Can’t find a room in Athens for Game Day? Fans are finding an alternative to cramped hotels where you can spread out and feel at home! Party with all your buddies in a real home for the weekend.

Athens football rentals

Just one of the many options for Game Day and weekend house rentals

(No, they don’t rent footballs! ) Here’s what these guys have to offer: “Athens Football Rentals provides a service to UGA fans coming into town for a football game needing a place to stay. We have a ton of apartments and homes available for weekend rentals right around Sanford Stadium. By renting a home, you and your group can spend the weekend together all under one roof. Don’t pay for multiple hotel rooms, just rent a house for your whole party! Renting with Athens Football Rentals provides comfort, proximity, and a great atmosphere for “Dawg” fans! To help promote rentals for the upcoming season, we are offering renters a $100 discount toward any rental on AthensFootballRentals.com! Use the code GODAWGS2014 to redeem this offer.”

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ATHENS — Lorenzo Carter spent a good deal of his summer being told to be humble, which is generally a good problem to have.

He arrived at Georgia as the most-hyped member of the football team’s freshman class. He was a Parade All-American, a USA Today first-teamer and a five-star prospect.

The hype didn’t go away when preseason practice began, as reports from teammates and coaches quickly made it apparent that the outside linebacker was having the expected impact.

carter

Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter (7) at practice August 1. JASON VORHEES — jvorhees@macon.com

“They call his name a lot,” fellow freshman Malkom Parrish said.

There appear to be two sides to Georgia’s latest defensive phenom. On the field, he uses his blend of size (6-foot-6 and 230 pounds) and athleticism to be a force during drills. He even got in a tussle with junior offensive tackle John Theus.

“You have to carry yourself with a certain swagger,” Carter said. “I feel like if you’re ranked a 1-star or a 5-star, if you don’t have that swagger about yourself, then you won’t be very productive.”

Off the field, however, Carter has gained a different reputation, the kind that would make Leo and Lisa Carter proud.

“My parents always told me, ‘When you first get somewhere, just sit back and observe. Don’t go anywhere and run your mouth,’ ” Carter said Tuesday. “I came here, and I’m still here just sitting and observing, watching what everybody else does, just seeing where I fit in and my place at UGA.”

Right now, his place appears to be on the field, despite established depth at his position.

Jordan Jenkins is a junior with 10 career sacks. Leonard Floyd is a sophomore who led Georgia with 6.5 sacks last year. Both are primed for big seasons and candidates to be in the NFL.

But Carter might just be too good to not play. So whether it’s subbing for Jenkins or Floyd or playing with them in a different alignment, look for Carter to be out there at some point against Clemson on Aug. 30.

“(Defensive coordinator Jeremy) Pruitt came in with a lot of great schemes, and I feel like there’s a chance that they put a lot of speed on the field,” Carter said. “And if I’m doing what I need to do, Coach is gonna see that I have a lot of speed, and if he feels like it, he can put me in.”

That was the analytical side of Carter, a Norcross product. His “nasty streak” during practices — as Theus put it — apparently hasn’t alienated teammates. Even Theus went on to call him a “nice kid.”

Carter resembles Floyd (6-4, 220) in size. But Carter is closer to Jenkins in personality. Both are outgoing and talkative.

“People say me and Jordan are the weird ones,” Carter said.

Jenkins was a major recruit himself three years ago, so he knows what it’s like to deal with pressure and expectations. Carter is handling it just fine, he said.

“He’s got a real laid-back personality,” Jenkins said, smiling. “But I don’t think he lets it pressure him. I just think he’s ready to go out there, learn the defense, and just get in the rotation, and do what’s expected and do what’s asked of him.”

 

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Georgia Bulldogs season preview

Previewing the 2014 season for the Georgia Bulldogs

2013 record: 8-5 (5-3 SEC). Lost 24-19 to Nebraska in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl.

Key losses: QB Aaron Murray, TE Arthur Lynch, DL Garrison Smith, S Josh Harvey-Clemons, S Tray Matthews, CB Shaq Wiggins, OT Kenarious Gates, OG Chris Burnette, OG Dallas Lee, DL Jonathan Taylor.

Key returnees: RB Todd Gurley, LB Ramik Wilson, LB Amarlo Herrera, OLB Leonard Floyd, OLB Jordan Jenkins, OT John Theus, CB Damian Swann, WR Malcolm Mitchell, WR Chris Conley, DE Ray Drew, C David Andrews, PK Marshall Morgan, WR Justin Scott-Wesley.

Instant impact newcomers: OLB Lorenzo Carter, RB Sony Michel, RB Nick Chubb, CB Malkom Parrish, DT Lamont Gaillard, DB Shattle Fenteng, TE Jeb Blazevich.

After leading the Bulldogs with 6.5 sacks as a freshman last season, big things are expected of Leonard Floyd in 2014.
Breakout player: Floyd. The lanky outside linebacker led Georgia with 6.5 sacks in 2013 and added 9.5 tackles for loss as a freshman. He’ll benefit from having a full year in Georgia’s conditioning program and could become a star in his second season.

Most important game: Sept. 13 at South Carolina. Two of the favorites in the SEC East will meet early in the season in Columbia, where the Gamecocks haven’t lost since 2011. They’ve beaten Georgia in their last two trips to Williams-Brice Stadium, including a 35-7 thrashing in 2012. The margin for error is typically narrow within the division, so the winner of this one will be the early team in the East driver’s seat.

Biggest question mark: The secondary is easily Georgia’s biggest area of concern. The Bulldogs’ pass defense was spotty at best in 2013, and the offseason departures of three regulars has left plenty of personnel questions. Coach Mark Richt kicked two starting safeties — Harvey-Clemons and Matthews — off the team, and cornerback Wiggins transferred to Louisville, so there is plenty of playing time available. Swann’s presence is big at cornerback, and converted running back J.J. Green was impressive in the spring, but junior college transfer Fenteng and Parrish will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact in August.

Upset special: Oct. 11 at Missouri. This could be a tricky game that might not get as much attention as it deserves with matchups against Clemson, South Carolina, Florida and Auburn also on Georgia’s schedule. The defending SEC East champs lost a ton of firepower, so Mizzou seems likely to take a step backward. But it’s a long road trip that kicks off a stretch of more than a month when the Bulldogs won’t play at home once — and it could easily become a loss if Georgia doesn’t have its act together.

Key stat: 36.7. The average score of a Georgia game was 36.7 to 29.0 in 2013. Even if what was an inexperienced defense improves this fall, the Bulldogs will still likely rely on their star-studded offense. They might need to keep scoring at that prolific clip, which is somewhat uncertain with three longtime starting offensive linemen to replace, to allow time for the defense and their new set of coaches to develop some continuity.

Team’s top Twitter follows: The Bulldogs have some good choices here. Seeing as how he’s never started a game, it might seem surprising that senior offensive lineman Watts Dantzler (@WattsDantzler) has 12,000 Twitter followers. But he’s a natural-born entertainer who has a nationwide following that grew substantially when he live tweeted a harrowing spring break trip back to Athens on a bus. Another good pick is tight ends coach John Lilly (@JohnLillyUGA), who is a much more creative on Twitter than the typical coach. Lastly, Conley (@_Flight_31) regularly updates his 27,400 followers on his latest film exploits; he produced and starred in a well-received “Star Wars” tribute film over the summer and has started work on a new movie in recent weeks.

Preseason predictions:

ESPN Stats & Info: 9.06 wins

Bovada over-under: 9.5 wins

Our take: Georgia was better than an eight-win team last season, but the Bulldogs were absolutely decimated by injuries to key players like Mitchell, Gurley, Scott-Wesley, tailback Keith Marshall and eventually Murray. If new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt can get things straight on his side of the ball, the ceiling is extremely high for this team. The offense has an impressive array of talent surrounding senior quarterback Hutson Mason and should be difficult to contain. If the Bulldogs open with a win against Clemson at Sanford Stadium, this could easily become a 10-2 or 9-3 season where Georgia is once again in the thick of the East race.

 

http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/96474/georgia-bulldogs-season-preview

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Georgia’s Rome not re-built in four days

ATHENS - Jay Rome’s progress after foot surgery is becoming an early issue to watch at Georgia preseason practice.

The junior tight end admitted Saturday that he wasn’t quite 100 percent, and was “a little bit rusty.” But he was also able to practice each day, including Monday, a day after having to be looked at by the athletic trainer.

Tight ends coach John Lilly seemed a bit down about Rome’s progress, saying his first-teamer “hasn’t practiced much,” being able to go full-speed in some drills but then having to go slower or sit out others.

“It makes it hard to evaluate a guy,” Lilly said. “But it’s a process. We’re not playing tomorrow.”

It’s not even a matter of Rome’s surgically-repaired toe. Rome was off his feet for more than six months after the surgery, so his conditioning was affected.

“Depending on what part of practice you see him … you have to be a little bit concerned with his conditioning and how he’s going to be when we play in less than a month,” Lilly said. “But if he’s down it’s like anything else, it gives other guys an opportunity.”

Redshirt freshman Jordan Davis has been getting the most reps. Freshman Jeb Blazevich has picked up the offense very quickly, according to Lilly. And then there’s Quayvon Hicks, the former fullback who is now in the H-back role (along with Blazevich). Hicks is continuing to adjust to the new position, but used the time between the spring and August very well, and Lilly seemed pleased with his progress.

“I really like his energy level out there,” Lilly said. “He’s a guy that other guys can kind of feed off of.”

Punter update

It still appears a close competition between junior Collin Barber and senior walk-on Adam Erickson for the punter job. Erickson finished last season as the main punter, after Barber suffered through an inconsistent year.

Lilly still has the punting unit under the revised special teams coaching setup.

“The great thing is you’ve got two guys that you feel very comfortable with,” Lilly said. “They’ve both been in the heat of it before and both have performed well, at different times. I’m kind of excited to see how it plays out.”

 

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