Your Must-See Sports Headlines for Today, September 29

Getty The Clemson Tigers held on for a tight victory against North Carolina on Saturday.

Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Saturday, highlighted by the top-ranked Clemson Tigers avoiding an upset of massive proportions against North Carolina by stuffing a 2-point conversion with the game on the line.

We’ll also take a look at the war of words between free agent wide receiver Antonio Brown and Cleveland Browns star quarterback Baker Mayfield escalating, as well as Mets rookie Pete Alonso setting the rookie home run record with his 53rd dinger.

All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Sunday!


STUFFED: Clemson Hangs on for ‘Ugly’ Win Over North Carolina


Clemson vs. North Carolina Football Highlights (2019)Clemson vs. North Carolina:  With 1:17 left in the game, North Carolina scored a touchdown and went for two, but Clemson stuffed the run on the 2-point conversion attempt and won the game 21-20.  The #1 team in the nation did not get their first lead in the game until 9:54 left in the fourth quarter…2019-09-28T23:42:31.000Z

North Carolina put it all on the line, but came up just a few yards short.

After battling and hanging around all day against No. 1 Clemson, the Tar Heels decided to go for the 2-point conversion and the win with just over a minute left.

North Carolina quarter Sam Howell’s carried the ball on an option play, but he was stuffed at the goal line and his last ditch pitch back didn’t work either, giving Clemson the narrow 21-20 victory.

“It came down to one play, that’s what happens a lot of times,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “We made the play we had to make to win the game.”

North Carolina head coach did not have any regrets about the gutsy call, which could have resulted in the biggest win in program history. The Tar Heels fell to 0-11 against No. 1-ranked teams

“My thought was, ‘go now, we’ve got momentum, they’re tired,” Brown told the media after the loss. “So that was the best chance for us to win the game.”

Coming off a loss to Appalachian State, UNC needed some kind of boost. And while Mack wouldn’t go as far to call the tight loss against the defending national champions a “morale victory,” he understood what kind of impact it could have on his team.

“I told the players that we’re not into moral victories,” Brown said. “That can’t happen, because you’ve got to learn to win. … I told them in my 31 years of coaching, I’ve never been prouder of their effort, because if I’m a reflection of the way those guys fought tonight, then I’m very, very proud of that.”

Meanwhile, the narrow escape by Clemson brought up some questions for the Tigers, who were listed as 27-point road favorites for the game.

“We know it’s hard to win,” quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. “Sometimes it’s easy to forget that when you win so many games by so many points. This game is only going to make us better.”

One bettor was particularly happy after the victory. According to Bleacher Report, SuperBookUSA took a $50,000 bet to win just $1,000 on Clemson. Talk about sweating it out.

 

WATCH THIS: Western Carolina Punter Turns on the Jets for Highlight Reel TD

Western Carolina punter Caleb Ferguson showed off more than just his punting leg on Saturday.

On a wild fake punt, Ferguson scooted 69 yards for a touchdown in the Catamounts’ game against UT-Chattanooga, putting one on the board for the often disrespected punter position — well, kind of.

Ferguson is listed as a running back but has been pulling double-duty as a punter for Western Carolina. Nonetheless, it was a massive play — although the Catamounts lost 60-36.

BEST OF THE REST: How the Top 25 Fared This Week

There weren’t a ton of huge games on Saturday, but with another week in the books there should be some movement in the Associated Press Top 25, especially toward the top if voters are eager to put the Crimson Tide No. 1 after Clemson’s scare. It will be something to watch going forward.

Here’s how the top teams in the nation did this week:

  • No. 1 Clemson (5-0) beat North Carolina 21-20
  • No. 2 Alabama (5-0) beat Mississippi 59-31
  • No. 3 Georgia (4-0) did not play
  • No. 4 LSU (4-0) did not play
  • No. 5 Ohio State (5-0) beat Nebraska 48-7
  • No. 6 Oklahoma (4-0) beat Texas Tech 55-16
  • No. 7 Auburn (5-0) beat Mississippi State 56-23
  • No. 8 Wisconsin (4-0) beat Northwestern 24-15
  • No. 9 Florida (5-0) beat Towson 38-0
  • No. 10 Notre Dame (3-1) beat No. 18 Virginia 35-20
  • No. 11 Texas (3-1) did not play
  • No. 12 Penn State (4-0) beat Maryland 59-0
  • No. 13 Oregon (3-1) did not play
  • No. 14 Iowa (4-0) beat Middle Tennessee 48-3
  • No. 15 California (4-1) lost to Arizona State 24-17
  • No. 16 Boise State (4-0) did not play
  • No. 17 Washington (4-1) beat No. 21 Southern Cal 28-14
  • No. 18 Virginia (4-1) Lost to No. 10 Notre Dame 35-20
  • No. 19 Utah (4-1) beat Washington State 38-13
  • No. 20 Michigan (3-1) beat Rutgers 52-0.
  • No. 21 Southern Cal (3-2) lost to No. 17 Washington 28-14
  • No. 22 UCF (4-1) beat UConn 58-21
  • No. 23 Texas A&M (3-2) beat Arkansas 31-27
  • No. 24 Kansas State (3-1) lost to Oklahoma State 26-13
  • No. 25 Michigan State (4-1) beat Indiana 40-31

WAR OF WORDS: Antonio Brown, Baker Mayfield Exchange Jabs on Social Media

Baker Mayfield Antonio Brown

GettyBaker Mayfield and Antonio Brown.

Baker Mayfield took a shot at Antonio Brown on Instagram on Friday and it was only a matter of time before the mercurial receiver responded.

Mayfield started the beef with the free agent pass-catcher when he posted a response to a commenter comparing him to Brown.

“You’re right,” Mayfield said. “Let me call out my teammates and throw a fit about my helmet then go freeze my feet off.”

Brown’s return fire for Mayfield came early Saturday via Twitter, where he went after the Cleveland’s signal caller for everything from his draft position to demeanor.

“Should of never been drafted before Lamar Jackson what a big scam,” Brown wrote.

In an additional response, Brown added one other tweet, which he’s since deleted but B/R Gridiron posted via screenshot.

Antonio Brown Baker Mayfield

B/R Gridiron on TwitterAntonio Brown tweet

“Sorry ass Chico keep rolling right you ain’t done nothing in this league the internet only place u would ever talk too or about me; you know u get beat quick slice u up some humble pie.”

Brown didn’t just respond directly to Mayfield. He also liked a series of tweets on Saturday night making his feelings about the former Heisman winner very clear.

One tweet slammed Mayfield for his performance against teams with winning records, while another showed a video of Baker after a loss to Georgia in college where he was told to “humble himself.” The person who posted the video had just 13 followers, meaning that Brown was on a deep dive to find something he could get behind.

Brown — a four-time All-Pro — is currently a free agent after short stints with the Patriots and Raiders that ended in dramatic fashion. After seemly retiring, Brown has said through his agent that he wants to play again. He’s currently dealing with sexual assault allegations from his former trainer Britney Taylor.

Mayfield faces Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on Sunday in Browns’ first AFC North matchup of the season.


Mets Rookie Pete Alonso Sets Rookie Home Run Record With 53rd Dinger


53! Pete Alonso Sets the Rookie Home Run RecordPEEEETE! Alonso sets the MLB rookie home run record with his 53rd home run of the season. Check out m.mlb.com/video for our full archive of videos, and subscribe on YouTube for the best, exclusive MLB content: youtube.com/MLB About MLB.com: Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced on January 19, 2000, that the 30 Major League club…2019-09-29T00:31:55.000Z

Going, going, gone.

The rookie home run record will remain in New York, but will move franchises as Mets rookie Pete Alonso broke the mark Aaron Judge set in 2017 with his 53rd home run on Saturday. It came against the playoff-bound Atlanta Braves and flew 415 feet.

“There’s just euphoria and magic,” Alonso said. “It was like an out-of-body experience, almost. I felt like I wasn’t standing in the box alone.

“I was just kind of thinking about all the greats in the game of baseball. I was thinking about guys like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, guys like Aaron Judge — and the fact that I’m ahead of those guys as a rookie, it’s mind-blowing.”

Alonso already set franchise records for homers, total bases (347) and extra-base hits (85). He has 120 RBIs and 102 runs.

Judge gave a shout out to Alonso following the record-setting blast.

“There’s no better individual to represent not only the Mets but the city of New York,” Judge said. “He’s going to do a lot of special things over his long career, so I’m excited for him. It’s just the beginning for him, and it’s the first of many records he’s going to break.”

And there’s more. If Alonso maintains his lead, he would become the first rookie in the modern era (since 1900) to be the outright home run leader. The closest player nipping at his heels is Eugenio Suarez of the Cincinnati Reds with 49.


DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Headlines



WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD

NFL: Sunday Night Football, Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints
The unbeaten Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott will get their toughest test of the season as they head down to New Orleans to take on Alvin Kamara and the Saints.
WHEN: Tonight, 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: ABC

NFL: Monday Night Football, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Two winless teams meet in primetime Monday night. The AFC North rivalry matchup won’t feature the star power like it was expected to when it was put on the schedule, with both A.J. Green and Ben Roethlisberger sidelined with injuries.
WHEN: Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

NBA PRESEASON: Houston vs. Shanghai
The Houston Rockets will trot out their new-look lineup that features Russell Westbrook and James Harden for a preseason matchup against the Shanghai Sharks at home.
WHEN: Monday, 8 p.m. ET
TV: NBATV

Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.

 


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