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Florida vs. Arkansas, Game Thread: Old friend’s at home

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Florida’s parade of familiar faces continues with a former quarterback visiting The Swamp.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Florida Gainesville Sun-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Florida Gators’ 2020 football season — this sprint through a whirlwind — has nevertheless been a series of occasions to reminisce.

Lane Kiffin? Will Muschamp? Jimbo Fisher? Yes, sure, and yup. Florida saw them all, and over the course of just three weeks. Florida’s entire existence as a football program at this point is a runback of the Urban Meyer era with the same offensive coordinator and two members of the offensive staff from those dynastic days. Two weeks ago, Florida played in blue helmets for the first time in decades.

The past is prologue, as the saying goes. Florida’s past has been prolonged.

That happens again tonight (7 p.m., ESPN or WatchESPN), as former Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks comes back to Gainesville as the field general for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Franks and Arkansas aren’t expected to present much challenge for the Gators — the spread is more than two touchdowns, even with Kyle Pitts out — but his return is an unusual one, the first start by any Florida transfer quarterback against the Gators since Brock Berlin piloted Miami to a comeback win over Florida in 2003.

That game came in the Orange Bowl, though; this one takes place in The Swamp. Franks is likely to get a warm reception, unless he stages an upset. This should be a visit by an old friend who is still going to lose on family game night.

But if 2020 has been proof of anything in particular, it’s that the familiar can be disrupted into the frightening almost immediately and without warning.