No. 18 Florida has won two straight SEC clashes since getting upset by the Miami Hurricanes in Week 2.
That includes a 24-7 victory over Kentucky last week, in which the Gators rushed for 246 yards and two touchdowns while holding the Wildcats to 173 total yards.
Arkansas (3-2, 0-1 SEC) has lost its last two games since starting out 3-0. That includes a 45-33 loss to No. 9 Texas A&M last week, in which the Razorbacks allowed 523 total yards.
But the Gators, minus quarterback Jeff Driskel for the season, may need to clamp down defensively to avoid an upset.
Here's a look at the SEC battle on Saturday in Gainesville.
*Statistics courtesy of CFBStats.com
When: Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Betting Line (via Covers.com): Florida -11
Arkansas Injuries (via USA Today)
Out: WR D'Arthur Cowan (Foot)
Questionable: RB Nate Holmes (Ankle), LB Austin Jones (Hip)
Florida Injuries (via USA Today)
Out: QB Jeff Driskel (Ankle), DT Dominique Easley (Knee), DE Jordan Sherit (Knee)
Questionable: WR Chris Thompson (Foot), RB Valdez Showers (Ankle), TE Colin Thompson (Foot),
Probable: CB Marcus Roberson (Knee)
Top Storyline: Florida QB Tyler Murphy's Play
Florida junior quarterback Tyler Murphy has led the Gators to back-to-back wins since taking over for Jeff Driskel against Tennessee.
That includes averaging 9.1 yards per pass attempt while tossing two touchdowns to one interception and rushing for 120 yards and two touchdowns on 7.1 yards per carry.
He went 15-of-18 for 156 yards with one touchdown to one interception while rushing for 36 yards and a score in his first start last week against Kentucky.
Murphy said after the win over the Wildcats, per Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post:
I felt really calm. I had the support of my teammates all week, and they showed up and made big plays for me. They made my job really easy.
I’ve worked really hard for this moment. I’m gonna keep working hard and take advantage of it. So far, so good.
The junior also did this, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Tyler Murphy is 1st QB since Teddy Bridgewater last October to complete at least 10 passes in 1st half without an incompletion— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 29, 2013
It must have been because Florida offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brent Pease took the Gators on a tranquil stroll before the game, per Lieser:
Gators QB Tyler Murphy says OC Brent Pease took the offense on "a nature walk" before the Kentucky game & taught them about trees.— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) September 30, 2013
Gators OC Brent Pease says the QBs learned a lot about leaves and caterpillars on the nature walk.— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) October 1, 2013
While players were flying around at Commonwealth Stadium last week, Tyler Murphy may as well have been meditating.
Prediction: Florida 31, Arkansas 17
Who will win on Saturday?
The fact of the matter is, Driskel wasn't playing that well this season anyway. He was averaging 7.8 yards per pass attempt with two touchdowns to three interceptions before going down against the Volunteers.
I like Murphy's dual-threat ability, and I think Florida will spread out the offense more in his second start.
Plus, Florida ranks sixth in the nation in yards allowed per carry. That should at least slow down Alex Collins and company. Collins was held to 63 yards rushing against Rutgers' strong run defense in Week 4.