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Arkansas vs. Florida Football Prediction and Preview

Arkansas vs. Florida Football Prediction and Preview

Arkansas vs. Florida Football Prediction and Preview

In the midst of several postponements in the SEC this week because of COVID-19, the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Florida Gators will be one of only three games played within the conference. 

Speaking of COVID, Arkansas will be without their head coach Sam Pittman, who tested positive for the virus this week and will not make the trip to Gainesville. Razorbacks defensive coordinator Barry Odom will serve as the team's interim head coach.

Florida is coming off a massive 44-28 victory against the Georgia Bulldogs last weekend. It was the first time the Gators defeated the Bulldogs since 2016. 

Saturday will be the 12th time the Razorbacks and the Gators have met on the gridiron. It will be the first time the two teams have met since Arkansas' 31-10 victory in 2016 but Florida leads the head-to-head series by a comfortable 9-2 margin.

Arkansas at No. 6 Florida

Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. ET


Spread: Florida -17

When Arkansas Has the Ball

In last week's 24-13 victory over Tennessee, the Razorbacks scored 24 straight points in the second half after being shut out through the first two quarters. The comeback was led by former Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks, who will be making his return to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. 

Franks began the 2019 season as Florida's starting quarterback, but suffered a knee injury against Kentucky and later lost his job to current No. 1, Kyle Trask. Franks then made the decision to transfer to Arkansas.

Franks has fared well with the Razorbacks, posting a tidy 14:3 touchdown-to-interception ration while completing 67 percent of his passes. Arkansas has had more issues running the ball, averaging 138 yards per game on the ground but has been better lately. The Hogs have gained 420 yards on the ground in their last two games with Rakeem Boyd (165 yards in the same span) looking more like the player that ran for 1,133 yards last season.

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Florida's defense has played better in recent weeks. After giving up 33.3 points per game in their first three games, the Gators are allowing just 22.5 over their last two contests, convincing wins over Missouri and Georgia. Last week, Florida recorded three interceptions against Bulldog quarterbacks. 

When Florida Has the Ball

While their defense has been subpar this season, the Gators' offense has been among the best in college football. Florida ranks 19th in the country with 495.4 yards per game and 12th in scoring at 42.4 points per contest. 

Tight end Kyle Pitts is questionable to play this week after he suffered a concussion in the win over Georgia. If he can't go, Kemore Gamble, who recorded a touchdown last week after Pitts' injury, will get the starting nod.

Kyle Trask threw for 474 yards and four touchdowns against the Bulldogs' tough defense, completing 30 of 42 passes to get those numbers. Florida has scored at least 38 points in all five of their games this season, but will be facing a tough Arkansas defense on Saturday.

The Razorbacks are third in the SEC in yards per play allowed at 5.2. They are ranked second in the conference against the pass (222.2 ypg, 9 TDs, 12, INTs) compared to 13th against the run (179.3 ypg), so it will be interesting to see how effective Trask is or if Dan Mullen will try and run the ball a little more than usual. 

Final Analysis 

Florida is a heavy favorite at home this week, but this Arkansas team has been scrappy all season, and Saturday shouldn't be any different. Plus, the Gators are coming off a highly emotional victory against Georgia, so a bit of a letdown is expected.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Florida

Also, Feleipe Franks is going to be highly motivated since he is returning to The Swamp. But the difference will be the Gators' offense even though it will probably be without tight end Kyle Pitts. But Florida has more than enough weapons to get the win at home. 

Prediction: Florida 37, Arkansas 27

Podcast: Week 11 Preview and Predictions

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.