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The Gators are off to a 3-0 start in the SEC after Saturday night's home win over Arkansas.

Saturday October 5, 2013The Quick Slant: Instant Analysis from UF's 30-10 win over Razorbacks

The Gators are off to a 3-0 start in the SEC after Saturday night's home win over Arkansas.

Scott Carter
By SCOTT CARTER Senior Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Gators fell behind in the first quarter but stormed back for a 30-10 win over Arkansas on Saturday night at Florida Field.

In the first night game at the Swamp in nearly two years, Gators quarterback Tyler Murphy made his first career home start and had another solid outing as the Gators improved to 3-0 in the SEC with Murphy running the offense.

The victory was the 10th in a row for the Gators at home.


WHAT IT MEANS: The Gators continue to show improvement on offense with Murphy at the helm. He came in on relief and led Florida to a win against Tennessee. He won his first career start at Kentucky. And on Saturday night, Murphy passed for a career-high 240 yards and three touchdowns in his first home start. Meanwhile, after a slow start in which Arkansas rushed for 81 yards in the first quarter -- more than Florida had allowed in a game this season -- the Gators' defense clamped down as usual.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Senior receiver Solomon Patton has emerged as the Gators' go-to receiver. Patton struck twice on Saturday, jolting the crowd from its feet with a pair of touchdown receptions -- a 51-yarder with 20 seconds left in the first half and a 38-yarder early in the third quarter that gave Florida a 24-7 lead.

STAGGERING STATISTIC: Florida scored 24 unanswered points over the second and third quarters after Arkansas led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Gators have dominated the middle of games, outscoring opponents 79-12 in the second and third quarters through five games. Florida has not allowed a touchdown this season in the middle two quarters.

SUBPLOT: There was chatter this week about the quiet start for junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy. Other than for a blocked punt at Miami, Purifoy's name had not come up a lot defensively. That changed in a big way Saturday as Purifoy forced a fumble on a sack, broke up a pass and returned his first career interception 42 yards for a touchdown to give Florida the lead for good.

UP NEXT: The Gators (4-1, 3-0 in SEC) hit the road for a huge conference test at No. 10 LSU. Florida defeated then-No. 4 LSU at home last season in a signature win for Gators coach Will Muschamp. You can be sure the Tigers want revenge. Good news for the Gators: it's not a night game at Tiger Stadium, one of the loudest venues in the country. Kickoff is at 3:30.


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