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Dorsey to start for Niners against Bucs

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 27, 2005) -- The NFC's worst offense will have a new starting quarterback, Ken Dorsey, on Oct. 30 when it faces the NFL's top-ranked defense.

Dorsey, San Francisco's No. 3 quarterback eight days ago, will start for the 49ers against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in place of injured rookie Alex Smith. Smith missed practice again Oct. 27 with strained ligaments in his right knee, and coach Mike Nolan said that means Dorsey will start and see his first action of the season.

"It's an opportunity for me to go out and play and do some good things," Dorsey said. "You just never know what kind of opportunity is going to arise. I didn't have any idea two weeks ago, being the third-string quarterback, that I'd be starting today."

Dorsey moved into the backup role behind Smith on Oct. 18, when the 49ers traded veteran Tim Rattay to Tampa Bay hours before the NFL trade deadline.

Rattay started San Francisco's first four games this season, but lost his job in Week 5 to Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft.

Dorsey, a third-year veteran, will be making his eighth NFL start. He started seven games last year in place of an injured Rattay, compiling a 62.4 quarterback rating that ranked last in the NFC among all players who qualified. Dorsey is taking over an offense that ranks last in the NFC and 31st in the NFL.

The Tampa Bay defense ranks first in the league in five statistical categories, including fewest yards allowed.

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