Fason Makes Impact

Two big plays were enough to make Ciatrick Fason's first career start a success....

As if he hadn't done enough to rid himself of past problems, tailback Ciatrick Fason locked away any lingering memories of his one-game suspension.

And it took him only two plays.

The sophomore, who saw his first career start Saturday two weeks after being suspended for complaining about a lack of playing time, picked up a pair of critical touchdowns and 98 rushing yards in Florida's 33-28 win against Arkansas.

Since returning to the tailbacks rotation, Fason has scored three touchdowns. The sophomore started because of injuries to Ran Carthon and DeShawn Wynn.

While Wynn picked up 52 yards of his own, Carthon remained sidelined with a nagging strained hamstring.

Fason scored his first touchdown on a 33-yard carry down the sideline after completing a screen pass.

His final touchdown, though, was most impressive. Fason scored on a 75-yard run up the middle - the longest carry since 1988 when Emmitt Smith broke for 96 yards against Mississippi State.

Fason hadn't produced much on the ground in the first quarter. He had 11 yards on six carries.

Penalty kills comeback

As disgruntled fans booed the personal-foul penalty that ended Arkansas' hopes for a comeback win, running backs coach Danny Nutt was cited for an unsportsmanlike penalty for throwing his headset at the feet of an official.

Clearly, the Razorbacks were not at all pleased with the call. But when Tony Bua collided head-on with Florida quarterback Chris Leak after he released a pass, it wasn't the first occasion.

Arkansas was flagged for two other roughing-the-passer penalties, one of which set up a Florida field goal. As offensive tackle Max Starks said, mistakes like those are not acceptable.

"If one of our players did something like that, I would have been down their throats," Starks said. "You've got to have class. You've got to be respectful. They were cheapshotting him all day."

Chris Leak said it's all part of football.

"That's going to happen sometimes in a game," Leak said. "You are going to take blows that you don't want to, but sometimes it works in your favor."

On the same play, Leak's pass was intercepted. The penalty negated the throw, and Florida was able to run out the clock for the win.

Cobbs goes down

Even though Arkansas managed to spark a 21-point surge in the fourth quarter, the Razorbacks were forced to execute without star running back Cedric Cobbs.

The Southeastern Conference's leading rusher went to the locker room with three minutes remaining in the first half with a right pulled hamstring. He watched the rest of the game in street clothes from the sideline. Cobbs, who entered Saturday's showdown averaging 128 yards per game, jumped out to a hot start. He left the game with 88 yards on 14 carries, including a 31-yard gain and a 7-yard touchdown run.

Quarterback Matt Jones, known for his scrambling ability, picked up some of the slack with 57 yards of his own. Mark Pierce, who had to have his left ankle taped, replaced Cobbs and carried for 32 yards on nine carries.

Record breaker

Senior Keiwan Ratliff didn't only tie the school record with three
interceptions in a game. He also became Florida's all-time leader in punt-return
yards with 784. His 10-yard return in the first quarter surpassed the previous
record of 766 yards set by Jacquez Green in 1997.

Heading into Saturday's game, Ratliff already led the conference with
14.5 yards per punt return. He has 267 total on 20 attempts.


Florida coach Ron Zook became the first coach in school history to win back-to-back road games against opponents ranked No.11 or higher. In his first game back since suffering from an abscessed tooth, senior offensive tackle Max Starks started at right guard before moving to left tackle two series later. Jonathan Colon, who replaced Starks while he was out, played at left tackle. Once Starks moved to left tackle, Lance Butler remained at right guard. ... A spokesperson for the Capital One Bowl played in Orlando said Florida would need to win the rest of its games to be a candidate for the Jan.1st game. ... The Razorbacks roster features two South Florida players - kicker Chris Balseiro, a former St. Thomas Aquinas standout, and split end Steven Harris, a former American High standout.

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