Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Underwood Thrives, Jags Survive Near-Disaster; the Jaguars WR Hauls in Key Pass and Breaks Up Possible Interception

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Underwood Thrives, Jags Survive Near-Disaster; the Jaguars WR Hauls in Key Pass and Breaks Up Possible Interception

Article excerpt

Byline: GARRY SMITS

A modest kickoff return, a safe run, a reception that was reviewed by the booth official and two near-disasters on one play all factored into the Jaguars' final possession Sunday that led to Josh Scobee's game-winning 59-yard field goal to beat the Colts 31-28 at Everbank Field.

Five of the plays involved backup wide receiver and return specialist Tiquan Underwood, who essentially made a special-teams play, an offensive play and a defensive play.

"You've got to perform when you're called upon," Underwood said.

Perform he did, beginning with a kickoff by Pat McAfee following the Colts' tying touchdown with 52 seconds left, that Underwood fielded 6 yards deep in the end zone.

McAfee had the advantage in being able to kick off 5 yards closer, because of an offside penalty by the Jaguars on the conversion attempt enforced on the kickoff.

Underwood did not make a tactical error in bringing the kick out, rather taking the safe touchback.

"I asked [special teams] coach Russ Purnell if he wanted me to take a knee in the end zone because of the 5-yard penalty," Underwood said. "He said to line up 5 yards deep in the end zone and if the kick didn't back me up, to bring it out."

Underwood already had a 39-yard kickoff return in the game, and Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said Underwood's speed made returning the ball a good risk. Underwood was able to get to the 23, and a touchback would have given the Jaguars the ball on the 20.

As it turned out, Scobee needed those 3 yards.

On first down, the Jaguars ran a draw play to Maurice Jones-Drew, who picked up 8 yards. It seemed as if the Jaguars were playing to run out the clock and take their chances in overtime, but Del Rio said that was not the case and was hoping to catch the Colts' secondary flat-footed.

"If we get the cover-two that we're expecting to get there, which we did get, then that [draw] can pop for even more," Del Rio said. …

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