Gators announce Austin Appleby will start at QB vs. Gamecocks

Austin Appleby completed 42 of 67 passes for 440 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception, in two starts for the Florida Gators earlier this season.

Reinhold Matay/Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida coach Jim McElwain says quarterback Austin Appleby will start against South Carolina on Saturday.

McElwain made the announcement Wednesday on the weekly Southeastern Conference coaches’ call, saying Appleby will start when the 22nd-ranked Gators (6-2, 4-2 SEC) host the Gamecocks (5-4, 3-4). Starter Luke Del Rio will be out "a while" with a right shoulder injury.

McElwain adds that "we’re not afraid" to play Feleipe Franks, a 6-foot-6 freshman who has yet to make his college debut.

Appleby completed 42 of 67 passes for 440 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception, in two starts in place of Del Rio earlier this season. Appleby was at his best in the first half at Tennessee, but he has been fairly pedestrian in six quarters since.

McElwain says if "we need a spark, Feleipe could be that guy. Who knows?"