Scores

Final

(12) Florida 38

(4-1, 2-1 SEC)

Arkansas 7

(2-3, 0-2 SEC)

Coverage: GamePlan

12:30 PM ET, October 4, 2008

Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR

1 2 3 4 T
#12FLA 7 7 3 2138
ARK 0 0 7 07

Top Performers

Passing: T. Tebow (FLA) - 217 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: J. Demps (FLA) - 7 CAR, 103 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: L. Murphy (FLA) - 5 REC, 70 YDS

Tebow, Florida bounce back to stop Arkansas

Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Tim Tebow plowed forward on fourth-and-1, easily earning his team a new set of downs. His run was a week too late, but Florida was happy to take it.

Tebow and the 12th-ranked Gators rebounded from their surprising loss to Mississippi, methodically holding off Arkansas for three quarters Saturday before pulling away for a 38-7 win. Tebow threw for two touchdowns, and his early conversion helped Florida move ahead to stay.

Fast Facts

• Florida scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to break open a close game late, using the ground game.

• In the final quarter, redshirt freshman Chris Rainey broke a 75-yard run and true freshman Jeff Demps added a 48-yard run, his second touchdown of the game. Both Rainey and Demps had 103 yards on the ground, the first time since 1997 the Gators have had two 100-yard rushers in same game.

• Tim Tebow had 216 yards passing and two touchdowns, but his third quarter interception ended a school-record streak of 203 attempts without one.

-- ESPN research

Last weekend, Tebow was stopped on fourth down at the end of a 31-30 loss to Ole Miss. On their first drive against Arkansas, the Gators went for it when they could have kicked a field goal. Tebow plunged for 2 yards, setting up first down at the 4.

"We're confident in fourth-and-1 and our ability to get those," Tebow said.

He finished that drive by flipping a shovel pass to Brandon James for a 2-yard touchdown.

The Gators were sluggish for a while after that, and it was only 17-7 late in the third quarter when Jerry Franklin picked off Tebow, snapping the Heisman Trophy winner's streak at 203 passes without an interception.

The Florida defense held, and Tebow came back to lead his team on an 83-yard drive that ended with his 21-yard pass to Percy Harvin. Chris Rainey then scored on a 75-yard run, spinning past a tackler and outrunning everyone to the end zone to make it 31-7.

Jeffrey Demps completed the scoring with a 48-yard run with 1:04 remaining in the game.

"You're dealing with 18-to-22 year-olds," said Tebow, who threw for 217 yards. "Everything's based on momentum, confidence and that swagger that people talk about."

The Gators (4-1, 2-1) host LSU next weekend in a huge Southeastern Conference matchup.

Arkansas made a game of it for a while, even after embarrassing losses to Alabama (49-14) and Texas (52-10) the past two weeks.

"Cutting back the playbook really helped us to execute and move fast," said coach Bobby Petrino, who has lost three straight for the first time as a college coach. "It's a tough loss because our players did a good job to get their emotions back after the Texas loss."

Michael Smith ran for 133 yards and a touchdown for Arkansas (2-3, 0-2).

Early in the second quarter, Florida was pinned back at its own 1-yard line. The Gators turned that awful field position into a touchdown -- eventually. At one point, Florida faced first-and-35 at its own 14 after being called for three straight penalties. The Gators had to punt, but Smith muffed it, giving Florida the ball at the Arkansas 16.

Moments later, it was first-and-30 from the 36 after two more Florida penalties. Demps then ran to the left and scooted untouched through the secondary for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

The teams combined for 21 penalties, including 13 in the second quarter. After the game, Florida coach Urban Meyer was asked why his team's offense looks so mundane at times.

"That's a good word," Meyer said. "I'd use the word awful."

Florida had time to figure things out, though. Arkansas has gone eight games without scoring in the first quarter. The Razorbacks moved into Florida territory the first three times they had the ball but stalled each time. Arkansas went for it on fourth down twice in the first quarter near the Florida 30, and the Gators held each time.

"With the way the wind was blowing, I really felt like that if we were going to go for the field goal that we really had to be within the 25-yard line," Petrino said.

The Razorbacks also drove well into Florida territory late in the second quarter, but Joe Haden intercepted Casey Dick at the goal line.

James returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown, but it was wiped out by a penalty. Florida settled for a field goal, and Arkansas scored to cut the margin to 10. That was as close as it got in the Gators' seventh straight win over the Razorbacks.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
FLA
ARK
1st Downs2520
Total Yards514361
Passing236220
Rushing278141
Penalties12-1109-75
3rd Down Conversions6-135-12
4th Down Conversions3-30-2
Turnovers12
Possession33:1026:50

Passing Leaders

FloridaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Tebow17/262178.321
ArkansasC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Dick24/382205.801

Rushing Leaders

FloridaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Rainey1010310.3175
Demps710314.7248
ArkansasCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith201336.7119
Adams11616.0016

Receiving Leaders

FloridaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Murphy57014.0020
Moore23919.5027
ArkansasRECYDSAVGTDLG
Adams56813.6031
Smith6437.2018

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERFLAARK
TD06:54Brandon James 2 Yd Pass From Tim Tebow (Jonathan Phillips Kick) 70
SECOND QUARTERFLAARK
TD07:19Jeffrey Demps 36 Yd Run (Jonathan Phillips Kick) 140
THIRD QUARTERFLAARK
FG09:17Jonathan Phillips 37 Yd 170
TD05:50Michael Smith 6 Yd Run (Shay Haddock Kick) 177
FOURTH QUARTERFLAARK
TD11:58Percy Harvin 21 Yd Pass From Tim Tebow (Jonathan Phillips Kick) 247
TD05:10Chris Rainey 75 Yd Run (Jonathan Phillips Kick) 317
TD01:04Jeffrey Demps 48 Yd Run (Jonathan Phillips Kick) 387