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DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead Recall Rose Bowl Memories vs. Jameis Winston

Posted Oct 20, 2016

San Francisco's most recent first-round picks are preparing for a familiar foe this Sunday in Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.

This isn’t the first time that Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner have spent their week game-planning for Jameis Winston.

Thir first meeting came in 2014, Armstead and Buckner’s sophomore year at Oregon. The Ducks were preparing for Winston’s Florida State Seminoles in the Rose Bowl Game – the semifinals of the first ever College Football Playoff.

Florida State hadn’t lost in two seasons and won the BCS National Championship the previous year. So even though Oregon was a heavy favorite (-9.5), most of the national attention was on the Seminoles.

“We were the underdog that whole week,” Buckner said. “People didn’t think we were going to be able to match up against them because they had a bunch of weapons on offense.

“I think the game kind of explains what happened. We were hungry.”

The Ducks rolled in Pasadena, Calif., taking down Florida State with a convincing, 59-20, victory to advance to the national championship game.

Buckner tipped a pass in the second half that was intercepted by teammate Erick Dargan. Armstead’s favorite play was Tony Washington’s 58-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.

“It was fun getting after (Winston),” Armstead recalled.

The trio of NFL first-round picks will see each other once again on Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7.

All parties involved are now two years older and vastly more talented. But that doesn’t mean the scouting report on Winston has completely changed. The quarterback still loves to let the ball fly down the field, which can lead to big plays.

However, Winston has also shown the propensity to throw interceptions (eight so far in 2016) and hold onto the ball too long in the pocket – a trait that has contributed to the 12 sacks Tampa Bay has surrendered this season.

“We have to contain our rushers and try to get in his face,” Buckner said. “If we can’t get home, we need to try and get our hands up to try and disrupt his passes.”

Added Armstead: “He’s definitely a talented guy. We’ve got to try and get after him and stop him.”

Buckner recorded the first two sacks of his young career last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Armstead has already matched his rookie sack total with two sacks in 2016, as well.

Both defensive linemen expressed confidence that they’d have opportunities to get to Winston in Week 7.

“He’s a complete competitor. He has a lot of confidence,” the rookie said. “It’s going to be a game on Sunday. I’m looking forward to getting after him again. Guys like that, you want to go against them all the time.”

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