Looks like Gator fans are going to get their wish.
For the second time this season, Luke Del Rio has suffered an injury that will force him to miss game action. This time it’s his shoulder, and it will cost him the South Carolina game- and possibly more.
Austin Appleby, who started against Tennessee and Vanderbilt with mixed results, appears to be the starting QB against South Carolina as of now. But Jim McElwain has made it clear that Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask will get some first team reps and a legitimate shot to win the job as well.
McElwain said that Del Rio was slammed to the ground in the first half against Arkansas and landed on his shoulder, even admitting that he probably should have made a quarterback change at halftime. He didn’t, though, and Del Rio struggled even more the rest of the way than he did before the injury, lobbing a duck into double coverage that was easily intercepted right after suffering the injury.
But realistically speaking, Del Rio was slowly regressing each week, and so giving the reins back to Appleby may not be a terrible thing. He played really well in the first half against Tennessee before awful conservative play calling doomed him and the offense in the second half, and he played noticeably worse- but still not terrible- against a solid Vanderbilt defense the ensuing week. And sometimes change, even for the sake of change, could be just the tonic to spark a struggling offense.
So of course I wish Del Rio the best as he recovers from his injury, but this may actually be a blessing in disguise for Florida’s offense.