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  1. NFL nears record pace on blocked punts


    TAMPA — The Bucs had just finished a 19-17 home loss to the Rams, and coach Lovie Smith was in no mood to talk about play calling, injuries or the last-second mistake that cost his team the game.

    His focus was on special-teams mistakes and a trend that's affecting games across the league: blocked kicks.

    "You lose games when you have a field goal that's blocked when you're going to put three points on the board," Smith said after that Week 2 loss. "When you have a punt that's blocked and they score, that's when you lose."...

  2. Bucs need to become tougher football team


    TAMPA — Coach Lovie Smith calls it not being physical enough. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier believes it's a lack of play-making. Gerald McCoy says the Bucs are soft.

    By any description, the Bucs are not a very tough football team. Not on the field and certainly not in the film room.

    "Coupled with a new coaching staff and bodies in and out, put those things together, that sometimes equates to details being negated or overlooked," linebacker Jonathan Casillas said....

  3. Football: Robinson 27, Blake 7


    The score of Robinson's district game against Blake was tied at halftime. Coach Shawn Taylor knew he had to say something to his Knights during the break to motivate them.

    "We just talked about executing better. We weren't running the ball real well and we weren't pass blocking real well," he said. "We had to make adjustments."

    The Knights went down 7-0 in the third quarter but scored four unanswered touchdowns to win 27-7....

  4. Saturday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio


    Trucks: Kroger 200 qualifying10 a.m.FS1
    Sprint Cup: Goody's 500 practicenoonFS1
    Trucks: Kroger 2001:30 p.m.FS1
    Baseball, World Series
    Game 4: Royals at Giants8 p.m.Ch. 13; 620-AM
    College football
    Texas at Kansas StatenoonESPN; 98.7-FM
    Rutgers at NebraskanoonESPN2
    Minnesota at IllinoisnoonESPNU
    Memphis at SMUnoonESPNEWS
    UAB at ArkansasnoonSEC
    North Texas at RicenoonFSF
    Maryland at WisconsinnoonBig Ten
    North Carolina at Virginia12:30Ch. 44
    San Jose State at Navy1CBSSN
    Penn at Yale1:30NBCSN
    West Virginia at Oklahoma State3:30ESPN
    Mississippi State at Kentucky3:30Ch. 10
    Michigan at Michigan State3:30Ch. 28; 98.7-FM
    Oregon State at Stanford3:30ESPN2
    Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh3:30ESPNU
    Boston College at Wake Forest3:30FSF
    Texas Tech at TCU3:30Ch. 13
    Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss3:30Ch. 38
    Florida Atlantic at Marshall3:30FS1
    Vanderbilt at Missouri4SEC
    UNLV at Utah State4ESPNEWS
    Temple at UCF5CBSSN
    Syracuse at Clemson7ESPNU
    UTEP at Texas-San Antonio7Ch. 38
    Mississippi at LSU7:15ESPN; 1250-AM
    Alabama at Tennessee7:30ESPN2
    South Carolina at Auburn7:30SEC; 98.7-FM
    Ohio State at Penn State8Ch. 28; 1010-AM, 1040-AM
    USC at Utah10FS1
    Alabama A&M at Alabama State (taped)10ESPNU
    Arizona State at Washington10:45ESPN
    PGA: McGladrey Classic2 p.m.Golf
    Champions: AT&T Championship5 p.m.Golf
    Asia Pacific Amateur Championship9 p.m.ESPNews
    LPGA: Blue Bay Championship11:30 p.m.Golf
    Bruins at Maple Leafs7 p.m.NHL
    Lightning at Wild8 p.m.Sun Sports; 970-AM
    EPL: Manchester City at West Ham7:45 a.m.NBCSN; 1040-AM
    EPL: Arsenal at Sunderland10 a.m.NBCSN
    EPL: Leicester City at Swansea City12:30 p.m.Ch. 8
    MLS: Los Angeles at Seattle2:30 p.m.Ch. 8
    Mexican: Guadalajara at Pachuca9 p.m.Telemundo
    WTA Championships6 a.m.Tennis
    ATP: Swiss Indoors9:30 a.m.Tennis

  5. Pinellas Game of the Week: Lakewood 49, Tarpon Springs 29


    ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood locked up first place in Class 5A, District 8 with a balanced 49-29 win over Tarpon Springs on Friday.

    The Spartans ground out 214 yards rushing and got 169 passing yards from quarterback Ryan Davis to finish district play 4-0.

    Tarpon Springs (5-3, 2-1) needs a win over Boca Ciega next Friday to secure the second playoff spot.

    "Tarpon is a really, really good football team, but tonight was our night,'' Lakewood coach Cory Moore said. "Our big beef boys came together tonight. We wanted to make (Tarpon) work 60 seconds of every minute. We do that, we should be on top.''...

    Lakewood’s Romello Presley high-steps it into the end zone in the second quarter for one of his two touchdowns in the game.
  6. Football: East Lake 45, Pinellas Park 14


    PINELLAS PARK — East Lake receiver George Campbell stood by a fence when a media horde swarmed around him moments after his team clinched its fourth straight Class 7A, District 9 title with a 45-14 demolishing of Pinellas Park.

    Campbell, a five-star recruit who has committed to FSU, resumed his rightful place in the spotlight, patiently answering each question after he came up with his biggest performance of the season with eight catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns....

  7. Four people in critical condition after head-on crash in Gibsonton


    Four people were taken to a hospital in critical condition, including three children who were ejected from an SUV after it was involved in a head-on crash with a U-Haul truck Friday night in Gibsonton, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said.

    The crash happened at 7 p.m. at Symmes Road and U.S. 41. Ten of the 11 people in the SUV were injured — four in critical condition, one with serious injuries, and five others with injuries, Fire Rescue said....

  8. Hillsborough Game of the Week: Tampa Bay Tech 42, Gaither 32


    TAMPA — Gaither's newfound run game had worked wonders for the Cowboys so far this season, and they asserted themselves on the ground after the very first snap Friday against Tampa Bay Tech, totaling 50 yards on the first three plays.

    Before long, though, Titans quarterback Deon Cain showed them two could play that game.

    Cain rushed for 250 yards and two touchdowns in the district matchup, leading Tampa Bay Tech to a 42-32 victory. The Titans now have a chance to play for a district title against Sickles next week. ...

    Tampa Bay Tech quarterback Deon Cain tries to eluded the grasp of Gaither safety Logan Young.
  9. USF Bulls fall at Cincinnati


    CINCINNATI — Apparently, all those positive vibes USF culled from last week's historic victory at Tulsa never crossed the Ohio River on Friday. On a crisp Cincinnati night, beneath a majestic Midwest skyline, the Bulls experienced no second-half resurgence.

    Only three-quarter regression.

    Interceptions, infractions and basic ineptitude converged to kill any chance of the Bulls escaping Paul Brown Stadium with a critical American Athletic Conference victory. Exploiting most of the blunders, Cincinnati held off a Steven Bench-led fourth-quarter rally for a 34-17 triumph....

    Cincinnati’s Johnny Holton runs past USF defensive back Nate Godwin on his way to a 38-yard touchdown reception.
  10. Drouin gets first goal, Lightning tops Jets

    Lightning Strikes

    WINNIPEG — Star center Steven Stamkos knows there will be a lot of comparisons between his current linemate, touted rookie wing Jonathan Drouin, and former longtime wingman Marty St. Louis.

    "But he's his own player," Stamkos said of Drouin. "The skill set is there. It's pretty impressive to see."

    Drouin's skills were on full display Friday night as he picked up his first NHL goal and an assist as the Lightning beat the Jets 4-2 at the MTS Centre. ...

    Jonathan Drouin gets congratulations from the bench after scoring his first NHL goal, which gives the Lightning a 2-0 lead in the second period.
  11. Rays wish Joe Maddon best, say they'll be okay

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — First, the architect who built the team, Andrew Friedman bolted for big bucks with the Dodgers. Now, barely a week later, the man who managed so deftly for nine years, Joe Maddon, opted out of his contract without another job.

    Plus, the payroll is headed down after a frustrating season, attendance remains among the worst in the majors, and there still has been no real progress on a new stadium....

  12. Top things to do the week of Oct. 27-Nov.2


    Halloween: Zombies and vampires and ghosties — oh my! It's their night Friday and all week long. If you haven't already hit the major attractions, it's time to catch Busch Garden's zombie-shooting Howl-O-Scream ($45-$65), Lowry Park Zoo's family-friendly ZooBoo ($18, $14 ages 3-11) or Dr. Radley's Nightmare Machine at the Radley Haunted House ($5). Find more haunted houses, corn mazes and trick-or-treat spots at tampabay.com/halloween....

  13. From This Day: Couple connect through love of sports


    TOWN 'N COUNTRY — It's amazing Brandan Teague didn't pull a muscle straining to stare at Angela Hall working out at the University of Tampa gym.

    "Everybody noticed her," said Teague, who played third base and pitched for UT in 2008-09. Eyeing Hall certainly reduced his teammates' complaints during those grueling workouts.

    Hall wasn't exactly oblivious to the attention, but stayed focused on her trainer, who arranged for the former cheerleader to use the campus gym. A year or so later, he coincidentally invited them both to participate in his running club. That's where Teague finagled an introduction....

    Since he first saw Angela Hall in the gym, Brandan Teague was her biggest fan. The couple connected through a love of sports, especially college football.
  14. Davis sets USF career receptions record


    CINCINNATI — Four autumns after routinely posting video game-like receiving numbers for Jefferson High, Andre Davis proved he had at least one more historic Friday night left in him.

    With the Cincinnati skyline as a backdrop, an ESPN2 viewership as an audience, and a critical first down as the stake, Davis became USF's career receptions leader in Friday's opening quarter.

    His 8-yard catch on third and 5 in Cincinnati territory, which set up Marvin Kloss' 44-yard field goal, gave Davis 132 career receptions, eclipsing Hugh Smith's 12-year-old mark....

    TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 11: Andre Davis #7 of the South Florida Bulls runs on a 51-yard touchdown reception in the first half of the game against the East Carolina Pirates at Raymond James Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) 514445363
  15. Ryan Callahan skates for first time since injury

    Lightning Strikes

    WINNIPEG — There was a surprise late arrival for the Lightning's morning skate Friday, with RW Ryan Callahan jumping on the ice near the end.

    " 'Cally!' " one player yelled.

    It was the first time Callahan, 29, skated since suffering a lower-body injury in the second period of Monday's game against the Oilers. He was cautious in his strides and did some shooting. Coach Jon Cooper said the veteran is week to week. But for Callahan, it was an encouraging first step....

    Vancouver Canucks' Luca Sbisa, back left, of Switzerland, collides with Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop, back right, as Ryan Callahan (24) skates past during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) VCRD101