Williams’ 470 passing yards puts No. 7 USC over No. 16 UCLA

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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PASADENA, Calif. — Caleb Williams passed for a career-high 470 yards, Austin Jones rushed for a season-high 120 yards and seventh-ranked Southern California clinched a spot on the Pac-12 Championship game with a 48-45 victory over No. 16 UCLA on Saturday night.

Williams also rushed for 32 yards and finished with 503 yards of total offense. The Trojans (10-1, 8-1 Pac-12) had a season-high 648 yards of total offense and took advantage of four Bruins turnovers.

Williams completed 32 of 43 passes with two touchdowns and an interception. His favorite target was Jordan Addison, who had 11 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown.

USC fell behind 14-0 before rallying. The Trojans scored on eight of nine drives, including five straight.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson accounted for all six UCLA touchdowns, but also had three interceptions and a fumble.

UCLA got the ball with 2:21 remaining after forcing USC to punt. The Bruins (8-3, 5-3) got to midfield but their hopes of a comeback evaporated when Thompson-Robinson was picked off by Korey Foreman at midfield with 1:26 remaining.

Thompson-Robinson was 23 of 38 for 309 yards and passed for four touchdowns. He also rushed for 75 yards and two scores.

TURNING POINT

After Jones’ 8-yard run brought the Trojans within 21-17, UCLA got the ball and was looking to get one last score before halftime — along with getting the ball at the start of the second half.

Things didn’t go according to plan.

Thompson-Robinson was picked off by Mekhi Blackmon, who returned it to the UCLA 35. USC’s Denis Lynch missed his second field goal.

The Bruins got the ball back but Shane Lee intercepted Thompson-Robinson at the UCLA 47 with 14 seconds remaining. USC was able to convert this time as Lynch connected from 49 yards to get the Trojans within 21-20 at halftime.

Nicholas Barr-Mira’s 46-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half extended the Bruins’ lead to four before Williams connected with Addison for a 35-yard TD to put the Trojans on top 27-24.

USC’s defense came up with its third turnover midway through the third quarter when Tyrone Taleni sacked Thompson-Robinson and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Latrell McCutchin at the UCLA 9. Two plays later, Jones scored up the middle from 2 yards to extend the Trojans’ lead to double digits.

THE TAKEAWAY

USC: There were some concerns after Travis Dye’s season-ending injury last week that the Trojans would struggle in the running game, but Jones averaged 5.7 yards per carry and had two touchdowns.

UCLA: The Bruins’ defense has had issues the past two weeks, especially with stopping an opponent’s passing game. They allowed four completions of at least 35 yards.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Trojans could make a bid for the top five after this win, while the Bruins will try to hang on being ranked.

UP NEXT

USC: Hosts No. 18 Notre Dame next Saturday.

UCLA: Travels to California on Friday.

Alabama suspends freshman defensive back after drug arrest

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team following his arrest on a drug charge.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and another man, Christophere Lewis, last week on a charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Lewis also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.

“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.

Mitchell was driving the vehicle during a traffic stop. After deputies smelled marijuana, Mitchell picked up a baggie of marijuana from the passenger floorboard, according to the department’s Facebook post.

Sheriff’s deputies found “an additional significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console, and a large amount of cash,” according to the department’s Facebook post.

Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey suspended after arrest

Saul Young/News Sentinel/USA TODAY NETWORK
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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey was suspended from the team after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the team said.

The 23-year-old, who was a team captain last season, was booked at about 2:45 a.m. and released after posting $500 bond, according to online records from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are aware of the situation involving Chad Bailey,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s been suspended according to Department of Athletics policy. We have high expectations for all of our student-athletes, on and off the field, and we will follow all departmental and campus policies.”

Bailey was Mizzou’s third-leading tackler with 57 stops last season. He started all 11 games he played, missing two with an injury. He’ll be a sixth-year senior this fall after opting to return for his final year of eligibility, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The Missouri student-athlete handbook says any athlete who is arrested must serve a minimum one-week suspension.

Bailey was pulled over at about 1 a.m. not far from the Columbia campus for an expired license plate and lane violation, a police statement said. Bailey told the officer he had consumed alcohol and then performed poorly on a field sobriety test, the Post-Dispatch reported.