GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After reviewing Florida’s season-opener and his first career start, Gators quarterback Luke Del Rio said his assessment was the same as when he walked off the field Saturday night.
There were a handful of throws he wanted back and he reiterated again that the offense left points on the field by not finishing some promising drives, but overall he was encouraged by his debut.
“I’d say about a handful of throws here or there, I just missed a little bit,” he said Monday afternoon. “I thought (with) decision-making, I was pretty sound. Just a few things, just timing my feet with my eyes. It’s things that are correctable and we’re going to work on them this week.”
Del Rio completed 29-of-44 passes for 256 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in No. 25 Florida’s 24-7 win over Massachusetts.
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The offense scored only 10 points through the first three quarters, though, and had to settle for three Eddy Pineiro field goals.
Del Rio notched his first collegiate touchdown on a 12-yard pass to a wide open Antonio Callaway late in the first quarter, but the Gators didn’t find the end zone again until the fourth quarter when Brandon Powell turned a quick sideline pass into a 26-yard scoring play.
“We had long drives. We played like 77 plays. We just need to finish those drives, and we will,” Del Rio said.
The Gators had opened the game trying to go deep to Callaway on the first play, but Del Rio overthrew the pass a bit. Other than that, he didn’t attempt many passes downfield and head coach Jim McElwain highlighted the lack of explosive plays as a concern.
Overall, though, McElwain’s assessment of Del Rio remained positive after he had gone back through the film.
“Luke did all right. There was probably about six throws that I know he’d like back. He had four drops, I think,” he said. “… I thought he was good as far as not taking sacks. He did a good job of that. Threw it to our colored jersey and was pretty efficient for a first start. He literally got his feet wet, but I thought played pretty darn good. …
“A couple times he maybe cut it loose a little quick, had maybe a little more time but he was a little anxious. That first play I think Antonio could have set his angle a little bit and didn’t stick the route like was supposed to, but I don’t think he knew he could throw it that far either.”
Ryan Young is a Florida beat writer for SEC Country and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.