While Tennessee certainly had its share of injuries on Saturday, the Gators also might have lost a key piece during their 32-0 victory over North Texas.
Quarterback Luke Del Rio exited the game after taking a low hit, and coach Jim McElwain indicated to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy that the injury will probably keep Del Rio out against the Vols next Saturday (3:30 pm ET, CBS).
Florida “will probably be missing” starting QB Luke Del Rio next week vs. Tennessee because of knee injury vs. UNT, Jim McElwain says
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) September 18, 2016
The Gators will turn to graduate transfer Austin Appleby, who has completed 2-of-5 passes for 30 yards so far this season. A former starter at Purdue, Appleby transferred in over the offseason to compete for Florida’s starting job after appearing in 17 games for the Boilermakers from 2013-15, completing 268-of-485 passes for 2,777 yards, 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
Turning to the backup quarterback hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing for the Gators in recent years against Tennessee.
Florida used backup Treon Harris to help spark a come-from-behind 10-9 victory in Neyland Stadium in their last trip to Neyland Stadium in 2014. A year earlier, backup Tyler Murphy relieved an injured Jeff Driskel in a game UT led 7-0 early. Murphy rallied the Gators to a 31-17 win in The Swamp
Florida is also expected to be without starting offensive guard Tyler Jordan against the Vols, while star receiver Antonio Callaway sat out the North Texas game, but could be back for the Vols.