Thursday, September 07, 2000

QB Class of '99 force in 2000


Akili will join 2nd-year starters Sunday

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Quarterback Class of 1999 has arrived.

        First-rounders Tim Couch of Cleveland, Donovan McNabb of Philadelphia, Duante Culpepper of Minnesota and Cade McNown of Chicago and second-rounder Shuan King of Tampa Bay were a combined 87 of 143 (60.8 percent) for 937 yards and five touchdowns and three interceptions in Sunday's openers.

        They also rushed a combined 34 times for 242 yards — a 7.1 average — and five touchdowns.

        Cincinnati's Akili Smith, who didn't play because the Bengals had the bye week, and Couch will square off Sunday when the Browns visit Paul Brown Stadium.

        “It definitely gets you fired up when you see McNabb go into Dallas and pull out a big victory,” Smith said. “Culpepper rushed for three touchdowns. McNown lost but had big yardage.”

        Said Couch, “The guys are doing really good. Duante has a good supporting cast. Cade's playing well in Chicago. Akili hasn't played this year, but I'm sure he's going to do well.”

        The Class of '99 is the most reknowned class since the 1983 crop of John Elway, Dan Marino, Tony Eason, Jim Kelly, Ken O'Brien and Todd Blackledge.

        Here's how the Class of '99 did Sunday:

        ăCouch: 19-of-27, 160 yards passing, 32 yards rushing.

        ăMcNabb: 16-of-28, 130 yards passing, one touchdown passing, one touchdown rushing, two interceptions.

        ăCulpepper: 13-of-23, 190 yards passing, 73 yards rushing, three rushing touchdowns, one interception.

        ăMcNown: 27-of-41, 290 yards passing, two touchdown passes, 87 yards rushing, one rushing touchdown.

        ăKing: 12-of-24, 167 yards passing, 21 yards rushing, one touchdown pass.

       



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