Giants stay alive, Syracuse pounds UConn, NFL News and Notes, NHL cancels more games, Dirk out 4-6 weeks after knee surgery, Nascar + Free Play for Saturday, October 20, 2012

Zito and Giants blank St Louis

Barry Zito is the Giants fifth starter but he came up with a gem on Friday and even helped out with the bat as the Giants stayed alive in their NLCS series with St Louis with a 5-0. Zito pitched 7 2/3 of six-hit shut out ball and chipped in with an RBI single as Giants return home to San Francisco trailing three games to two and with Ryan Vogelsong a -116 favorite over Chris Carpenter on Sunday in Game Six. First pitch is at 7:35 PM EST. Detroit awaits the winner in the 2012 Fall Classic.

Syracuse punches out UConn 40-10

The Syracuse offense took a little while to get going but it eventually kicked into high gear rolling to 502 yards in the Orange 40-10 blowout win over Connecticut. The win snapped a Syracuse five-game losing streak to the Huskies and ruined the return of former head coach Paul Paqualoni who coached the Orange from 1991-2004. Ryan Nassib was 14-20 for 251 and two scores. Jerome Smith had 133 yards on just 19 carries while Alec Lemon had eight catches for 166 and a touchdown for the homies who took were in a virtual must win if they hope to become Bowl eligible.

There’s a full slate of Saturday college football in Week Eight with several matchups between ranked teams. No.6 LSU visits No.20 Texas A&M at 12:00 Noon EST to get the party started. No.9 South Carolina visits the No.3 Florida Gators in the swamp. It’s the Gamecocks third straight game against a Top Ten ranked opponent. No.4 Kansas State takes on No.17 West Virginia at Morgantown as the Mountaineers and Heisman front runner Geno Smith look to rebound from last week’s shellacking at Texas Tech. While not a battle of ranked teams, No.12 Florida State takes om Miami Fla in tonight’s feature late action. The Seminoles are prohibitive three touchdown favorites.

Goodell will not hear Bountygate appeals

In somewhat of a surprise move, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has recused himself the Saint’s Bountygate appeals and will instead hand them off to former NFL commission Paul Tagliabue. The appeals were originally set to be heard Tuesday, but the hearing has been moved to Oct. 30. More on this to follow on Monday.

Kahne wins pole for Kansas

Kasey Kahne shattered the track record by turning a lap of 191.360 mph at the newly repaved Kansas Speedway to earn the pole for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400. Mark Martin, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Aric Amendola, and Ryan Newman round out the first three rows. This is the sixth race in the 10 event Chase. Brad Keselowski leads Jimmie Johnson by seven points and Denny Hamlin by 15 in the Sprint Cup Championship standings.

NHL cancels regular through November 1st

In a move that was fully expected after the league and NHLPA got nowhere during this week’s talks, the NHL canceled regular season games through November 1st. That makes the total number of games chopped to 135 and means that the sides will likely need to come to an agreement this week if there is any hope of salvaging a full 82 game schedule.

Nowitzki has knee surgery, out 4-6 weeks

Not good news out of the Dallas Mavericks camp as All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Nowitzki will be unable to resume on the court activities for about six weeks and the tentative timeline has him returning to play December 3rd vs Detroit meaning he would miss the Mavs first 16 games. Ten of those games are against projected playoff teams.

Free Play

(NCAAF) Wisconsin -14.5 over Minnesota (Oct 20, 12:00 PM EST)