Rams deal Cards, USC gets by Utah, MLB Playoffs Start Today, Weekend Teaser+ Free Play for Friday, October 5, 2012

Rams sack Kolb nine time in 17-3 win

The dog and under got the money in Thursday’s NFL special as St Louis knocked Arizona from the ranks of the unbeaten 17-3. Sam Bradford completed just seven passes but two were for touchdowns and Steven Jackson rushed for 78 rugged yards in the win. The St Louis defense battered Card QB Kevin Kolb all night sacking him nine times. The Rams got two key fourth-and-goal stops in the final five minutes to preserve the win. Larry Fitzgerald had nine catches for 92 yards in defeat.

USC overcomes two touchdown deficit at Utah

Utah took advantage of a couple of fumbles to take a 14-0 lead in their Thursday night national TV matchup with USC but Matt Barkley led the Trojans back with three TD passes in a 38-28 USC win. Barkley was 23-30 for 303 and no picks. Penn State transfer Silas Redd chipped in with 77 yards and a score for the winners. Utah scored with 38 seconds left in the game to secure the backdoor cover. The 66 points flew over last nights posted high/low of 50.

In other college action Thursday night, Arkansas State beat Florida International 34-20 in Sunbelt action. David Oku ran for three touchdowns for the Red Wolves. Central Florida doubled up East Carolina 40-20 winning the second half 20-3. Knight quarterback Blake Bortles led the way with a 15-21, 269, 1-0 passing night and also ran for 62 yards on just 6 carries for a score.

Friday’s college football features an ESPN double-header. In the early 7:00 PM EST start, Pitt travels to Syracuse to face the Orange in the Carrierdome. The home team is -1.5 with the over/under up from the 57 opener to 58 1/2. In the Beehive State late game, Utah State travels to BYU for a 10:15 PM EST kickoff. The line on the side and total has held steady all week at BYU -7 with the total steady at 45 1/2.

MLB Playoffs start today with wildcards

The MLB playoffs start today with both win or go home one-game wild card games. In the early National League game, St Louis travels to Atlanta to meet the Braves. The Cards will send out Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.89), Kris Medlin (9-0, 0.97) toes the bump for the Bravos. Atlanta won five five of the six series meetings this year and are 10-1 in their L11 home games. The home team has won Medlin’s last 23 starts, he didn’t face the Cardinals in 2012. Atlanta is a -170 favorite, the high/low is 6.5 with the over -125. The first pitch is at 5:05 PM EST on TBS.

In the American League wildcard, Baltimore travels to Texas to take on the Rangers. Southpaw Joe Saunders (9-13, 4.07) gets the start for the O’s against the Rangers big money off season acquisition, Yu Darvish (16-9, 3.89). Texas is a -190 favorite with the total of nine shaded -125 to the under. Texas won the season series 5-2 but staggered home 2-7 in their L9 to lose the division to the A’s. Baltimore went 12-5 over their final 17 to fall a game short of the Yankees in the AL East. Darvish is 4-0 with a 2.06 ERA in his L6 starts.

Red Sox fire Valentine after turbulent one year

The Boston Red Sox have fired manager Bobby Valentine after one season. The brash and supremely confident manager was fired on Thursday, the day after the finale of a season beset with internal sniping and far too many losses. Valentine went 69-93 in his only year in Boston, the ballclub’s worst season in almost 50 years. Under Valentine, the Red Sox started 4-10 and didn’t break .500 until after Memorial Day. After a 7-20 September collapse in 2011, the Red Sox went 7-22 this September dropping their final eight games.

BoSox management discusses Valentine’s one-year tenure

The NHL cancels the first two weeks of the regular season

With the NHL and the NHLPA still reportedly light years apart, the league has decided to cancel the first two weeks of the regular season that was scheduled to open on October 11th. From the league …..

NEW YORK (October 4, 2012) – The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through October 24. A total of 82 regular-season games were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Oct. 24.

The cancellation was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.

Free Play

(Sat) Wisconsin -14 over Illinois (3:30 PM EST)