tampabay.com

Gameday

By JOANNE KORTH
Published November 28, 2004


SERIES HISTORY

Tampa Bay leads 4-3.

LAST MEETING: Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme's 5-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith with 1:06 left gave the Panthers a 27-24 come-from-behind victory Nov. 9, 2003, in Charlotte.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS: The first game of the series, a 20-13 Bucs victory, was played on Oct. 1, 1995, at Clemson's Memorial Stadium. . . . Tampa Bay's Martin Gramatica made all four of his field goals, including the winning 47-yarder with five seconds left, in a 12-9 victory Oct. 27, 2002, at Ericsson Stadium. . . . Tampa Bay's Keenan McCardell caught a touchdown on the final play of regulation, but Gramatica's point-after was blocked. John Kasay's 47-yard field goal gave the Panthers a 12-9 overtime win Sept. 14, 2003, at Raymond James Stadium.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

PANTHERS: Quarterback Jake Delhomme, left, is playing with a broken thumb, without injured receiver Steve Smith and running back Stephen Davis and behind a rebuilt offensive line. Still, Carolina averaged 31.3 points the past three games as Delhomme threw for eight touchdowns. Defensive end Julius Peppers, who feasted on Bucs right tackle Kenyatta Walker last season, has eight sacks, three forced fumbles and one interception.

BUCS: Linebackers Derrick Brooks, Shelton Quarles and Ian Gold have a combined five sacks now that the defense is using the blitz to pressure quarterbacks. Thriving as an every-down back, Michael Pittman, right, has eclipsed 100 rushing yards in three of the past four games.