Originally created 10/25/98

UGA's Carter baffles Kentucky defense



LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A bag of ice smothering his shoulder and a smile emblazoned on his face, Quincy Carter took a seat under the concrete mass of Commonwealth Stadium.

As reporters surrounded him like moths to a night light, one got the feeling that Carter hadn't experienced such close encounters all afternoon on the turf above.

For 60 fantastic minutes, the freshman quarterback baffled Kentucky with his devastating mixture of passing and running in leading Georgia to a 28-26 victory.

"He keeps adding to the evidence that he's an incredible athlete," Bulldog offensive lineman Matt Stinchcomb said. "Some of those options, we didn't exactly knock everybody off the ball. He was breaking tackles left and right and made some tremendous plays for us."

Carter broke two runs of over 45 yards, including a scintillating 49-yard TD on the second play of the second quarter where he broke three tackles and rumbled through safety Jeff Zurcher.

Forget Champ Bailey. Here's your multi-dimensional player. Is there a position he can't play?

Carter closed 10-of-14 for 147 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and for the second time this season, Carter led the Bulldogs in rushing. In finishing with 114 yards on 14 carries, Carter produced the first 100-yard rushing outing of the season for the Bulldog.

With Georgia's other backs amassing just 71 yards on 23 attempts, Carter was really Georgia's only consistent threat out of the backfield.

"He really is a very gifted athlete," Georgia coach Jim Donnan said. "He's made our team a lot better, because he can get out of so many bad plays."

Kentucky tried to counter Georgia's offense with an aggressive man-to-man, the same one they have utilized in nearly every game this season.

The Bulldogs were prepared for it. They weren't going to let Carter sit back and absorb hit after hit the way LSU quarterback Herb Tyler did last week.

"We knew if they played man," Carter said. "the option was going to be a good play for us."

It worked all afternoon.

After falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter, Carter led the Bulldogs on four straight scoring drives to for a 28-20 lead, one they did not relinquish.

Carter hit Tony Small in stride on a 34-yard TD pass early in the third quarter for a 20-17 lead.

Then later in the quarter, he hit tight end Jermaine Wiggins with an 8-yard TD midway through the third quarter for the final margin.

"Having him play as well as he is with as little experience as he has is a tremendous plus for us," offensive tackle Matt Stinchcomb said. "He's making us a lot more effective."

Todd Graff covers college football for the Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3645 or tgraff@augustachronicle.com.