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Bucs bombed by Batch and the Steelers 38-13

The Bucs learned the hard way Sunday about what it takes to win on a consistent basis in the NFL.

Charlie Batch and the Pittsburgh Steelers rolled into Tampa and laid a beating on the Bucs, topping them early and often walking out of Raymond James Stadium 38-13.

Batch, who was the 4th string QB for the Steelers, was about as good as any QB in week four, throwing for 186 yards on 12-of-17 passing for three TD’s and two picks.

The Bucs had a shot early to get the lead after they picked Batch off on the Steelers first drive. The Steelers tough D stopped them though, and they settled for a 40-yard Connor Barth field goal to make it 3-0.

It took the Steelers two more possessions to get going, as Batch found his favorite target in Wallace twice on long balls.

He and Wallace hooked up on a nifty 46-yard touchdown with 7:53 left in the first quarter to make it 7-3. The Bucs went on a long drive, which stalled late as they settled for another field goal to cut it to 7-6 early in the second quarter.

Batch went back to work, as on the next drive after three Rashard Mendenhall runs, he ran himself for 24 yards to the Bucs 24, then hit tight end Heath Miller for 21 yards to the 3. Mendenhall did the rest on the next play to make it 14-6.

After the Steelers got a turnover on the next Bucs possession after Mike Williams had the ball pop out of his hands, Batch went for the kill, going deep again for Wallace, and after CB Aquib Talib batted the ball, the Steelers wide out pulled it in for a 41-yard score to make it 21-6.

The team had one more long drive, starting at the 4:18 mark of the second quarter, the Steelers went from their own 21 to the end zone, as Batch hit Hines Ward with an 9-yard TD with :16 seconds left in the half to make it 28-6 at the half.

The second half saw Mendenhall go off, having some big runs as the team scored a field goal in the third quarter to go up 31-6, and then pull off a final big play on D in the fourth quarter to finally seal it.

On an attempted pass, Bucs QB Josh Freeman threw it on a screen Mike Williams, and James Harrison buried Williams, and Keisel, a defensive end, caught the ball and ran down the left sideline for the score on the first play of the fourth quarter for the 79-yard score to make it 38-6.

The Bucs got a late score from running back LaGarrette Blount to make the final 38-13. Blount, who played sparingly, had 27 yards on six carries, leading the team. The Bucs were held to 75 yards rushing, while the Steelers piled up 201 yards on the ground.

Freeman was 20-of-31 passing for just 184 yards with the interception. He also was sacked three times.

The Bucs, now 2-1, will be on the bye and be at Cincy on October 10th.

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