GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The story lines going into Saturday night were well known. Arkansas would be without Sam Pittman, who tested positive for COVID-19. Feleipe Franks was making his return to Florida, the school he previously called his own. Perhaps overlooked by some, was the most important pregame note of all: the Gators are a top ten team for a reason. Several reasons in fact, and they all showed Saturday night en route to a 63-35 win over Arkansas.
The most telling stat of the first half was simple: zero punts for Florida. The Gators did turn the ball over on downs on their second drive, but the other five ended the same way: a touchdown pass from Kyle Trask. Feleipe Franks' replacement at Florida threw for 281 yards in the first half and hit four different receivers for his five scores.
The Arkansas offense was quiet in the first, but the big play kept the Hogs in the game. Franks hit Mike Woods for a 47 yard TD to tie things up at 7-7 on the Razorbacks' first drive. With Florida threatening to turn this into a boat-race in the second quarter, Trelon Smith busted an 83 yard touchdown run, the longest for a Hog in SEC play since 2011. That made things 21-14, but the Hogs couldn't score again in the half, entering the break down 31-14.
Arkansas came out of halftime fired up, launching a 75 yard touchdown dive to start the second half action, capped by a 12-yard Rakeem Boyd score. Then the defense did what it couldn't do the first two quarters: force a punt.
The Hogs failed to capitalize, though did avoid a major scare. Franks went to the locker room with an apparent wrist injury, but got taped up and went right back out there. That would be some of the last good news for the Hogs. A Florida rushing touchdown, followed by a Gator scoop and score essentially iced this game. Another long touchdown pass from Franks to Woods helped the number look a little better, but Trask and Florida were too much for Arkansas to handle. The Hogs get LSU at home next week, hopefully with Sam Pittman back on the sideline.