OAKLAND, Calif. — Doug Martin never had a homecoming like this during his stellar college career at Boise State.
Martin rushed for a franchise-record 251 yards and four touchdowns and Ahmad Black intercepted a Carson Palmer pass after Oakland had cut an 18-point deficit to three late in the fourth quarter as the Bucs beat the Raiders 42-32 on Sunday.
Martin, who was born in Oakland and went to high school in nearby Stockton, had a memorable return home for the Bucs (4-4) by scoring on runs of 1, 45, 67 and 70 yards in front of more than 60 friends and family members.
“Everybody was there. It was awesome,” he said. “It’s surreal right now. I’m just doing my job out there. I’m honored.”
Martin, the 31st pick in April out of Boise State, became the first back since at least 1940 to score on three TD runs of at least 45 yards in one game, according to STATS LLC.
He finished 45 yards shy of tying Adrian Peterson’s single game record of 296 set in his rookie season in 2007 and joined Denver’s Mike Anderson as the only backs with at least 250 yards rushing and four TDs in a single game.
Martin had 214 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns last week in Minnesota to cap a month in which he was the NFL’s top offensive rookie.
He was even better against the Raiders.
“That was a great, great performance,” coach Greg Schiano said. “After having a big outing in Minnesota on national TV and winning some awards you wonder how the young guys is going to handle the success. This test he stepped up and met the challenge for sure.”
But Tampa Bay still struggled to hold onto an 18-point, fourth-quarter lead against an Oakland team that lost star running back Darren McFadden to an ankle injury late in the first half.
Palmer threw for 414 yards and had three of his four touchdowns in the fourth quarter as Oakland cut the Bucs lead to 35-32 with 3:51 to go.
The Raiders then got a defensive stop and took over at their 38 with 2:42 to play. But on second down, Palmer threw off-target looking for Rod Streater down the left sideline and Black came up with the second of Palmer’s three interceptions.
“Mistakes like that you can’t overcome and you can’t make and me being the quarterback you can’t do that,” Palmer said. “I can’t throw that ball. You just need to take a sack sometimes if things are off of the same page and come back the next play.”
Martin then ran three straight times to score his fourth touchdown and put the game away.
Josh Freeman threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns as Tampa Bay scored at least 28 points for a franchise-record fourth straight game and reached .500 at the midpoint of Schiano’s first season to match last season’s win total.