MATCHUP: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) at Houston Texans (2-1)

WHERE: Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas

WHEN: Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 8:00 p.m. ET

VEGASINSIDER.COM SPREAD: Texans by 4.5

TELEVISION: FOX

TV ANNOUNCERS: Chris Meyers and Doug Graber

RADIO: US 103.5, flagship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)

RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Gene Deckerhoff and Hardy Nickerson

LAST YEAR: The Houston Texans compiled a 2-14 regular season record en route to finishing in last place in the AFC South division. The Texans hired former Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak as their new head coach and had the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft this offseason.

The Bucs produced an 11-5 record and won the NFC South division en route to making the playoffs in 2005. The Bucs lost their Wild Card playoff game to the Washington Redskins, 17-10.

THE LAST TIME THESE TEAMS MET:
Tampa Bay and Houston last clashed on September 1, 2005 in Houston. The Buccaneers defeated the Texans in convincing fashion, 38-14.

BUCS-TEXANS SERIES: Tampa Bay and Houston have met in preseason four consecutive years. The Bucs defeated the Texans in each of those four exhibition contests.

GRUDEN IN THE PRESEASON
Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden has compiled a 13-7 record in the preseason as the Bucs’ head coach.

FINAL CUTDOWN COMING SATURDAY
Tampa Bay must trim its roster from 75 to 53 players by Saturday afternoon. The Bucs kick off the regular season against the Baltimore Ravens in Tampa on Sept. 10.


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