LOSS - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 00 Houston Oilers 20
Historic Marker: BUCCANEERS NFL DEBUT
The Buccaneers, making their NFL debut against the Houston Oilers, averaged less than two yards per offensive play. They were unable to score despite being given good field position by two Oiler fumbles.
Steve Spurrier completed 8 of 21 passes for 36 yards, and starting running backs Jimmy DuBose and Louis Carter rushed for 12 yards on 15 carries. Despite being outgained 169 to 8 by the second quarter, they were only behind 7–0 and missed a chance to tie the score when Lee McGriff dropped a Spurrier pass in the end zone. A later drive ended when Spurrier overthrew John McKay, Jr., instead hitting defender C.L. Whittington. A third chance to tie the score was lost when Mark Cotney dropped an interception of a Dan Pastorini pass with a clear path to the end zone.
Whittington gave the Buccaneers the ball on the Oiler 11-yard line by fumbling a punt, but then killed the Buccaneers’ scoring chances by intercepting another Spurrier pass. Ronnie Coleman ran 25 times for 142 yards for the Oilers.
McKay expressed concern over the team’s offense after the defeat, and responded to a reporter’s taunt of “I thought you said you were going to win some games?” by saying, “Houston has been in the league 6,000 years and still hasn’t won a championship. The Bucs will be heard from”.
It was a day with a bad beginning, middle, and ending for the Buccaneers. The day began with the Buccaneers getting lost in the maze-like Astrodome interior, and ended with the team’s charter plane bouncing and rolling before righting itself on landing.
In addition, starting tackle Dave Reavis was injured during pregame warmups and was lost for the season.
- REFEREE: Ron Wedge
- UMPIRE: Frank Sinkowitz
- LINE JUDGE: Dean Look
- LINESMAN: Gil Mace
- BACK JUDGE: Bob Rice
- FIELD JUDGE: Bill O'brien
- OILERS: 06:31-2Q Willis 13 pass from Pastorini (Butler kick)
- OILERS: 07:00-3Q Butler FG33
- OILERS: 10:46-4Q Burrough 44 pass from Pastorini (Butler kick)
- OILERS: 03:02-4Q Butler FG44
- WR: #89 J. McKay
- LT: #75 D. Reavis
- LG: #72 H. Fest
- C: #73 J. Ward
- RG: #77 E. Little
- RT: #74 M. Current
- TE: #86 B. Moore
- WR: #83 L. McGriff
- QB: #11 S. Spurrler
- RB: #35 J. DuBose
- RB: #32 L. Carter
- LE: #78 C. Rudolph
- LT: #76 D. Pear
- RT: #63 L. Selmon
- RE: #66 P. Toomay
- LLB: #58 C. Peterson
- MLB: #52 S. Reese
- RLB: #30 J. Gunn
- LCB: #40 M. Washington
- RCB: #21 J. Bjakak
- LS: #33 M. Cotney
- RS: #28 K. Stone
- 1 Hagins, 4 Green, 5 Roder, 18 Dickinson, 19 Johnson, 20 Kendrick, 26 Davis, 42 Oliver, 44 Moore, 46 Reese, 51 Ryczek, 53 Ball, 56 Cooper, 57 Peterson, 61 Selmon, 64 Robinson, 67 Alward, 79 Wilson, 82 Pagac
DID NOT PLAY
- 13 Lawrence, 88 Smith
- 425 Jordan, 27 Davis, 43 Williams, 54 Wood, 71 Young, 80 Novak
- BUCCANEERS: E.Johnson 5-15, C.Davis 3-15, Carter 12-7, DuBose 3-5, Dickinson 1-4, Kendrick 1-3, Spurrier 1-3.
- OILERS: Coleman 25-142, Willis 8-30, Dawkins 4-11, Hardeman 3-3, Pastorini 1-2, Baker 1-2.
- BUCCANEERS: Spurrier 21-8-90-2-0, Dickinson 5-1-15-0-0.
- OILERS: Pastorini 27-17-194-1-2, Hadl 2-2-11-0-0.
- BUCCANEERS: McKay 3-49, DuBose 2-21, B.Moore 2-21, E.Johnson 2-14.
- OILERS: Burrough 5-92, B. Johnson 5-41, Coleman 4-35, Willis 1-13, Sawyer 1-12, Alston 1-7, Baker 1-6, Hardeman 1-(-1).
- BUCCANEERS: Stone 1-21.
- OILERS: Whittington 2-58.
- BUCCANEERS: M.Moore 3-74, Hagins 2-35.
- OILERS: Hardeman 1-40.
- BUCCANEERS: Reece 2-4, Cotney 1-8, Hagins 1-2.
- OILERS: Johnson 7-76, Whittington 2-10.
- BUCCANEERS: L.Selmon 2-23.
- OILERS: Culp 1-8, Bethea 1-9, Little 1-4, Washington 1-9, Thompson 0.5-7, Rossovich 0.5-7.