Luke Del Rio will start at QB for Florida vs. Vanderbilt

Luke Del Rio (R) threw for 1,358 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2016. (AP)

Florida is making a change at quarterback.

Gators coach Jim McElwain announced Monday that senior Luke Del Rio will get the start on Saturday against Vanderbilt. The decision comes after Del Rio led Florida’s comeback win over Kentucky over the weekend.

Del Rio came in for redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks late in the third quarter and helped the Gators overcome a 27-14 fourth quarter deficit and win 28-27. Del Rio threw an interception on his first possession and came up empty on a fourth down on his second try, but led the Gators on two fourth quarter touchdown drives to complete the comeback and extend UF’s winning streak over Kentucky to 31.

Del Rio threw the game-winning touchdown pass to an uncovered Freddie Swain with 43 seconds left to cap off a 13-play drive. He finished the game 9-of-14 for 74 yards.

Del Rio is no stranger to starting. He started the first six games of the 2016 season before knee and shoulder injuries ultimately ended his season. Overall in 2016, Del Rio threw for 1,358 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 56.7 percent of his passes.

The injuries kept him out through spring practice before he competed with Franks and Notre Dame graduate transfer Malik Zaire in preseason camp. Franks started the team’s first three games with inconsistent results while Zaire saw action in the opener against Michigan behind Franks.

For now, McElwain is going to go back to the veteran Del Rio as SEC play progresses, but don’t expect it to be Del Rio exclusively.



Florida, ranked No. 21 in the latest AP Poll, will kick off against Vanderbilt at noon Saturday.

– – – – – – –

Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

More from Yahoo Sports:
Army veteran goes against Steelers’ anthem plan
NFL star makes a joke, gets absurd penalty from refs
97-year-old WWII vet takes a knee for NFL players
Pat Forde: Why haven’t we seen anthem protests in college football?