Florida had a real shot to run away with the SEC East. Instead, they made the division even murkier than it already was with an ugly 31-10 loss to Arkansas.
The analysis reads as follows:
It was over when: Rawleigh Williams busted off a 41 yard touchdown run to make it 31-10 for Arkansas with 5:40 left. Realistically, it was over well before that point, but Williams’ run was the final nail in the coffin.
Game ball goes to: Nobody on Florida, that’s for sure. Give it to Arkansas defensive coordinator Robb Smith. Two weeks after getting steamrolled by Auburn to the tune of 534 yards on the ground, the Hogs shut the Gators’ rushing attack down completely. If there was a strength to this Gator offense, that was supposed to be it- but Arkansas didn’t make it look like one.
Stat of the game: 12. Florida finished the game with all of twelve… count ’em, twelve… rushing yards.
What to like: Eddy Pineiro is a great kicker who may be able to deke teams out by back-kicking onside kick attempts to the end of the field he runs away from on his approach to the ball. He’s got mad soccer skills.
What to work on: More than can be put into words in an article that’s meant to summarize, but here, let’s try. Luke Del Rio easily played his worst game as a Gator, and that’s particularly worrisome given that he seems to play worse and worse each week. The play-calling from Doug Nussmeier didn’t do him any favors, either. The running game was nonexistent. The offensive line got manhandled in the trenches. Even the defense was off, particularly the front seven. And the Gators’ lack of depth at linebacker finally caught up with them.
Offensive grade: F. The only time Florida moved the ball was when Arkansas’s defense shifted into prevent mode. And even then, they needed a pass interference call to keep what turned out to be their lone scoring drive of the day going. In a word, pathetic.
Defensive grade: D. The defense’s one saving grace was Duke Dawson hopping a route and taking an ill advised throw back for six. The secondary busted more than a few coverages, and yet they were probably the brightest spot on the field other than Pineiro. As previously mentioned, the front seven had its worst game of the year, a statement that both the stat book and the game film will back up.
Special teams grade: B. Eddy Pineiro continued to validate his sky high hype on Saturday by draining a 49 yard field goal. Too bad the two units that typically go first in the hierarchy of “offense, defense and special teams” didn’t help him.
Bottom line: This was without a question the ugliest game Florida has played all year, and may have been the worst overall team effort since the Georgia Southern debacle of 2013. At least Florida’s defense showed up last year against Florida State and two years ago against Missouri. Against Arkansas on Saturday, neither unit showed up to play, and now the Gators’ season is beginning to spiral out of control. Unbelievably, there’s still a completely plausible scenario where Florida could clinch the SEC East this week- if Florida beats South Carolina and Kentucky beats Tennessee- but that’s not what matters. Florida is a bad football team on the offensive side of the ball right now, really bad, and unless major changes are made, the rest of this season is going to be hard to watch whether it includes a trip to Atlanta or not.
|ARKANSAS||1st 12:20||Santos Ramirez 24 yd INT return (PAT good)||0||7|
|ARKANSAS||1st 5:56||Rawleigh Williams 6 yd run (PAT good)||0||14|
|FLORIDA||1st 2:44||Duke Dawson 37 yd INT return (PAT good)||7||14|
|ARKANSAS||2nd :16||Drew Morgan 7 yd pass from Austin Allen (PAT good)||7||21|
|ARKANSAS||4th 9:14||Adam McFain 36 yd FG||7||24|
|FLORIDA||4th 6:41||Eddy Pineiro 49 yd FG||10||24|
|ARKANSAS||4th 5:40||Rawleigh Williams 41 yd run (PAT good)||10||31|