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September 29, 2002
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[Times photo: James Borchuck]
For Bucs players, there is no misreading coach Jon Gruden.
Gruden gives Bucs attitude adjustment
Coach has gotten players' attention through discipline and challenges to play better.

No new facility no surprise
So, the Bucs won't be breaking ground on a new training facility this year.

The quiet of the road yields noisy invention
Mix a pipe, a balloon and creative Bucs fans with a lot of time to think. The result: U.S. Patent number 6,386,938.

Bucs sideline
High profile -- Al Singleton
Chucky's Chalk Talk

You can't take country out of Dilger
Veteran tight end Ken Dilger, in his first season with the Bucs, is a good ole country boy adjusting to life in Florida. Here are his takes on growing up country, Chinese food, old-age driving, in-laws, three little pigs and the big bad wolf.

Commercials make game secondary
I sat before the tube on Monday night, bearing a grin of superiority as my Buccaneers admonished those nasty Rams before a national audience.

John Romano
It's time to go
They are looking, as you might expect, for somebody to blame.

Rays rally behind McRae
With manager's job status up in air, his players praise him, saying he's not to blame for poor season.

Winn moves atop the Rays' hit list
BOSTON -- Randy Winn already has had an impressive season.

Worst in baseball? Maybe not
Heading into last scheduled game of the season, the Rays have a shot at climbing out of MLB cellar after a 9-6 comeback win over the Red Sox.

Hodson looks better in win
TAMPA -- Kevin Hodson doesn't know if it was good enough, and the Lightning isn't offering any clues. But if his bid to become Nikolai Khabibulin's understudy is successful, they'll all point to his performance on Saturday.

Last season's backups now think they have all it takes
Injuries to starters gave them a chance, and they proved to be valuable. That gives the coaches something to think about.

Hubert Mizell
Spurrier faces unprecedented pressures in NFL
It's a new kind of pain for Steve Spurrier. Never has the Ball Coach felt such pressures of doubt.

Gary Shelton
Selmon remains hero, class act for Sooners
NORMAN, Okla. -- The magnificent journey of Lee Roy Selmon, at least the latest leg of it, began shortly before the game.

Ryder Cup golf
All square after a late American rally
Tiger Woods finally gets it going at the Ryder Cup and sends a dagger through Sergio Garcia's heart.

Captains gambling on the lineups
Europe wants to strike early. If it misses, the Americans may take over.

Azinger tries to keep chin up on the bench
SUTTON COLDFIELD, England -- He hid it well, trying to be a team player. But Paul Azinger was extremely disappointed to sit out Saturday, especially after performing well in a loss Friday.

Florida Gators
Gators pull escape job
UF 41, KENTUCKY 34: After a blown lead, Grossman and Co. find enough points.

Zook on special teams: 'I'll get it corrected'
GAINESVILLE -- Florida's special teams have resembled a roller coaster this season. The group played so poorly early that personnel changes were made after the second game. They seemed to work, until Saturday when mistakes led to 27 Kentucky points.

All-purpose Gator delivers
Keiwan Ratliff holds off the Wildcats, turning two interceptions into 8 points.

Florida: By the numbers
Touchdowns the Florida defense has given up in the first quarter this season. -- 0

USF Bulls
Bounced, big time
SOUTH FLORIDA 14, OKLAHOMA 31: USF, in its first national TV game and against its highest-ranked foe, makes too many mistakes to keep up.

OU tricked but mistake wipes out TD
NORMAN, Okla. -- South Florida broke out a gadget play in the second quarter Saturday against Oklahoma, and it worked for a touchdown and a stunning 6-0 lead -- or would have, except the Bulls were called for a penalty.

South Florida: By the numbers
USF points in the first half in its past two games, against Arkansas and Oklahoma. -- 0

Bulls defense makes improvement
"Back to the basics" approach reverses the poor effort in Game 3.

More college football
Around the state
UCF bounces back from winless start

MSU receiver sets NCAA mark
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State wide receiver Charles Rogers set an NCAA record, catching a touchdown pass in his 13th straight regular-season game in Saturday's 39-24 win over Northwestern.

Big East: Hokies run to victory
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Virginia Tech's best attributes, its tailbacks and defense, were again on display Saturday.

C-USA: Longhorns hold Tulane scoreless
NEW ORLEANS -- The Longhorns handed the Green Wave its first shutout since 1995 and set up two offensive scores with turnovers in a 49-0 win Saturday.

SEC: Gary's return keeps Georgia on a roll 41-10
ATHENS, Ga. -- Damien Gary and Georgia have turned the punt into one of the game's most exciting plays.

Pac-10: Washington State rallies behind QB in second half
BERKELEY, Calif. -- Despite a dislocated rib, Jason Gesser passed for 431 yards and four touchdowns as Washington State rallied to beat California 48-38 Saturday in the Pac-10 opener for both.

Big Ten: Hawkeyes withstand comeback, win in OT
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- After losing a 22-point fourth-quarter lead Saturday, Iowa settled down during overtime.

Big 12: Iowa State takes charge
AMES, Iowa -- There's a new Big Red to deal with in the Big 12 North, where Iowa State suddenly has eclipsed Nebraska.

ACC: Unfocused Wolfpack defeats I-AA UMass
RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina State's Chuck Amato hardly sounded like a coach whose team had improved to 6-0.

Around the nation
Colorado State rallies for victory

Et cetera
Highs and lows

Theodore stops 25 in 4-1 victory
QUEBEC -- Jose Theodore made 25 saves as the Montreal Canadiens beat Colorado 4-1 on Saturday night in the first preseason game in Quebec City since the Nordiques moved to Colorado in 1995.

NL: D'backs roll to another West title
PHOENIX -- With a record-tying offensive outburst, the Diamondbacks are West champions again.

AL: Wells keeps Yanks on track for homefield
BALTIMORE -- David Wells allowed two hits over six innings, and Bernie Williams had three hits and two RBIs as the New York Yankees won their fourth straight, 4-2 over the Orioles on Saturday night.

Bonds in, wants more
SAN FRANCISCO -- While the rest of the Giants drenched each other with bubbly, beer and water, Barry Bonds stood quietly in a corner with a towel wrapped around his neck.

Raines bows out, says he means it
MIAMI -- Tim Raines announced his retirement Saturday and said this time, it's for good.

Summing up the 2002 season
As exciting as the final days of the 2002 season have been thanks to the National League and American League West races, this season likely will be remembered more for what happened off the field than on.

Jeff Burton beats Kerry Earnhardt
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Jeff Burton made his fourth Busch series victory of the season look easy, beating rookie Kerry Earnhardt by more than three seconds in the Mr. Goodcents 300 on Saturday at Kansas Speedway.

Time ticks away for Gordon's title hunt
Jeff Gordon's multicolored No. 24 Chevrolet was a crumpled heap just 66 laps into the race at Dover, Del., last weekend. His crew worked feverishly to get the four-time champion back on the track.

Holmes wins over Patriots
Who's the best running back in the NFL today?

NFL Game Day: Week 4
Bucs at Bengals

Masterson, Mustangs win Red Mule
BROOKSVILLE -- His head congested, nose running, stomach swimming and legs shot, Tony Lyons tried everything to hold off Jeff Masterson.

King, Durant teams sidestep holes, foes
DURANT -- Being a rookie and dodging potholes didn't intimidate King senior Phillip Watson in Saturday's Ron Frost Invitational. He led his team to victory, winning his second race in eight days in 18 minutes, 1 second.

PHU teams dominate, defend titles
LARGO -- Hours before the Pinellas County Athletic Conference finals, the Palm Harbor U. boys team was dealt what could have been a severe blow.

Daily fishing report
Bluewater fishing for marlin, tuna, wahoo, and dolphin is rapidly slowing off our coast. Through the middle of October, cooler water conditions and cold fronts hasten the transition to fall fishing and the start of kingfish season.

Pros and cons of Woods, Ryder Cup
I disagree with the writer who thinks Tiger Woods should be left off the Ryder Cup team (Reader Views, Sept. 22). That's exactly what he wants. Then he could get millions in appearance money for playing in some no-name tournament somewhere else. In this era of greedy athletes he is by far the greediest. What is worse though are all the people who fall all over him.

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© Copyright 2002 St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.

On The Wire

From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts