Florida Barrage Cures Red Zone Woes
At the end of the first and for all of the second quarter, the Gators were simply in a zone.
After going nowhere on their first three drives, the Gators went crazy, scoring touchdowns on all five of the rest of their first-half possessions during Florida's 45-30 win.
The first came on a 1-yard plunge by Ciatric Fason near the end of the first quarter. Next possession, Florida's Andre Caldwell sprinted 61 yards for a TD. Then a 34-yard TD pass to Dallas Baker, a 3-yard Fason TD run and a 48-yard Leak to Jemalle Cornelius TD strike.
The four second-quarter TDs were the most in a quarter in Ron Zook's third-year tenure.
Keeping Up With Jones
Arkansas senior quarterback Matt Jones continues to make his mark on the UA record books.
His 320 yards Saturday pushed him past Clint Stoerner for the Hogs' career record for total offense. Stoerner had 7,049. Jones is at 7,100 and counting.
With 68 yards on 10 totes, Jones also moved within 115 yards of breaking the Southeastern Conference's rushing record for quarterbacks. Jones has 2,166. Mississippi State's John Bond had 2,280 from 1980-83.
He Almost Passed Grossman
A sophomore, Leak passed for 300 yards (he eclipsed that mark late in the third quarter) for the first time in his career.
For the game, Leak was 23 of 38 for 322 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions.
"When he's on, he's good," said Florida coach Ron Zook. "He was a little off last week. The guys all rally around him and he knows he has lots of weapons at his disposal."
Leak fell a yard shy of the last Gator to throw for 300 or more yards in a game. Rex Grossman threw for 323 against Michigan in the 2003 Outback Bowl down in Tampa.
The Hogs did not score a first-quarter touchdown Saturday for the first time this season. Arkansas had scored first-quarter TDs in six consecutive games. The last time the Hogs failed to do that was against Mississippi State last season.
Although Arkansas punter Jacob Skinner struggled again on Saturday, he got his first 50-yard boot of the season, although much of the 53-yard punt in the first quarter was thanks to nice hops. A sophomore, Skinner has nine punts of 50 or more yards in his UA tenure.
Arkansas junior linebacker Pierre Brown recorded his first sack Saturday, nailing Leak for an 11-yard, first-quarter loss. Junior linebacker John Jackson's third-quarter sack of Leak also was his first.
With Arkansas pinned on its 1-yard line late in the first quarter, freshman guard Robert Felton (6-4, 321) replaced sophomore starter Stephen Parker.
Parker, looking spent from the Florida heat early on, returned later in the first half and both played in the second half.
"This is by far the hottest, most humid day we've had," Nutt said.
The Florida Boys
Three Razorbacks – receivers Steven Harris (Miami) and Carlos Ousley (Jacksonville), kicker Chris Balseiro (Miami) and strong safety Randy Kelly (Palmetto) – played in their home state Saturday.
Harris led Arkansas with 6 catches for 114 yards, Balseiro made his only two PAT attempts and Ousley had one carry, losing six yards.
The six receptions tied the Harris' career high. The senior also had six catches (for 133 yards) vs. Louisiana-Monroe in Game 3 of this season.
Nutt bragged on him, but Harris wasn't impressed.
"If I catch one pass or five or six, it doesn't matter if we don't win," he said.
Kelly was active, breaking up a crucial third-and-1 pass to O.J. Small with a hard lick after Arkansas pulled within 38-30 late in the game.
"I feel good about coming back home," Kelly said. "I had my mom and cousin in the stands (Saturday). They came to support me and the Razorbacks. It was nice to return to Florida."
No Gators are from Arkansas.
Well, For Starters
Only one Southeastern Conference team lost more starters than the Gators (14) from last season.
Arkansas lost 18.
Florida holds the SEC record for most consecutive seasons (12) with at least six conference wins.
The previous longest streak was six seasons, set by Alabama from 1961-66.
The Gators also hold the longest SEC streak of winning seasons with 16.
Running back/fullback Peyton Hillis (bruised back and kidney; missed entire second half), tight ends Jared Hicks (bruised right shoulder) and Mason Templeton (bruised left hand) and receiver Carlos Ousley (bruised ribs) were a bit hobbled after Saturday's game, but should return to practice next week.
Freshman cornerback Chris Houston (high right ankle sprain) made the trip but did not dress out.
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