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No. 12 South Carolina won't overlook FCS Wofford

No. 12 South Carolina won't overlook FCS Wofford

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina coaches have a new goal for the Gamecocks' defense against Wofford's option attack.

Players won't be turned loose to chase the ball carrier in a controlled frenzy.

``When you play the option, it is about discipline,'' defensive line coach Brad Lawing said.

Discipline won't just be a priority for the defense.

Coach Steve Spurrier expects his offense to stay focused too even though the goal of making it to the Southeastern Conference title game is gone for the Gamecocks (8-2).

Spurrier doesn't have to look far to know the Football Championship Subdivision Terriers (8-2) are a threat. He has played Wofford twice and each time the game was close into the fourth quarter.

``They've had us on the ropes both times we've played them and we're expecting a very similar game. They just play fundamentally sound,'' Spurrier said. ``But we're going to be ready to play. If they beat us, it wasn't because we were (messing) around all week.''

Spurrier said the team has other goals to keep them motivated.

The group can become just the second South Carolina team to go 7-0 at home with a win. A victory also keeps the chance of a second straight 11-win season alive. And Spurrier never loses these games; he is 47-0 in his career against teams outside of the BCS.

A win also allows Spurrier to keep a promise he made fans when he was hired after the 2004 season. He said he would stay around long enough to become the winningest coach in Gamecocks history. A victory Saturday gives him 64 with the school, matching in less than eight full seasons what it took Rex Enright 15 years to accomplish.

Spurrier remains the winningest coach at Florida, joining Paul ``Bear'' Bryant as coaches who hold the record for most victories at two different Southeastern Conference schools. Bryant holds the record at Alabama and Kentucky.

``I thought, like some people thought, that here was a place that has not reached its potential yet - very similar to Florida in 1990,'' Spurrier said.

To win, South Carolina will have to figure out Wofford quirky triple option offense. The wingbone scheme, honed over coach Mike Ayers' 25 years running the 1,550-student college's football team, is designed to cause fits to a team that doesn't play carefully. It's so simple, Ayers doesn't mind explaining it.

``There are basically four things that you have to defend. You defend the dive play, the quarterback keep, the pitch play and the play action pass.,'' Ayers said.

But unless all 11 players on defense are in the right place on each play, the offense is going to be able to move the ball, Lawing said.

``You're not going to stop it. You try to contain it,'' Lawing said. ``Maybe they'll make a mistake.''

Wofford is ranked second in the FCS at 357 yards rushing a game. The Gamecocks have the 12th best rushing defense in the Football Bowl Subdivision, allowing 102 yards on the ground.

The Terriers have already clinched a share of the Southern Conference title - a fact Spurrier made sure to point out to reporters - and will likely be in the 20-team FCS playoff field announced Sunday. But Ayers doesn't plan to change his lineup to get ready for a possible playoff game.

Senior fullback Eric Breitenstein will get plenty of carries. He became the school's leading rusher last week with 5,223 yards. Breitenstein has gone over 100 yards in every game this season except for Wofford's 82-0 win over Division II Lincoln (Pa.), when Ayers gave him most of the night off. His coach doesn't plan to give Breitenstein much time on the bench Saturday against South Carolina.

``We're going to go down there and we're going to give it our best shot,'' Ayers said. ``When you give it your best shot, you give it with your best players.''

US in the World Cup quarterfinals after 2-1 win over Spain

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US in the World Cup quarterfinals after 2-1 win over Spain

REIMS, France -- Megan Rapinoe converted a pair of penalty kicks and the United States set up a much-anticipated quarterfinal meeting with host France at the Women's World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Spain on Monday.

Rapinoe's first came in the seventh minute to the cheers of the U.S. supporters melting in temperatures that reached nearly 90 degrees at the Stade Auguste-Delaune. They were quieted a short time later when Jennifer Hermoso tied it up for Spain with the first goal the Americans had allowed in France.

Video review was used to confirm a foul on Rose Lavelle that gave the pink-haired captain the game-winner in the 75th minute, spoiling Spain's spirited effort in its first knockout-round appearance at a World Cup.

"That’s World Cup-level grit right there," Rapinoe said on the Fox Sports broadcast. "You can’t replicate it. You can’t teach it. We told each other during the game we needed to go up a level. They (the matches) only get harder and more intense from here. Everybody’s playing for their lives."

The defending champions head to Paris to face France on Friday night. The French defeated Brazil 2-1 in extra time Sunday night, with Amandine Henry scoring the game-winner in the 107th minute.

Italy wins bid to host 2026 Winter Olympics

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Italy wins bid to host 2026 Winter Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Italy will host the 2026 Olympics in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, taking the Winter Games to the Alpine country for the second time in 20 years.

International Olympic Committee members voted for the long-favored Milan-Cortina bid over Stockholm-Are from Sweden that also included a bobsled track in Latvia.

Milan-Cortina's jubilant delegation broke into chants of "Italia! Italia!" when the result was announced.

Italy last hosted in Turin in 2006, and the Alpine ski resort Cortina previously hosted the Winter Games in 1956.

Sweden's spirited late campaign effort was in vain, including the mayor of Stockholm appealing to voters from the stage by singing a lyric from Abba song `Dancing Queen'.

A sign of simmering Swedish frustration came minutes later when IOC board member Gunilla Lindberg pushed the limit of Olympic diplomacy ending her team's 30-minute presentation.

Lindberg challenged her colleagues to reward a new kind of creative, cost-effective bid the IOC has said it wanted -- "Or is it just talk?"

Instead, IOC members picked Italy despite a debt-hit economy which faces increasing European Union scrutiny.

"We submit with full confidence to your judgment," Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told voters.

Both candidates would likely have failed to get this far in previous Olympic bidding contests.

The IOC has relaxed previously strict rules that demanded financial guarantees and government support earlier in the process.

It was an attempt to revive Winter Games bidding with just two candidates on the ballot paper for the second straight time, since Russia spent $51 billion on venues and infrastructure for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Now, the IOC seeks to avoid costly new venues -- and potential white elephants -- while encouraging regions and multi-nation bids to share the load. Hence, Sweden teamed with Latvia, across the Baltic Sea, rather than build its ice sliding sports venue.

"We have budget problems in Italy but I think that this is something that everyone has," Italy Undersecretary of State Giancarlo Giorgetti said at an earlier news conference, citing the wealth of the Lombardy and Veneto provinces underwriting the games costs.

"They are two of the richest provinces in Europe," Giorgetti said. "They certainly have the capacity, they have the readiness, they have the finances in order to be able to support the event."

The IOC will contribute at least $925 million toward Italy's games operating costs of up to $1.7 billion. Building athlete villages in Milan and Stockholm shaped as the main capital investment and most uncertain ventures in the projects.

Last week, the IOC flagged Stockholm's village as a risk, and asked for more details of guarantees underwriting the project.

"A letter of intent is as important to us as any contract," Volvo chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said in the formal presentation, in what seemed a rebuke to the Olympic body.

The day-long meetings began with each bid in closed-door sessions with IOC members. The Swedish bid was challenged to prove its support from a Stockholm city authority coalition formed last October and a national government only five months ago.

Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said he assured voters "it's in the Swedish model, it's in our DNA" to deliver a stable Winter Games.

Still, a big plus for the Italian bid -- uniting Milan, the Alpine ski resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo, and several towns in between -- was the IOC's own polling. It found support from local residents around 85% compared to 60% in Sweden.

The 2026 contest meets the IOC President Thomas Bach's long-stated wish to return to traditional heartlands for winter sports after major construction projects from 2014-2022 in Russia, South Korea, and China.

The signature Swedish feature using the ice sliding sports track in Sigulda, Latvia, that meets the IOC's demand to use established sports venues.

The IOC has praised both candidates for projecting sports budgets "on average 20% lower" than spending on the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and 2022 Beijing Olympics.

During the traditionally slick and emotional pleas to be awarded the games, Stockholm mayor Anna Konig Jerlmyr reminded voters of Sweden's most famous music act.

"Abba is everywhere," she said, before singing the lyric: "You can dance, you can dance, having the time of your life."

With more gravitas, Nobel Foundation executive director Lars Heikenstein spoke of Olympic values being an inspiration. Olympic leaders have long coveted a Nobel Peace Prize for the organization.

Sweden's heir to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria, joined a 100-plus delegation at the Swisstech convention center though did not take part on stage.

Italy's bid was livened by two Olympic champions, downhill skier Sofia Goggia and snowboarder Michela Moioli, doing a dab gesture and talking of their hopes to compete on home snow in almost seven years' time.

Sweden's wait for a first Winter Games goes on.

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