GAINESVILLE, Fla. — It wasn’t the way Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen wanted to perform in his first start on the road.
His white uniform was covered in grass stains by halftime. He was harassed, battered and bruised in a 30-10 loss to No. 18 Florida. Allen finished 17-of-41 for 164 yards with an interception. That’s a 70.2 quarterback rating, well below his season rating coming into the game of 149.6.
SOLOMON PATTON: The senior wide receiver for Florida had a career night against Arkansas with six catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Patton, with six of the Gators’ 16 receptions, had more yards than the rest of the receiving corps combined. The Gators had 240 yards passing.
ALEX COLLINS: The freshman for the Razorbacks made a mark in his return to his home state, rushing for 54 yards on 13 carries and catching five passes for another 45 yards. Collins, out of Plantation High School in Fort Lauderdale, was recruited by both Florida and Arkansas, among others.
Arkansas-Florida, by the numbers:
42 — Yards Louchiez Purifoy returned his first career interception, giving Florida a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.
What wound up being the impetus for a late first-half scoring drive by Florida occurred after what Arkansas fans considered a controversial call. It started with a 35-yard punt by Sam Irwin-Hill that Florida’s Louchiez Purifoy attempted to fair catch at his 10. He bobbled it and an Arkansas player — listed as Austin Jones in Florida’s official statistics — tried to retrieve it.
FIVE KEYS TO TODAY’S GAME
1. Third-Down Success
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said he breaks down a defense by dividing them into thirds: Defensive line, linebackers and secondary.
The veteran coach then does a ranking of each level. The weekly routine helps Chaney figure out where his offense is best suited to attack an opponent.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas receiver Javontee Herndon grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., so the 45-minute drive down to Gainesville was pretty easy.
He made several trips to attend Florida football games with his family. Herndon said they were Florida fans, so there was nothing like being part of the deafening crowd in the Swamp when it was home to so many big college football games.
1. Long’s “Big Complement”
Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long is expected to represent the Southeastern Conference on the College Football Playoff selection committee, according to The Associated Press.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash believed his group had a good week of preparation for Texas A&M.
The Razorbacks knew the challenge they were facing Saturday against quarterback Johnny Manziel. They realized how much of a threat he posed because of his strong arm and scrambling abilities. They knew how they were going to defend him.
1. Florida Hogs Eager For Return
It wasn’t long ago that wide receiver Javontee Herndon was the only player on Arkansas’ roster from Florida. But Herndon has plenty of company this fall.
FAYETTEVILLE — One thought flashed in Arkansas forward Coty Clarke’s mind when he and the Razorbacks saw Bud Walton Arena’s flooded floor last month.
“We weren’t going to have conditioning,” Clarke said Wednesday. “I was like, ‘Yes.’”
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney didn’t notice his two massive guards during the 45-33 loss to Texas A&M last Saturday.
Normally, losing sight of 6-foot-10, 317-pound Dan Skipper and 6-foot-5, 345-pound Denver Kirkland would be a big problem. Not along the offensive front, though, where going unnoticed in the trenches means no egregious errors.
1. Arkansas O-Line Dirty?
Florida’s Damien Jacobs expects a physical matchup against Arkansas’ offensive front Saturday night.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema couldn’t go to sleep after his team’s 45-33 loss to Texas A&M last Saturday.
He wasn’t exactly lamenting the missed opportunities and mistakes that led to his team’s second straight loss, though. Bielema was thinking about something else.
FOUR DOWNS — ARKANSAS FOOTBALL NOTES
1. ‘Feisty … Angry’ Quarterback
Five Keys Review
1. Johnny Sideline — Not Accomplished
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas got a big lift before its showdown with Texas A&M on Friday night, when quarterback Brandon Allen was cleared to play.
The sophomore’s gutsy return from a shoulder injury still wasn’t enough to keep Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and the Aggies from continuing their impressive run in road games.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas got a big lift before its showdown with 10th-ranked Texas A&M on Friday night, when quarterback Brandon Allen was cleared to play.
The sophomore’s impressive return from a shoulder injury still wasn’t enough to keep Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and the Aggies from continuing their impressive two-year run in road games.
FAYETTEVILLE — On Friday evening, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema got on Twitter and announced starting quarterback Brandon Allen would be rejoining the team for the game against Texas A&M on Saturday.
Allen missed last week’s 28-24 loss at Rutgers after injuring his right shoulder on a first quarter touchdown on Sept. 14 in a 24-3 win against Southern Miss. But the sophomore showed no ill effects of the injury Saturday. He completed 17-of-36 passes for 282 yards with three touchdowns in a 45-33 loss to the No. 10 Aggies at Razorback Stadium.