NOTEBOOK: Wallace Has A Career Day Again In Indy; Other Notes

Posted Sep 15, 2013

Veteran wide receiver breaks out for nine catches and 115 yards.

One week after being a little frustrated by being held to just one catch, Miami Dolphins wide receiver erupted for a career-high nine catches, 115 yards and a touchdown. That’s the most catches he’s had in the regular season, as he caught nine passes for 85 yards and a touchdown against Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV.

Wallace got involved early and often, catching all three of quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s passes on the opening drive for 46 yards, including an 18-yard catch-and-run on a bubble screen for his first touchdown in a Dolphins uniform. He had a lane to zip through with his track speed and found the end zone for a 7-0 lead, which was a sign of things to come.

“We had a great plan going into the game and we executed it early,” said Wallace, who set a career-high with 144 yards in his only other visit to Lucas Oil Stadium two years ago. “It kind of slowed down in the middle a little bit but for the most part we did a good job out there today. I knew it was going to happen for me but I just had to be patient and get to the next week.”

Late in the third quarter, after the Colts had broken a 17-17 tie at the half with a 38-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri, Wallace came up with another clutch reception. He hauled in a 34-yard pass from Tannehill that took the ball down to the 1 as he was tackled just before the end zone and that set up Charles Clay’s 1-yard touchdown run on an inside handoff that proved to be the difference.

So in back-to-back weeks, Tannehill has managed to get all three of his top receivers heavily involved as Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson combined for 16 catches for 191 yards and a touchdown at Cleveland. Now Tannehill and Wallace are starting to click, which bodes well for Miami’s offense as the season progresses.

“Our plan was to get him involved and get him involved early and I think we did that,” Tannehill said. “He took advantage of it. He showed his athleticism, we had some great calls coming in and he took advantage of it.”

Turning Point

Veteran cornerback Brent Grimes did precisely what he was brought here to do in the waning minutes and that’s make a critical play in the secondary in a tight game. Grimes got perfect position in front of Colts veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne in the end zone and intercepted Luck’s 34-yard pass for a touchback to preserve a four-point lead.

Statistical Milestones

Miller’s 10-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter gave him 25 yards for the game, which was five more yards than the entire team rushed for last week at the Cleveland Browns, and it was his second career touchdown. … Wallace’s 18-yard touchdown reception on the team’s opening drive marked the first time since last September 23rd at the New York Jets that the Dolphins found the end zone on their first drive. It was also Wallace’s first touchdown as a Dolphin and first since catching two for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the San Diego Chargers on December 9th, 2012. … Tannehill’s 209 passing yards in the first half were the second most in a first half of his career (219 at Arizona on September 30th, 2012). … Clay’s 67-yard pass reception was the longest by a Dolphins tight end since Ferell Edmunds hauled in an 80-yard touchdown at the New York Jets on November 27th, 1988 and the longest of his career. He had a 46-yarder as a rookie in 2011 against Buffalo at home on November 20th. … By going over 100 receiving yards, Clay gave the Dolphins two 100-yard receivers in a game for the first time since last September 30th at Arizona when Brian Hartline set a career-high for 253 yards and Davone Bess added 123. … Late in the third quarter, Clay scored his first rushing touchdown on his first career carry to allow Miami to regain the lead at 24-20. … The 14 first quarter points scored by Miami were the most in the opening quarter since November 20, 2011 in a 35-8 victory over the Buffalo Bills. That’s also the most scored in the first quarter of a road game since the Dolphins scored 13 at Denver on November 2nd, 2008 in a 26-17 win at the Denver Broncos and it was 11 years ago when the Dolphins scored 14 first-quarter points against the Colts (September 15th, 2002) in a 21-13 win for Miami. … Miami led after the first quarter in consecutive games for the first time since 2011 when they led 6-0 against Oakland on December 4th and 7-0 against Philadelphia on December 11th.

Clay revives the tight end role for Miami.

It was a career day on many fronts for tight end/fullback Charles Clay as his 109 receiving yards on five catches were the second most receiving yards by a Dolphins tight end behind only Ferrell Edmunds’ 117 at the New York Jets on November 27th, 1988.

Clay’s 67-yard pass reception in the third quarter was the longest by a Dolphins tight end since Edmunds hauled in an 80-yard touchdown in that same game at the Jets and the longest of his career. He had a 46-yarder as a rookie in 2011 against Buffalo at home on November 20th. Late in the third quarter, Clay scored his first rushing touchdown on his first career carry to allow Miami to regain the lead at 24-20.

Denney ties JT for most consecutive games played

Long snapper John Denney tied Jason Taylor’s record for most consecutive games played in franchise history with his 130th. Taylor played in 130 straight games from December 27th, 1999 at home against the New York Jets to December 30th, 2007 at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. Denney hasn’t missed a game since his rookie debut at home against the Denver Broncos on September 11th, 2005.

Rookie kicker Sturgis stays cool under pressure

It wasn’t enough for rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis to drill a 54-yard field goal once as the clock expired on the first half – he did it twice to allow Miami to head into the locker room with a 17-17 tie. It was the second longest field goal by a Dolphins rookie behind only Pete Stoyanovich’s 59-yarder at the New York Jets on November 12th, 1989. Just before Denney snapped the ball to punter/holder Brandon Fields on the first attempt, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano called a timeout to ice him

Former Dolphins RB Rick Casares passes away at 82

In some sad news, former Dolphins running back Rick Casares died at the age of 82 on Friday at his home in Tampa. Casares, who played collegiately at the University of Florida, caught the first touchdown pass in franchise history. It was a 2-yarder from Rick Norton against the Oakland Raiders on September 2nd, 1966 at the Orange Bowl, and last week at Cleveland, Brian Hartline caught the franchise’s 1,000th touchdown pass.


The Dolphins return to South Florida next Sunday for their home opener at Sun Life Stadium against the Atlanta Falcons with 4:05 p.m. kickoff.
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