FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Here are the grades from Florida’s 31-10 loss at Arkansas on Saturday.
For the second consecutive week, the Gators had less than 250 yards of offense and got another terrible showing from quarterback Luke Del Rio. He threw a pair of costly interceptions and now has 6 picks in his last three games compared to just 2 touchdowns. In his first three games, that touchdown-interception ratio was flipped. Of his 229 passing yards Saturday, 112 came in the fourth quarter when Arkansas was playing prevent defense.
The offensive line was awful again and could not run block against a bad Arkansas defensive front. The Razorbacks, who had one of the nation’s worst rush defenses coming into the game, held the Gators to a season-low 12 yards rushing. The offense managed only 3 points and has now scored just 23 points in Florida’s last 10 quarters on the road.
Duke Dawson’s pick-6 and some important stops on third down is what keeps this grade from being an F. But the Gators gave up 466 yards and 24 points to a team that scored only a field goal in its last game. Two dozen may also be the number of tackles UF missed in the game. It was a surprisingly poor effort from a defense that had dominated in the month of October.
Some of the unit’s struggles were a byproduct of the offense not being able to move the ball. Arkansas almost doubled the Gators’ time of possession (39:21 to 20:39) and wore out the Florida defense in the second half. Florida, which lead the nation in fewest plays of more than 10 yards allowed, gave up 17 on Saturday. To make matters worse, linebacker Alex Anzalone (broken arm) was lost for the season.
Special teams: C
Eddy Pineiro made a 49-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to bring the Gators back within two scores. Johnny Townsend had four of his seven punts downed inside the 20-yard line. The return game, however, was a disaster. Antonio Callaway muffed a punt and Chris Thompson fumbled a kick return after taking a big hit. Lamical Perine also tried to field a kickoff along the sideline and stepped out of bounds at the 7-yard line.
When Del Rio is missing open receivers and the defense is whiffing on tackles, it’s hard to fault the coaches. But coordinators Geoff Collins and Doug Nussmeier did a poor job of making adjustments throughout the game, especially at halftime. Arkansas threw a bunch of new looks at the Gators on both sides of the ball, and the UF staff had no answers.
Florida’s loss to Arkansas was a lot like its second-half meltdown at Tennessee, only this time for four quarters. The offense is getting worse with each week that passes, and this team does not play well on the road. The Gators will need to beat South Carolina and get some help to clinch the SEC East, because they’re not winning at LSU.