Will the Florida Gators' Homecoming Prove an Emotional Letdown vs. Arkansas?
This week, the Arkansas Razorbacks come to town to face the Florida Gators during their Homecoming weekend. The Razorbacks are coming off a tremendous 44-23 victory over the Auburn Tigers.
The Gators are also coming off a victory over the LSU Tigers after a two-week period of indecision and uncertainty. Tim Tebow's concussion was the biggest story, and that story's conclusion came Saturday night when he led the Gators to victory in Death Valley.
Now, the Gators are home for Homecoming this weekend. Arkansas will be the underdog, but will be riding high after winning two in a row against Texas A&M and Auburn. They will also have a fallen teammate on their minds.
Sophomore Joe Adams, the Arkansas wide receiver who suffered a mild stroke a week ago, will be to Arkansas what Tim Tebow was to Florida going into the LSU game. He will not play in this weekend's game—however, Adams will be an emotional sparkplug for an Arkansas Razorbacks team that will rally around him.
Against Auburn, the Razorback defense was solid, not allowing Auburn to cross the 50-yard line until midway through the second quarter.
"Our guys were great on defense. We came out and hit (Auburn) in the mouth early and didn't look back," said Bobby Petrino after the game.
Also, Petrino's offense has scored quickly this season. Arkansas, to date this season, has 12 touchdowns scored in less than three minutes, and 10 scored in less than two minutes.
The Razorback rushing attack has seen success, as well. Against Auburn, Arkansas rushed for 221 yards led by senior running back Michael Smith, who had 18 rushes for 145 yards. Now that the Razorback receiving corps is being hit by the injury bug, the rushing game will be called upon more as the season progresses.
Will Arkansas have success against the Florida Gator defense?
I doubt it, but again, how will the Gators respond after an emotional victory in Baton Rouge? Will they be able to settle in and focus on the Arkansas Razorbacks?
I believe so. Coach Urban Meyer prepares his teams like no other, and an undefeated season is definitely a goal for this team.
Tebow played well, and reports out of Gainesville state that he is still taking post-concussion tests to ensure he has recovered. That recovery will continue on the field this weekend.
The Gators run game should continue to see success, but a question mark still remains with Florida's passing attack. We have seen flashes from Deonte Thompson, Riley Cooper, and Dave Nelson, but tight end Aaron Hernandez has been the shining star so far.
Is an emotional let-down a possibility? Yes, but highly unlikely.
The Gators will celebrate their Homecoming with a victory this week.
My prediction: Florida 38, Arkansas 14
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