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Fake spike caps UCLA’s rally from 34-point deficit

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen took a page out of Dan Marino’s playbook as the Bruins rallied from a 34-point deficit to stun Texas A&M 45-44 on Sunday.

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The Aggies, trailing 44-38, had converted a fourth-and-6 play and 43 seconds remained when Rosen came to the line and appeared to call for a spike to stop the clock. Instead, Rosen lofted a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Lasley in the left corner of the end zone to tie the game, and UCLA converted the extra point to seal its improbable victory.

The touchdown pass capped a 10-play, 66-yard drive that started with 1:56 to play. Rosen led the Bruins on five straight touchdown drives in the second half. He passed for 491 yards and four touchdowns to erase a 44-10, third-quarter deficit.

Marino pulled off a similar play for the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 27, 1994. Trailing 24-21 with 38 seconds left, Miami had the ball on the New York Jets’ 8-yard line. Marino ran to the line of scrimmage and yelled “clock,” motioning that he was going to stop the clock by a spike. Instead, Marino took the snap and lofted a touchdown pass to Mark Ingram to give the Dolphins a 28-24 victory.

Blind player snaps extra point during USC’s victory

A college football player who has been blind since age 12 snapped for a successful extra point Saturday, helping the University of Southern California to a 49-31 victory against Western Michigan.

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Jake Olson entered the game with 3:13 to play in the fourth quarter. The Trojans’ Marvel Tell III had just returned an interception for a touchdown, allowing Olson to make his first appearance in a regular-season game. The Western Michigan players were aware that Olson was in the game and did not rush the kick. Olson delivered a perfect snap and USC converted for the final margin of victory.

“I loved being out there,” Olson said. “It was an awesome feeling, something that I'll remember forever, getting to snap at USC as a football player.”

Olson was born with retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer, and he lost his left eye when he was 10 months old, ESPN reported. In 2009, at age 12, he learned he needed surgery to remove his right eye, which would completely cost him his vision. 

USC coach Clay Helton had praise for Western Michigan coach Tim Lester, who signed off on Olson's debut.

“Very special moment for us with a very special guy at the end of the game,” Helton said. “I commend and I thank Coach Lester and the entire Western Michigan family for the honor of getting what I think is a very special person in Jake Olson in.”

“It was very special, hearing my name being called over the P.A. system,” Olson said.

USC alumnus Clay Matthews, who plays for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL, saluted Olson on Twitter, calling it “an inspiration.”

Thousands of college football fans wave to patients at new children's hospital

When the new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital was built, overlooking Kinnick Stadium, officials suggested that Hawkeye fans wave to patients.

Hawkeye fans did not let the kids down.

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At the end of the first quarter of Saturday's game against the Wyoming Cowboys, thousands of Hawkeye fans turned to wave at the young patients looking out the windows of the hospital.

The Hawkeyes and the University of Iowa are participating in a "Touchdowns for Kids" campaign, in which fans can donate a dollar or more for every time the Hawkeyes score a touchdown, KWWL reported.

ESPN's Robert Lee pulled from Virginia game because of his name, report says

ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee was scheduled to call an upcoming University of Virginia football game, but in light of recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, the network has pulled him from that assignment because of the similarity between his name and that of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

>> Charles Barkley offers brutally honest take on Confederate statue debate

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch released ESPN’s statement on the situation, saying it was Lee’s decision to request a different assignment:

>> See the tweet here

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Lee’s decision to request a change of assignment comes on the heels of recent protests in Charlottesville, in which a counter protester, Heather Heyer, was allegedly killed by a white supremacist.

Read more here.

Alabama’s Nick Saban on eclipse; ‘I’ll watch it on TV’

Alabama football coach Nick Saban is not impressed with the hype surrounding Monday’s total eclipse, ESPN reported. 

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“I watch the Weather Channel every day,” Saban said Saturday after a scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium. “They're already saying what it's going to look like in every city in America. So what's going to be significant? Watch the Weather Channel, and you'll see what it's going to be like in Portland, Oregon.”The solar eclipse peaks in Tuscaloosa around 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Saban said he would accommodate any players who wanted to watch the event.

“We'll set it up so if the players want to go out there and get some sunglasses,” he told ESPN. “I guess they can. That's not something that I'm really that focused on right now."

Saban said he has a lake house in Clayton, Georgia, that is in the path of totality. But he is not planning a road trip for himself or his players.

“Tell them to watch it on TV,” he said. “Maybe we should have a team meeting about how we want to do this. I haven't thought about it.”

Sooners coach Bob Stoops announces retirement

Bob Stoops will retire as head football coach of the University of Oklahoma Sooners after 18 years, according a release from the university on Wednesday.

The university said Stoops is "the winningest coach in Oklahoma history" and has an overall record of 190-48.

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He led the Sooners to the national championship in 2000.

Stoops will remain as special assistant to the athletics director.

University officials said Stoops is the only coach to win the Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and national championship. They said he accumulated more wins in his first 18 seasons than any coach in the game's history.

According to a statement from the University President David L. Boren, he will be succeeded by current offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.

The statement said Stoops, 56, believed it was the appropriate time to conclude his time coaching in Norman, Oklahoma.

Below is an excerpt of a statement from Stoops, obtained by the Associated Press and provided by OU:

“After 18 years at the University of Oklahoma, I've decided to step down as the head football coach. I understand there has been some speculation about my health. My health was not the deciding factor in this decision and I've had no incidents that would prevent me from coaching. I feel the timing is perfect to hand over the reins. The program is in tremendous shape. We have outstanding players and coaches and are poised to make another run at a Big 12 and national championship. We have new state-of-the-art facilities and a great start on next year's recruiting class. The time is now because Lincoln Riley will provide a seamless transition as the new head coach, capitalizing on an excellent staff that is already in place and providing familiarity and confidence for our players. Now is simply the ideal time for me and our program to make this transition. ... “I'm especially thankful for being able to coach so many talented young men over my 18 years here. It has been so rewarding to see these players come to OU and mature over a four- or five-year career, and not just on the field. To play a small part in their growth is what I will always cherish the most. None of my success would have happened without the best fans in the country. I can't tell you how much I appreciated the 110 consecutive home sellouts. The passion of our fan base is unmatched, and their support has played a huge role in not only home games, but road games and all 18 of our bowl games, as well. ... “The coaching life is like a relay race and I'm thankful for my turn and am confident as I pass the baton. Carol and I intend on staying in Norman - it is our home. I will be available to Coach Riley and the athletic department in any manner. Thank you all for a lifetime of memories we shared together of 10 conference championships, the 2000 national championship, strong relationships with players and coaches, and the great Oklahoma football fans. Boomer!”

Evander Holyfield's son arrested on drug charges

Elijah Holyfield, a University of Georgia running back and the son of former boxing legend Evander Holyfield, was arrested on drug charges early Monday.

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Holyfield was arrested in Athens on misdemeanor charges of possession of drug-related objects and marijuana possession, less than 1 oz., according to 960 The Ref.

Holyfield was booked into the Athens-Clarke County Jail jail at 3:19 a.m. ET. He was released less than an hour later at 4:08 a.m. ET.

Visit WSBTV.com for the latest on this developing story.

Deshaun Watson buys mom new car for birthday after getting drafted by Texans

Deshaun Watson is officially a professional quarterback as he was taken 12th overall in this year’s NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Most guys might go blow some signing money on some ridiculous gifts for their posse or buy themselves a huge house, but not Watson. He went out and hooked his mom up with a sweet ride:

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

>> See the photos here

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Watson will tell you that everything he gets and has worked for is because of his mom. She was working more than one job and doing community service in order to get a house that was a gift to the family by former Florida State star Warrick Dunn as part of Habitat for Humanity. 

Father of NFL hopeful killed in South Florida

The father of NFL hopeful and Florida State University star Travis Rudolph was killed this weekend in an accidental shooting, according to reports from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Darryl Rudolph was shot Saturday morning while he was doing repair work at Sugar Daddy’s Adult Cabaret on Military Trail, south of Southern Boulevard.

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Officials say Rudolph, 55, was working in the back storage room of the club at about 9:30 a.m. The club hired him to do odd jobs, mainly repair work, the sheriff’s office said.

A coworker was in an adjacent room moving a firearm off a shelf. The gun discharged and fired a bullet through a wall and into Rudolph’s neck/back area. He was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center where he died.

An initial investigation deemed the shooting accidental. The sheriff’s office stressed the investigation is active and ongoing. It is unclear who owned the gun or whether anyone will face charges in the shooting.

Sugar Daddy’s has been the backdrop — both directly and indirectly — of numerous gun-related incidents.

Greg Bryant, the former standout football player at American Heritage, spent his final hours alive at Sugar Daddy’s nearly a year ago. The 21-year-old was heading home to Delray Beach after a night watching his musician friends perform at the suburban West Palm club. He was fatally shot May 7 on Interstate 95.

No one has been arrested in Bryant’s death.

Travis Rudolph, a West Palm Beach native and Cardinal Newman High School graduate, made national headlines last summer when he ate with a middle school student with autism who was sitting alone. The wide receiver and his Seminoles teammates were visiting the student’s Tallahassee middle school.

As a junior in 2016, Rudolph led the Seminoles in receptions (56), receiving yards (840) and receiving touchdowns (seven). He left Florida State a year early but still managed to sneak into the university’s all-time top 10 in receptions (153) and receiving yards (2,311).

In March, Rudolph told The Post he was happy with his decision to enter the NFL draft early. He had private workouts with the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins planned for April.

University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield arrested

University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was taken into police custody early Saturday morning after an alleged incident in downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Officers say someone reported that Mayfield was intoxicated, yelling profanities and causing a scene.

An arrest report states that Mayfield told officers he was trying to break up an altercation there.

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When officers talked to Mayfield, they reportedly found his speech was slurred and his clothing was covered in food.

They said the OU football player even sprinted away from police at one point, prompting the officer to tackle him to the ground and handcuff him.Mayfield was booked into the Washington County Detention Facility in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

He faces charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct, fleeing and resisting arrest.

"We are aware of the matter and are learning the details. We don't have any other information at this time," said Mike Houck, Oklahoma team spokesman. 

Mayfield is a sophomore at the university. He was short-listed for the Heisman Trophy last year.

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