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NFL: Tampa Bay 27, Carolina 3

Oct. 12, 2008 at 5:23 PM   |   Comments

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TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Geno Hayes's 22-yard touchdown return of a first-quarter blocked punt Sunday started Tampa Bay on its way to a 27-3 win over the Carolina Panthers.

The Buccaneers' defense held Carolina without a touchdown and helped the team snap a five-game losing streak against the Panthers.

Quarterback Jeff Garcia, subbing for the injured Brian Griese (elbow), completed 15-of-20 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown toss to Alex Smith in the second quarter.

Warrick Dunn rushed for 115 yards on 22 carries, and Earnest Graham scored once for the Buccaneers (4-2), who pulled into a three-way tie with Carolina and Atlanta for first place in the crowded NFC South.

Graham gained 47 yards on two receptions.

Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme went 20-for-39 for 242 yards and three interceptions.

Wide receiver Steve Smith made six catches for 112 yards, but running back DeAngelo Williams gained only 27 yards on 11 carries for the 4-2 Panthers.

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