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Fast Start Helps Buccaneers to 20-7 Win in Carolina

Graham reaches for the end zone

The Buccaneers jumped all over the Panthers early and cruised to a 20-7 victory yesterday in Carolina. Tampa Bay raced out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on touchdown runs by Jeff Garcia and Earnest Graham.  The defense was dominant once again, holding Carolina to 236 net yards and forcing two turnovers.  Panthers receiver Steve Smith was held in check to the tune of five receptions for 32 yards.  But there was some bad news in the loss.  Running back Cadillac Williams and left tackle Luke Petitgout suffered knee injuries in the first half.  Caddy’s injury appears to be serious.  An update on those injuries is expected today.  Michael Pittman picked up the slack with 90 yards rushing on 15 carries.  Graham finished with 17 carries for 48 yards and a score.  Tampa Bay improves to 3-and-1 and they now take over sole possession of first place in the NFC South.  The Bucs visit the Colts next week.  Carolina drops to 2-and-2.

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