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Former Corona Santiago star Blake Barnett leaves Alabama

Blake Barnett talks to reporters on national signing day in 2015.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

Alabama redshirt freshman quarterback Blake Barnett, a five-star recruit from Corona Santiago High, has left the program and withdrawn from school. 

Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban announced Barnett’s departure in a statement Thursday. Barnett started the opener against USC for No. 1 Alabama. 

Since then, freshman Jalen Hurts has claimed the starting job. Saban had said that Barnett met with him before practice Wednesday with concerns about playing time. 

Saban says Tide coaches “are very disappointed any time a player leaves the program who feels he can compete for a starting position elsewhere, rather than here at Alabama.” 

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Alabama plays Kentucky on Saturday night with Cooper Bateman and David Cornwell behind Hurts. 

Barnett played in three games, completing 11 of 19 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

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Alabama linebacker Tim Williams has been charged with carrying a pistol without a permit. 

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Campus police arrested Williams on the misdemeanor charge at about 1 a.m. Thursday in his vehicle in a grocery store parking lot two days before the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s game with Kentucky. 

Court documents show that officers smelled marijuana coming from Williams’ parked car, and found a bag containing the drug in the center console and a Glock 41 pistol under the driver’s seat. 

Passenger Tykheem Dunaway said he was holding the marijuana for a man named Brandon Chicken, according to the court filings. Williams told police that he bought the gun while at home in Louisiana three weeks earlier and was given a temporary permit. 

He didn’t have the permit with him but did produce a receipt. Williams was released on $300 bond.

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No. 6 Houston routs UConn

Greg Ward Jr. threw for a career-high 389 yards and accounted for five touchdowns in just more than three quarters to help sixth-ranked Houston beat Connecticut, 42-14, on Thursday night in Houston. 

The victory was a bit of redemption for the Cougars, whose only loss last season came in a 20-17 defeat by the Huskies when 10-0. 

Ward didn’t start that game because of an ankle injury, and there was a scary moment early in the second quarter when he took a hard hit in the midsection by Junior Joseph on a flea-flicker and had to leave the game. 

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But he missed just one play before returning and showed no ill effects from the blow, leading the Cougars (5-0, 2-0 American) on three more touchdown drives in the half to leave Houston up 28-7 at halftime. 

Etc.

Wisconsin kicker Rafael Gaglianone is out for the season after undergoing surgery for a back injury. Gaglianone missed the Badgers’ 30-6 win at Michigan State last Saturday because of the injury. … Duke won’t have leading rusher Jela Duncan when the Blue Devils play Virginia this week. Coach David Cutcliffe said that Duncan will be out with an unspecified leg injury but that he hopes the length of time he misses “is shorter than longer.” ...

A North Carolina football player charged with misdemeanor sexual battery and assault on a fellow student is scheduled for trial in December. During a brief court hearing Thursday morning, attorneys reserved the weeks of Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 for the case against Allen Artis, a junior reserve linebacker suspended indefinitely from the team. 

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