Courtney Upshaw got a rare moment in the spotlight Saturday night, and made the most of it. After Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo botched a handoff exchange with DeMarco Murray and fumbled, Upshaw picked up the loose football and rumbled 26 yards for a touchdown.
Romo, recovering from back surgery, attempted to tackle Upshaw, but he had no problem running through Romo’s arms.
“Tony was trying to get out of the way (at first) -- I guess he thought I was going to dive for the ball,” Upshaw said. “My mind said, ‘Scoop the ball and score.'”
Linebackers can’t count on scoring touchdowns. For Upshaw, it was his first since his senior year at Alabama, when he had a pick-six against Florida. But when he got to the end zone, Upshaw did not go crazy. No touchdown dance?
“I’m not the dancing type,” Upshaw said smiling.
Now in his third season with the Ravens. Upshaw does plenty of dirty work as their best run-support linebacker. He battles tight ends and tackles, turning runners back to the inside where his teammates often make tackles. His teammates and coaches appreciate his part in the defense’s success.
“He does a lot of good things for us, a lot of things maybe not as fancy or decorative,” Upshaw said during training camp. He’s a real valuable guy for us.”
While Upshaw takes pride in his role, he also wants to make more game-changing plays. Saturday’s fumble recovery could have been the start.
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