Notebook: Florida Gators preparing for Vanderbilt

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.

Injury Report

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.”

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC