Florida is in for a difficult road test Saturday at Arkansas.
The No. 10 Gators (6-1, 4-1) struggled in their first two away games this season, and none of their players have ever experienced Fayetteville. The Razorbacks (5-3, 2-3), however, are coming off a 56-3 loss to Auburn.
Jason Kersey covers Arkansas football for SEC Country and gives us a closer look at the Hogs.
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident do the Arkansas coaches and players seem this week?
“Oh, I’d put it at about a 6. The players and coaches definitely needed that bye week for a variety of reasons, but I think getting the taste of that Auburn debacle out of their mouths was probably near the top of that list. Also, I think Arkansas players and coaches do feel like they match up relatively well with Florida.”
2. How’s the health of Austin Allen after getting banged up in the Auburn game?
“Austin Allen is in pretty good shape all things considered. Coach Bret Bielema said Allen might not have been able to play had the Hogs played a game last week — another example of the bye coming in handy for Arkansas. I would think he might not be quite as mobile as he’s been this year, which could be a problem considering Florida’s excellent defensive front and the Razorbacks’ poor offensive line.”
3. The Razorbacks are 5-3, but have losses to three top-10 teams. Are they more talented than their record suggests?
“I don’t know if I’d say that. I think Arkansas is about as talented as its 5-3 record indicates. This is where most people thought Arkansas would be through eight games, so I don’t know if there’s much surprise or anything about the record. I think the biggest shock around here is just the way in which the Hogs lost to Auburn.”
4. What is Arkansas’ biggest strength and weakness on offense?
“The Hogs’ biggest strength on offense is definitely their wide receiver corps. Seniors Keon Hatcher and Drew Morgan, and junior Jared Cornelius, have all had really strong seasons and been huge assets for first-year starting quarterback Austin Allen. Then you throw in tight end Jeremy Sprinkle, who is a legitimate NFL talent, and that is one strong passing game. The biggest weakness without a doubt is the offensive line. Allen has been sacked 20 times in eight games and despite what Arkansas coaches would have you believe, the offensive line is the main culprit.”
5. What is Arkansas’ biggest strength and weakness on defense?
“The biggest strength on defense would be cornerback play. Senior Jared Collins and sophomore Ryan Pulley have played really well this season. The biggest weakness is probably linebacker depth. The Razorbacks have none. Inconsistent safety play has also been an issue this year, and the Razorbacks’ defensive line has not lived up to the preseason hype.”