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Thursday, January 8, 2009
Final: Florida 24, Oklahoma 14

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

MIAMI -- Oklahoma's Bowl Championship Series problems continued again Thursday night, largely due to their self-inflicted mistakes.

The Sooners lost their fifth straight BCS bowl game and third straight BCS championship game as Florida claimed a gritty 24-14 victory over the Sooners in the FedEx BCS National Championship Game.

2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow outplayed 2008 winner Sam Bradford, nailing down the victory by scoring on three of four drives midway through the second half to claim the Gators' second national championship in three seasons.

The Gators (12-1) came up with a masterful defensive performance, limiting the nation's most explosive offense to season lows in points and yards (363).

Oklahoma's inability to make short-yardage plays was the difference as the Sooners (11-2) were stuffed three times inside the Florida 35-yard line without points, including the Florida 1 and 6 in the first half.

Bradford had his own struggles despite a 250-yard passing effort with two TD passes. But Florida produced two interceptions to match Bradford's season high.

The Sooners' defense, disparaged as a joke coming into the game by Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, played well most of the night. But Tebow converted three third-down plays on the clinching touchdown drive before hooking up with David Nelson from 4 yards out with a jump pass with 3:07 left to ice the victory.

I'm headed down to the locker room to hear what the Sooners and coach Bob Stoops have to say after this disappointing loss.