Florida vs. Arkansas: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, line, time, watch live stream, TV channel

By Adam Silverstein
November 14, 2020
Florida vs. Arkansas: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, line, time, watch live stream, TV channel

Image Credit: Michael Nash

Coming off the biggest win of the Dan Mullen era, the No. 6 Florida Gators must avoid a letdown spot with the Arkansas Razorbacks and one quite familiar face coming to town Saturday night. Florida’s head coach will see the former quarterback he developed enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium looking to take down the Gators in a game that was not originally on the schedule but added when the SEC moved to a 10-game, conference-only slate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Razorbacks graduate transfer quarterback Feleipe Franks will have revenge on his mind — even if he does not want to admit it — when he reenters The Swamp just over a year after his breakout season was ended before it ever really began due to a dislocated ankle. Though it was clear that Franks would likely leave Florida anyway, now-redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Trask taking over and playing better than Franks ever did certainly sealed his fate.

While there is not a long series history with Arkansas, there have been some memorable games between these teams. Namely, the 2006 SEC Championship Game that saw the Gators defeat the Hogs on the way to their first national championship of the BCS era. Florida is 9-2 all-time against Arkansas but lost the teams’ last meeting handily in 2016.

Aspirations of contending for the SEC title and the program’s first opportunity in the College Football Playoff remain heavy on UF’s shoulders. The Gators are in complete control of their fate. What will go down Saturday night in the Florida-Arkansas game? Let’s find out.

Tale of the tape

No. 6 Florida GatorsArkansas Razorbacks
Head coachDan MullenSam Pittman

Injuries and absences

Out (1): TE Kyle Pitts (concussion)
Out for season (1): DB Ethan Pouncey (hip)
Inactives (8): LB David Reese, LB Jeremiah Moon, LB James Houston, RB Iverson Clement, DB Kamar Wilcoxson, DL Lamar Goods, DL Jaelin Humphries, OL T.J. Moore

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Nov. 14 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [18,000]

TV: ESPN (Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky, Allison Williams)
Live stream: WatchESPN | SiriusXM: 81| Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Florida is 9-2 all-time against Arkansas with the Gators holding a 4-0 edge in The Swamp. The teams have not met since 2016, a 31-10 win for the Hogs.
» Under Mullen, Florida is 18-1 when scoring first, 21-1 when leading after the third quarter, 16-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer, 6-2 in games decided by fewer than 10 points and 19-0 when outrushing their opponent.
» UF lost for the first time when scoring first and leading after the third quarter this season vs. Texas A&M. It is now 6-6 when being outrushed by an opponent.
» Florida is 5-4 against ranked opponents under Mullen (4-3 against top 10 teams). It is 19-2 against unranked teams under Mullen.
» The Gators have scored 24+ points in 20 of their last 22 games dating back to 2018.
» Florida has scored 212 points through its first five SEC games, its highest-scoring start in league play since 1996 (259). It’s also the highest-scoring five-game stretch for the program in regular-season SEC play since 1996 (249).
» The Gators have scored 131 offensive touchdowns in 31 games under Mullen. They scored 93 in 38 games from 2015-17.
» Redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Trask is the first player in program history to throw 4+ touchdowns in five consecutive games. His 22 TD passes set an SEC record for most through the first five games of a season and second-most through any five games.
» UF has scored in 403 consecutive games, an NCAA record.
» Florida is one of only two FBS teams (Alabama) that has not lost to an opponent that finished the season with a losing record dating back to the 2008 season.
» UF in 2019 finished a season undefeated in The Swamp for the first time since 2016, third time this decade and 14th time in program history.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -18 | O/U: 60

Florida is the better team in this game, but it’s also only won a single game this season by more than 16 points, and that was Missouri a couple of weeks ago. Arkansas is far better with Mizzou offensively — with Franks in tow — and certainly defensively as well. So while I normally go into great detail on my pick in this space, the simple fact is that I do not see a Gators team without junior tight end Kyle Pitts running up the score to such a point where their defense will keep them ahead by more than two touchdowns and a field goal through the fourth quarter.

The other thing to consider is Florida’s defense, which has struggled against good quarterbacks but made up a lot of ground the last two weeks against sub-par signal callers. Franks certainly fits the former bill rather than the latter. This is a large total to overcome, but I think these teams get there with the Gators defense faltering more than some may expect.

2020 records: ATS picks 4-1 | O/U picks 1-4 | Overall: 5-5

Odds and ends

» Florida will wear its orange helmets with orange jerseys and white pants in The Swamp. This is the first time the Gators have worn orange this season.

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