Florida-Arkansas: Seven Numbers That Could Roast the Hogs
The Florida Gators invite the Arkansas Razorbacks and their high powered aerial attack to help celebrate homecoming in Gainesville Saturday afternoon.
Here are seven numbers that didn’t appear on the Hog’s invitation to the Swamp.
The number of days it’s been since the Arkansas Razorbacks defeated the Florida Gators.
In Houston, Texas, on New Year’s Eve, 1982, Lou Holtz led his Razorbacks to a come-from-behind win over Charlie Pell’s Gators in the Bluebonnet Bowl.
Ironically, the Gators were known for an electric passing attack that season.
Florida has defeated Arkansas in every regular season and SEC championship game since.
The number of down linemen used in Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong’s “Joker” formation.
Florida’s 3-3-5 quasi prevent formation places all three Gator safeties on the field at the same time. Combine this with the normal complement of corners and coverage linebackers and opposing quarterbacks get caught looking for openings.
On the line, when showing three down linemen and three floating linebackers the Gator defense makes picking up blocking assignments a nightmare for the opposition.
When employed against LSU, the Joker caught up with Tiger quarterback Jordan Jefferson and sacked him twice in the fourth quarter.
Given Arkansas’ love of the pass, look for Hog signal caller Ryan Mallett to meet a similar fate.
The difference in yards between a 4.3 wide out and 4.4 defensive back when running your basic post pattern—after all things have been considered on a football field.
This fraction of a yard translates into about eight inches—just enough room to get a palm beyond the reach of a covering corner.
Accurate published 40-yard speed times are a myth in the SEC, but a review of the performance of the Hog secondary shows that speed may be an issue when attempting to cover a few of the faster Gator wide outs.
Against the Arkansas secondary, Brandon James, Riley Cooper, and Deonte Thompson all have the speed and the moves to present Tim Tebow with the open target he’s been looking for to ensure the safe delivery of the ball.
It’s ironic that the Gators could have their very best passing game against a team that lives by the same.
The total number of points allowed by the Gator defense in the second half this season by SEC opponents.
Arkansas has racked up almost 40 points a game, but not when they played against a stout Alabama defense incorporating NFL quality size and speed.
The Tide held Arkansas to one touchdown.
The bad news for Arkansas is that Florida’s defense is every bit as good, if not better, than the Tide’s.
With an anemic rushing game, Arkansas will find themselves’ stymied on the ground. Desperate, the Hogs will employ a high risk passing game that will play right into the hands of the Gator defense.
Arkansas’ successful third down completion percentage.
Arkansas is only 18-of-63 on third down attempts this season for a very anemic 29 percent completion rate.
Stats are not readily available on the circumstances of those third down attempts but the numbers indicate that a hefty percentage required more than four yards.
That does not bode well for the Hogs when facing a Gator defense that loves third and long.
The percentage of total offensive yards gained, first downs, and touchdowns that are attributed to the Arkansas passing game.
Two thirds of everything they do is in the air.
The Hog aerial attack is the bread and butter for this high scoring offense. It could be said that they live and die by the pass. But rushing numbers tell a different tale.
Arkansas finds success throwing the ball when they combine it with a successful rushing game. When the running get’s tough, like it did against Georgia and Alabama, the entire Hog offense suffers.
This year, Florida’s SEC opponents are averaging fewer than 90 yards on the ground per game. The Hogs averaged fewer than 70 yards in each of their losses.
The average number of minutes the Gator defense is on the field in the second half against SEC opponents.
Tebow and the Gator offense love to work the clock in the second half. The strategy is simple…your opposition can’t catch up to you if their offense is sitting on the bench.
This might not be a concern for a passing team like Arkansas, but it should be.
The Hogs defense has proven to be a bit leaky this year. Show the Gators any weakness on the rushing front and most any offensive possession can be turned into a multi-minute drive on the ground.
The Hogs might find themselves playing against the Gators, the crowd, and the clock this Saturday.
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