The No. 23 Florida Gators (3-1, 1-1 SEC) are looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season with a game against Vanderbilt this Saturday in Nashville. Florida will once again be without starting quarterback Luke Del Rio, who sprained his MCL in a win over North Texas.
Jim McElwain met with the media following Wednesday’s practice to give an update on where his team stands before this weekend.
Senior defensive lineman Joey Ivie had surgery on his thumb and will be out four to five weeks, according to McElwain.
Luke Del Rio (knee) practiced on Wednesday. The coaching staff wants to see how his knee responds on Thursday before they make an official decision on his playing status. Austin Appleby will start the game, with McElwain calling Del Rio “questionable.”
Tyler Jordan (eye) will be full contact for the first time this week on Thursday. He will make the trip to Nashville but right now he would only be used in an emergency situation.
Daniel McMillian (neck/trap) aggravated an injury but he should be able to play this week.
Quincy Wilson (groin) will be ready to play this week.
Need for focus
The Vanderbilt game comes on the heels of an emotional loss to Tennessee and a big time matchup against LSU. Florida needs to focus on the team they play this week if they don’t want to turn one loss into two.
“Don’t forget, no matter what you do every single day, you gotta take care of the now to help you in the future,” McElwain said. “That is being mentally focused on the detail that you have to do right now. Whether you come off a win or come off a loss, that’s a constant.”
The Gators’ main focus will be on running back Ralph Webb, a Gainesville native. Webb rushed for 118 yards, with most of that coming on a 74-yard touchdown run.
“He took one whatever 70 against us last year and ran by us all,” said McElwain. “So I don’t know if he was running home, I don’t know if his house was that direction or what. But the son of a gun was going faster than our guys.”