The Sports Report: Trojans come up short against Notre Dame

Markese Stepp flexes after scoring a touchdown in the second half.
(Paul Sancya / AP)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Only 363 days until the Dodgers can lose in the playoffs again.


Tony Jones Jr. rushed for a career-high 176 yards and Jonathan Doerer kicked three long field goals as No. 9 Notre Dame held off USC 30-27 Saturday night.


The Trojans’ Markese Stepp, who ran for 82 yards, scored from the 2 with 1:04 left to make it 30-27. But Notre Dame’s Brock Wright recovered the onside kick, and the Irish ran out the clock.

Jones’ fourth 100-yard game of the season came on 25 carries. He had 12 runs for 120 yards in the first half.

The Irish led 17-3 at half after Book threw a 10-yard TD pass to Cole Kmet, wide receiver Braden Lenzy ran 51 yards on a reverse and Doerer kicked a 43-yard field goal. The half ended with the teams engaging in some pushing and shoving before they headed to their locker rooms.

Doerer added field goals of 52 and 43 yards in the second half to keep the Irish ahead.

USC freshman Kedon Slovis completed 24 of 35 passes for 255 yards in his first game back from a concussion three weeks ago.

Slovis threw touchdown passes of 38 yards to Amon-Ra St. Brown in the third quarter and five yards to Tyler Vaughns in the fourth.

“The problem was a lack of execution,” Slovis said. “We moved the ball well up until a point we made a mistake. Either I made a bad read or took a bad sack or didn’t find the right guy or maybe made a mistake out wide running the wrong route or a blocking assignment mistake.


“It seemed like every drive, we had one. That kind of hurt us. We still had lots of opportunities. It’s just a matter of executing them.

“We came away from that first half feeling like we’d left points on the board, like we should’ve scored.”

Read more USC

Helene Elliott: After USC’s latest loss, how long before the other shoe might drop for Clay Helton?

Markese Stepp carries a bigger load for USC


All times Pacific. Radio: 790 KABC

USC 31, Fresno State 23

USC 45, Stanford 20

at BYU 30, USC 27 (OT)

at USC 30, Utah 23

at Washington 28, USC 14

at Notre Dame 30, USC 27

Saturday vs. Arizona, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 25 at Colorado, 6 p.m., ESPN2

Nov. 2 vs. Oregon, TBD

Nov. 9 at Arizona State, TBD

Nov. 16 at California, TBD

Nov. 23 vs. UCLA, TBD


Smoke from the Saddleridge fire in the San Fernando Valley enveloped the UCLA campus Saturday morning. The practice start time darted around like a bouncing football as the team’s training staff assessed the air quality in conjunction with campus officials. First it was set to start at 9 a.m. … then 10 a.m. … then 8:40 a.m.

It seemed like practice as usual once players jogged into position for stretches. Nobody wore a mask or appeared to be going at half speed once drills commenced. The session lasted roughly 80 minutes, the normal length for the first practice of a game week.

The only accommodation for the hazy air resulting from the fire, about 21 miles from campus, was that scheduled interviews with coach Chip Kelly and players were canceled.

UCLA is scheduled to hold practices today, Monday and Tuesday on campus to prepare for its game against Stanford on Thursday in Palo Alto. The Cardinal have won 11 consecutive games in the series, last losing to the Bruins in 2008 at the Rose Bowl.


All times Pacific. Radio: AM 1150

at Cincinnati 24, UCLA 14

San Diego State 23, at UCLA 14

Oklahoma 48, at UCLA 14

UCLA 67, at Washington State 63

at Arizona 20, UCLA 17

Oregon State 48, at UCLA 31

Thursday at Stanford, 6 p.m., ESPN

Oct. 26 vs. Arizona State, TBD

Nov. 2 vs. Colorado, TBD

Nov. 16 at Utah, TBD

Nov. 23 at USC, TBD

Nov. 30 vs. California, TBD


No. 1 Alabama 47, No. 24 Texas A&M 28

No. 2 Clemson 45, Florida State 14

South Carolina 20, No. 3 Georgia 17 (2 OT)

No. 5 LSU 42, No. 7 Florida, 28

No. 6 Oklahoma 34, No. 11 Texas 27

No. 8 Wisconsin 38, Michigan State 0

No. 9 Notre Dame 30, USC 27

No. 10 Penn State 17. No. 17 Iowa 12

No. 14 Boise State 59, Hawaii 37

No. 15 Utah 52, Oregon State 7

No. 16 Michigan 42, Illinois 25

No. 18 Arizona State 38, Washington State 34

Louisville 62, No. 19 Wake Forest 59

No. 22 Baylor 33, Texas Tech 30 (2 OT)

Temple 30, No. 23 Memphis 28

No. 25 Cincinnati 38, Houston 23

Read all about them here


No. 9 Notre Dame 30, USC 27

No. 15 Utah 52, Oregon State 7

No. 18 Arizona State 38, Washington State 34

Washington 51, Arizona 27


The attorney for an Angels employee who reportedly provided opioids to Tyler Skaggs described the pitcher as “an addict who overdosed.”

Eric Kay, who has worked for the team in media relations for 24 years, engaged Newport Beach criminal defense attorney Michael Molfetta nearly two months ago out of concern that he might be made a “scapegoat” in the investigation into the drug-related death of Skaggs.

On Saturday, ESPN reported that Kay told federal investigators he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and abused it with him for years.

Citing two people familiar with the investigation, ESPN also reported that Kay said two team officials were told about Skaggs’ drug use long before his death and that Kay gave U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents the names of five other players who he believed were using opiates while they were Angels. Tim Mead, Kay’s former supervisor with the Angels and now president of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., is one of the employees implicated.

Mead told The Times on Saturday that Kay never mentioned to him that Skaggs might be an opioid user. “Eric and I conversed about a lot of things over the years,” Mead said. “Tyler and opioids were not one of them.”

The second employee who may have had knowledge of Skaggs’ opioid use, the Angels were told, was Tom Taylor, the club’s traveling secretary. Taylor denied it.

“Before Tyler’s death, Eric Kay never told me anything about Tyler or any player seeking narcotics, or about Eric providing narcotics to any player,” Taylor said in a statement to The Times.

Read more about this story by clicking here.


The Lakers concluded a bizarre week abroad Saturday with a 91-77 loss to the Brooklyn Nets before extracting themselves from a potential geopolitical maelstrom. And they didn’t get out unscathed. Anthony Davis left the game after the first quarter with a sprained right thumb and did not return. It’s unclear how serious the injury is, but Davis had black tape wrapped around his thumb afterward.

Davis, who returned to the court after he injured his hand blocking a shot, and James each played 12 minutes and scored six points, making two of seven shots each. They both had three steals and James contributed four assists. Davis will undergo further evaluation of his sprained thumb after arrival in L.A.


After letting a three-goal lead slip away, the Kings broke a late tie in the final minute as Nashville Predators goalie Juuse Saros saved a wide-angle shot from Kings winger Dustin Brown but let the rebound roll off his pad. Crashing the net near the back post, fellow winger Alex Iafallo buried the loose puck for the game-winning goal.

After winning only 17 times on home ice last year, the Kings added two empty-netters to claim their home opener this season, 7-4. By the final horn, the party inside their cavernous venue was back on.

“The guys played well enough to win, we just gave it back,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “My satisfaction is to see them happy, playing the music [in the locker room postgame], and understanding who we can become.”


Helene Elliott’s hockey column is back and will run every Sunday. Here is an excerpt from today’s column, which you can read by clicking here.

While the NBA grapples with its newly tense relations with its Chinese sports and business partners, the NHL remains on track with its strategy of strengthening its presence in China and encouraging the development of hockey there.

“Nothing about the current situation has changed our views on the importance of continuing efforts to grow the sport of hockey in China, or on any of the plans that we have in process,” the NHL’s deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, said via email.

Like the NBA, the NHL salivates over the potentially vast market of fans, viewers and merchandise sales in China. But unlike the NBA, the NHL hasn’t been put in the position of weighing money against morals.


An excerpt from Kevin Baxter’s soccer column:

Guillermo Barros Schelotto set one goal when he took over as coach of the Galaxy last winter: get the team to the playoffs. So now that he’s there, he intends to enjoy it.

“It’s like when you are going to [a] party,” he said after a light training session last week. “Now we’re going to dance.”

He’ll have to wait before the music starts, though. The end of the MLS regular season coincided with the penultimate FIFA international window of the year, so the league is taking an extended break before the playoffs. And that could prove challenging for players who averaged a game about every five days for the last seven months.

“Do club coaches like international breaks? Of course not,” said LAFC coach Bob Bradley, whose team will go 17 days between games, nearly double its longest break of the season. “The schedule for every club in the world in October and November are made more difficult because of the international breaks.”


Malcolm Brown is expected to start in Todd Gurley’s place today against San Francisco, and rookie Darrell Henderson also will play. To add depth, the Rams on Saturday signed second-year running back John Kelly to the active roster from the practice squad, and released receiver Nsimba Webster.

Gurley’s absence will put even more pressure on Rams quarterback Jared Goff and a team that has never lost more than two consecutive games under third-year coach Sean McVay.

Goff will need to be especially vigilant against a 49ers defense that is suddenly among the most opportunistic in the NFL.

The 49ers are tied for second in the NFL with 11 takeaways, including seven interceptions and four fumbles.

It’s a complete turnaround from last season, when the 49ers ranked last in the NFL in takeaways, intercepting only two passes and recovering five fumbles.

“They’ve done a great job of breaking at the ball, ripping the ball out, punching the ball out and then some of those tips and overthrows that have occurred they’ve taken full advantage of them,” said Shane Waldron, the Rams’ pass-game coordinator.


All times Pacific. Radio: 710 ESPN, 93.1 JACK FM

Rams 30, at Carolina 27

at Rams 27, New Orleans 9

Rams 20, at Cleveland 13

Tampa Bay 55, at Rams 40

at Seattle 30, Rams 29

Today vs. San Francisco, 1 p.m., Fox

Oct. 20 at Atlanta, 10 a.m., Fox

Oct. 27 vs. Cincinnati, 10 a.m., CBS (in London, counts as home game for Rams)

Nov. 10 at Pittsburgh, 1:15 p.m., Fox

Nov. 17 vs. Chicago, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Nov. 25 vs. Baltimore, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

Dec. 1 at Arizona, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 8 vs. Seattle, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Dec. 15 at Dallas, 1:15 p.m., Fox

Dec. 22 or 23 at San Francisco, TBD

Dec. 29 vs. Arizona, 1:15 p.m., Fox


The Chargers have underachieved, failed to make enough plays and lost three of their past four games.

They enter their Week 6 matchup expecting, because of injury, to be without five players who have made the Pro Bowl.

Still, their veteran quarterback has been around long enough to appreciate an opportunity that’s golden even in a season that has started out more beige.

“If you had a chance to play on ‘Sunday Night Football’ at 37 years old,” Philip Rivers began, “you wouldn’t say, ‘Hold on, what’s our record? I’ll tell you if I’ll play or not,’ or, ‘What struggles or injuries do we have?’ You would say, ‘Sign me up.’ ”

So the Chargers will indeed meet Pittsburgh at Dignity Health Sports Park for a game that will be televised nationally despite an appeal that would seem to be limited to two specific markets.


All times Pacific. Radio: KFI-AM 640, KFWB-AM 980

at Chargers 30, Indianapolis 24 (OT)

at Detroit 13, Chargers 10

Houston 27, at Chargers 20

Chargers 30, at Miami 10

Denver 20, at Chargers 13

Today vs. Pittsburgh, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Oct. 20 at Tennessee, 1 p.m., CBS

Oct. 27 at Chicago, 10 a.m., Fox

Nov. 3 vs. Green Bay, 1:15 p.m., CBS

Nov. 10 at Oakland, 5:15 p.m., Fox, NFL Network

Nov. 18 vs. Kansas City, 5:15 p.m., ESPN (at Mexico City, counts as home game for Chargers)

Dec. 1 at Denver, 1:15 p.m., CBS

Dec. 8 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 15 vs. Minnesota, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Dec. 22 or 23 vs. Oakland, TBD

Dec. 29 at Kansas City, 10 a.m., CBS

NLCS schedule

All times Pacific. All games on TBS

Game 1: Washington 2, at St. Louis 0

Game 2: Washington 3, at St. Louis 1 (Read game story here)

Game 3: Monday, St. Louis at Washington, 1:30 p.m.

Game 4: Tuesday, St. Louis at Washington, 5 p.m.

Game 5*: Wednesday, St. Louis at Washington, 1 p.m.

Game 6*: Friday, Washington at St. Louis, 5 p.m.

Game 7*: Saturday, Washington at St. Louis, 5 p.m.

ALCS schedule

All times Pacific. All games on FS1

Game 1: New York 7, at Houston 0 (Read game story here)

Game 2: Today, New York at Houston, 5 p.m.

Game 3: Tuesday, Houston at New York, 1 p.m

Game 4: Wednesday, Houston at New York, 5 p.m.

Game 5*: Thursday, Houston at New York, 5 p.m.

Game 6*: Saturday, New York at Houston

Game 7*: Oct. 20, New York at Houston

*-if necessary


All times Pacific

San Francisco at Rams, 1 p.m., Fox, 710 AM

Pittsburgh at Chargers, 5:15 p.m., NBC, AM 640

Vegas at Kings, 7 p.m., FSW


1931: Baseball player Eddie Mathews (d. 2001)

1942: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

1945: Golfer Chako Higucki

1953: Jockey Pat Day

1961: NBA player Derek Harper

1962: NFL player Jerry Rice

1964: Former Dodger Chris Gwynn

1967: High jumper Javier Sotomayor

1967: Baseball player Trevor Hoffman

1971: Former King Sean O’Donnell

1977: NBA player Paul Pierce

1978: NBA player Jermaine O’Neal

1982: Swimmer Ian Thorpe


The NFL’s greatest players: Jerry Rice. Watch it here.

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me at If you want to subscribe, click here.