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Plays of the Year: Dan Skuta Scores TD in the UK

Posted Feb 3, 2014

At No. 5 on the countdown, linebacker Dan Skuta runs a fumble recovery all the way back for a touchdown capping off a dominant UK victory.

Over the next week, 49ers.com will be revealing the top 10 plays of the team's 2013 season. Each of the plays, which were voted on and ranked by 49ers Studios staff, will feature a highlight video. We continue the countdown at No. 5...

When

The fourth play of the fourth quarter in a Week 8 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars as part of the NFL’s International Series.

Where

Wembley Stadium in London, England.

What

Dan Skuta scooped up a Marcedes Lewis fumble and showed some nifty athleticism on a 47-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

Who

Skuta, the free agent addition who took over in the starting lineup during Aldon Smith’s voluntary leave of absence, scored the final touchdown in a dominant 42-10 victory over the Jaguars.

Why

The 49ers had a comfortable 35-10 lead entering the fourth quarter against a winless Jacksonville team and one last memorable touchdown proved to be the final style points in the most lopsided win of the season. Instead of allowing a touchdown to the Jaguars in garbage time, San Francisco’s defense pounced on a Patrick Willis-created turnover and provided late-game fireworks for an international audience.

How

Skuta dropped into coverage on a second-and-10 with 13:43 left in regulation. The veteran linebacker also showed great awareness by pursuing the football even when it appeared that Willis had Lewis corralled after a 6-yard reception. Just as Lewis tried to slide up field across Jacksonville’s 45-yard line, Willis reached from behind and punched the football loose with his right hand while securing a tackle. As Willis brought Lewis to the ground, the ball quickly rolled directly towards Skuta. Before you knew what happened, the race to the end zone was on. Skuta initially received a block from rookie teammate Corey Lemonier to create a running lane down the left side of the field. Once in the open field, Skuta saw Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts III out of the corner of his left eye and he quickly hurdled over the wideout’s diving tackle attempt. Next, Skuta followed another key block from cornerback Carlos Rogers on Jacksonville rookie receiver Denard Robinson at the 35-yard line. The only person in the way now was Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne, but he was no match for the block of 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald. Henne was knocked back initially and reached out at Skuta at the 3-yard line to no avail. Skuta lowered his shoulder into the opposing quarterback for good measure as he dashed into the end zone for his first career touchdown.


<<Top Play No. 6                                                        Top Play No. 4>>