Murphy throws 3 TDs as Florida downs Arkansas
Gainesville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Tyler Murphy threw three touchdown passes, two of them going to Solomon Patton, as 18th-ranked Florida topped Arkansas, 30-10, Saturday night.
Murphy, pressed into action after Jeff Driskel broke his leg in a Sept. 21 win over Tennessee, completed 16-of-22 passes for 240 yards. Patton had a career- high 124 yards on six receptions.
"I'm getting more comfortable and I just have to keep getting better, watch film and have confidence in myself," Murphy said of taking over for Driskel.
Loucheiz Purifoy returned an interception 42 yards for a score for the Gators (4-1, 3-0 SEC), who took control with a dominating second quarter to win for the third straight time since a loss to in-state rival Miami on Sept. 7.
The Gators have a rough schedule ahead of them over the next month with road contests against current No. 10 LSU, undefeated Missouri, and a game versus No. 6 Georgia in Jacksonville. Florida won't play at home again until Nov. 9 versus Vanderbilt.
Brandon Allen finished 17-of-41 for 164 yards through the air for the Razorbacks (3-3,0-2), who lost their third straight contest. Jonathan Williams scored the lone touchdown, on a 4-yard run in the opening quarter.
"We won't survive in the SEC playing like that," Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said. "A lot of things to clean up. Can't fault their effort or their desire, their attitude."
Austin Hardin's 48-yard field goal try for the Gators was blocked midway through the first quarter, and the Razorbacks took advantage when Williams reversed his field to the right to score.
A 28-yard field goal from Brad Phillips put Florida on the board early in the second. Less than three minutes later, Purifoy moved the Gators in front when he stepped in front of a receiver on a pass to the right side and rumbled to the end zone.
Patton extended the lead to 17-7 when he caught a pass over the middle, escaped defenders and surged down the right side to the end zone with 20 seconds left in the half.
Murphy and Patton connected on a 38-yard score on the opening possession of the third quarter.
Zach Hocker kicked a 30-yard field goal later in the period for the Razorbacks to get the visitors within two touchdowns.
Florida's defense stiffened in the final quarter, and the Gators salted away the win when Murphy hit Valdez Showers for a 9-yard TD pass with under five minutes remaining.
Florida center Jonotthan Harrison was ejected from the game midway through the third quarter for making contact with an official ... The Gators hold an all- time record of 9-1 against the Razorbacks ... The Gators have a current streak of seven consecutive games with a TD pass, the longest stretch for the team since they threw one in 11 consecutive games from Oct. 31, 2009 (Georgia) to Sept. 18th, 2010 Tennessee) ... Arkansas cornerback Will Hines broke his right arm trying to make a tackle late in the third quarter.
10/06 01:18:50 ET