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Luke Del Rio To Start At Quarterback For Florida After Leading Comeback vs. Kentucky

Florida has made yet another change at quarterback, after Saturday's 28-27 comeback win over Kentucky.

Freshman quarterback Feleipe Franks has started each game for the Gators this season, and has had some good moments—most notably the game-winning touchdown throw vs. Tennessee—but head coach Jim McElwain just didn't love the way the offense was running with him behind center.

Franks was 7-for-12 for 85 yards and a touchdown, but the team trailed 24-14 when he was replaced by junior Luke Del Rio midway through the third quarter. Del Rio shook off a first drive interception to lead two touchdown drives for the one-point victory.

Del Rio finished 9-for-14 for 53 yards and a touchdown to go with the pick, but McElwain acknowledged the difference in how the offense ran with him in the game. From the Orlando Sentinel:

“Moving forward to this week, Luke will take the starting reps in practice,” McElwain said Monday. “We’ll see where it goes. That should answer your quarterback question.”

[...]

“It had nothing to do with Feleipe doing anything wrong,” McElwain said. “But we were in a stall mode. Jump-starting, kick-starting, whatever you want to call it.”

Del Rio is the third significant option to play at quarterback for Florida this year. Franks has been the starter to this point, but against Michigan, he was replaced by Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire, who was 9-for-17 for 106 yards in that game. He has not appeared in another game for the Gators.

Del Rio will start against Vanderbilt on Saturday. It will be his first start since last season's November 4 Arkansas game, in which he went down with a shoulder injury.

[Orlando Sentinel]