Florida QB Del Rio to miss spring practice following surgery
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio will miss spring practice following shoulder surgery.
The Gators announced Thursday that Del Rio had surgery on his left, non-throwing shoulder Wednesday, which could clear the way for Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask to take over the starting job in 2017. Franks and Trask, both freshmen, had been expected to compete with Del Rio for the position.
Appleby shines, No. 20 Florida beats Iowa in Outback Bowl
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — No. 20 Florida dominated the Outback with stingy defense and a persistent offense that did its job, too.
Chauncey Gardner, Jr., returned one of his two fourth-quarter interceptions 58 yards for a touchdown, and graduate transfer Austin Appleby threw for 222 yards and two TDs to pace Monday's 30-3 rout of No. 21 Iowa.
Florida can’t overcome early interceptions against Tide
ATLANTA (AP) — The score made it appear No. 15 Florida was outclassed in its SEC championship game against top-ranked Alabama.
Gators cornerback Teez Tabor insists that wasn't the case. He was convinced Saturday's ugly 54-16 loss would have been different if not for three first-half interceptions.
"No question," Tabor said without hesitating. "It's a 17-point difference at the half. It's a tie ballgame."
Alabama faces Florida again for SEC championship
No. 1 Alabama (12-0 No. 1 CFP) at No. 15 Florida (8-3, No. 15 CFP) at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Saturday 4 p.m. (CBS).
No. 1 Alabama, No. 15 Florida ride strong ‘D’ to title game
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference's two stingiest defenses will take the field in the league championship game.
That's no coincidence.
No. 1 Alabama has kept its end zone off-limits for more than a month and been practically impenetrable to running backs. No. 15 Florida has only given up a few more points per game and flummoxed opposing quarterbacks.
Florida-Florida State rivalry defined by quarterbacks
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — In a rivalry that features six Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks, the signal callers for Saturday's matchup between Florida and Florida State aren't commanding the spotlight.
It has been the play, however, of No. 13 Florida's Austin Appleby and 15th-ranked Florida State's Deondre Francois that has allowed both teams to gain momentum late in the season.
No. 16 LSU, No. 21 Florida feature elite SEC defenses
No. 21 Florida (7-2, 5-2 SEC) at No. 16 LSU (6-3, 4-2, No. 24 CFP), 1 p.m. (SEC Network)
Former Purdue QBs Appleby, Etling reunite in SEC matchup
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Former Purdue quarterbacks Austin Appleby and Danny Etling will have a famous alum watching from afar Saturday.
New Orleans Saints star Drew Brees will tune it to see Appleby and Etling square off when No. 21 Florida plays at 16th-ranked LSU, a game that will help decide the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division.
Florida can clinch SEC East with win vs. LSU on Saturday
Here are some things to watch in Week 12 of the Southeastern Conference football season:
No. 22 Florida tops South Carolina 20-7 in Muschamp’s return
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — When they shook hands after the game, Florida coach Jim McElwain thanked South Carolina's Will Muschamp for what he left behind in Gainesville.
On defense anyway.
It didn't need to be said. After all, it was evident on the field.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Austin Appleby didn’t look like a backup quarterback, at least not in the first half against South Carolina.
Pressed into action due to a shoulder injury suffered by starter Luke Del Rio, Appleby picked the Gamecocks apart in the first half Saturday and spotted the Gators to a 14-0 lead over USC at the break. The graduate transfer from Purdue completed 11 of 14 attempts for 147 yards, and a pair of touchdowns.
South Carolina leaves its nest on a three-game winning streak, and will find that all is not so sunny at the flagship school of the Sunshine State. Florida was manhandled at Arkansas, has a number of players hurt, and the offense — exactly what Jim McElwain was hired to fix — is sputtering. The grumbling around Gainesville is growing in volume, and the Gamecocks are facing the Gators at the perfect time.
On the Beat: Gators could take redshirt off freshman QB against Gamecocks
COLUMBIA — Austin Appleby will start at quarterback for Florida against South Carolina, but the Gamecocks could also see a true freshman behind center who hasn’t played this year.
McElwain: No. 22 Florida to start Appleby vs South Carolina
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida coach Jim McElwain says quarterback Austin Appleby will start against South Carolina on Saturday.
McElwain made the announcement Wednesday on the weekly Southeastern Conference coaches' call, saying Appleby will start when the 22nd-ranked Gators (6-2, 4-2 SEC) host the Gamecocks (5-4, 3-4). Starter Luke Del Rio will be out "a while" with a right shoulder injury.
On the Beat: USC expecting same Florida offense, even without QB Luke Del Rio
COLUMBIA — Forget the opposing head coach. When South Carolina visits Florida, the most notable figures on the sideline might be the Gators in street clothes.
No. 19 Florida, No. 14 Tennessee meet in SEC East showdown
Here are some things to watch in the Southeastern Conference during the fourth week of the season:
No. 19 Florida turns to ex-Purdue QB Appleby against Vols
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida quarterback Austin Appleby has starting experience, even in hostile environments.
More valuable for the fifth-year senior: His defense leads the nation in points (4.7), yards (129.7) and sacks (16). So the 19th-ranked Gators might not need Appleby to do too much at No. 14 Tennessee on Saturday.
Del Rio likely out, No. 23 Florida blanks North Texas 32-0
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — No. 23 Florida likely will be without quarterback Luke Del Rio against Southeastern Conference rival and 15th-ranked Tennessee next week.
Del Rio injured his left knee in a 32-0 victory against North Texas on Saturday night, a huge setback for the Gators and their championship hopes.
Florida names Luke Del Rio starting QB for season opener
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida has named journeyman Luke Del Rio its starting quarterback for the Sept. 3 season opener against UMass.
Coach Jim McElwain made the announcement Thursday, a day before the team's second scrimmage. He gave Del Rio the nod over former Purdue starter Austin Appleby.
Florida confident passing game will be improved
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Florida won 10 games and advanced to the Southeastern Conference title game despite a sputtering passing offense that fell apart during the season's most important games.
Thanks to four new quarterbacks — including two transfers and two freshmen — coach Jim McElwain is confident he'll find somebody who can fling the ball downfield.
"Here's the good thing — we've really got good arm talent," McElwain said. "I'm excited about being able to...