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Saturday, October 18, 2003
Another big crowd packs Razorback Stadium


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- What did Arkansas do for an encore after attracting the largest crowd ever to Razorback Stadium for a football game last week?

It drew the second-largest crowd.

Arkansas' 33-28 loss to Florida drew 73,934 on Saturday. Last week, the Razorbacks lost to Auburn before a crowd of 74,026.

"It was a great crowd and I hate that we couldn't give them a victory," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said. "It was a beautiful day for football. The crowd was just awesome."

Temperatures were in the 70s and skies were blue for the start of the game.

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Arkansas' point total against Florida matched the total it scored against the Gators in the 1982 Bluebonnet Bowl, a 28-24 Arkansas victory.

Until Saturday, Arkansas had scored only 17 points against the Gators in SEC play -- three points in the 1995 Southeastern Conference championship game and seven points each in the 1996 and 1997 regular seasons.

Florida was ranked No. 1 in both of the regular season matchups, and No. 2 in 1995.

Arkansas now has a 1-4 record against the Gators, including an 0-4 mark since the Razorbacks joined the SEC. Florida is the only team that Arkansas has not defeated in football.

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Cedric Cobbs entered the game leading the SEC in rushing. He had 88 yards on 14 carries by halftime, but didn't play in the second half after injuring a hamstring.

De'Arrius Howard also was injured in the third quarter, and Mark Pierce filled in at tailback and fullback.

"I don't know how bad their injuries are," Nutt said, speaking about Cobbs and Howard.

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Arkansas entered the game ranked second in the league in turnover margin, having taken the ball away from opponents 10 times in the first five games while losing it only six times.

Against Florida, the Razorbacks had one takeaway and gave the ball up three times. It now has a turnover margin of .333 per game -- down from the .80 margin before Saturday's contest.

Florida now is picking up an average of .375 turnovers per game.

Georgia was leading the league in turnover margin, with 1.333 per game.

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After climbing as high as No. 7 in the polls, Arkansas has lost two in a row. The same thing happened after the Razorbacks reached No. 10 in 1998, Houston Nutt's first year.

Arkansas lost to Tennessee and actually climbed in the polls to No. 9, Nutt's highest ranking. The Razorbacks fell to Mississippi State the week after the Volunteers game and Arkansas fell to No. 13.

The Razorbacks beat LSU to clinch a share of the SEC West title and lost to Michigan in the Florida Citrus Bowl.