Five Minute Guide to '99
These Dawgs'll hunt if they can surround their young quarterback with some talent
The day after that heart-to-heart, Carter told the Cubs he was staying in Athens for the summer, and what a summer it has been. Carter dropped 17 pounds and is running the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds, .12 of a second faster than in '98. "I'm in the best shape of my life," says the 21-year-old. "I felt overweight and slow last season. That was because playing baseball didn't allow me time to work out as much. But now that I'm only focusing on football, the sky is the limit on what I can do."
What Carter could do this season is contend for the Heisman Trophy. Carter's biggest assets are his scrambling ability, vital in a conference full of aggressive defensive ends who can run like safeties, and his accuracy on long throws. He'll need to display both skills -- and every other talent he possesses -- in big games at Tennessee on Oct. 9 and against Florida at Jacksonville three weeks later if the Dawgs are to end their 16-year SEC title drought. "We're on the verge of taking our program to the next level," says Donnan, now in his fourth season at Georgia. "But we'll have to play better in the pressure games."
The Bulldogs also will have to find replacements on offense for both of their tackles, their top four receivers and their No. 1 running back. The hope in Athens is that junior flanker Michael Greer and sophomore tailback Jasper Sanks, a highly touted recruit who was a flop as a freshman, can take some of the heat off Carter. "I've been practicing with our wideouts and runners every day this summer, and I know there won't be much of a drop from last season," says Carter. "We don't have much experience, but we have it in the right places."
The defense has six starters -- including all three linebackers -- from last year's team. The unit is anchored by Butkus Award candidate Orantes Grant, who led the team with 120 tackles. "Last year we ran fewer plays than any team in the league," says Donnan. "We need to turn that around by creating turnovers. If we can accomplish that and if we can get a strong supporting cast for Quincy, we should be O.K." O.K., yes. Conference champs, no.
-- Lars Anderson
1998 record: 9-3 (6-2, 3rd in SEC East)
Oct. 9 at Tennessee
Oct. 30 vs. Florida
A weak nonconference schedule will prove to be fool's gold. Georgia could match last year's 9-3 record; improving upon it is unlikely.
Five Minute Guide to '99
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.