Arkansas defense shuts down No. 9 Florida

Another SEC national title hopeful saw its chances get severely damaged Saturday.

Arkansas knocked off No. 9 Florida 31-10 to deal the Gators their second loss off the season.

Rawleigh Williams III ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns and Austin Allen threw for 243 yards to lead the Razorbacks offense.

The defense did its part, too, allowing just 241 yards one week after giving up 543 yards on the ground and 56 points in a loss to Auburn.

Florida managed just just 12 yards on 14 carries, and the offense out of the end zone. The lone touchdown by the Gators came on a Duke Dawson interception return.

“To come out of that game and realize we couldn’t stop the run, I just said, ‘I don’t care what we do, we’re going to stop the run on defense,’” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said. “I don’t care if we played with 11 guys or had to play with 12. I’ll take the penalty; we ain’t going to have someone run the ball on us.”

Previously Saturday, No. 7 Texas A&M fell at Mississippi State 35-28, leaving unbeaten Alabama as the only conference team with less than two losses on the season.

Florida remains in control of its fate in the SEC East. But now they'll likely have to run the table and win at Florida State in its regular-season finale to have any hope of making the College Football Playoff with a victory in the SEC championship game.

That seems unlikely with the state of its offense.

With no ground attack to support him, quarterback Luke Del Rio struggled to move the Gators through the air. He finished 19-of-37 for 229 yards. Much of the yardage came in the fourth quarter with Arkansas comfortably ahead.

“First and foremost for the guys who made the trip down here, I apologize you had to sit through that,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “… I feel horrible for Gator Nation and the way everything kind of played out.”

USA TODAY Sports


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