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Luke Del Rio’s return could spark sleepy Florida offense

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Luke Del Rio could play this weekend for the Florida Gators. As a Gator fan might say “it’s about time.”

Del Rio has missed two games with a sprained knee. In one of them, the Gators blew a 21-point lead to Tennessee. In the second, the Gators won only 13-6 over Vanderbilt.

Florida has fallen to 77th in college football in total offense, 74th in scoring offense, even though Tennessee is the only quality opponent the Gators have played.

“Luke, he’ll go some today, he’ll go more tomorrow and Wednesday, we’ll see exactly where and how much that swells, where the pain is and where the stability is,” coach Jim McElwain said. “He’ll get some reps with the ones, obviously Austin (Appleby) will and that will be something we’ll decide later in the week.

“This is something I know Luke had been targeting a little bit, so his mindset is he’s going to play. That’s good, that’s what you want, but know this, I won’t put him out there (if he’s not ready). I’m just not going to do it, so we’ll know more at the end of the week.”

Del Rio led the Gators to a 3-0 start and threw for 762 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions. His 320 passing yards against Kentucky were the most by a UF quarterback in an SEC game since 2004.

The Gators could use all of their parts. They have to play Arkansas, Georgia and FSU.

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 garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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