ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Briean Boddy-Calhoun returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown, and the Tennessee Titans beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-3 in a preseason game Saturday night.
Tampa Bay, the reigning Super Bowl champion, played without quarterback Tom Brady and several other starters.
The Bucs' Tanner Hudson had a 26-yard catch on a pass from Kyle Trask, then fumbled when he was hit by Bradley McDougald. Boddy-Calhoun scooped up the loose ball and went the distance to put the Titans up 20-3 in the third quarter.
After Clayton Geathers picked off a pass by Trask, Matt Barkley connected with Mason Kinsey on a 20-yard touchdown to make it 34-3 early in the fourth.
"They're a playoff team," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said of the Titans, who reached the AFC championship game in the 2019 season and won the AFC South Division last year. "They're a good football team."
Tampa Bay's lineup was mostly devoid of regulars, while the Titans had a number who started. Brady's Tennessee counterpart, Ryan Tannehill, didn't play. Brady played one series in the Bucs' first exhibition, but Tannehill also sat out Tennessee's preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
The lack of starters was expected after the teams held joint practices Wednesday and Thursday that included Tampa Bay wide receiver Antonio Brown and Titans second-year defensive back Chris Jackson getting into one of several scuffles.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians said his team's regulars will get playing time next Saturday night against the Houston Texans in preparation for the NFL season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 9.
"We've got so long before we play them," Arians said. "We can't go against Dallas and all of a sudden play game speed. We've got to have some game speed under our belt before we show up against the Cowboys."
Caleb Farley and Elijah Molden, two key components of the rebuilt Tennessee secondary taken in this year's draft, made their debuts.
Molden, taken in the third round, started and was credited with a fourth-down stop on Giovani Bernard that set up Tennessee late in the first quarter for the game's first score. He had eight tackles.
"It's really cool to see him go out there and do some nice things and blitz and cover," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. "One of his plays led to a big interception. So, (he was) executing things that we've been coaching him to do in that situation on third down."
Farley, a first-round selection, entered during the first quarter. He was activated from the nonfootball injury list at the start of August after rehabbing a pair of back surgeries.
"It's the next step, the return to play," Vrabel said. "He came through pretty good through the practices health wise, which allowed him to be available for the game. We tried to get him close to 16 snaps. We'll take a look at it. He hasn't played football in a quite a bit of time. It's going to be a process. It was a good step just to get him out there to show him what the game feels like."
Barkley led the Titans on three scoring drives as Tennessee took a 13-3 halftime advantage. He connected on a fourth-down 5-yard touchdown pass with Mekhi Sargent with 19 seconds left in the first quarter. Barkley finished 12-of-16 for 115 yards.
Logan Woodside, who split time with Barkley, was 7-of-8 for 64 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown pass to Dez Fitzpatrick late in the third to make it 27-3.
Sargent picked up 78 yards on 16 carries.
Trask, a rookie from Florida, played the second half for the Bucs and was 13-of-26 for 131 yards and two interceptions.
Sam Ficken had field goals of 48 and 58 yards during the second quarter for Tennessee. Tampa Bay's Ryan Succop converted from 49 yards.
Seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones, an offseason acquisition from Atlanta for the Titans, didn't play and hasn't practiced since Aug. 2. Tennessee offensive lineman Paul Adams left the game with a wrist injury.
The Titans will close their preseason with a home game next Saturday night against the Chicago Bears.