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Many happy returns, but that's about it

Tampa Bay's Vernon Turner had eight kickoff returns for 242 yards, both single-game club records. His 77-yard return was the longest in franchise history, surpassing Phil Freeman's 58-yarder in 1985.

To Turner, disgusted with the loss to Minnesota, it just doesn't matter.

"I don't remember it," he said of his record return, "because I don't want to remember it. I'm just sick inside."

Not-so-happy trails

Last week against San Francisco, the Bucs trailed 34-0 before scoring. One game earlier, against Atlanta, it was 24-0. Sunday, the Vikings ran up a 17-0 advantage.

"It's tough for any team to play catch-up football," Bucs receiver Charles Wilson said. "We're not a team with what you'd call a high-potent offense so it's especially hard for us to play from behind."

Wilson makes his move

Wilson's 62-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was the second-longest of his career. And it was an accident.

"It was basically like a busted play," said Wilson, who also had a 75-yard TD against the Vikings in 1991. "Instead of doing an in-route, I improvised."

With his 7-yard catch in the first quarter, Courtney Hawkins moved past ex-Buc Theo Bell (1,470 yards) and into the top 10 on Tampa Bay's all-time receiving list. Hawkins later caught the first TD pass of Trent Dilfer's NFL career.

There's always second best

Before his two interceptions Sunday, quarterback Craig Erickson had just one in 165 attempts, good for a 0.6 ratio that had him on pace to challenge the all-time mark of 0.66 by Buffalo's Joe Ferguson in 1976 (1 in 151).

Two hundred losses and counting

Counting regular-season games, the loss was Tampa Bay's 200th in franchise history.

A first time for everything

Michael Husted's 48-yard field-goal try that went wide right in the first quarter was his first miss from inside 50 yards this season.

A second time for everything

Husted's 44-yard field-goal try that went wide right late in the first quarter was, well, his second miss from inside 50 yards.

Ex-'Noles know blowouts

Former Florida State standouts Amp Lee and Brad Johnson, who played in plenty of blowouts with the Seminoles, both saw action as Minnesota reserves.

Running back Lee had four catches, including an 8-yarder from Warren Moon that marked his first TD as a Viking. Johnson, mopping up for Moon, was 5-of-5 for 30 yards.

Miscellany

Tampa Bay's five turnovers were four more than in its first three home games combined, and three fewer than it has had all season. The five field goals by Minnesota kicker Fuad Reveiz was two shy of a club record, but those combined with his three PATs gave him 18 points and a scoring record for an opposing kicker against the Bucs. Chicago's Kevin Butler had 17 points last year. Anthony Parker's interception return for a Vikings touchdown was his third defensive TD in three straight games.

The wounded

Tony Covington started for free safety Thomas Everett (shoulder), who dressed but did not play. Scott Dill moved from left guard to right tackle in place of Tim Irwin (elbow/lower back), who played but did not start. Linebacker Lonnie Marts left in the third quarter with cramps, then returned to the game.

Inactives

DE Keith Powe (knee strain), QB Casey Weldon, C Jim Pyne, FB Rudy Harris, DT Mark Wheeler, CB Rogerick Green, OG Sean Love, WR Lamar Thomas.

Next up

The Bucs play Chicago at 1 p.m. Sunday at Tampa Stadium. First, the Bears meet Green Bay tonight.

_ TIM BUCKLEY

Report card Vikings vs. Bucs, Oct. 30, 1994

QB _ D: Bucs' two-headed monster produced four turnovers.

RB _ F: 49 yards rushing vs. No. 1 defense against run.

WR _ D: Miscommunication with Courtney Hawkins led to interception.

OL _ C: Protected QBs well considering Vikings' pass rush.

DL _ F: Nobody laid a finger on Vikings' QB Warren Moon.

LB _ D: No match for Vikings' backs and tight ends.

DB _ D: Played without safety Thomas Everett.

Spec. teams _ C: Michael Husted missed two FGs; kick returner Vernon Turner had record day.

Coach _ F: Things so bad Wyche showered with debris after game.

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