Ravens survive Browns, Washington punks Stanford, Hawaii at BYU tonight, NHL Lockout and NBA updates + Free Plays for Friday, September 28, 2012

Ravens get by Browns 23-16

With the regular refs returning to work on Thursday night, it was only fitting that the Browns/Raven game be decided with two shots into the end zone. This time, both passes fell incomplete and Baltimore survived with a 23-16 win ….. but it wasn’t easy. The Browns started their final drive at their own 10 with 1:10 and no time outs. Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden skillfully drove the Cleveland to the Raven 33 before a last Hail Mary fell incomplete. A personal foul gave the Browns one more shot which Weeden sailed out of the back of the end zone sending the dog and under players to the cashier.

Joe Flacco was 28-46 for 356 with a touchdown and a pick. Cleveland did a nice job on the Baltimore running game limiting Ray Rice to just 49 yards on 18 carries. Weedon was almost as good going 25-52 for 320 but his lone costly pick was run back 63 yards for a Raven touchdown and ultimately their winning points. Trent Richardson, the third pick in the April draft, had 14 carries for 47 yards and four catches for 57 yards.

Regular refs back and get standing ovation

No.8 Stanford fall 17-13 at Washington

Dog and under players cashed early and late on Thursday when Washington upset No.8 Stanford 17-13 in Seattle. The Huskies got a big effort from their defense and off the offense popped the two big plays it needed to come away with the win. Trailing 13-3 in the third quarter, Bishop Sankey (20-144) broke loose on a 61-yard to run to cut the deficit to three. A 35-yard touchdown pass from Keith Price to Kasen Williams in the fourth have UWub the lead and Washington defense did the rest. The Tree was limited to just 10 first downs and 231 net yards, their lone touchdown coming on an interception return.

In Friday college football action, Hawaii travels to Utah to take on BYU in Provo. The Warriors, who were thumped 69-24 at home by Nevada in their last, are catching 26.5 points from the hosts. The high/low is a surprisingly stingy 49 1/2. BYU looks to get healthy after back-to-back tough losses to Utah and Boise State. Weather is expected to be perfect with a game time temperature of 72 degrees.

AL pennant races: Yanks lose, Tigers and Rangers win

The New York Yankees were shut out 6-0 at Toronto and saw their AL East lead over idle Baltimore cut to one game. Brandon Morrow threw seven innings of four-hit shut out ball to pick up his ninth win. The Tigers extended their lead in the AL Central to two games with a 5-4 win over Kansas City. Detroit won on a walk off fielders choice. Motown starter Doug Fister struck out nine straight Royals at one point, one short of Tom Seaver’s major league record. The Rays stayed alive in the wildcard while handing the WSox another crushing home loss with a 3-2 win at the cell. Evan Longoria’s solo shot in the 9th was the winner. Texas pretty much iced the AL West after beating Oakland 9-7 at Texas Stadium. The Rangers lead the A’s by four full games with six to play.

The NHL cancels the rest of the preseason

The NHL has canceled the remaining 37 exhibition games scheduled from October 2nd to October 9th as the lockout continues. Talks were scheduled between the league and the NFLPA today. The NHL regular season was slated to begin October 11th.

Standard stuff from the league ….

NEW YORK (September 27, 2012) – The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the remainder of the 2012 preseason schedule.The cancellation of the preseason schedule was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.

NBA set to penalize flopping

The NBA competition committee is working to finalize a procedure that would penalize players for flopping in games. Incidents of flopping will be adjudicated post-game with fines handed out to offenders found guilty.

From the league ….

“The procedures will likely involve a postgame review as opposed to calling it as an in-game infraction”.

The new policy does not need to be approved by the Board of Governors, which meets next month in New York, because it does not involve a rule change for on-court play. In that way, the new policy will be similar to a crackdown several years ago on so-called “respect for the game” rules violations, which resulted in a brief uptick in technical fouls.

Free Play for Saturday, September 29, 2012

Northern Illinois -10 over Central Michigan (3:30 PM EST)

Central Michigan upset Iowa last week as a two touchdown underdog but lets not forget that the Chips are just 4-19 ATS in their L23 and ranked a brutal 107th in the nation defending the pass. CMU will travel to a Northern Illinois team making a seamless transition quarterback Chandler Harnish to Mike Lynch who runs for a buck-30 per game and has averaged 289 through the air in his last two. NIU will be in a foul mood and in full out revenge mode after a 48-41 (-9) loss to the Chips last year. Just can’t imagine Central Mich coming up with B2B big road or series efforts. Northern Illinois 45-10.