Week 10

Arkansas 31, Florida 10: What Does It All Mean?


Florida got flattened by Arkansas in a 31-10 loss. What does it all mean?


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Arkansas 31, Florida 10: What Does It All Mean?

Arkansas is just so … Arkansas. It’s flaky enough to get its doors blown off by Auburn, and then come back to pitch a near-perfect game – all things considered – against Florida. And why? Two weeks off to rest up and get back to form. The Hogs looked and played like a far, far fresher team after looking against Auburn like it desperately needed a break. The offense was effective from the start, and the defense was swarming and suffocating, but …

Florida was once again exposed offensively. It’s been able to get away with it thanks to its special defense and grinding running game, but Arkansas destroyed the Gators on the ground – allowing just 12 yards on 14 carries – and getting up enough to force Luke Del Rio throw. Bad things happen when Luke Del Rio throws. Florida has receiver speed, and it’s got a coaching staff that knows how to turn it loose vertically, but the Will Muschampian formula that’s been held over from the former era continues to work. Going forward, Florida has to use this beatdown as an example of how it needs to really and truly start opening things up.

And the big winner is … Tennessee. If Florida plays like this again, it’s going to lose to LSU. If Tennessee beats Kentucky, and the Gators really do lose one more game, then yeah, this dog of a Volunteer team will end up getting to the SEC title game. Yippee.

This was Bret Bielema football. The defense was a terror – Florida only converted 1-of-11 third down chances – and the lines dominated. Arkansas had a nearly-perfect offensive balance, it was physical on both sides, and the passing game was efficient. Yeah, there was a pick six – both teams had one – and yeah, the nine penalties aren’t going to be to his liking, but this is the type of team Arkansas is supposed to be under Bielema.

What Does It All Really Mean? The No. 11 team is about to take a tumble, but the College Football Playoff dream isn’t totally snuffed out. The Gators can still win the SEC title and make this interesting. Win out – South Carolina, Presbyterian, at LSU and Florida State – and get to the SEC title game, win that, and it’ll make a case. It won’t happen, but the potential is there.

Arkansas became bowl eligible. That might not seem like much, but it was a nice win for a program and a coaching staff that needed a big one. With Mississippi State and Missouri on the road, and LSU at home, this will be an interesting final three weeks.