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Jaguars hold off Buccaneers in Gray's first start

Oct 29, 2007 - 5:10 PM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- While it was hardly pretty, Quinn Gray will remember his first career NFL start.

Gray completed only seven passes, but one was an 8-yard touchdown to Matt Jones early in the fourth quarter that lifted the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 24-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia, who threw his first three interceptions of the season, appeared to keep the Buccaneers' hopes alive in the final minute with a fourth-down completion to Ike Hilliard inside Jacksonville's 35.

But Hilliard was popped by cornerback Rashean Mathis, jarring the ball loose. It bounced into the hands of fellow defensive back Reggie Nelson for a game-clinching interception.

It was Tampa Bay's first home loss of the season.

"All the coaches, the players in that locker room, I really felt like you just witnessed a team empty their bucket," Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said. "This is a team that hadn't been beaten here at home."

A former star at Florida A&M, Gray completed only 7-of-16 passes for 100 yards, but it was enough for the Jaguars (5-2) to bounce back from last week's disappointing 29-7 defeat to the Indianapolis Colts.

"It wasn't the cleanest game I have ever coached, but certainly one of the most satisfying victories in terms of getting a complete effort," Del Rio added.

Last week, Gray was ineffective in relief of starter David Garrard, who suffered an ankle injury and is expected to miss at least two weeks.

After taking over for Garrard, Gray completed 9-of-24 for just 56 yards and two interceptions, but Del Rio kept things simple against the Buccaneers (4-4).

"That (Gray) was a winning edge for them," Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said. "He did, I'm sure, exactly what they wanted him to do."

Garcia, who completed 19-of-41 passes for 267 yards, rallied Tampa Bay from a 17-3 deficit in the second quarter.

"He made some plays," Gruden said. "I'm sure from his perspective there were maybe some play there that he normally makes that he didn't tonight. That's part of football."

The Buccaneers grabbed a 20-17 lead on Michael Bennett's 19-yard TD run early in the third quarter, then made it 23-17 on Matt Bryant's 42-yard field goal.

Fred Taylor carried 24 times for 68 yards and Maurice Jones-Drew added 48 yards on 10 carries as the Jaguars depended on their running game.

"As a back, you definitely want as many carries as you can possibly handle," Taylor said. "At the same time, you don't want them to be suicidal carries. You want to kind of mix it up a little bit."

Garcia made up for throwing his first interception since December 25, 2006, by connecting with Joey Galloway on a 58-yard touchdown, sparking the Bucs' rally from a 14-point second-quarter deficit.

With the Bucs trailing 17-3, Garcia hit Galloway on a 58-yard TD and Bryant added a 22-yard field goal 15 seconds before halftime to tie the contest.

The Jaguars played conservatively at the start, running on their first 14 plays from scrimmage and 15 of their 16 first-quarter snaps.

"I didn't realize it was 14 in a row," Del Rio said. "I know we wanted to come out and be very deliberate and run at them. And we did that."

The only pass was a dump-off by Gray to Jones-Drew, who scampered 15 yards to the 1. LaBrandon Toefield scored on the next play, giving Jacksonville a 7-3 lead.

Jacksonville increased its lead to 17-3 when Aaron Glenn returned Garcia's interception 28 yards for a touchdown midway through the second quarter.

"I tried to make the play," Glenn said. "That's what corners do. Sometimes you make them and sometimes you don't. I'm just fortunate to have been able to make the play at the time."






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    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 10:23 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 7 10 0 7 24
    TAMPA BAY 3 10 10 0 23 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 44 YD, 7:34. Drive: 8
    plays, 44 yards in 3:45. Key plays:
    Garcia 21-yard run on 3rd-and-6 to
    Jacksonville 45; Garcia 10-yard run
    plus 15-yard unsportsmanlike
    conduct pen

    Oct 28 7:17 PM
  • 135
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 7:17 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 7:14 PM
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    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 6:56 PM


  • NFL
    TD JAC
    MATT JONES 8 YD PASS FROM QUINN GRAY
    (JOHN CARNEY KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 24
    TAMPA BAY 23 11:37 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 6:42 PM


  • NFL
    JACKSONVILLE 17
    TAMPA BAY 23 0:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR
    JAC BALL ON JAC 47 YD LINE
    1ST AND 10

    Oct 28 6:30 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 42 YD
    JACKSONVILLE 17
    TAMPA BAY 23 0:05 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 6:29 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    MICHAEL BENNETT 19 YD RUN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 17
    TAMPA BAY 20 3:19 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 6:19 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 7 10 17
    TAMPA BAY 3 10 13 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 44 YD, 7:34. Drive: 8
    plays, 44 yards in 3:45. Key plays:
    Garcia 21-yard run on 3rd-and-6 to
    Jacksonville 45; Garcia 10-yard run
    plus 15-yard unsportsmanlike
    conduct

    Oct 28 5:35 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 22 YD
    JACKSONVILLE 17
    TAMPA BAY 13 0:15 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 5:33 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    JOEY GALLOWAY 58 YD PASS FROM JEFF GARCIA
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 17
    TAMPA BAY 10 5:45 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 5:07 PM


  • NFL
    TD JAC
    AARON GLENN 28 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (JOHN CARNEY KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 17
    TAMPA BAY 3 7:09 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 5:02 PM


  • NFL
    FG JAC
    JOHN CARNEY 41 YD
    JACKSONVILLE 10
    TAMPA BAY 3 7:25 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 4:58 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 7 7
    TAMPA BAY 3 3 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 44 YD, 7:34. Drive: 8
    plays, 44 yards in 3:45. Key plays:
    Garcia 21-yard run on 3rd-and-6 to
    Jacksonville 45; Garcia 10-yard run
    plus 15-yard unsportsmanlike
    cond

    Oct 28 4:39 PM


  • NFL
    TD JAC
    LABRANDON TOEFIELD 1 YD RUN
    (JOHN CARNEY KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    TAMPA BAY 3 1:31 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 4:32 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 44 YD
    JACKSONVILLE 0
    TAMPA BAY 3 7:26 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Jaguars vs. BuccaneersOct 28 4:19 PM
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