Fall Sports · Football

OPINION: Del Rio deserves start against Vanderbilt

Much like last week’s Gators football game, this week’s wasn’t pretty and it sure wasn’t easy.

The Gators extended the longest active winning streak (against one team) in the nation to thirty-one with a 28-27 last minute, come-from-behind defeat of Kentucky in Lexington.

Florida trailed 24-14 midway through the third quarter when head coach Jim McElwain made the decision to go to redshirt junior Luke Del Rio at quarterback. Starter Feleipe Franks had two three-and-outs to open the second half before being pulled.

Del Rio threw an interception on his third pass attempt, but after the defense forced the Wildcats three-and-out on the ensuing series, it started to click.

Relying heavily on the run game, Del Rio managed the Gators to an improbable comeback. His knowledge of the playbook was obvious as he oozed with confidence not seen while Feleipe Franks was in the game.

Del Rio was often seen calling audibles at the line and was given the opportunity to throw down the field moreso than Franks.

Most importantly, when Del Rio was under center (or in shotgun), the other ten players on the field seemed to play better.

Florida has a bona fide quarterback battle. But the easy choice here is to start Del Rio. If Jim McElwain truly wants a quarterback that gives his team the beat chance to win, Luke Del Rio is the answer.

Florida faces Vanderbilt at noon inside the Swamp on Saturday.

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