HawgBeat - 2020 First Look: Florida Gators
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2020 First Look: Florida Gators

Gator senior quarterback Kyle Trask.
Gator senior quarterback Kyle Trask. (© Kim Klement, USA TODAY SPORTS)

We don't yet know the dates or the order, but we do know all 10 of Arkansas's 2020 opponents. Over the course of ten days, we'll give Hog fans an early look at each team on Arkansas's schedule, which is perhaps the toughest slate in all of college football.

Following Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn alphabetically, Florida is next up in our first look preview series. The Razorbacks were not originally scheduled to play the Gators until 2023 but the SEC's flip to a 10-game all-SEC schedule saddled them with the task of traveling to Gainesville in 2020. Florida is ranked No. 8 in the nation and No. 4 in the SEC in the USA Today coaches' preseason poll.

Florida Gators (#8)

2019 record: 11-2 (6-2 SEC)

All time series vs Arkansas: Florida leads 9-2

Last meeting: There are still a handful of Razorbacks left on the squad who participated in Arkansas's 2016 victory over Florida in Fayetteville. Arkansas was coming off a 56-3 loss at the hands of No. 11-ranked Auburn and got a bye week to prepare for the Gators. Led by Austin Allen and Rawleigh Williams, the Hogs put up 466 yards of offense and the defense stuffed the run like Arkansas fans haven't seen since, holding the Gators to just 12 net rushing yards. Safety Santos Ramirez started the scoring in the 31-10 victory with a pick six.

Head Coach: Dan Mullen (3rd season, 21-5)

Dan Mullen is 90-51 overall in his career as a head coach.
Dan Mullen is 90-51 overall in his career as a head coach. (AP)

Offense

Coordinator: Billy Gonzales (3rd season) and John Hevesy (3rd season) Gonzales (passing game) and Hevesy (running game) both followed Mullen to Florida from Mississippi State.

2019 rushing rank: 107th, 129.8 yards/game

2019 passing rank: 16th, 300.8 yards/game

2019 total rank: 45th, 430.5 yards/game

2019 scoring rank: 28th, 33.2 points/game

Returning starters: 7

Key losses: Lamical Perine, Van Jefferson, Freddie Swain

Defense

Coordinator: Todd Grantham (third season) Grantham followed Mullen from Mississippi State after stints at Louisville and Georgia.

2019 rushing rank: 8th, 102.8 yards/game

2019 passing rank: 32nd, 201.1 yards/game

2019 total rank: 9th, 304.8 yards/game

2019 scoring rank: 7th, 15.5 points/game

Returning starters: 5

Key losses: Jonathan Greenard, David Reese, C.J. Henderson

Recruiting

Four-year recruiting rankings (2017-20): 9, 17, 8, 8 (Avg. 10.5)

5-stars signed (2017-20): 3

4-stars signed (2017-20): 57

Outlook

With Dan Mullen entering his third season, the Hogs will likely be double-digit underdogs when they head to Gainesville led by his former starting QB Feleipe Franks. Kyle Trask gets his first chance to begin a season as the incumbent starter and his comfortability will be sky high playing in Mullen's system for the third year. Trask is capable of completion percentages in the mid-60s, low-70s against SEC opponents and he'll be using his big arm to test the Razorback secondary often. The Gators return a lot on offense but the offensive line needs improvement and the defense has a lot of key players to replace. I've ranked them 8th in difficulty of Arkansas's 10 opponents behind Alabama and Georgia.

Difficulty Rating: 8