Arkansas falls to No. 18 Florida
Posted: October 5, 2013 at 9:46 p.m.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. Tyler Murphy threw a pair of touchdowns to Solomon Patton and No. 18 Florida beat Arkansas 30-10 Saturday night at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
The Gators trailed 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, but used a big second quarter to take control of the game. Loucheiz Purifoy's 42-yard interception return for a touchdown gave Florida the lead and Murphy's 51-yard touchdown to Patton 20 seconds before halftime gave the Gators a 17-7 lead at the intermission.
Murphy added a second touchdown pass to Patton on Florida's first possession of the second half, hitting his receiver for a 38-yard score to extend the lead to 24-7. Patton finished the game with six catches for 124 yards.
The Razorbacks added a 30-yard field goal by Zach Hocker late in the third quarter to pull within 24-10, but they could get no closer. Murphy added a third passing touchdown on a 9-yard shovel pass to Valdez Showers to cap the scoring. Murphy finished with 240 yards passing.
After injuring his hand in the fourth quarter, Brandon Allen returned to lead the Razorbacks on a 17-play drive late in the game, but Arkansas turned the ball over on downs at the Florida 3. Allen completed 17 of 42 passes during the game for 104 yards.
Arkansas was hampered by injuries throughout the second half, with center Travis Swanson, tight end Hunter Henry and cornerback Will Hines all going down. Hines was taken to a nearby hospital to reset a broken bone, while Swanson suffered an MCL injury.
Arkansas (3-3, 0-2 SEC) lost its third consecutive game despite playing a solid first quarter. Dan Skipper blocked a field goal attempt - his second in three weeks - after Florida forced an early fumble by Allen. The Razorbacks responded with an 8-play, 64-yard drive capped by a Jonathan Williams 4-yard touchdown run to take the lead.
The Razorbacks rushed for 81 yards in the first quarter against the Gators' defense, which was allowing only 53.5 yards per game on the ground entering the contest. Florida's defense showed strong throughout the final three quarters, holding Arkansas to only 155 yards of offense after the first quarter, including just 30 more on the ground.
The Gators improved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in conference play. Arkansas fell to 0-9 against Florida since joining the Southeastern Conference.
The Razorbacks will return home next Saturday with an 11:21 a.m. game against No. 13 South Carolina at Razorback Stadium.