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November 3, 2002
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Wins are the goal, but Lou Piniella's short-term value might be ending the Rays' days as a laughingstock. Story Jon Gruden promised to bring more offense to Bucs, but he has not yet delivered. Story John Tortorella is the area's anonymous coach, but the Lightning's stunning turnaround might make him the best. Story

Johnson a bigger target
TAMPA -- It was Vikings coach Mike Tice who concocted the Randy Ratio, a formula that predetermines receiver Randy Moss will have at least 40 percent of passes aimed his direction.

Kung fu fighting questions, spiders
Second year defensive end/tackle Ellis Wyms comes from Indianola, Mississippi. This is his take on interviews, spiders, kung fu movies, Esera Tuaolo, Mississippi, alcohol and slavery.

Chucky's Chalk Talk
High Profile -- Mike Alstott
Side line

Many call for King to be quarterback
Shaun King should get a shot at starting quarterback. My opinion of Johnson and Johnson has always been that they're good names for bandages and shampoo, but if you want a leader who can step up and take charge, give me the King.

Who's the man?: Piniella?
Wins are the goal, but Lou Piniella's short-term value might be ending the Rays' days as a national laughingstock.

Lecavalier makes last year easy to forget
PITTSBURGH -- As far as Vinny Lecavalier is concerned, last season is a bad memory he wants to forget. The disagreements with coach John Tortorella, the loss of his captaincy, the loss of playing time, they don't matter anymore.

Gary Shelton
Who's the man? John Tortorella
John Tortorella is the area's anonymous coach, but the Lightning's stunning turnaround might make him the best.

Hubert Mizell
Let's turn up volume on talk of college football playoff
If it's November, the weather is cooling and it's time I struck a match, trying again to burn the Bad Championship System (BCS). An oversold, overpriced idea that is the biggest cheater in college football.

John Romano
If only he could see the future
JACKSONVILLE -- He was told to listen to his heart. The way it turned out, you have to wonder if Rex Grossman and his heart still are on speaking terms.

UF Gators
Dawg ugly win
UF 20, GEORGIA 13: The Gators make plenty of mistakes but hand the Bulldogs their first loss.

UF: By the numbers
Florida-Georgia games in Jacksonville that kicked off at night during the 80-year series. -- 1

Gators lose leading receiver for four weeks
JACKSONVILLE -- Florida's offense suffered a big blow Saturday when senior receiver Taylor Jacobs sprained his right medial collateral ligament on the first series. He will be re-evaluated today, but coach Ron Zook said the team's top receiver will not need surgery. He is expected to miss at least four weeks.

Florida's Savelio gets in domestic dispute
GAINESVILLE -- Florida defensive end Bryan Savelio and his wife, Luisa, were involved in a domestic dispute Sunday, but no arrest was made and no charges were filed, University Police said.

FSU Seminoles
Calm QB sparks 'Noles
FSU 34, WAKE 21: Adrian McPherson shakes off turnovers, early deficit to win his first start.

FSU:By the numbers
Field goals FSU's Xavier Beitia missed Saturday (47-, 38- and 45-yard attempts). He entered 14-of-17. -- 3

Maddox ably takes over as lead rusher
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Junior tailback Greg Jones, the workhorse of the Florida State offense, sprained his right knee early in the third and did not return.

Wake-up call timely for defense
Florida State starts badly, giving up 14 quick points, then shows the form it did against Miami and Clemson.

USF Bulls
Scoreboard lights up for Bulls
USF 56, CH. SOUTHERN 6: TDs on a fake punt and a pickoff return spark rout.

USF: By the numbers
CSU first downs -- 4

Mitchell makes impact running this time
TAMPA -- This time it counted.

Days of I-AA foes near end
South Florida plans to pack future schedules with as many Division I-A opponents as possible.

Miami Hurricanes
'Canes rally late for 30 wins in row
RB Willis McGahee reaches 1,000 yards in 42-17 win over Rutgers.

More college football
Irish start fall of unbeatens
The BCS picture is a lot less murky after losses by Notre Dame, Georgia, Virginia Tech, N.C. State.

Marshall star misses part of loss
AKRON, Ohio -- Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich injured his left shin and left Saturday's 34-20 loss against Akron but returned in the third quarter.

ACC: Tech hands N.C. State first defeat
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A.J. Suggs and Gordon Clinkscale ended North Carolina State's dream of an unbeaten season.

C-USA: Houston tops Memphis for rare streak
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- After losing 14 straight conference games, Houston is on a roll. Memphis is in its normal second-half tailspin.

Big Ten: Tampa's Ross leads OSU's win
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State's defense appreciates being tested.

Nation: Bowling Green remains unbeaten
KENT, Ohio -- Joe Alls rushed for a career-high 179 yards and two TDs as Bowling Green remained unbeaten with a 45-14 win over Kent State on Saturday.

Big East: Pitt shocks Hokies second straight year
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Pittsburgh did it again to Virginia Tech.

State: UCF loses on Syracuse rally
ORLANDO -- Walter Reyes rushed for a career-high 130 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter, as Syracuse rallied to beat Central Florida 38-35 on Saturday night.

Big 12: Oklahoma takes out another ranked team
NORMAN, Okla. -- Another strong showing by Oklahoma's defense has it another step closer to a conference title.

SEC: Vols regroup against South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer thought he was taking a chance when he went for it on fourth down. Quarterback Casey Clausen knew changing the call was a sure thing.

Pac-10: Gesser sets more records for first-place WSU
PULLMAN, Wash. -- After Jason Gesser broke another of Jack Thompson's records, he planned to give an autographed game ball to "The Throwin' Samoan."

Wallace's victory streak in danger
He has won in each season since 1986, but it's over if he doesn't win one of next three Winston Cup races.

McMurray wins as leaders spin
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Jamie McMurray's luck continued Saturday with his second straight Busch series win, achieved because leaders Jeff Green and Michael Waltrip wrecked with one lap to go at North Carolina Speedway.

Chargers midway champs
If you had to name a Super Bowl champion at the midway point, the trophy probably should go to the Chargers. Granted, the Packers also have a 6-1 record, but the Chargers have shown more muscle on both sides of the ball.

NFL Game Day: Week 9
Vikings (2-5) at Bucs (6-2)

Shot barrage barely enough for Flyers
PHILADELPHIA -- On a night when they dominated the Washington Capitals, the Flyers barely got a victory.

Espo's at it again

New York City Marathon
Aspiring to out-of-sight goal
NEW YORK -- Marla Runyan went from Paralympian to Olympian, from heptathlete to distance runner. Now she's taking on another challenge: the New York City Marathon.

Kidd keeps Nets going in win against Wizards
WASHINGTON -- Jason Kidd finished off Michael Jordan and the Wizards.

McGrady takes charge in win
MILWAUKEE -- Tracy McGrady helped the Magic make it look as if the Bucks were the ones playing their fourth game in five nights.

Long putt boosts Singh's lead to 3
ATLANTA -- Vijay Singh was in familiar territory Saturday.

Giants won't splurge on Baker
He has managed his team to division titles, a wild-card birth and a pennant in 10 seasons.

Et cetera
Highs & lows

Sports briefs
New York gets nod from IOC

Six teams can safely eye postseason
But East Bay and Hillsborough still have wild-card hopes.

All-Star game selects pair
TAMPA -- Seventy-eight of the best high school football players in the nation will be in San Antonio, Texas, in January for the Army All-American Bowl. And, in a testimony to the level of competition in Hillsborough County, two local players will join them.

Eagles girls prevent title sweep by Pirates
SPRING HILL -- Crystal River coach Tim Holme took his usual dip in the pool Saturday after the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference meet.

Pirates, Bucs lead charge
NEW PORT RICHEY -- Friday's girls diving event was the first indicator the Sunshine Athletic Conference meet would be one for the books.

Daily fishing report
King mackerel season is in full swing, with fish as heavy as 45 pounds being caught within sight of our beaches.

Pass-a-Grille pieris perfect on foot
If you're looking for a free and easy place to fish where there's a great chance of catching decent fish, check out the the rock-jetty pier along the channel at Pass-a-Grille.

Players would be a better investment for Devil Rays
The hiring of Lou Piniella is a misguided strategy put in place by a mismanaged Devil Rays organization.

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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