Rainey scores three times in win for Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey (43) gives fans high five as he leaves the field following a 41-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2013. 

Lucas Aulbach

Former WKU running back Bobby Rainey had a career day Sunday for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, finding the end zone three times as he helped the Bucs get the win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Rainey, who scored his first NFL touchdown last week against the Miami Dolphins, carried the ball 30 times Sunday, picking up 163 yards and two touchdowns. He also added another touchdown through the air on a four-yard catch in the third quarter.

The Bucs were able to take control early thanks in large part to Rainey — they led the Falcons 24-6 at halftime, with Rainey picking up 110 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 13 carries. He added 53 yards and a receiving touchdown in the second half.

Rainey, in his second season in the NFL, looked solid when he got a chance in last week’s game against the Miami Dolphins. He played for the majority of the fourth quarter for the Bucs, finishing the night with 45 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.

Tampa Bay has been plagued by injuries this season, with starting running back Doug Martin and second-string running back Mike James each out for the season with injuries. Rainey was expected to split carries with running back Brian Leonard today against the Falcons.

Before being picked up by the Bucs about a month ago, Rainey had spent time with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

In his time at WKU, he set the school record for career rushing yards with a grand total of 4,542 and finished as the second-leading rusher in Sun Belt Conference history.