The Florida Gators (4-1, 3-0 SEC) overcame a slow start to beat the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-3, 0-2) 30-10 on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Behind career days from wide receiver Solomon Patton and cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy the Florida football team was able to turn things around after falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter.
Patton finished the game with six catches for a career-high 124 yards and two touchdowns. He showed off his playmaking ability by taking two short passes from quarterback Tyler Murphy for 51 and 38 yard scores. He also added two carries for 14 yards. He continues to emerge in a big way for Florida’s offense.
Patton played great, but the point in the game when the momentum began to shift in the Gators’ favor was on Purifoy’s interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter. It put the Gators ahead 10-7 and Florida never looked back from there. Amazingly enough that was the first interception of Purifoy’s collegiate career. He also had a sack and a forced fumble in the first quarter. Purifoy has been off to a slow start this season, but with his performance Saturday night, he reminded everyone just how special of a player he can be.
Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy continued to be a model of efficiency, in what turned out to be a career day for him as well. He finished the game with a career-high 240 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-22 passing. Murphy is clearly getting more and more comfortable in the offense with each game.
In what is becoming the norm, the Florida defense put on yet another dominant performance. Arkansas entered the game averaging 237 yards per game on the ground, but was held to just 111 yards and 3.8 yards per rush on the night. Arkansas freshman running back Alex Collins, who came in leading the Southeastern Conference in rushing yards, was limited to 54 yards on 13 carries and sophomore running back Jonathan Williams was held to just 32 yards on eight carries. The defense also held Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen to just 164 yards on 17-of-41 passing, good for just four yards per attempt. Allen was also sacked twice.
Florida has now improved to 3-0 without quarterback Jeff Driskel, but next week will bring probably the toughest test of the season thus far as Florida travels to Baton Rouge to take on the LSU Tigers.