The ACC is not very thought of as a conference, and it is for that reason that most people feel that the Clemson Tigers will once again waltz their way to the College Football Playoff. That idea, however, got put to the test in an extreme manner on Saturday when the no. 1 team in the nation nearly fell on the road to the North Carolina Tar Heels. The start of the game signaled warnings immediately, with the home team scoring a touchdown inside the first two minutes. Clemson finally responded in the second quarter, but at the half it was all square at 14 apiece. The defending National Champions finally took the lead in the fourth quarter when Trevor Lawrence threw a TD to Tee Higgins with under 10 minutes to go. UNC didn’t give it up, though, scoring from the one-yard line to seemingly force overtime with just over a minute to go. However, they decided to go for two and win the game outright. The aggressive plan backfired, and Clemson held on to win 21-20 and survive a major embarrassment that likely would have left them out of the CFB.
After Clemson’s scare, the top ranking in the nation could well be on the line after the way both Alabama and Oklahoma played on Saturday. The Crimson Tide struggled for a time, but they eventually blew out Ole Miss 59-31, while the Sooners got their 900th win in the program’s history via a 55-16 track meet victory over Texas Tech. Notre Dame then were able to match that success just a little while later as they beat Virginia 35-20. Due to the play Clemson played earlier, you have to think there is a good chance that Alabama will now be taking top spot.
The New York Mets came into the weekend out of contention for the MLB Playoffs, but that didn’t mean there was absolutely nothing left for them to play for. For rookie Pete Alonso, he could set the single-season record for most home runs hit by a first-year player. And the Polar Bear ended up doing just that against the Atlanta Braves, hitting his 53rd homer of the year off the NL East champions in a 3-0 home win. He did so in the third inning off Mike Foltynewicz, walking and watching his shot that took him past Aaron Judge’s 52 and on top of the leaderboard.
Justin Verlander has had no shortage of history making in his career. The 36-year old has dazzled many a team and has won multiple titles and awards in doing so. On Saturday night, the Houston Astros ace did two more things that will put him in the record books as of one of the best to have ever pitched. Not only did he end up becoming just the 19th man to ever record 300 strikeouts in a season, but he also reached 3000 total career strikeouts in the 6-3 win at the Los Angeles Angels. He even had a dubious first as well, recording his 3000th on a wild pitch, the first time that had occurred. He also became part of only the second pitching tandem to reach 300 K’s in a season, joining Gerritt Cole, who also reached the mark.