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NC State scores two TDs in 26 seconds to beat North Carolina, eliminating Clemson from ACC title race

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USATSI

No. 20 NC State kept its hopes of winning the ACC Atlantic division alive on Friday night, rallying to knock off North Carolina 34-30 in miraculous fashion. The Wolfpack came back from a 30-21 deficit in the final 2:12 with the help of two touchdowns in 26 seconds, an onside kick and an interception on a last-second heave to the end zone from the Tar Heels to improve to 9-3 (6-3 ACC).

The comeback was nothing short of improbable, as NC State became the first team to win a game this season when trailing by nine points with less than 2:30 to play in regulation, per ESPN Stats & Info

The win gives NC State its third straight victory in the rivalry series and means it will be closely watching Wake Forest’s game with Boston College on Saturday. If the Demon Deacons falter on the road against the Eagles, then NC State will represent the Atlantic Division in the ACC title game against Pittsburgh next week. If Wake Forest wins, it will represent the division against the Panthers. 

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Either way, No. 23 Clemson has been eliminated from the ACC Atlantic race, ending a streak of six straight conference title game appearances (and wins) for the Tigers. And for the first time in a decade, neither Clemson nor Florida State will represent the Atlantic in the conference title. 

The possibility of an NC State win seemed far-fetched when UNC’s Grayson Atkins drilled a 50-yard field goal with 2:12 remaining to put his team ahead by nine. But NC State quarterback Devin Leary promptly found star receiver Emeka Emezie for a 64-yard touchdown to get the Wolfpack within 30-28.

From there, a perfectly executed onside kick returned possession to NC State with 1:33 still remaining. Another touchdown connection between Leary and Emezie — this one covering 24 yards — gave NC State the lead with 1:09 remaining.

UNC had 1:09 on the clock when it took over possession and drove to the NC State 30. But Sam Howell’s final throw was intercepted in the end zone with no time left on the clock, and the Wolfpack fans rushed the field in celebration. With one more win — either in the ACC title game or a bowl game — NC State will have reached 10 victories for the first time since 2002.

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Croatia coach sends Canada a stern message ahead of World Cup showdown

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DOHA, Qatar — Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic sent Canada a message Saturday at the World Cup. And he didn’t need the F-word to deliver it.

Dalic offered up a stern statement when asked about John Herdman’s emotional words after Canada’s 1-0 loss to Belgium on Wednesday.

Asked in a pitchside interview what he had said to his team in a post-game huddle, the Canada coach replied: “I told them they belong here and we’re going to go and eff— Croatia. That’s as simple as it gets.”

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While Herdman delivered the last line with a smile, Dalic clearly did not see the humour.

When a Canadian reporter at Saturday’s pre-game news conference asked Dalic for his team’s response to Herdman’s heat, the Croatia coach lectured his opposition ahead of Sunday’s showdown at Khlalifa International Stadium.

Dalic used the world “respect” 12 times in his answer.

“The Croatian team deserves respect from everyone. We respect everyone, equally so,” he said through an interpreter. “We expect our opposing teams to respect us. We are worthy of their respect. The Canadians must also have respect for us. This way of putting words together is not a sign of respect. We are the (2018 World Cup runners-up), not Brazil, Spain or other countries.”

“I shall not focus or comment on any other people’s comments,” he added. “We will be prepared (Sunday), we will be fit and we will demonstrate respect for Canada and for everyone else. We expect respect just as we exercise this view”

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Croatian forward Ivan Perisic then backed up his coach, saying simply: “I second the head coach and I cannot wait for the match to begin.”

Sunday may prove otherwise but it seems, motivationally speaking, Canada has taken a knife to a gunfight.

Both the 41st-ranked Canadians and No. 12 Croatia need to get points out of the match. Belgium tops Group F with three points while Croatia and Morocco both have one point after their scoreless draw.

Canada needs to secure at least a point if it hopes to have any chance of reaching the knockout round. A loss Sunday and the Canadians can finish with no more than three points while Croatia ups its total to four. And no matter what happens in Sunday’s match between No. 2 Belgium and No. 22 Morocco, one of those teams will have at least four points.

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With only two teams advancing out of the group, that would render Canada’s final group game next Thursday with Morocco meaningless in terms of tournament progression.

“At the end of the day, both teams really have to win this game,” said Herdman.

Croatian reporters didn’t bother engaging Zlatko on Herdman’s inflammatory words. They had already done so, with tabloids back home having a field day.

In contrast, three of the first four questions in Herdman’s availability were about his post-game hot take. Another came later.

The Canada coach, who had already addressed the issue on Thursday, tried to laugh off the reaction he had sparked in the Croatia camp.

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He insisted he was on task “and loving the experience.” And he rejected the assertion that his words were just another motivational tool.

“We’ve been waiting 36 years to get here. I’ve used all my motivation tactics in the 20-odd games it took to get here,” he said in self-deprecating fashion.

But he maintained his words to his players in the post-game huddle after Belgium were simply “to remind them that there’s another task ahead.”

And he was quick to compliment Croatia, calling it a “top top top top football team.”

“(A) hell of a test. Hell of a test for this team,” he added. “But we’re excited.”

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Herdman called Sunday’s match a “defining moment for Canada in this World Cup. It’s one of those do-or-die games now that we have to perform in to stay at a World Cup.”

Dalic, meanwhile, called Canada “a tough team full of self-confidence.”

The two sides have never met before.

The Croatian roster features the likes of Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Perisic (Tottenham), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) and Mario Pasalic (Atalanta). Only six of its 26-man roster play at home in Croatia, with four of those at Dinamo Zagreb.

Despite that talent, Croatia had its hands full with No. 22 Morocco in its tournament opener, playing to a scoreless draw in a game that saw each team put just two shots on target.

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Croatia goes into Sunday’s match riding a seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2) dating back to a 3-0 loss to Austria in June in UEFA Nations League play. Croatia avenged that defeat with a 3-1 decision over the Austrians in September.

Croatia has outscored the opposition 9-3 over that run, which includes a win and tie against No. 4 France.

“With all due respect to Croatia, they have a very very good team. It’s going to be tough for us,” said Canadian midfielder Stephen Eustaquio. “But it’s going to be tough for them as well.”

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Fans React To Davante Adams’ NFL Fine

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(Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)

 

Last week in a game against the Denver Broncos, Davante Adams got into an argument with an NFL official.

While the Las Vegas Raiders won the game, it is Adams who is losing some money over his actions.

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So how much money has the NFL fined Adams, and how are fans reacting to the fine?

 

Tom Pelissero Reports Adams’ Fine While Fans React

It was NFL insider Tom Pelissero who broke the news of Adams’ fine on Twitter.

His unsportsmanlike conduct towards an NFL official costs him $29,785.

While the altercation between Adams and the official was because of a missed call, it didn’t give him a pass.

With that blown call in mind, fans were quick to point this out.

For one Twitter user, they feel like the NFL should fine refs for missing calls.

Another user is also wondering about what the ref is getting fined for their part of a blown call.

However, not all the reactions were against the ref and the mistake they made last week.

One fan of the Raiders believes Adams is toxic and needs to grow up.

Their comment might have something to do with Adams shoving a cameraman back in October.

Another fan also points out how things with Adams changed when he left the Packers.

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With fans taking both sides in this story, there wasn’t any lack of fan reaction.

However, Adams can feel a little better knowing the player who hit him also got a fine from the NFL.

The post Fans React To Davante Adams’ NFL Fine appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Morocco stuns Belgium with two late goals, sets up Group F chaos

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Morocco pushed itself to the brink of qualification for the round of 16 – a tie against Canada on Thursday would make sure of it – as an underdog roared once more.



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