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Tennessee Titans (0-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
Friday, August 17th, 2012 • 6:30pm CDT • Raymond James Stadium • Tampa, FL • TV: WKRN
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (0-1) continue the preseason this week at Tampa Bay, traveling to face the Buccaneers (1-0) at Raymond James Stadium (capacity 65,908). Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30pm CDT on Friday, August 17th.
The game will be televised regionally on the Titans Preseason TV Network, including flagship WKRN-Channel 2 in Nashville. Cory Curtis will handle play-by-play duties, while former Titans running back Eddie George and former Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck will provide analysis. Dawn Davenport will report from the sidelines.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, color commentator Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
The game will be broadcasted locally on 1400am WJZM.
Last Week At Seattle
The Titans began the preseason last week with a trip to the Seattle Seahawks. After rallying from a 14-point deficit in the second half, they watched the Seahawks score 10 unanswered points and pull away for a 27-17 victory.
Reserve running back Darius Reynaud provided the Titans a big lift in the second half, scoring the team’s only two touchdowns. First, he dove to the pylon at the conclusion of a 21-yard touchdown run. Then, only minutes later, the 2012 free agent signee scored on an 85-yard punt return.
Former Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck started the game for the Titans at quarterback. In limited work, he completed five of nine pass attempts for 45 yards and was victimized by two interceptions.
Second-year signal caller Jake Locker, formerly of the University of Washington, played the remainder of the first half. He attempted 13 passes with seven completions for 80 yards with no interceptions.
Defensively, the Titans recorded a pair of takeaways and sacks. Linebackers Colin McCarthy and Zac Diles each posted interceptions, and second-year defensive tackles Karl Klug and Zach Clayton notched sacks.
The Buccaneers, who finished 4-12 in 2011, are spearheaded by a new coaching staff, including head coach Greg Schiano. Schiano has spent the previous 12 years as the head coach for Rutgers University, where he led the Scarlet Knights to six bowl appearances and five bowl victories.
Three members of the Titans played under Schiano at Rutgers: wide receiver Kenny Britt, cornerback Jason McCourty and linebacker Kevin Malast.
Last week the Buccaneers traveled to Miami and impressed with a 20-7 victory. LeGarrette Blount and Doug Martin scored on rushing touchdowns, and Kai Forbath added a pair of field goals in the win.
Blount originally signed with the Titans as a rookie free agent in 2010. He was acquired off waivers by Tampa Bay at the start of his rookie year and has gone on to lead the Bucs in rushing in each of his first two seasons.
At quarterback, the Buccaneers are led by Josh Freeman, a former Kansas State star now in his fourth season. He has missed only one start in the last two years and eclipsed 3,400 passing yards in both of those campaigns.
Titans-Buccaneers Series At A Glance
Titans-Buccaneers Preseason Series
A Titans victory Would
What To Look For This Week
The Titans play their second consecutive game on the road to begin the preseason. After this week, the next time the Titans will be on the road is September 16th, when they travel to the San Diego Chargers in Week 2 of the regular season. In the meantime, they play the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints at home in the preseason, followed by a home game against the New England Patriots to open the regular season.
Titans Executive VP/General Manager Ruston Webster (1988?02) spent the majority of his professional life in Tampa Bay before reaching Tennessee. His tenure there included a 2005 season in which he served as director of player personnel.
Titans-Buccaneers Series History
There have been 10 all-time regular-season meetings between the Titans and Buccaneers. The Titans have won eight of the games in the series, which dates back to Tampa Bay’s expansion season of 1976. The Titans won five consecutive meetings from 1989 through 2003.
The Titans have hosted seven of the 10 meetings in the series. They have traveled to Tampa Bay for a regular season game on three occasions and just two times in Raymond James Stadium, which opened in 1998.
In the last meeting in Tampa Bay in 2007, the Buccaneers wrestled away a 13-10 victory over the Titans. They used a 43-yard field goal by Matt Bryant with 11 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to capture the win. Earlier in the game, Titans quarterback Vince Young suffered a leg injury, bringing on then-back-up Kerry Collins. Collins engineered an 86-yard, game-tying drive just prior to Tampa Bay’s clinching drive.
The most recent matchup between the Titans and Buccaneers was on November 27th, 2011 at LP Field. With three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck found wide receiver Damian Williams in the back of the end zone for the go-ahead score in an eventual 23-17 win. Running back Chris Johnson produced one of the best games of his career, gaining 190 yards on 23 carries (8.3 avg.). It was the third-highest rushing yardage total in his four-year career, and the 13th-highest rushing number in franchise history.
Defensively, the Titans forced five turnovers in the cold, rainy conditions, including an interception by then-rookie middle linebacker Colin McCarthy and four fumble recoveries.
Titans-Buccaneers – The Last Meeting
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17 at Tennessee Titans 23
On a rainy day at LP Field, the Titans got 190 rushing yards from Chris Johnson and a late touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck to Damian Williams to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-17.
With rain falling for most of the game, the teams combined for nine turnovers—five by the Buccaneers and four by the Titans. The Titans recovered four Tampa Bay fumbles and intercepted a Josh Freeman pass, while the Titans fumbled the ball away two times and lost it twice on Matt Hasselbeck interceptions.
However, a clutch play from Hasselbeck put the Titans in front with three minutes remaining in the game. After the Titans took over at their own 20-yard line, trailing 17-13, Johnson produced a 34-yard run. Tennessee then faced a fourth-and-goal at the two-yard line, when Hasselbeck found Williams in the back of the end zone for the go-ahead score.
The Titans then got an interception by linebacker Colin McCarthy, and on the ensuing Titans series, which included a 24-yard run by Johnson, the Buccaneers were forced to use all three timeouts before Rob Bironas booted a 38-yard field goal with less than two minutes to play.
Needing a touchdown, Freeman drove the Tampa Bay offense downfield. But on a fourth-and-one play at the Tennessee 25-yard line, Freeman mishandled the snap and was tackled by defensive lineman Jason Jones short of the first down to seal the victory.
In the second quarter, Titans defensive end Dave Ball knocked the ball out of the hands of Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman on a sack. The Titans needed a 20-yard pass from Hasselbeck to Williams to convert a third-and-17, setting up a Rob Bironas’ 31-yard field goal.
The Titans were looking to add to their lead late in the first half, only to provide a window for the Buccaneers to tie the game. With less than two minutes on the clock, running back Javon Ringer caught a screen pass from Hasselbeck, but Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber knocked the ball loose from behind. Safety Tanard Jackson recovered the ball for the Bucs, and six plays later, Freeman completed a three-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams.
The teams exchanged fumbles to start the third quarter. On the Titans’ second drive of the half, they faced a first-and-25 after a personal foul penalty. Hasselbeck threw to wide receiver Nate Washington across the middle, but cornerback Aqib Talib intercepted the pass and raced 27 yards for a touchdown and a 17-10 Buccaneers lead.
The Titans defense forced another fumble later in the third quarter, when defensive tackle Jurrell Casey pulled the ball away from Blount. However, for the third time in the game, the Titans failed to score off a turnover and were forced to punt.
The Titans cut into the lead early in the fourth quarter. Anthony Smith partially blocked a Michael Koenen punt, which went 30 yards downfield. The Titans then went 37 yards on nine plays before Bironas made a 52-yard field goal to cut the Tampa Bay lead to 17-13. That set the stage for Hasselbeck’s game-winning drive.
Topics104-5 The Zone, Anthony Smith, Arizona Cardinals, Astrodome, Baylor, Chris Johnson, Cody Allison, Colin McCarthy, Cory Curtis, Damian Williams, Dan Pastorini, Darius Reynaud, Dave Ball, Dawn Davenport, Eddie George, Frank Wycheck, Houston Oilers, Jake Locker, Jason McCourty, Javon Ringer, Josh Freeman, Jurrell Casey, Kai Forbath, Kansas State, Karl Klug, Keith Bulluck, Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt, Kerry Collins, Larry Stone, LeGarrette Blount, LP field, Marc Mariani, Matt Bryant, Matt hasselbeck, Miami Dolphins, Mike Keith, Mike Munchak, Mike Williams, Nashville TN, Nate Washington, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, NFL Draft, Preseason, Raymond James Stadium, Rob Bironas, Ruston Webster, Rutgers, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Steve Spurrier, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa FL, Tennessee Titans, Titans, Tommie Campbell, University of Washington, Vince Young, WKRN-Channel 2, Zach Clayton
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