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December 2, 2002
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Bucs
photo
[Times photo: Toni L. Sandys]
Saints receiver Jake Reed leaps onto tight end David Sloan after Reed's 4-yard touchdown reception early in the third quarter.
Back to Earth
Tampa Bay into a tie for the league's best record and tightening the NFC South.

Special teams too noticeable
NEW ORLEANS -- Usually when little attention is paid to special teams, it means the job is getting done.

Rice starts things off right
Defensive end Simeon Rice sets an NFL record in the first quarter, but Bucs defense gives up some big plays late.

McCardell the main man vs. Saints
He has 11 receptions (more than the Saints total), including one TD and numerous important catches late.

Click for photo gallery
Bucs game balls
Quotebooks
Sound bites

Gary Shelton: Pressure falls on quarterback
NEW ORLEANS -- His shoulders are narrow, and it is easy to wonder how he can bear the load. His feet are slow, and it is possible to question how long he can lead the parade.

John Romano: Gimme FIVE
TALK OF THE TOWN

Lightning
Bure spurt spurs new challenge
NEW YORK -- It did not take Pavel Bure long to respond after Rangers coach Bryan Trottier chastised the superstar in print.

Lightning gives it away on late flurry
RANGERS 4, LIGHTNING 3: Rangers score twice within 18 seconds in third period for a 4-3 win that keeps Tampa Bay in second place.

College football
Seminoles start to get behind Rix
TALLAHASSEE -- Once the shock wore off, Florida State players insisted they wouldn't dwell on the dismissal and arrest of popular quarterback Adrian McPherson.

Gators' foul play has Zook steamed
TALLAHASSEE -- Of all the things that went wrong for Florida in its 31-14 loss to Florida State on Saturday night, the one that disturbed coach Ron Zook most was penalties.

Nothing yet assured in BCS bowl picture
You can almost hear the howling from the West Coast, the cries for USC.

Hurricanes one hour away from a Fiesta
CORAL GABLES -- Sixty minutes. And, no, there'll be no appearance by Andy Rooney.

Clemson heads to Tangerine; Liberty, GMAC set
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson accepted a bid Sunday to play in the Tangerine Bowl, and Mountain West Conference champion Colorado State will play TCU in the Liberty Bowl.

College basketball
Florida starts slow but earns victory
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Dalila Eshe, Tamia Williams and Tara Taylor scored 13, and Kelly Stevenson's blocked shot preserved Florida's 72-69 victory against Long Beach State on Sunday.

Hoosiers keep winning
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Bracey Wright scored 21, Jeff Newton had 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Tom Coverdale scored 17 as No.19 Indiana followed its victory at the Maui Invitational with an 84-58 victory against North Texas on Sunday.

NFL
Third-string QB does just enough to spark Eagles
PHILADELPHIA -- Backed by a dominant defense, the Eagles proved they can win with their No. 3 quarterback.

Vick carries Falcons to win again
MINNEAPOLIS -- With legs that fast, it's a wonder Michael Vick ever thinks about passing.

Panthers' spirits grow after beating Browns
CLEVELAND -- The Panthers were smiling, laughing and hugging. A season soured by suspensions, an arrest and an ugly fight was finally fun again.

Bettis passes Riggins: 10th in rushing
JACKSONVILLE -- Playing the second half with a broken nose, Pittsburgh's Jerome Bettis gained 86 yards on 20 carries to reach 11,459 yards for his career and pass John Riggins for 10th on the career list.

Buffalo braves conditions and Williams' 228 yards
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Drew Bledsoe overcame the elements and the Bills overcame Ricky Williams' best rushing performance.

Steelers kick Jags farther down ladder
JACKSONVILLE -- The Steelers are set at kicker for their playoff push. The quarterback position is a much more interesting story.

San Diego sits atop wild West
SAN DIEGO -- LaDainian Tomlinson broke a 76-yard run. He spun this way and that. He carried a linebacker into the end zone on his back.

NFL Game Day: Week 12
Chiefs 49, Cardinals 0

Quarterbacks try to ignore showdown
New York's Chad Pennington and Oakland's Rich Gannon have the top two ratings in the AFC, but they know they can't pay attention to the other.

NHL
Sharks fire Sutter as part of shakeup
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Sharks fired coach Darryl Sutter and assistants Lorne Molleken and Rich Preston in a dramatic shakeup of the slumping team.

More sports
Gators get No. 5 seed in volleyball

GAINESVILLE -- The Florida women's volleyball team (30-2) is the No. 5 seed in the East bracket of the NCAA Tournament and a first-round host.

Sports briefs
20-year-old rallies Russia to Cup win

Davis' absence hinders Hornets
BOSTON -- New Orleans is not used to playing without Baron Davis, and it showed.

O'Meara snaps skid, wins Skins
INDIO, Calif. -- Every now and then, Mark O'Meara still can get the best of Tiger Woods.

Outdoors
Daily fishing report
This is one of the best times to fish for cobia. If they are not around channel markers, check in front of the power plant.

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