Friday, October 16, 2009
Arkansas at Florida Preview and Prediction
Arkansas Razorbacks at Florida Gators
Saturday October 17 CBS 3:30
Line: UF -24.5
The Florida Gators return home after passing their first major test of the season beating LSU 13-3 last week. They face an Arkansas team who has rebounded with two straight convincing wins and beat an undefeated Auburn team last week. This game features two explosive offenses, but only one strong defense. But even with Florida's gaudy stats is this a trap game for the Gators against an improved Razorback club?
Three Questions For Arkansas
1. Can Arkansas Strike Early?
The Razorbacks are averaging double digit points in the first quarter. During the Gators winning streak they have scored first in every game. I think the Hogs need to punch Florida in the mouth early to have a chance in this game.
2. Will The Hogs O-Line Protect Mallett?
Mallett has a howitzer of an arm, but at 6'7" he is not very mobile (don't let that QB draw last week) fool you. Any good pass defense starts with a good pass rush and Florida has one. Arkansas' offensive line has allowed eight sacks this season.
3. Is Arkansas Defense Really Better?
The Razorbacks defense ranks 95th in total defense and 101st in pass defense. The Hogs run defense is giving up 145 ypg and Florida ranks second nationally rush offense. The Hogs gave up just 133 passing yards against a come from behind Auburn team last, but they gave up 242 rushing.
Three Questions For Florida
1. Are The Gators Going To Exhale?
Florida put some much energy into that LSU game last week, including the exhausting coverage on Tim Tebow's health. Florida has Miss State next week against their former OC Dan Mullen and the following week against rival Georgia. Is this a sandwich game against a West Division opponent?
2. How Much Will Florida Open Up The Offense?
Tim Tebow did not show very many ill effects of his concussion last week but the Gators ran a smaller package trying to protect him as much as possible. I think the offensive production suffered with a smaller playbook.
3. Can Florida's Defense Make Arkansas One Dimensional?
Florida has the best defense in the nation in terms of yards allowed. The Hogs do not run the ball a lot, but they run it enough to keep teams off balance. I think Mallett will get yards passing, but if Arkansas cannot run the ball I cannot see them winning.
The Gators have shown ever since the Ole Miss loss they are not one to over look or come out flat against lesser opponents. Florida has one of the nation's best rush offenses in the nation and Arkansas cannot stop the run consistently. I am big believer in being able to run the ball and more importantly being able to stop the run. Florida can do both of those, Arkansas cannot. The Gators are a covering machine over the last 10 games too and it continues this week.
Florida 41 Arkansas 14
Florida Covers -24.5