Arkansas hasn’t had a lot go their way this season. That changed on Saturday as the Hogs were, finally, on the other end of a one-possession ballgame.
The Hogs were also able to snap their six-game losing skid and remain in contention for bowl berth, as hard as that may be to believe.
Saturday’s win felt like a major win for the program and one that could give the team momentum to keep those victories coming. Pittman likely saved his job for another season and Kenny Guiton made an impactful statement in his first audition for the permanent offensive coordinator gig.
Let’s take a closer look at the numbers behind Arkansas’ impressive and historic overtime win over the Florida Gators.
For two weeks, Kenny Guiton taking over for Dan Enos as Arkansas’ offensive coordinator was the biggest story surrounding the program. We got our first look at this “new” offense, and it was easily the best they had looked all season.
The Hogs finished with 481 yards of total offense and 226 of those yards came on the ground – which is a season high. The offensive line still struggled, but was able to block well enough for Arkansas to sustain seven drives of seven-or-more plays.
Another sign of the offense’s improvement is looking at the number of times Arkansas went three-and-out. On Saturday, it only happened twice for the Hogs.
Those two three-and-outs happened back-to-back right after Arkansas’ scoring drive to open the game. That makes the fewest in a game for Arkansas so far this season.
Entering Saturday, Arkansas had only played in two overtime games under Sam Pittman. Given the amount of one-possession games in that same timespan, it’s a pretty incredible stat.
With the win over Florida, the Hogs remain undefeated at 3-0 in overtime contests with Sam Pittman as head coach.
Dwight McGlothern has battled injuries almost all season, but when on the field he’s been one of the most reliable secondary players for this Arkansas defense.
In Saturday’s win, McGlothern was tasked with slowing down Florida’s stud wide receiver Ricky Pearsall. McGlothern finished with five total tackles (all solo), one tackle for loss and three pass break-ups. Pearsall was targeted nine times in this game but only hauled in five catches, thanks to McGlothern’s coverage.
It’s been a rough season for Rocket Sanders. He’s battled a knee injury for the majority of the season and the few games that he has played, he’s struggled.
On Saturday, Sanders looked to return to his 2022 form, rushing 18 times for 103 yards – an average of 5.7 yards per carry. It was the first time all year that Sanders eclipsed the century mark, and his performance was an important part of Arkansas’ win.
3-10 and 1-5
Leading up to Saturday’s game, Arkansas’ history against Florida and losing streak in Gainesville was talked about ad nauseum. The Hogs had played five games in “The Swamp” and no coach had ever been able to give the program that first win.
Sam Pittman’s team broke that losing streak and improved to 3-10 all-time against the Gators and 1-5 in “The Swamp.” Maybe next time these two teams are scheduled to play, the SEC will give finally Arkansas the home-field advantage.