Week 2 for new Storm coach Dave Ewart didn't go quite as well as the season opener.
A week after beating New Orleans 46-40 on the strength of five sacks and five rushing touchdowns, the Storm was hammered 72-36 by Utah on Thursday night at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City.
Utah (1-0), which is coming off a 2-14 season in 2010, took a 31-23 lead at the half and widened the gap by scoring on its first two possessions of the third quarter.
Storm quarterback Grant Gregory was picked off on Tampa Bay's first possession of the second half.
And the Blaze marched 47 yards on eight plays to take a 14-point lead.
The Storm (1-1) turned the ball over on downs on the next possession, and Tommy Grady connected with Aaron Lesue on a 33-yard touchdown on the ensuing play for a 43-23 Blaze lead.
The Storm, which did not record a touchdown pass in Week 1, scored just 13 points in the second half Thursday, and the rout was on.
Gregory, making his first start of the season, went 16-for-29 for 186 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions before being lifted for Mike Potts late in the game.
Hank Edwards caught seven balls for a team-high 110 yards and three touchdowns.
Tampa Bay was outgained 341-221 and had 16 yards rushing.
NFLers back to roots
Cowboys receiver Troy Bergeron and Browns receiver Rod Windsor are going back to the Arena Football League during the NFL lockout.
Unable to work out at their NFL team's facilities, Bergeron this week signed with the AFL's Cleveland Gladiators and Windsor joined the Arizona Rattlers. Both are former AFL rookie of the year award winners.
Players were permitted to sign with another league after the NFL lockout began last weekend. Bergeron and Windsor are still under contract with their respective NFL teams, who still own their NFL rights.
"We assumed there would be players that would join the AFL. We are not sure how big the influx will be," AFL commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said. "We are confident that the NFL issues will be resolved and they will play this season. We work well in conjunction with the NFL and they have supported us and our players greatly."
With the Rattlers last season, Windsor was the league's rookie of the year with 193 catches for 2,372 yards and 47 touchdowns. Bergeron played for the Georgia Force in 2005, '07 and '08 and was AFL's top rookie in 2005.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.