Stable of backs carries the day in Florida's win over Vanderbilt


University of Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio was forced to leave Saturday's game against Vanderbilt after suffering a left shoulder injury.

Assuming Cleveland won't be available, the Gators will have to reconfigure an offense that also lost quarterback Luke Del Rio (collarbone) for the season against the Commodores. Feleipe Franks took over in relief of Del Rio on Saturday and helped seal the win.

"It's hard", said coach Jim McElwain, who confirmed Del Rio will undergo surgery Monday.

While the season-ending injury makes every college football fan feel for Del Rio and the Gators have gone 6-1 in games he's started over the past two years, it may not end up hurting Florida all that much.

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It was an unfortunate turn of events for Del Rio, who, prior the Vanderbilt game, last saw action on October 29, when he suffered a left shoulder injury versus the Georgia Bulldogs.

"I feel terrible for him", UF coach Jim McElwain said. LSU dropped the first set 25-15 but regrouped and came back to take the next three sets and claim the victory by scores of 25-17, 25-15 and 25-20. The Gators converted all three, the last with a 39-yard touchdown run that put the contest out of reach. Vanderbilt allows 242.2 rushing yards per game and 5.1 per carry. Normally, an early score is not that big a deal. But Zaire hasn't stood out as a backup, and Franks was benched late in the third quarter as Florida trailed Kentucky last Saturday. He looked better than he did in any of his previous three starts. Franks completed 10-of-14 passes for 185 yards and threw no touchdowns or interceptions.

The two teams swapped touchdowns in the first half to knot things at 14-all when Commodores kicker Tommy Openshaw banged a 42-yard field to break the tie with 43 seconds to go before intermission. But what do the Gators (3-1, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) have behind Cleveland? The game is the second of three in a row at home for the Gators and a rematch of last year's matchup in Baton Rouge that was scheduled for "The Swamp" but was moved to Tiger Stadium due to Hurricane Matthew threatening the Sunshine State. A second consecutive loss to Florida has them officially at the bottom of the SEC East.