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Florida vs. Arkansas, The Difference: 20 takeaways from the Gators' win

We conclude our look back at Florida's win over Arkansas with 20 takeaways from the game.

Sam Greenwood

The Difference is borrowed from Rob Mahoney's feature of the same name at The Two-Man Game, which makes a number of points equivalent to the margin of victory about the game just played. And it's late, but here are 20 more takeaways from Florida's win over Arkansas. All screencaps via libgator's Florida vs. Arkansas playcuts.

  1. One week after Kentucky targeted a sweet spot in the flats in front of Florida's nickel back for most of its first drive, Arkansas threw right to that spot on its second offensive play, and got nine yards on it.

  2. Trey Burton, typically one of Florida's best blockers, completely whiffs on the block of the outside cornerback he was supposed to make on the first play of the game, a screen to Solomon Patton. This allows the corner to blow up the play for a loss.

    Two plays later, Burton atones for his mistake by drifting upfield after a crossing route and giving a scrambling Tyler Murphy — who faces pressure because of a poor job blocking by Tyler Moore — an outlet for a throw that gets a first down.

  3. Here is what has happened on the first three third downs of Tyler Murphy's three games this year, according to the GatorZone box scores:

    Tennessee: Murphy,T. middle pass complete to Dunbar,Q. for 9 yards to the UF38, 1ST DOWN UF (Sapp, D.), PENALTY UT offside declined.

    Kentucky: [SHOT], Murphy,T. pass complete to Burton,T. for 12 yards to the UF27, 1ST DOWN UF (Eric Dixon), PENALTY UK roughing passer 15 yards to the UF42, 1ST DOWN UF.

    Arkansas: Murphy,T. sideline pass complete to Burton,T. for 19 yards to the UF29, 1ST DOWN UF.

    On all three plays, Murphy faced significant pressure.

  4. It would have been very, very easy to write off Loucheiz Purifoy for the entire game after his horrific miss on an attempted tackle of Alex Collins on Arkansas's second drive. Purifoy shades inside for no reason, then squares, then launches himself instead of trying to make contact.

    But Purifoy's also the kind of player who pops up after missing and gives chase all the way to midfield, despite having no real shot at getting to Collins.

    And literally the next snap of the game produced Purifoy's savant-level blitz and strip-sack.

  5. Murphy does a lot of things well, but one thing I'd like to see him do more of is take short routes when they're open, and let his receivers make moves in space. Murphy threw deep to Trey Burton on the second play of Florida's second drive, and put the ball just beyond Burton's reach on a good, difficult throw — but he had Quinton Dunbar wide open on an out route that might have produced a first down. And because he was looking right at Dunbar at the moment of his break, I'm guessing Murphy decided to take a shot deep instead.

    That drive would end after another incomplete pass and Austin Hardin's blocked field goal, but Murphy getting Florida a third and short or a first down on that second down might have prolonged the drive, or produced a different result.

  6. The Arkansas offense did a superb job of opening one hole and allowing running backs to power through it in the first quarter. But that was largely before Darious Cummings got most of his snaps, and Cummings still managed to sniff out Arkansas's crafty direct snap — while Allen made like he was audibling, the ball was snapped to Collins — and got penetration no other Gators lineman did.

  7. Jaylen Watkins admitted this week that he was fully fooled on Arkansas's play-action on its first drive, which got the Razorbacks a goal-to-go series. Watkins got sucked in by the fake and ended up woefully out of position on the play, and told reporters that he read Arkansas's formation as a "surface" with a tackle where the tight end who ended up catching the ball was.

    That was a bad read, which led to a bad play. Watkins made a good read, too, though: He sniffed out a jet sweep based on pre-snap movement and signaled to his teammates (as did Purifoy, on a play from that third drive and a play in the third quarter, though his warnings went unheeded) later in the game, and also made an excellent play to break up a touchdown pass.

  8. You really can't see it in Peasing it Together, but Murphy stares down his deep receiver, Solomon Patton, for a very long time — which, in quarterback time, is really just a couple seconds — before throwing to Dunbar on Florida's flea-flicker. I don't know if Patton, who was covered, could've made a bigger play happen, but Murphy appears to me to try to make up for waiting on Dunbar by flicking the ball a little harder and further behind his receiver than was ideal, especially for an open man. Fortunately, Dunbar leaps and makes a great catch, allowing for fruition on a well-designed, well-executed play.

  9. Patton's so quick and so good on jet sweeps that he constantly cedes ground while running parallel to the line of scrimmage to get a better angle on the corner. Once you notice this, it will absolutely bug you, but it's a good player doing what his athleticism allows him to do.

  10. Purifoy's pick-six came one play after another horrific missed tackle, this one from Ronald Powell. Maybe Florida should miss tackles badly as a way of activating Purifoy's mutant powers or something.

  11. Powell has another bad missed tackle on the subsequent drive, as Collins back-jukes on a throwback screen. Florida's other defenders are fast enough to prevent Collins from picking up the first down on the play, but Powell could really have made this play.

  12. The bubble tunnel screen from the shadow of Florida's own goalposts gets my vote for worst play-call of the year, but it could probably have worked a lot better had there been a check in the play to hit Valdez Showers, who motions out wide to the non-play side of the field from the backfield, immediately after the snap.

  13. After the spectacular failure of that drive, Arkansas gets the ball near midfield. In order, the three plays of that three and out: A play-action reverse on which Brandon Allen misses a wide open receiver; a run designed to go up the middle that Florida reads and forces a cutback on, limiting it to two yards; a deep pass down the sideline to a well-covered receiver that never had a chance. This forces Arkansas to punt, and sets the stage for Florida to score a deflating pre-halftime touchdown.

  14. Murphy throwing the ball with his left hand while in the grasp is every bit as stupid a move as a quarterback can make. He's fortunate that the play was called a sack, and that he didn't throw the ball quite hard enough to get picked off.

  15. If the flea-flicker in the first half was Florida's best play-call of the night, throwing to little-used Tevin Westbrook off play-action near midfield was easily second.

  16. Regular broadcast angles don't do Murphy's two throws to Patton on Florida's first drive of the second half justice. On the third down just before Patton takes a perfectly-placed Murphy pass to the house, Murphy zips a throw into a very small window around a defender to get the first down.

    On the touchdown, Murphy throws the ball low and to Patton's outside shoulder, a spot that makes it impossible for the defender to make a play on the ball — though he tries, anyway, freeing up Patton without forcing him to slip a tackle — and makes it easy for Patton to turn and race to the end zone.

  17. I forgot, in the time between writing the Rapid Recap and watching the replays intently for this post, that an Arkansas kick returner caught the ball at his own 3 in the second half.

  18. On another blitz in the third quarter, Purifoy nearly gets to Allen before he can throw it again, does it from a much wider position than his successful blitz, and does nothing to betray that he's blitzing on the play.

  19. Watching the play that got Jonotthan Harrison ejected again, it looks to me like Harrison's just trying to throw a wipeout block — not a really dirty one — and doesn't realize the play's more or less over when he commits to it. Harrison then gets chirped at briefly by an Arkansas player, gets up, barks back, and gets moved away by a referee, who he appears to poke in the chest — at which point the ref throws his flag. Had Harrison kept his mouth shut, my guess is that likely wouldn't have been ejected.

  20. Between the number of Allen passes that had no chance of being complete and the number of good passes dropped by Arkansas receivers, I would have been rather mad about this game last Sunday, had I the misfortune of being an Arkansas fan.


Andy Hutchins is Alligator Army's managing editor. Follow Alligator Army on Twitter and Facebook.

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