State bragging rights were on the line as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) came into Duval county to face the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at EverBank Field on Saturday night. Both Florida teams were looking to notch their first win of the preseason after disappointing losses last week. Despite a fair share of penalties for both teams, the Bucs’ second and third string teams managed to come through defensively with a 27-21 victory. It was a close game throughout the evening with slow starts from both offenses. The night became a coming out party of sorts for rookie Vernon Hargreaves III as he notched two of Tampa Bay’s four interceptions.
Jameis Winston and the starting offense had a rather pedestrian showing after about a quarter and change. The second-year quarterback went 3-10 for 28 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Winston’s lone score was a toss to Mike Evans, who had 18 yards total of his own. It was a rough start for rookie Roberto Aguayo as well, missing his first field goal attempt going wide right. He came through when it counted as the game pressed on, nailing 2 of his four FG attempts and all his extra points.
However, it would be the Buccaneer defense that were the stars of the game. Blake Bortles would have two scores on the night to go along with 85 passing yards, but that would be the majority of the Jaguars offensive attack. Sparked by Hargreaves, the defensive unit would pester Jacksonville all game with the aforementioned four picks, including a final dagger by rookie Ryan Smith. It also didn’t help the Jags’ cause raking up 13 penalties for a total of 121 yards, mostly on defense. The Buccaneers would go on to have 8 penalties themselves for 68 yards.
Other stars for the Bucs included Mike Glennon, who threw for 120 yards and a score, and backup running back Storm Johnson, who rumbled his way for 27 yards and a score. Johnthan Banks would be the other defender to pick off the Jags. For Jacksonville, Josh Johnson got himself a pick six off of third string QB Ryan Griffin. Up next for the Tampa Bay are the Cleveland Browns (0-2), who are coming into Raymond James on Friday looking for a win of their own after losing to Atlanta.