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Mike Wallace Delivers In Emotional Matchup Against Former Team


Mike Wallace could hardly contain his emotions Sunday.

The veteran receiver was so excited after his 95-yard touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers that he needed to leave the field and go to the locker room with a member of the medical staff. Wallace had just given the Ravens a 7-0 lead against his former team, and the thrill of the moment left him light-headed for several minutes.

"I just had to calm down," Wallace said. "I was just overly excited."

Wallace was clearly fired up after the touchdown. He pointed over to the Steelers sideline and then paced up and down Baltimore's bench as teammates congratulated him.

Quarterback Joe Flacco joked after the 21-14 victory that Wallace enjoyed the moment a little too much. 

"I said to somebody, 'What did he do? Celebrate too hard?' He celebrates for 15 minutes after he scores," Flacco said. "He gets pretty fired up about it, and that's what I love about him."

Wallace explained that he often gets light-headed after a big touchdown, but something was different Sunday. He didn't have much of an appetite before the game, and it took him longer than normal to settle himself.

He went to the locker room to eat a banana, drink some water and get composed. He returned in the second half and finished the game with four catches for 124 yards and the touchdown.

It was an emotional game for Wallace, who returned to the Baltimore-Pittsburgh rivalry for his first time as a member of the Ravens. As much as he tried to downplay the significance of going up against the team with which he spent the first five years of his career, it was clear how much it meant to him to beat the Steelers.

"It felt really good, just to get back in the win column, and it was a little bit sweeter because it was against my old team," Wallace said. "They know me. They know what I can do, and they know what I can bring to the table. And I'm on this side now."

Wallace's 95-yard score was the longest regular-season play in franchise history. It was also the longest play the Steelers defense has allowed since Lyndon Johnson was the president (1966).

On the touchdown, Wallace beat rookie cornerback Artie Burns off the line of scrimmage, then stiff-armed safety Mike Mitchell and outran both of them to the end zone.

"I feel like if you press me, then you're going to lose 90 percent of the time, maybe 95," Wallace said. "I was like, 'If I catch this and beat the corner, I'll have one-on-one with the safety.' And that's exactly what happened."

The touchdown sent a jolt of energy through M&T Bank Stadium. Before his score, the Steelers had punted on their first three possessions, and the Ravens had punted once and turned the ball over on a Flacco interception.

Then Wallace hit the big play to bring the home crowd to life.

"We need more of that," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "I think we just have to keep finding those plays and see that happen. This game is really big."

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