FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — How bad was it Saturday?

Florida coach Jim McElwain actually felt sorry for the media.

“To the guys who made the trip down here, I apologize you had to sit through that,” McElwain said after the 31-10 loss to Arkansas.

What we watched was the sad truth about this football program — it’s not much better than it was a year ago, and things could get worse next season.

UF needs to find a new quarterback because Luke Del Rio will not cut it as the long-term starter, and graduate transfer Austin Appleby won’t work in the short-term, either. McElwain wouldn’t rule out playing one of the true freshmen this late in the year, but there’s no guarantee either Feleipe Franks or Kyle Trask will be the answer.

McElwain said he has “a hunch” as to why the offensive line played so poorly against Arkansas, but didn’t care to expand when asked what that hunch was. It could be that his linemen just aren’t good, and another year of experience and development may not change anything. The Gators still don’t have enough talent around the line to offset poor play up front.

When that happens, an elite defense all of sudden becomes pedestrian when it’s on the field for 40 minutes, like it was against Arkansas. And the scariest part for Florida is that it could lose nine defensive starters from this year’s group.

The Gators looked like a team headed for greatness in 2015 after they upset No. 3 Ole Miss. As it turns out, the Rebels are now the worst team in the SEC West. That game was an aberration for Florida, as was the 45-7 win against Kentucky two months ago.

McElwain called UF a good football team last Saturday, but wins over SEC East opponents can give you a false sense of reality. The Gators aren’t a top-10

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