracuse 24, Ohio State 17
1990 Liberty Air Force 23, Ohio State 11
1989 Hall of Fame Auburn 31, Ohio State 14
1986 Cotton Ohio State 28, Texas A&M 12
1985 Citrus Ohio State 10, Brigham Young 7
1984 Rose Southern California 20, Ohio State 17
1983 Fiesta Ohio State 28, Pittsburgh 23
1982 Holiday Ohio State 47, Brigham Young 17
1981 Liberty Ohio State 31, Navy 28
1980 Fiesta Penn State 31, Ohio State 19
1979 Rose Southern California 17, Ohio State 16
1978 Gator Clemson 17, Ohio State 15
1977 Sugar Alabama 35, Ohio State 6
1976 Orange Ohio State 27, Colorado 10
1975 Rose UCLA 23, Ohio State 10
1974 Rose Southern California 18, Ohio State 17
1973 Rose Ohio State 42, Southern California 21
1972 Rose Southern California 42, Ohio State 17
1970 Rose Stanford 27, Ohio State 17
1968 Rose Ohio State 27, Southern California 16
1957 Rose Ohio State 10, Oregon 7
1954 Rose Ohio State 20, Southern California 7
1949 Rose Ohio State 17, California 14
1920 Rose California 28, Ohio State 0