Gameday: No. 18 Florida Gators vs. Arkansas

By Adam Silverstein
October 5, 2013

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather: 80°F (feels like 83°F), mostly sunny, winds E at 7 mph
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

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No. 18/19 FLORIDA GATORS ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Bret Bielema
Record: 3-1 (2-0 SEC) Record: 3-2 (0-1 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -13 | O/U: 43

KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS

Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you missed via the links below!

Story: Chucky inspiring Florida defense in Easley’s absence | Notebook: Brent Pease talks Gators’ offense, Hogs’ defense | Notebook: D.J. Durkin talks Florida’s defense, Arkansas’ offense | Notebook: Players look back on UK, ahead to UA | Story: Key to success: Gators dominating on third down

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 8-1 all-time against Arkansas. The Gators have won eight consecutive games against the Razorbacks including two SEC Championships (1995, 2006) and six regular-season contests. UF’s sole loss to UA came in the 1982 Bluebonnet Bowl, when the latter team was a member of the SWC.
» Arkansas has not defeated a ranked opponent since 2011.
» Florida failed to open the season 2-0 for the first time since 2005.
» The Gators are 15-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards (6-9 when rushing for fewer than 150 yards). Florida is also 17-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points, 13-3 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards, 14-3 when scoring first (7-6 when an opponent scores first) and 17-1 when leading at the half (4-8 when tied or trailing at the break).
» UF is 17-1 against unranked opponents under Muschamp.
» The Gators rank first nationally in time of possession (39.0 minutes), rushing defense (53.5 yards) and third down conversion defense (.178); second in the country in total defense (202.5 yards) and first downs defense (46); sixth in passing efficiency defense (86.15) and fewest passing yards allowed (149.0); eighth in scoring defense (12.8 points); and 10th in completion percentage (.699).
» The Razorbacks rank second nationally in fewest sacks allowed (0.60) and sixth in fewest tackles for loss allowed (3.60)
» Florida has forced at least one turnover in 15-straight games.
» The Gators have forced the most interceptions among SEC teams this century (357).
» Florida has registered a nation-leading 103 interceptions since 2008. UF is also first in interceptions returned for touchdowns (16) and interception return yards (1,788).
» UF has scored a rushing and passing touchdown in all four games thus far in 2013; the Gators only accomplished that seven times in all of 2012.
» Florida has gained more than 400 yards of offense in three of four games; UF had the same number of 400+ yard games in 13 contests in 2012.
» On the other hand, the Gators have not allowed a single opponent to gain more than 220 yards of total offense in a game this season.
» Florida has only yielded six red zone trips through four games. In those six appearances, opponents began two of those drives already in the red zone.
» The Gators will be wearing pink accessories – including gloves, wristbands, towels and cleats – to help raise awareness for breast cancer.

Read about the injuries and absences and much more…after the break!

EIGHT-STRAIGHT

Though the teams do not play on an annual basis, Florida has captured eight consecutive victories over Arkansas in games dating back to 1995, two of which were for the SEC Championship. The Gators are undefeated against the Razorbacks since the Hogs joined the SEC in 1992 with Florida’s sole loss coming in the 1982 Bluebonnet Bowl when Arkansas was a member of the Southwest Conference.

2009: Florida 23 – Arkansas 20 (Gainesville, FL)
2008: Florida 38 – Arkansas 7 (Fayetteville, AR)
2006: Florida 38 – Arkansas 28 (SEC Championship – Atlanta, GA)
2004: Florida 45 – Arkansas 30 (Gainesville, FL)
2003: Florida 33 – Arkansas 28 (Fayetteville, AR)
1997: Florida 56 – Arkansas 7 (Gainesville, FL)
1996: Florida 42 – Arkansas 7 (Fayetteville, AR)
1995: Florida 34 – Arkansas 3 (SEC Championship – Atlanta, GA)

LAST TIME OUT

The Gators were tested on homecoming, scoring 10-straight points in the final 7:27 of the game to edge the Razorbacks 23-20 and keep alive both their 16-game winning streak as well as hopes of a second-straight national title.

A pair of field goals from Caleb Sturgis along with a 77-yard touchdown reception by Deonte Thompson gave UF its first 13 points of the game back in 2009, but a 75-yard hookup between Ryan Mallett and Greg Childs broke the tie and put UA on top 20-13 with 9:40 left in the game.

Florida somehow recovered from four disastrous fumbles in the contest, fighting back to knot things up 20-20 on a five-play, 67-yard drive that concluded with Jeff Demps rushing into the end zone from 10 yards out for a touchdown. UF then capitalized on a missed field goal by Arkansas with 3:08 remaining by taking over at its own 21-yard line and immediately gaining 69 yards in 13 plays. Sturgis knocked through a game-winning 27-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining on the clock.

INJURIES AND ABSENCES*

» Probable (2): Redshirt junior nose tackle Leon Orr (shoulder), junior cornerback Marcus Roberson (knee)
» Questionable (1): Redshirt sophomore running back Valdez Showers (ankle)
» Injured (9): Redshirt freshman tight end Colin Thompson (foot), junior quarterback Jeff Driskel (leg – season), senior defensive end Dominique Easley (ACL – season), redshirt senior wide receiver Andre Debose (ACL – season), redshirt junior RT Chaz Green (labrum – season), freshman CB Nick Washington (shoulder – season), freshman linebacker Matt Rolin (ACL – season), freshman safety Marcell Harris (knee), freshman defensive lineman Jordan Sherit (ACL)

* As of Friday at 9:00 p.m.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Florida
After taking care of business against a pair of bottom-of-the-barrel division teams, the Gators will face their toughest and most physical opponent of the season on Saturday. The Razorbacks are actually a perfect visitor this week as Florida needs a bit of a reality check before it faces four squads ranked among the top 15 teams in the nation over the final seven weeks of the season. That does not mean Arkansas should be overlooked, however. UF needs every single victory it can muster, and UA is hungry for a signature win after collapsing against Rutgers and losing its SEC opener. Florida’s defense has been dominant this season but can it keep up its high level of play against an opponent that has not scored fewer than 24 points in a game this year?

Arkansas
Blowing a 10-point fourth-quarter lead on the road against the Scarlet Knights two weeks ago, the Razorbacks hoped to right the ship last Saturday while hosting the Aggies in Fayetteville. Though Arkansas never led in the game, it kept up with Texas A&M during the contest and did a great job answering touchdowns with touchdowns and field goals with field goals. It was not enough in the end, and the Hogs are trying to figure out a way to get back in the win column. Arkansas lost four consecutive games early in 2012 and three-straight to conclude last season, so the team has every reason to give it their all against a tough Florida team.

One Comment

  1. joe says:

    LOS is the key. Whoever can push the other around wins

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