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So far, Gators’ Luke Del Rio has replaced Will Grier just fine

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These days, they talk about the Gators.

Is Florida as good as it’s No. 10 ranking in the AP Poll? Is anyone’s defense any better? Do the Gators have enough offense to get past this streak of games against Arkansas, South Carolina, LSU and FSU?

One thing you don’t hear, however, is talk about yesterday’s hero, Will Grier.

He is gone and pretty much forgotten. In his place is another young quarterback, Luke Del Rio. And despite the offensive struggles of the Gators, that’s been a fairly good swap so far.

Grier left Florida last year when the team was 6-0 and ranked No. 11 in the country. Del Rio has the team 6-1 and No. 10. Grier had a quarterback rating of 145.6. Del Rio’s isn’t quite as high at 124.5, but it will do. Grier had thrown for eight touchdown passes. In five games, Del Rio has thrown for eight.

Still, the Gators would love a little more offense. They’re only 75th in the country, and a spot where spotty offense catches up to a team. Bowling Green, for instance, is 77th in the nation, and they’re 1-6. Miami is 70th and riding a four-game losing streak. Iowa State is 80th and 1-6.

That’s how good the Gators’ defense (second in the nation) has been. It shortens fields, and it wears down the opponent. Florida has allowed one touchdown or less in all but two games.

This week, the challenges get harder as Florida plays against Arkansas.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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