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Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio stars in his debut

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Steady, they hoped for.

Efficient, they wanted.

Promising, they pulled for.

But this?

University of Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio captured Gainesville by storm in his debut. Del Rio hit 29 of 44 passes for 258 yards to lead the team to surprisingly tough 24-7 win against Umass. Florida led only 10-7 going into the fourth quarter before pulling away.

“I thought Luke did a pretty good job,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “He took care of the ball, he put it where it’s supposed to be. I don’t know how many drops there were, but there were a couple in the first half that would have helped. … He scrambled a little bit. We’ve got to get out of the pocket a little more and get out and see. … He got flushed a couple of times, but he got rid of the ball when he needed to. I thought he played OK. He’ll play better, but you could see the sense of calm out there. There wasn’t a lot of panic. That’s crediting a good quarterback. His team believes in him.”

If Del Rio’s opener wasn’t enough, Eddie Pineiro kicked all three of his field goals.

Still, McElwain wasn’t happy.

As you watched the game, we’ve got a long way to go.”

“I’m not happy at all with the penalties, especially the three personal fouls. In one case their touchdown scoring drive was 35 yards of unforced errors by us. That’s not how you’re going to play winning football.”

Florida plays against Kentucky next week.


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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