2007 BCS National Championship
Florida 41, Ohio State 14
Offensive Player of the Game: Chris Leak, Florida
Defensive Player of the Game: Derrick Harvey, Florida
Head Coaches: Urban Meyer, Florida - Jim Tressel, Ohio State
Weather: Roof Closed (Clear outside)
Payout Per Team: $14,000,000
With the lights shining bright in a beautiful new stadium and the entire world watching, Ohio State’s Ted Ginn, Jr. took the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown.
It was all Florida after that.
The Gators ran coach Urban Meyer’s twin quarterback system to perfection and were dominant on defense to cruise to a 41-14 win over Ohio State in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 74,628 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Ohio State’s Troy Smith entered the game as the Heisman Trophy winner, but it was Chris Leak and Tim Tebow who stole the show. Leak completed 25 of 36 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown to earn offensive player of the game honors, while Tebow threw for a touchdown and powered into the end zone for another.
Defensive ends Derrick Harvey and Jarvis Moss combined for five sacks and led a Gators attack that held Ohio State to 82 yards of total offense and Smith to just 4-for-14 passing for 35 yards and one interception.
It was the second national title for Florida and a bit of redemption after falling to Nebraska, 62-24, in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl national championship game. The Gators also became the first Division I school to hold national titles in football and basketball at the same time.
The Gators came out in a five-wide set after Ginn’s kickoff return, and Leak hit Dallas Baker with a tying, 14-yard touchdown pass. The next time they touched the ball, the Gators let Leak, Tebow and scatback Percy Harvin all take direct snaps from center. Harvin ended the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.
The teams traded touchdowns to make the score 21-14, but Florida added a pair of field goals and tacked on a Tebow TD pass with 23 seconds left before halftime to make the score 34-14.
The Buckeyes could never get their offense on track in the second half. They lost their top playmaker in Ginn, who left the game in the first half with a foot injury. But, on this night, even his presence probably wouldn’t have made a difference.
Meyer led Florida to a title in just his second year at the helm and two years after leading Utah to a BCS bowl game and a Fiesta Bowl win over Pittsburgh.