TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Carnell “Cadillac” Williams gained 2 yards the first time he touched the ball, then picked up 5 on the next play. The crowd even roared when he lost 1 on his third carry.

The Jacksonville Jaguars beat Tampa Bay 20-17 Saturday night, but Buccaneers fans left reasonably happy after getting their first closeup view of the rookie running back who’s the new centerpiece of Jon Gruden’s offense.

David Garrard and Derrick Wimbush ran for second-half touchdowns and Josh Scobee kicked one of his two 29-yard field goals at the end of a 17-play, 10-minute drive that was a reminder of how Jacksonville struggled to get the ball into the end zone last season.

The Jaguars were last in the AFC and 29th in the NFL in scoring in 2004. They marched 77 yards against the Bucs’ No. 2 defense in the second quarter, with Byron Leftwich completing 9 of 10 passes for 73 yards before the drive stalled at the Tampa Bay 11.

That nevertheless was a big improvement over the previous week when the Jacksonville quarterback was sacked four times on 11 pass plays against Miami.

“It’s just a process,” Leftwich said. “We are in step two.”

The Bucs don’t want to take any unnecessary risks with Williams, so the fifth pick in this year’s draft will play sparingly in the preseason, especially with the team sorting through problems on an injury-riddled offensive line.

Williams sat out all but one play of Tampa Bay’s opener at Tennessee, and didn’t carry the ball. He got it five times and gained 13 yards against the Jaguars, and his best run of the night – a 10-yard burst off right tackle – was wiped out by a holding penalty.

“It felt wonderful to get out there. … The crowd was going wild. It’s an amazing feeling,” said Williams, who played a little more than a quarter.

Three injured starters on the Bucs’ line – tackle Derrick Deese and guards Matt Stinchcomb and Jeb Terry – sat out Saturday night. Anthony Davis, the leading candidate to start at left tackle if Deese’s recover from a foot injury lingers, also missed the game.

The Jaguars played without running back Fred Taylor, who is recovering from offseason surgery to repair torn knee ligaments. Safety Donovin Darius, linebacker Daryl Smith and cornerback David Richardson were pregame scratches on defense.

Garrard, Jacksonville’s backup quarterback, scored on a 7-yard run in the third quarter. Wimbush’s 9-yard TD run gave the Jaguars a 20-9 lead that Tampa Bay trimmed to three points on Luke McCown’s 45-yard TD pass to Paris Warren and a two-point conversion.

The game ended with Tampa Bay’s Matt Bryant missing a 53-yard field goal that would have forced overtime.

AP-ES-08-20-05 2257EDT


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