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The Sports Report: USC rallies to defeat Colorado

USC v Colorado
Amon-Ra St. Brown (No. 8) is congratulated by Tyler Vaughns (No. 21) and Drake London after a first-quarter touchdown.
(Getty Images)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

USC FOOTBALL

Kedon Slovis threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Michael Pittman Jr. with 2:15 left as USC rallied from 10 points down to defeat Colorado, 35-31.

“Those kids fought and fought and fought all the way to the last second,” coach Clay Helton said.

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The Trojans (5-3, 4-1 Pac-12) improved to 14-0 all-time against Colorado (3-5, 1-4) with their first win in four road games this season.

USC caught a couple of big breaks on the winning touchdown drive.

The first came when Slovis was strip-sacked by outside linebacker Jamar Montgomery for a 10-yard loss but running back Kenan Christon recovered for the Trojans.

Later, on third-and-one from the 50, Quincy Jountti looked like he was stuffed, but the officials spotted the ball for a first down, and four plays later Pittman took a short pass and weaved his way through the Colorado secondary for the go-ahead score.

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He also caught a 44-yard touchdown pass earlier in the fourth quarter.

Colorado’s Steven Montez threw three touchdown passes but wasn’t the same after taking a hard hit from safety Hunter Echols late in the third quarter.

Read more

Helene Elliott: USC defiantly stays in control of its destiny with victory over Colorado

USC turns to receiver Amon-ra St. Brown to help in running game

USC FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. Radio: 790 KABC

USC 31, Fresno State 23

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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

at USC 41, Arizona 14

USC 35, at Colorado 31

Nov. 2 vs. Oregon, 5 p.m., Fox

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Nov. 9 at Arizona State, TBD

Nov. 16 at California, TBD

Nov. 23 vs. UCLA, TBD

UCLA FOOTBALL

Michigan has backed out of a home-and-home football series with UCLA in 2022 and 2023 in favor of playing home games against Hawaii and East Carolina.

The move was ostensibly made to give the Wolverines an extra home game while playing two lesser opponents, though it’s worth noting that the Bruins are 0-6 in nonconference games under coach Chip Kelly, including 0-4 against Group of Five opponents.

By terminating its agreement to play UCLA, Michigan must pay the Bruins $1.5 million by Sept. 12, 2023. UCLA is seeking replacements on its schedule.

Read more

UCLA vs. Arizona State: A look at how the teams match up

UCLA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

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

UCLA 34, at Stanford 16

Today vs. Arizona State, 4:30 p.m., Pac-12 network

Nov. 2 vs. Colorado, 6 p.m., Pac-12 network

Nov. 16 at Utah, TBD

Nov. 23 at USC, TBD

Nov. 30 vs. California, TBD

LAKERS

The Lakers beat the Utah Jazz, 95-86, and through the course of the game, the Lakers looked every bit like what they are: A team still figuring out how best to use their elite star power and role players. And a team with the ability to run away from even some of the West’s better teams.

LeBron James led all scorers with 32 points and neared a triple double with seven rebounds and 10 assists. Anthony Davis added 21 points, seven rebounds and two assists, some of it while playing center.

“We’ll take it game by game in terms of figuring out how much we want to go to AD at the five and be balanced,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.

Vogel used the same starting lineup he did in the team’s first game, with James and Davis playing alongside JaVale McGee, Danny Green and Avery Bradley. Davis played the entire first quarter and scored 12 points.

He opened the third quarter with a new lineup, removing McGee and adding point guard Alex Caruso. In that lineup, Davis played center, which Vogel thought would open up the painted area more. That unit orchestrated a 9-0 run to open the second half.

“We were shooting 34% offensively and Rudy [Gobert] is a problem,” Vogel said. “… If you have another center out there rolling to the basket he can … clog things up. Anthony and I talked about it. he was all for it and wanted to do it. Offensively, LeBron was being asked to do too much. We put another small in there, Alex Caruso. … Gave us a burst offensively and we didn’t lose anything defensively.”

Read more

Dylan Hernandez: LeBron James and Anthony Davis Show feels like Showtime Lakers 2.0

Dan Woike: Dwight Howard isn’t his old self, but he may be what Lakers need

CLIPPERS

The Clippers have not had to wait long to see that they’ve justified the hype, despite playing without injured All-Star forward Paul George and guard Rodney McGruder.

Tuesday against the Lakers, the Clippers blunted the second-half effectiveness of perhaps the NBA’s best frontcourt player in Anthony Davis while disrupting his timing with LeBron James.

In a 141-122 victory over the Golden State Warriors two days later, they set their sights on limiting one of the league’s most talented backcourts in Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell.

“There’s not really much to assess,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “We just got crushed.”

“We’re scary defensively,” Clippers guard Patrick Beverley said. “Very, very, very scary.

“… We just grind people down, grind people down. We come in waves.”

When players organized an August retreat to Miami, and began playing pickup games in Los Angeles four weeks before training camp, they did so with a fast start in mind. Early on, coach Doc Rivers noticed new star forward Kawhi Leonard’s “maniacal” practice habits rubbing off.

“It’s business time,” Rivers said. “That’s the way he looks at it.”

WORLD SERIES

George Springer had two of Houston’s four steals, Jose Altuve doubled twice before scoring each time, Zack Greinke repeatedly worked out of trouble, and the Astros beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 on Friday night to cut their Series deficit to 2-1.

“We’re pretty good, too,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “It kind of re-establishes us.”

Houston can even things up in Game 4 on tonight at Nationals Park. Washington will start lefty Patrick Corbin, while Hinch said he’ll go with rookie José Urquidy.

Washington’s eight-game winning streak, tied for the longest in a single postseason, ended with a sloppy performance in the first Series game hosted by the nation’s capital since the Senators lost to the New York Giants in 1933.

A sellout crowd of 43,867, dressed mostly in red for the occasion, soaked it all in, standing in unison at key moments, booing ball-strike calls that hurt their team, chanting “Let’s go, Nats!” often and even getting to do their “Baby Shark” sing-and-clap-along when that children’s tune blared as a walk-up song in the sixth.

But the wild-card Nationals were unable to move one win from a championship, undone by an inability to come through in the clutch: Juan Soto, MVP candidate Anthony Rendon and the rest of the team were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position, leaving 12 runners on base.

“Tonight we were a little bit aggressive outside the strike zone,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We took balls I thought we should hit, uncharacteristic of what we’ve been doing.”

How big was this win for Houston?

No team ever has come back after dropping the first three games of a World Series.

“Not the script you’d want to write to start out a World Series,” said reliever Will Harris, who retired all five batters he faced Friday. “We believe in each other in there. We know we have obviously a very talented, capable team.”

WORLD SERIES SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. All games on Fox.

Game 1: Washington 5, at Houston 4

Game 2: Washington 12, at Houston 3

Game 3: Houston 4, at Washington 1

Game 4: Today, Houston at Washington, 5 p.m.

Game 5: Sunday, Houston at Washington, 5 p.m.

Game 6*: Tuesday, Washington at Houston, 5 p.m.

Game 7*: Wednesday, Washington at Houston, 5 p.m.

*-if necessary

CHARGERS

Scott Quessenberry has snapped to Philip Rivers 85 times in six regular-season games, so the 24-year-old center won’t feel star-struck when he makes his first NFL start in front of the 37-year-old Rivers on Sunday, when the Chargers visit the Chicago Bears.

That was not the case in the summer of 2018 when Quessenberry, a huge Chargers fan while growing up in Carlsbad, opened his first training camp with the team he rooted for and the quarterback he idolized as a kid.

“Yeah, for sure I was a little bit in awe of him,” said Quessenberry, a fifth-round pick out of UCLA in 2018. “It was a little surreal at first. But you have to realize they’re your teammates, and you’re here for a reason too.”

CHARGERS SCHEDULE

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

Pittsburgh 24, at Chargers 17

at Tennessee 23, Chargers 20

Sunday 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

RAMS

In England for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati, the Rams conducted a walk-through Friday on a soft, rain-soaked field at their bucolic hotel just west of London. With its sprawling grounds, meandering gardens and grass tennis courts, the place has the feel of a stately English manor — Touchdownton Abbey, if you will.

The Rams stayed in Atlanta this week after beating the Falcons there Sunday. They left Thursday night and arrived in London on Friday morning.

Clearly, the Rams feel at home even when they’re far from Los Angeles. With Sean McVay as coach, they are 6-0 in games in the Eastern time zone, and 1-0 in London.

“I think the guys just handle it really well,” said McVay. “We’re kind of used to traveling, even going back to a couple of years ago. Being on the road, last week when the lights went out on our hotel [in Atlanta] on Saturday night, you kind of say, ‘Hey, this feels like something we’re used to handling.’

RAMS SCHEDULE

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

San Francisco 20, at Rams 7

Rams 37, at Atlanta 10

Sunday 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

LAFC

Bob Bradley said his soccer team took a big step forward in Thursday’s MLS playoff win over the Galaxy. Several steps, in fact.

For starters the 5-3 win pushed LAFC forward into Tuesday’s Western Conference final, in which it will play host to the Seattle Sounders. It also gave the second-year team its first win in six games with its neighborhood rival and likely closed the book on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s MLS career.

But Bradley was referring to something intangible. By refusing to wilt after surrendering a two-goal lead in the biggest game in franchise history, Bradley believes LAFC may have finally made the transition from being a decent team to being a good one.

“To really become a good team, to go with the football there’s got to be a mentality,” he said. “There’s got to be something that when you have games that get away from you, you take the lessons along the way. And then at some moment, against your biggest rival, when everything’s at stake, to see those guys respond, that was awesome.

HORSE RACING

Santa Anita had its fifth horse fatality of the short fall meeting when G Q Covergirl injured both her front legs on Friday and was euthanized on the advice of the attending veterinarian. G Q Cover Girl was a 6-year-old mare who had won her last two races.

The horse was on the training track when the incident occurred. The surface, which is closest to the scoreboard, has historically caused the fewest number of breakdowns. However, all three training deaths this meeting have occurred on the inner surface, which is not used for racing. One of the training deaths was believed to be a heart attack and not a catastrophic limb injury. The two other fatalities were during racing.

The first death of the meeting occurred about two weeks before racing restarted at Santa Anita on Sept. 27. Last year there were four fatalities during the meeting, three in training and one racing. The meet closes on Nov. 3.

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific

Arizona St. at UCLA, 4:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network, AM 1150

Clippers at Phoenix, 7 p.m., Prime Ticket, AM 570

Kings at Minnesota, 5 p.m., FSW

Ducks at Colorado, 6 p.m., KCOP 13

BORN ON THIS DATE

1861: Tennis player Richard Sears (d. 1943)

1902: Boxer Jack Sharkey (d. 1994)

1911: Football coach Sid Gillman (d. 2003)

1950: Football player Chuck Foreman

1957: Football player Bob Golic

1962: Hurdler Roger Kingdom

1963: Football player Tony Casillas

1970: Football player Bert Emanuel

1983: Baseball player Francisco Liriano

1984: Figure skater Sasha Cohen

AND FINALLY

Roger Kingdom wins gold at the 1988 Summer Olympics. 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 houston.mitchell@latimes.com. If you want to subscribe, click here.


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