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10th-ranked Gators ambushed by Arkansas in 31-10 defeat

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The 10th-ranked Florida Gators might have been a bit overrated.

The Gators were clobbered by the Arkansas Razorbacks, 31-10, in Fayetteville Saturday. One game after being shredded by Auburn, 56-3, Arkansas dominated the Gators. They had surrendered 532 yards rushing to the Tigers; they gave up 12 to Florida.

The Gators entered the game No. 2 in the nation with total defense giving up 239.9 yards per game. Against Arkansas, they gave up 466 yards.

Arkansas took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, and the Gators could not get enough offense to get back in the game. Besides their 12-yard day rushing the ball, quarterback Luke Del Rio threw for only 229 yards and had two passes intercepted.

Florida coach Jim McElwain said he considered pulling Del Rio. He said there will be additional evaluation going forward.

“There’s a lot of positions we’ve got to evaluate going forward,” McElwain said. “Obviously, when you lose, that’s part of playing the position of quarterback. I mean, everybody’s ready to put you on their shoulders when you win, and when you play don’t play great as a team, it’s usually the place that’s pointed to.”

Florida’s only touchdown came on a 37-yard interception return by Duke Dawson.

The loss is sure to make the Gators tumble in the top 25 poll. It was longshot for the playoffs, but at one loss, it had a chance. Now at 6-2, it does not seem to have one.

Rawleigh Williams rushed for 148 yards for Arkansas.

The Gators are home next week against South Carolina, then play LSU in their makeup game in Baton Rouge.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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