GAINESVILLE, Fla. — What’s a rivalry week without fans trying to rattle players from the opposing team.
A Tennessee fan launched a GoFundMe page Sunday for the funeral of Florida quarterback Austin Appleby, who will make his first start as a Gator on Saturday in Knoxville. Another fan discovered a 2011 photo of Appleby dressed as terrorist Osama bin Laden.
Appleby didn’t take issue with those antics when asked Monday.
“They’re having a little bit of fun,” Appleby said. “I’d love to get my hands on the GoFundMe if it’s NCAA approved. If they can get me some cash, that’d be awesome. I can use it. I’m getting hungry, plus I can pay for freaking gas for my scooter. But no, it’s fun. It’s all good.”
Appleby took over for the injured Luke Del Rio last Saturday and led the Gators on a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown drives in their 32-0 win over North Texas. The graduate transfer now turns his focus to the Vols, but he knows Tennessee fans will do their best to distract him.
“It’s part of the SEC rivalry,” Appleby said. “It’s also a game week. The notifications are off, so not a whole lot of it is reaching me. It’s a lot of my friends’ comments and, ‘Hey, look what they did.’ It’s all cool. I’m excited about the opportunity to go play them though.”