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Confident Canada ready for huge game vs. Mexico: ‘We’re going for No. 1’

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EDMONTON — Alphonso Davies has spent more than enough time in Edmonton to know things can get pretty chilly in the city by mid-November. But apparently the local hero hadn’t done a hard examination of the forecast ahead of Canada’s massive match against Mexico on Tuesday night.

After training on Sunday evening, Davies fielded questions on the Commonwealth Stadium pitch while wearing a long, black parka that extended down to his knees. When talk turned to the fact conditions figured to be taking a turn for the colder — as in, possibly into the negative double-digits — Davies made an unmistakable, “Oh, really?” face before addressing the notion such weather would be an advantage for the home side.

“Minus-10 (Celsius) is not easy on anyone,” the Edmonton boy said with a little smile. “That’s going to be a little bit tough. But we’re Canadian, we’re built for this weather.”

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Yes, it was long ago established that Canadians can handle the harshest winter conditions. Where a band of Canucks is trying to break new ground, though, is by proving soccer teams from this country can consistently win high-stakes games against the toughest competition. Canada sure got a big victory on Friday, winning the first of two Concacaf matches slated for Northern Alberta by downing Costa Rica 1-0 in cold — but not truly frigid — temperatures.

Now, a little more than a month after earning a draw in Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium, Canada hosts the traditional Concacaf power with a chance to blow past them in the World Cup qualifying standings.

Watch Canada’s quest for a World Cup berth on Sportsnet and SN NOW
Canada hosts Mexico in a crucial World Cup qualifying match on Tuesday. Live coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. ET/ 5:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet and SN NOW.
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Mexico and the United States sit tied atop the table with 14 points apiece following the Americans’ 2-0 victory over their neighbours to the south on Friday. Canada — the only undefeated side in the group — is just a single point behind at 13. The top three seeds in the table automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, so it goes without saying pocketing three points versus the Mexicans would be absolutely huge for a Canadian team that’s striving to demonstrate it belongs with the big boys.

“Hopefully we can get the three points and show Edmonton and all of Canada that we’re a serious team,” Canadian midfielder Samuel Piette said. “Obviously the standings speak for itself, but I think the quality we have; we’ve been showing through the campaign and even before we’re a serious team, that we can face anyone.”

While some talk will inevitably be centred on the weather potentially giving the home side a leg up of some kind, Piette noted Canada — from playing in scorching hot temperatures in places like Jamaica to competing in extremely hostile environments — always faces challenges of a different kind when it’s on the road. As for the last time Canada was in Mexico, Piette actually thinks his squad could have done better than the 1-1 tie it registered.

“We had a good result down there,” he said. “[But] I don’t think we were satisfied; I think we could have, honestly, won that game.”

Now comes the critical return match. And while Canadian fans might not be credited with having raucous passion of Mexican supporters just yet, it’s clear to see the players have been invigorated by the tremendous reception they’ve received in Edmonton. The crowd of more than 48,000 on Friday surely earned 12th-man status as they roared and sang throughout the match. Against an even tougher opponent, forward Lucas Cavallini is hoping for more of the same.

“Hopefully the atmosphere is going to be [as good] as Friday’s game,” he said. “The boys are ready; they’re hungry. We’ve been waiting for Mexico to come here and play in our home.”

When the game is in the books, Canada will have completed eight Concacaf World Cup qualifiers, with six more to go when the schedule picks back up in late January. Realistically, this short homestand became some version of a success when Canada earned the win over Costa Rica. A loss — even a draw — there would have been pretty tough to swallow. According to Piette, though, the Canadians came to Edmonton with one thing in mind and have no desire to settle for less.

“We wanted to get six [points], that was our main objective,” he said. “Obviously we know top three [in the table] qualifies you for Qatar, but we’re going for No. 1.”

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How to watch Appalachian State vs. James Madison: NCAA Football live stream info, TV channel, time, game odds

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Who’s Playing

James Madison @ Appalachian State

Current Records: James Madison 2-0; Appalachian State 2-1

What to Know

The James Madison Dukes watched the action from their couches last weekend, but are set to take to the field. James Madison and the Appalachian State Mountaineers will face off in a Sun Belt battle at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The odds don’t look promising for the Dukes, but the bigger the opponent is, the harder they fall.

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A well-balanced attack led James Madison over the Norfolk State Spartans every single quarter on their way to victory two weeks ago. James Madison claimed a resounding 63-7 win over Norfolk State at home. The game was pretty much decided by the half, when the score had already reached 35 to nothing.

Meanwhile, Appalachian State didn’t have too much breathing room in their contest with the Troy Trojans last week, but they still walked away with a 32-28 victory. Appalachian State QB Chase Brice was slinging it as he passed for two TDs and 279 yards on 34 attempts. Near the top of the highlight reel was Brice’s 53-yard TD bomb to WR Christan Horn in the fourth quarter.

Their wins bumped the Dukes to 2-0 and the Mountaineers to 2-1. Watch the matchup and check back on CBS Sports to find out who keeps up the positive energy and who hits a stumbling block.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kidd Brewer Stadium — Boone, North Carolina
  • TV: ESPN Plus
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $40.99

Odds

The Mountaineers are a solid 6.5-point favorite against the Dukes, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Mountaineers as a 7.5-point favorite.

Over/Under: -111

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See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



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UTSA vs. Texas Southern: How to watch NCAA Football online, TV channel, live stream info, game time

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Who’s Playing

Texas Southern @ UTSA

Current Records: Texas Southern 1-2; UTSA 1-2

What to Know

The Texas Southern Tigers will take on the UTSA Roadrunners at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Alamodome. Texas Southern isn’t favored, but they just beat the odds in their last game, so don’t count them out.

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The Tigers kept a clean sheet against the Southern University Jaguars last week and took the matchup 24 to nothing. The squad ran away with 21 points in the first half and mostly just sat on those in the second to pick up the victory.

Meanwhile, it was all tied up 17-17 at halftime, but UTSA was not quite the Texas Longhorns’ equal in the second half when they met last week. The Roadrunners suffered a grim 41-20 defeat to the Longhorns. This contest was a close 17-17 at the break, but unfortunately for UTSA it sure didn’t stay that way. A silver lining for them was the play of RB Brenden Brady, who threw one touchdown in addition to punching in one rushing touchdown.

Texas Southern’s win lifted them to 1-2 while UTSA’s loss dropped them down to 1-2. We’ll find out if the Tigers can add another positive mark to their record or if UTSA can shake off the defeat and take the spring out of Texas Southern’s step.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Alamodome — San Antonio, Texas
  • TV: STADIUM
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $69.00

Odds

The Roadrunners are a big 42-point favorite against the Tigers, according to the latest college football odds.

Bettors have moved against the Roadrunners slightly, as the game opened with the Roadrunners as a 44-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

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Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



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North Carolina vs. Notre Dame live stream info, TV channel: How to watch NCAA Football on TV, stream online

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Who’s Playing

Notre Dame @ North Carolina

Current Records: Notre Dame 1-2; North Carolina 3-0

What to Know

The North Carolina Tar Heels will be returning home after a two-game road trip. They will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kenan Memorial Stadium after a week off. UNC is expected to win — but not by much — so they will need to come into the game prepared for a fight.

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The Tar Heels beat the Georgia State Panthers 35-28 two weeks ago. Among those leading the charge for UNC was RB Omarion Hampton, who rushed for two TDs and 110 yards on 16 carries. Hampton put himself on the highlight reel with a 58-yard TD scramble in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame netted a 24-17 victory over the California Golden Bears last week. RB Audric Estime and RB Chris Tyree were among the main playmakers for Notre Dame as the former punched in one rushing touchdown and the latter snatched one receiving TD.

Notre Dame’s defense was a presence as well, as it embarrassed California’s offensive line to sack QB Jack Plummer six times for a total loss of 47 yards. It was a group effort with four guys contributing.

The wins brought the Tar Heels up to 3-0 and the Fighting Irish to 1-2. A pair of stats to keep an eye on: UNC enters the matchup with 310 passing yards per game on average, good for 21st best in the nation. But Notre Dame comes into the contest boasting the 34th fewest passing yards allowed per game in the nation at 184. These opposing strengths should make for an exciting matchup.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kenan Memorial Stadium — Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • TV: ABC
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $110.00

Odds

The Tar Heels are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Fighting Irish, according to the latest college football odds.

The line on this game has moved quite a bit since it opened, as it started out with the Fighting Irish as a 1.5-point favorite.

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Over/Under: -110

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Notre Dame have won all of the games they’ve played against North Carolina in the last eight years.

  • Oct 30, 2021 – Notre Dame 44 vs. North Carolina 34
  • Nov 27, 2020 – Notre Dame 31 vs. North Carolina 17
  • Oct 07, 2017 – Notre Dame 33 vs. North Carolina 10



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