The SEC matchup of former Purdue quarterbacks probably wouldn’t have happened had Florida and LSU played as scheduled in Gainesville on Oct. 8.

Gators starting quarterback Luke Del Rio was on target to return from a knee injury that weekend, sending graduate transfer Austin Appleby, who played parts in three seasons at Purdue, back to the bench after two starts. However, Hurricane Matthew intervened, and then Del Rio went out for the season with a shoulder injury in the game against Arkansas two weeks ago.

All of a sudden, the Boilermaker Bowl in Cajun Country is back in play: Appleby vs. LSU quarterback Danny Etling, another former Purdue quarterback, at Tiger Stadium on Saturday in Baton Rouge, La., when the 21st-ranked Gators (7-2, 5-2) face No. 16 LSU (6-3, 4-2) at 1 p.m. (SEC Network).

“It’s definitely neat for us, just kind of our paths and how things didn’t go necessarily as we would’ve wanted them to go at Purdue,” Appleby said after the South Carolina game. “Nevertheless, how thankful we are and how fortunate we are that we’ve been able to find homes. It still hasn’t been easy. We’ve been able to get an opportunity and a chance to go play, and go play at a high level and have a chance to win a championship — both of us.”

Appleby and Etling are coming off efficient performances in conference victories on Saturday. Appleby was 17 of 21 for 201 yards and two touchdowns in the Gators’ 20-7 victory over South Carolina, and Etling was 10 of 16 for 157 yards in the Tigers’ 38-10 rout of Arkansas.

Appleby did have two turnovers (a fumble and an interception) while Etling played error-free ball and relied on running backs Derrius Guice (252 yards and two touchdowns, including a 96-yarder to

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