Arkansas’ defense will continue to look like a scout team for these nationally ranked foes in this monthlong murderers’ row schedule, and nothing is going to change that Saturday against Florida or the following week at Auburn. However, what does change is that as talented as the Gators may be, they aren’t as efficient offensively as Texas. Neither, of course, is Auburn, which the Hogs face next week in Alabama.
Quarterback Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators haven’t been in synch offensively since the start of the season against Hawaii. It took special teams plays to break open that game, and once things got out of hand on the scoreboard, the pressure loosened up and Florida rolled. But Miami didn’t give in until late against the Gators, tailing only by one score with a quarter to play before losing 26-3 (Urban Meyer even tacked on a meaningless, run-it-up field goal in the waning seconds). And nothing seemed to go right at home last week against Ole Miss, in which a series of turnovers to open the second half opened the door for Houston Nutt’s Rebels to rally and upset the then No. 4 Gators 31-30.
Arkansas doesn’t have the defensive talent or speed that Ole Miss possesses, and has had the propensity of turning the ball over on offense, giving opponents a short field. That, obviously, is something the Razorbacks can’t afford to do, or Florida will reprise its blowout of Hawaii without the offense haven’t to work for it.
Make Tebow and Florida and its beat-up offensive line have to work for it, though, and Arkansas can make a contest of it for at least a half.
This game shapes up a lot like the day Florida came to Fayetteville for an 11:30 a.m. game in 1996. Eventual Heisman Trophy winner Danny Weurfel and the Gators did just enough, eventually running away in the second half with a 42-7 game. But an inspired Arkansas team at least hung tough for a half.
The thinking in Florida is that the Gators will be literally and figurative champing at the bit after last week’s upset loss, and Arkansas is in the worst position it could be in.
Why? What has Arkansas showed that could possible make the Gators think that barely more than last week’s effort would be enough to win?