Courtney Upshaw Reacts To Pick-Six Gaffe


As soon as cornerback Jimmy Smith walked into the Ravens locker room, he found outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw.

"Steak dinner?" Smith asked.

"I got you. Whatever you like, for real," Upshaw responded.

Upshaw cost Smith a 101-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and could have stuck the Ravens with a loss.

In the end, he redeemed himself and helped the Ravens hold onto a 20-17 win over the Ravens' archrival Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium.

Smith intercepted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's pass in the end zone off a deflection and raced the length of the field for what looked to be a dagger-plunging touchdown. Only problem was there was a yellow flag all the way back at the Ravens' 1-yard line.

Upshaw lined up in the neutral zone, negating the score. Two plays later, the Steelers scored a touchdown to pull within three points with six minutes, 33 seconds remaining.

"All I can say to him is, 'I'm sorry, man,'" Upshaw said. "I was even celebrating. When I looked and saw the flag, I was like, 'I hope it wasn't on me.' I wish I could take it back."

Upshaw said that he was trying to get as close to the line of scrimmage as possible to jam a Steelers wide receiver off the line. He was assigned to drop in coverage.

"I've got to be aware of my alignment," Upshaw said. "A lot of times, [referees] will warn you and tell you that you were close on the last one and you should back up, or check to the sideline and we'll back you up. But that's on me."

The game wasn't over, however.

After a Ravens'punt, the Steelers had their chance to tie or win the game in the final minutes. The Steelers picked up a quick 19-yard strike and appeared to be on the move.

But just then, Upshaw bull rushed Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva and wrapped up Roethlisberger by his ankles. That put Pittsburgh in a second-and-18 situation. The Steelers tried two deep passes and both were defended away, turning over the ball on downs and preserving the win.

It was only Upshaw's second sack of the season, but it came at a critical time.

"I was on the bench and I was like, 'I've got to make up for that,'" Upshaw said. "I had the opportunity to go in there and apply some kind of pressure."

Upshaw and the Ravens' defensive front made Roethlisberger uncomfortable all day long. They sacked him three times and hit him twice more. Upshaw, rookie outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan all notched sacks.

Upshaw was also in on a key stop on the Steelers' opening drive of the game, as he stuffed Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams for no gain on fourth-and-1 from Baltimore's 25-yard line. That gave the Ravens early momentum.

Overall, the Ravens held the Steelers to just 303 yards of total offense, Pittsburgh's third-fewest this season. Baltimore held Pittsburgh to 263 total yards in a Week 4 win when quarterback Michael Vick was under center.

The Ravens defense has collapsed so many times down the stretch this season, but it held tough in the end this time around.

"Ever since I've been here, it's been a good game," Upshaw said. "It's Steelers-Ravens. We always want to come out on top."

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