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TAMPA, Fla. – Mike Evans made the biggest play in his first home game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Unfortunately, for him it didn't end well.
Matt Moore directed two straight touchdown drives in the Miami Dolphins' 20-14 preseason victory over the Bucs on Saturday night.
But it was Evans' fumble that turned the game in the Dolphins' favor.
Evans, the Bucs' first-round pick from Texas A&M, caught a short pass from Mike Glennon in the second quarter and after breaking a tackle, sprinted down the sideline toward a 42-yard touchdown which could have given the Bucs a 14-3 lead.
After a review of the original touchdown call, however, it was ruled that Miami cornerback Brent Grimes had punched the ball out of Evans' hands just before Evans crossed the goal line. The fumble went through the end zone, giving the Dolphins (1-1) the ball.
Evans called it a "rookie mistake" and credited Grimes for making a clutch play, but said he had the football in the wrong hand.
"If it's a game that matters, then (Evans) scores because he's learned from it," Bucs quarterback Josh McCown said. "But yeah, he was pretty ticked off at himself."
Bucs coach Lovie Smith was also inclined to give the rookie some slack.
"I know Mike fumbled the ball, but it was a great play to get it down to there," Smith said. "He'll learn from his mistakes. My rookies are doing too many great things for me to harp on that."
Moore, competing with newcomer Brady Quinn for the No. 2 quarterback spot in Miami, drove the Dolphins 71 yards to a touchdown in the final 1:41 of the first half. He completed 6 of 8 passes, including a 9-yard touchdown pass to Rishard Matthews that gave Miami a 10-7 lead over the Bucs (0-2) with 8 seconds left in the half.
Moore completed 21-yard passes to Kevin Cone and Armon Binns on Miami's first possession of the second half, part of a nine-play, 71-yard touchdown drive. Moore finished 13 of 19 for 158 yards and a touchdown.
Rookie running back Damien Williams ran 1 yard for the touchdown that gave Miami a 17-7 lead with 8:58 left in the third quarter. John Potter added a 51-yard field goal that made it 20-7 with 4:30 left in the third.
Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill completed 9 of 14 passes for 110 yards, including a 16-yard completion to Matthews that set up the game's first score. Potter's 48-yard field goal put the Dolphins up 3-0 with 4:47 left in the first quarter.
Tannehill fumbled on the first play of the second quarter while being sacked by All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Michael Johnson recovered, setting up the Bucs at the Miami 25-yard line.
Four plays later, McCown threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson to give the Bucs a 7-3 lead.
"We need splash plays from Gerald McCoy, and that was one of them," Smith said.
The Bucs' other touchdown came with 14 seconds left on Mike Kafka's 13-yard pass to Lavelle Hawkins.
McCown completed 5 of 7 for 46 yards in three series.
Quinn, who signed with the Dolphins on Tuesday, played the final quarter and part of the third, completing all four of his passes for 22 yards.
NOTES: The Dolphins will play the Dallas Cowboys next Saturday night in their preseason home opener. The Bucs will travel to Buffalo to play the Bills next Saturday.
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