Dolphins 15, Bucs 13
MIAMI (AP) _ The Miami Dolphins’ first team dominated the opening half, and Olindo Mare kicked his fifth field goal with nine seconds left to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 15-13 in an exhibition game Thursday night.
Mike Quinn, competing for the third-string quarterback job, moved Miami 44 yards in the final 1:03 to set up Mare’s game-winning kick, a 42-yarder. The Pro Bowl kicker finished 5-for-5, also scoring from 26, 21, 54 and 25 yards.
Tampa Bay’s reserves, helped by two long kickoff returns, rallied with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to take the lead.
Both teams are 1-1. They’ll meet in the regular season Dec. 10 in Miami.
The Dolphins’ first team played the opening half, rushing for 76 yards, converting six third downs and controlling the ball for more than 18 minutes. But they led only 6-0 at halftime because of two turnovers by Damon Huard, who threw an interception at the Bucs’ 12 and lost a fumble at their 23.
``We moved the ball,″ Huard said. ``We didn’t score points, and that’s a disappointment. We had turnovers, which are terrible.″
Huard was 10-for-17 for 101 yards with three sacks. Lamar Smith rushed for 72 yards in 17 carries, all in the first half.
``I was real happy with the running game, and I really liked what Lamar Smith did,″ coach Dave Wannstedt said.
The Dolphins twice used receiver Bert Emanuel at quarterback in third-and-short situations, and each time they picked up the first down. He handed off once and kept once for 2 yards.
Tampa Bay started slowly, receiving a delay of game penalty before kicking off to begin the game, and didn’t muster much offense until the final period.
The Bucs’ first-team offense was 0-for-5 on third down and struggled running the ball for the second consecutive week. Warrick Dunn managed just 18 yards in nine carries.
Shaun King played the first two quarters and went 9-for-13 for 83 yards, but he threw an interception to end the Bucs’ best threat of the half.
``We are playing very poorly right now,″ coach Tony Dungy said. ``It just wasn’t a good half of football.″
Tampa Bay lost two safeties to injury in the first half. John Lynch bruised his ribs and Dexter Jackson sprained his right ankle.
Miami cornerback Patrick Surtain left the game in the first half with bruised ribs.
Yo Murphy’s 51-yard kickoff return set up the Bucs’ first score, which came on a 17-yard pass from Eric Zeier to Kevin McLeod. Aaron Stecker returned a kickoff 78 yards, then scored on a 2-yard run with 3:50 left to put the Bucs ahead 13-12.
A mistake by Shevin Smith gave the Dolphins three points at the end of the first half. With 16 seconds left, Huard threw an alley-oop pass from midfield, and Smith tackled receiver Emanuel before the ball came down. The 48-yard pass interference penalty set up a field goal by Mare as time expired.
The biggest ovation from the crowd of 58,703 followed a 17-yard reception by Miami newcomer Thurman Thomas, long a thorn in the Dolphins’ side with the Buffalo Bills.