Week 7: No. 1 Florida Gators vs. Ark. Razorbacks

By Adam Silverstein
October 17, 2009

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Time: 3:30 p.m. (EST)
Weather Forecast: 68°F – Partly sunny

TV: CBS-HD
Online: Live for FREE at CBSSports.com.
Sirius: 217; XM: 201

Florida Gators Arkansas Razorbacks
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Bobby Petrino
Record: 5-0 (3-0) Record: 3-2 (1-2)
Division: SEC East Division: SEC West
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -24.5, O/U 58
Head-to-Head Stats: Gainesville Sun

KEEP AN EYE ON…
Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow…who is currently second all-time to former Georgia Bulldogs running back Herschel Walker in Southeastern Conference rushing touchdowns with 48. He needs one more to tie Walker’s record.
– The UF secondary…which has an interception in 17 straight games back to 2008.
Arkansas Razorbacks running back Michael Smith…who torched the Gators for 133 yards on 20 carries and 43 more on six receptions in 2008. Smith will be a game-time decision to play with a hamstring injury.
– Linebacker Brandon Hicks…who was shoved by Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett after making a hard tackle along the Arkansas sideline in 2008. Revenge?

STREAKS:
– The Gators have won seven consecutive games against the Razorbacks, never scoring less than 33 points in each victory. Florida is 7-1 all-time against Arkansas.
– Saturday’s game pits the top rushing offense in the SEC, Florida at 284.6 yards per game, against the top passing offense in the conference, Arkansas with 318.2 yards per game. The Gators also lead the nation in total defense (202.6 yards per game) and scoring defense (6.4 yards per game).
– Last time the Razorbacks played a No. 1-ranked team, they defeated the LSU Tigers 50-48 in three overtimes in 2007. Arkansas is 4-11 all-time in games against the No. 1-ranked AP team.
– The Gators are in the middle of the longest winning streak in school history with 15 consecutive victories. They also hold the longest active winning streak in the NCAA and are tied with the Auburn Tigers for the longest winning streak in SEC history.
– Scoring at least 41 points in four of their first five games, Arkansas has already beaten a ranked team this season, the then-No. 17 Auburn Tigers 44-23 last week.
– On Saturday, Florida looks to win its 21st consecutive homecoming game.

Read OGGOA’s complete Florida vs. Arkansas preview after the jump…

No. 1 Florida Gators vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Preview

No. 1 Florida Gators (5-0, 3-0) return home to Gainesville, FL, and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to host the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-2, 1-2) on homecoming weekend at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in The Swamp.

Returning last week to face the LSU Tigers after sitting out almost two full weeks while recovering from a concussion, Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow looks to get back into his groove. While Tebow’s return was the story leading up to the LSU game, Florida’s dominating defense was the talk of college football after the Gators beat the Tigers 13-3 in Death Valley at night. Led by senior middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, who totaled five solo tackles, a forced fumble and three sacks on the evening, Florida’s defense took LSU to task, keeping the ball in their territory most of the game and only allowing the Tigers past the Gators’ 46-yard-line once all night – on the back of two personal foul penalties.

On the injury front, defensive lineman Jaye Howard (knee) is questionable while linemate Lawrence Marsh (ankle) and linebacker Jelani Jenkins (ankle) are doubtful. Cornerback Moses Jenkins (concussion), wide receiver Carl Moore (back) and CB Jeremy Brown (back) are out. For the Razorbacks, WR Joe Adams (mild stroke) will miss the game while starting running back Michael Smith – who ran for 133 yards on 20 carries and added 43 more yards on six receptions against Florida in 2008 – remains a game-time decision, according to Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino. WR Jarius Wright (concussion) is also questionable for the contest.

The Razorbacks will look to air the ball out on the Gators with a unit, led by quarterback Ryan Mallett, which leads the SEC in passing offence with 318.2 yards per game. Florida’s talented secondary, which has recorded an interception in 17 consecutive games, will try and contain Arkansas’ receivers while its front seven puts pressure on Mallett. On defense, Petrino’s goal will be to stop the Gators rushing attack, which is second in the NCAA in rushing with 284.6 yards per game.

Arkansas will attempt to end Florida’s school record and nation-leading 15-game winning streak, while the Gators look to add to their record against the Razorbacks (seven straight wins) and in homecoming games (21 consecutive victories).

One Comment

  1. Daniel M. says:

    NOTHING fires me up for game day like when Adam rolls out his mad photoshop skillz.

    Let’s go Gators!

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