Ohio State is no longer Gator bait.
It's a long way from making up for all the grief that Florida has dished out to Ohio State over the last year, but the Buckeyes got a tiny measure of revenge yesterday with a 62-49 victory over the Gators in Columbus.
It was a rematch of the schools in last year's national-championship games in basketball and football. The Gators won those matchups handily.
"To get beat in a national-championship game, to be 40 minutes away from beating the best team in the nation, it's always going to stick in a player's mind," said Jamar Butler, the only returning starter from either team from last April's basketball title game.
Kosta Koufos led the Buckeyes (8-3) with 17 points, while Butler added 13. David Lighty had 11 for Ohio State, which won its fourth straight game and seems to be gaining much-needed confidence as it draws closer to its Big Ten opener Jan. 3 at Illinois.
Jai Lucas led Florida with 11 points. The Gators (11-2) were facing perhaps their toughest test of the season. They had yet to leave the state of Florida and had played most of their games before raucous, partisan crowds.