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Joshua Kelley made the most of short-yardage situations Saturday night at the Rose Bowl. Actually, he made the most of every situation.
Whatever UCLA needed, the redshirt senior provided while helping the Bruins blitz No. 24 Arizona State in a 42-32 victory that was so lopsided it never felt like an upset.
Early spark? Kelley delivered it on his team’s opening drive by breaking a handful of tackles during a 24-yard run that gave the Bruins a first and goal at the five.
Goal-line opportunity? Kelley completed that drive when he lunged for a one-yard touchdown run.
Knockout blow? Kelley provided that as well, scurrying for a two-yard touchdown early in the third quarter that gave the Bruins a 35-7 lead on the way to their first home victory of the season before an appreciative crowd of 39,811.
“It’s just good to get the win,” Kelley said. “Individual success, that’s fine and all, but the things you’ll forever remember is the winning plays, winning moments, sharing the moment with those guys, that’s the stuff I play for.”
Kelley repeatedly familiarized himself the end zone while scoring a career-high four touchdowns. He finished with 164 yards in 34 carries to help the Bruins (3-5 overall, 3-2 Pac-12 Conference) notch their most complete victory of the season on a day they scored more points than any other team against the Sun Devils (5-3, 2-3) in the Herm Edwards era.
The baby Bruins are growing up,” an unusually buoyant UCLA coach Chip Kelly said after another strong showing from an offense that has averaged 38.2 points over its last five games.
UCLA’s defense registered another strong showing and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson appeared to be on his way to another big game before departing with an apparent left leg injury early in the fourth quarter.
Thompson-Robinson was scrambling when he absorbed a hit and lost the ball. He remained down for a few minutes and had to be helped off the field, ending a day in which he completed 16 of 23 passes for 176 yards with two touchdowns.
UCLA’s second consecutive triumph allowed it to match last season’s victory total with four games remaining. Next up is another home game against Colorado, which has lost four consecutive games.
After starting the season 0-5, the Bruins now trail USC by only one game in the Pac-12 South and control their destiny in the race for the division title.
Bill Plaschke: Bruins are finally showing some life and have real chances
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
at UCLA 42, Arizona St. 32
Saturday vs. Colorado, 6 p.m., Pac-12 network
Nov. 16 at Utah, TBD
Nov. 23 at USC, TBD
Nov. 30 vs. California, TBD
Saturday’s top 25 scoreboard
No. 1 Alabama 48, Arkansas 7
No. 2 LSU 23, No. 9 Auburn 20
No. 3 Ohio State 38, No. 13 Wisconsin 7
No. 4 Clemson 59, Boston College 7
Kansas State 48, No. 5 Oklahoma 41
No. 6 Penn State 28, Michigan State 7
No. 19 Michigan 45, No. 8 Notre Dame 14 (Read game story here)
No. 11 Oregon 37, Washington St. 35
No. 12 Utah 35, California 0
TCU 37, No. 15 Texas 27
No. 17 Minnesota 52, Maryland 10
No. 20 Iowa 20, Northwestern 0
No. 21 Appalachian State 30, South Alabama 3
Oklahoma State 34, No. 23 Iowa State 27
UCLA 42, No. 24 Arizona State 32
Saturday’s Pac-12 Scoreboard
UCLA 42, No. 24 Arizona State 32
No. 11 Oregon 37, Washington St. 35
No. 12 Utah 35, California 0
Stanford 41, Arizona 31
Oregon, 5-0 in Pac-12, 7-1 overall
Stanford, 3-3, 4-4
Oregon State, 2-2, 3-4
Washington, 2-3, 5-3
California, 1-4, 4-4
Washington State, 1-4, 4-4
USC, 4-1, 5-3
Utah, 4-1, 7-1
UCLA, 3-2, 3-5
Arizona State, 2-3, 5-3
Arizona, 2-3, 4-4
Colorado, 1-4, 3-5
The Phoenix Suns scrapped and clawed their way to a 130-122 victory that ended the Clippers’ hot start to this season and the Suns’ 12-game losing streak in the series.
Devin Booker scored a game-high 30 points for the Suns, who also received 20 points from Kelly Oubre Jr.
“We had no business winning the game tonight,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “They just played so much harder. They were so much more committed to what they were doing.
Montrezl Harrell scored 28 points to lead the Clippers and also had seven rebounds. The bench scored 66 points, the third consecutive game it has gone for at least 60, thanks to 23 from Lou Williams.
The offense was a problem early, but their slow defensive rotations crippled any hopes of a comeback late. The Suns made 17 three-pointers, many of them off wide-open looks as a Clippers defender scrambled to close out a beat too slow.
The Suns were without their best player, DeAndre Ayton, who was serving the second of a two-game suspension for testing positive for a banned diuretic, and starting point guard Ricky Rubio watched in street clothes after suffering a knee contusion the previous night in Denver.
What they did have was stifling first-half defense on Clippers star Kawhi Leonard and enough of a fourth-quarter lead to hold off a late Los Angeles rally. Leonard finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight rebounds in a season-high 32 minutes.
Alex Bregman ended his slump with a go-ahead single in the first inning and a grand slam in the seventh, and the Houston Astros routed the Washington Nationals 8-1 Saturday night to tie the Series at two games apiece.
Game 1 winner Max Scherzer takes the mound tonight hoping to get a home Series victory for Washington for the first time since the Senators at Griffith Stadium in 1933. In a rematch of the opener, Gerrit Cole goes for Houston.
Visiting teams have won the first four games for the first time since 1996, when the Yankees broke the pattern in Game 6 against Atlanta to take the title.
Houston strung together four singles in a seven-pitch span for a 2-0 lead against Patrick Corbin in the first inning. Robinson Chirinos homered for the second straight day, a two-run drive that boosted the lead to 4-0 in the fourth.
Fans started leaving in the seventh, when the Astros sent 10 batters to the plate and battered the bullpen. Bregman, who began the night in a 1-for-13 Series slide, had the big blow, driving a low, inside fastball from Fernando Rodney into the left field stands.
Jose Urquidy, a 24-year-old rookie had seven starts on his major-league resume, all in the regular season, and had made just two playoff relief appearances, pitched five scoreless innings for the Astros.
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: Houston 8, at Washington 1
Game 5: Tonight, Houston at Washington, 5 p.m.
Game 6: Tuesday, Washington at Houston, 5 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, Washington at Houston, 5 p.m.
Football has become a game of inches for the Chargers, who seem to have developed an almost allergic aversion to crossing the goal line.
A week ago, they had the ball at the Tennessee one-yard line for three plays in the final 39 seconds and failed to score, Melvin Gordon fumbling away their last chance.
In Week 2, they had the ball at the Detroit one-yard line in the third quarter and running back Austin Ekeler fumbled.
In Week 5, they had the ball at the Denver one-yard line in the second quarter and Ekeler’s desperate lunge for the pylon on the fourth down ended in another fumble.
“It doesn’t get any worse than that, as far as a feeling of guilt,” Ekeler said. “You feel like you let your team down. I know exactly how Mel felt” last week.
The Chargers are a wholly unexpected 2-5 entering their game Sunday against Chicago largely because they’ve turned the ball over five times in goal-to-go situations.
Along with the three fumbles, Philip Rivers had passes intercepted twice — on second and goal from the Indianapolis seven, and third and goal from the Denver two.
No other NFL team has turned the ball over in such situations more than three times this season. Of the league’s 32 clubs, 26 have one or zero giveaways when presented with goal-to-go opportunities.
“We do know the consequences of those have been severe,” Rivers said. “It’s being conscious of it and then just going out and playing. You can’t let it cripple you from a playing standpoint.”
Today’s mission against Chicago: Score in those situation.
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
Today 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
When Rams have the ball
A stagnant Rams offense appeared to get back on track in last week’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons, but with the winless Bengals and their porous defense up next, the true state of the unit might not be known for a while. The Bengals rank last in the NFL in total defense and rushing defense. That should bode well for Rams running backs Todd Gurley and Darrell Henderson. Gurley has not rushed for 100 yards in a game since last season’s NFC divisional-round playoff victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Henderson bounced back from a costly fumble against the San Francisco 49ers and played without major error against the Falcons. After struggling to do so in the previous two games, quarterback Jared Goff found a sense of a rhythm against the Falcons. He passed for two touchdowns — including a perfectly placed ball to Gurley — and also made a great move on a touchdown run. Goff has passed for nine touchdowns, with seven interceptions. Tight end Gerald Everett was targeted 10 times against the Falcons and had four receptions, including one for a touchdown. Rookie David Edwards will start again at left guard after performing well against the Falcons. The Bengals are giving up 26.6 points a game, which ranks 24th. End Sam Hubbard and tackle Geno Atkins each have three sacks for a defense that has intercepted only two passes and forced four fumbles.
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
Today 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
Eric Staal scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period, Alex Stalock stopped 30 shots, and the Minnesota Wild beat the Kings 5-1.
Gerald Mayhew, Joel Eriksson Ek, Mikko Koivu and Jared Spurgeon also scored for Minnesota (4-7-0), which has won three of four after beginning the year 1-6.
Ben Hutton scored and Jonathan Quick made 22 saves for the Kings (4-7-0) who have lost two straight.
Minnesota put it away with a three-goal flurry in the third as the Kings defense began to falter.
“When you start to press and you get frustrated, you work your way out of structure,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “You could see the mistakes at 3-1, especially at 4-1 (we) started to leak. We were lucky we didn’t give up six.”
Ryan Getzlaf scored a power-play goal in the second period, Ryan Miller stopped 35 shots, and the Ducks beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Saturday night.
Adam Henrique and Carter Rowney scored in the first period and Max Comtois and Jakob Silfverberg had goals in the third to help the Ducks end a three-game skid and hand the Avalanche their first home loss of the season. Hampus Lindholm had three assists for Anaheim.
Anaheim handed Colorado its last regular-season home loss, a 5-3 victory March 15. The Avalanche won their last six home games of last season and the first four in Denver to begin this year. Including the 2019 playoffs, Colorado had won 14 of the last 15 at home, with the only loss before Saturday coming against San Jose in the Western Conference semifinals.
TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE
All times Pacific
Chargers at Chicago, 10 a.m., Fox, KFI AM 640
Cincinnati vs. Rams (at London), 10 a.m., CBS, 710 ESPN
Charlotte at Lakers, 6:30 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet, 710 ESPN
Kings at Chicago, 4 p.m., FSW
Ducks at Vegas, 5 p.m., PRIME
BORN ON THIS DATE
1922: Baseball player Ralph Kiner (d. 2014)
1928: Football player Kyle Rote (d. 2002)
1930: Football player Bill George (d. 1982)
1932: Golfer Kathy Cornelius
1941: Race car driver Dick Trickle (d. 2013)
1956: Golfer Patty Sheehan
1964: Swimmer Mary T. Meagher
1969: Football player John Kasay
1971: Hockey player Mike Ricci
1972: Baseball player Brad Radke
1978: Hockey player Sergei Samsonov
1984: Football player Brady Quinn
1987: Former Laker Andrew Bynum
DIED ON THIS DATE
2006: Baseball player Joe Niekro, 61
Baseball Hall of Fame biography: Ralph Kiner. Watch it here.
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