The Arkansas Razorbacks started quickly against No. 18 Florida on Saturday at Gainesville, Fla., but the Hogs slowly wilted against the Gators defensive pressure succumbing 30-10.
The loss evens the Razorbacks record to 3-3 on the season and 0-2 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Gators moved to 4-2 and 3-3 in SEC play.
The Razorbacks went toe to toe with Florida for a quarter, but after a number of offensive misfires and two pressure-related turnovers, the Hogs lost their swagger and the Gators’ athletic ability began to dominate the game.
The Razorbacks rushed for 111 yards on the nation’s No. 1 defense against the run, but most of that yardage came in the first half and once the Gators took the lead, they crowed the line of scrimmage and Arkansas was unable to take advantage in the passing game.
Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen completed just 17 of 41 passes (41 percent) for 164 yards and an interception that was taken back for a 42-yard touchdown.
The Gators rushed for 111 yards on the Hogs, but damaged the Hogs with 240 yards through the air from Tyler Murphy’s live and efficient arm. He completed 16 of 22 throws with three touchdowns.
Defensive Player of the Game
Florida safety Loucheiz Purifoy was an impact player all night, first forcing an Arkansas fumble on a safety blitz and then picking off Brandon Allen for a 42-yard interception for a touchdown.
Offensive Player of the Game
Gator quarterback completed 16 of 22 passes for 240 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His mobility bought him time most of the night
Offensive Play of the Game
After trading possessions twice, the Hogs capably mixed the run and the pass to drive 66 yards to take a 7-0 lead with 2:09 left in the first quarter on a four-yard run by Jonathan Williams. The hard running back reversed his field when he saw the Gators penetration dipped inside and out again before picking up just enough of a block from quarterback Brandon Allen to make it into the end zone.
On third and 12 at the Florida 49, Gator quarterback Tyler Murphy stepped up in the pocket and fired a strike to Solomon Patterson good enough for the first down, but Arkansas defensive back Tevin Mitchell attempted to slap away the pass and missed. Left alone Patterson outraced the rest of the Hogs for a 51-yard touchdown to take a 17-7 lead with :20 left in the first half.
Defensive Play of the Game
On third down and six at the Florida 41, Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen felt the heat from Florida and quickly released a short throw, which Florida safety Loucheiz Purifoy intercepted and returned 42 yards for a touchdown and a 10-7 Gators lead with 8:33 in the second half. It is the second pick-6 Allen has thrown in as many games.
Arkansas’ defensive highlight came when Florida attempted a 48-yard field with 6:34 left in the first quarter. Arkansas linemen Dan Skipper ad Denver Kirkland crashed through the Florida line to get their hand on the attempt for the block.
Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen threw his second interception for a touchdown in as many games. He also fumbled when blindsided by a safety blitz. Allen, whose right throwing shoulder may have been hurting going into the game and was definitely hurting coming out of it, was off on his throws early, but his receivers did not help him, letting more than a few passes hit the ground after having hands on them, one a touchdown drop by Javontee Herndon. Likewise, Florida receivers had cushion all night and made good use of it. The Razorbacks also had 8 penalties for 57 yards.
After the physical contest with the Gators, the Hogs will be battered and bruised as game week preparations begin Sunday. Sophomore safety Will Hines injured his arm and senior center Travis Swanson injured his knee. Neither returned to the game. Quarterback Brandon Allen left the game with an injured hand but returned. He also seemed to be favoring his right shoulder, which he injured against Southern Miss and forced him to miss the Rutgers game.
The No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks visit Razorback Stadium on Saturday at 11:21 a.m. for a game that will be televised as part of the SEC Network package of games, on most ABC affiliates in Arkansas. The Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 SEC) survived an upset bid by Kentucky (1-4, 0-2 SEC), 35-28 at Columbia, S.C.