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Giants spank Panthers, Boise survives 7-6, Reds and Nats clinch playoffs, Tiger co-leads Tour Championship, + Free Plays for Friday, September 21, 2012

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Giants rout the Panthers 36-7

No Hakeem Nix … no Ahmed Bradshaw … no Domonik Hixon … no problem. The undermanned Giants went into Carolina and got big nights from Eli Manning, Andre Brown, and Ramses Barden to blow out the homestanding Panthers 36-7. Manning followed up Sunday’s 510 yard outing vs Tampa Bay with an economical 28-35, 288, 1-0 performance while Andre Brown rushed for 113 and two scores as Big Blue jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead and never looked back. It was a tough night for Cam and the Panthers who turned the ball over five times including three Newton picks.

The NFL has sent a warning to all 32 that it waill not tolerate berating the replacement officials. NFL.com said on Thursday night that senior league officials called owners, general managers and coaches from all 32 teams to tell them that respect for the game demands better on-field behavior. NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson singled out Monday night’s game for having examples of “unacceptable behavior.” He didn’t specify which incidents in the Atlanta Falcons’ victory over Denver crossed the line, but Broncos coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio both had heated arguments with officials.
The last time that the league addressed “on-the-field conduct” was in October of 2010 when a warning was sent out on helmet-to-helmet hits on unprotected receivers.

Boise stops BYU 2-point conversion to hold on

Boise State got their only points on a defensive touchdown and then stuffed a BYU 2-point conversion in the final four minutes to beat the Cougars 7-6 on the Smurf Turf. The game featured just 481 yards of total offense, six turnovers and 30 penalties for 260 yards. After a scoreless first half, Boise State broke through on a 36-yard interception return from Mike Atkinson on BYU’s first possession of the third quarter. BYU backup QB Taysom Hill engineered an 83-yard 11 play drive finally hitting paydirt with just 3:37 left to play. Cougar HC Bronco Mendenhall elected to go for two and was unsuccessful. Boise State recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

Tonight, Baylor travels to UL Monroe to face the Warhawks. The game opened with Baylor -8 and the total 68.5 but UL Monroe and over money has sent the number to Baylor -7 and the total 70. UL Monroe is getting a lot of respect for a Sunbelt team having taken two SEC teams to the limit the last two weeks, beating Arkansas in overtime, and losing to Auburn in OT. Weather should be near perfect with a game time temperature in the 80s.

Reds and Nats are first to clinch the playoffs

The Cincinnati Reds are the first team to clinch a spot in the MLB postseason after 5-3 win over the Cubs. The Reds used a five-run 7th-inning to make Johnny Cueto Cincinnati’s first 18-game winner since 1995. The Reds magic number to clinch the NL Cantral is down to two.

Washington also clinched a spot in the playoffs with a 4-1 win over the LA Dodgers. Russ Detwiler pitched six strong innings before turning things over to the Nat pen which held the Dodgers scoreless on one hit the rest of the way. Washinton’s magic number to clinch the NL East is three. The Nats and Reds each have 91 wins in the battle for best record and home field through the playoffs.

Tiger shares the lead at the Tour Championship

Tiger Woods and Justin Rose are the co-leaders at 4-under after the opening round of the Tour Championship at East Lake outside of Atlanta. Scott Piercy, Bo Van Pelt, Matt Kuchar, and Steve Stricker are a shot back in the final event for the Fed Ex Cup. Rory McIlroy, off back-to-back wins at the Deutsche Bank and BMW Championships is at -1 along with Phil Mickelson.

Gillispie resigns job at Texas Tech

Texas Tech Red Raider men’s basketball coach Billy Gillespie has resigned citing health reason. Gillespie has come under scrutiny over the last month for allegations of mistreating players and staff. Gillispie, who has been battling high blood pressure, will be paid for the rest of his contract which expires in April of 2013. Chris Walker, who took over day-to-day duties for the team in recent weeks, has been named the interim head coach. He’s the team’s fourth coach in four years.

Nets first year in Brooklyn chronicled in The Association

The NBA has announced that it will chronicle the Nets first season in Brooklyn in this year’s edition of “The Association”, basically the NBA’s version of the NFL’s ‘Hard Knocks”. The league has previously followed the the Los Angeles Lakers (2009-10), Boston Celtics (2010-11), and Denver Nuggets (2011-12). This year’s series tips off on October 16th.

Barcelona set to upgrade Messi’s deal

Barcelona is looking into improving and extending the deal of star striker Lionel Messi depite his current deal having four more years to run. Messi, who scored 70 goals in all competitions for the Catalans last year, is locked up with Barca through the summer of 2016 but the Barca front office is looking to take care of the 25-year-old Argentinian and avoid problems down the line.

Free Plays

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(MLB) Baltimore (Gonzalez) +116 over BoSox (Lester) 7:10 PM EST

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(MLB) Texas (Perez) -130 over Seattle (Iwakuma) 10:10 PM EST

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