LOS ANGELES — Southern California fired football coach Clay Helton on Monday, two games into his seventh season in charge.
Athletic director Mike Bohn made the move two days after an embarrassing 42-28 home loss to Stanford that dropped the Trojans (1-1, 0-1 Pac-12) out of the AP Top 25.
Donte Williams, the Trojans’ cornerbacks coach and associate head coach, is taking over as head coach. Williams, a Los Angeles-area native and the first Black head coach in USC football history, joined the program in 2020 and has played a major role in the Trojans’ significant recruiting advancements over the past two cycles.
USC visits Washington State this weekend for its road opener.
Helton went 46-24 during his improbable tenure in charge of a longtime West Coast college football powerhouse with 11 national championships. The career assistant coach twice took over as USC’s interim head coach before permanently getting his first head coaching job late in the 2015 season.
Purdue loses top running back for 4-8 weeks
Purdue running back Zander Horvath will miss four to eight weeks with a broken fibula, coach Jeff Brohm told reporters Monday. The fifth-year senior was injured during Saturday’s 49-0 win at UConn.
Horvath was expected to be a key for the Boilermakers after leading the team in rushing with 442 yards on 89 carries and earning third-team all-Big Ten honors last season. He had 23 carries for 92 yards and one touchdown this season while catching four passes for 11 yards.
LSU RB Emery academically ineligible
BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU running back John Emery Jr. is expected to miss the remainder of the season for academic reasons, coach Ed Orgeron said Monday.
Emery, a junior, was expected to compete to be the Tigers’ starting running back this season, but has been ruled academically ineligible.
Arkansas fined $100K after fans rush field
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Southeastern Conference has fined Arkansas $100,000 after Razorbacks fans rushed the field following last Saturday’s 40-21 win over Texas.
The fans violated the league’s access to competition area policy that was adopted in 2004. It states that “access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly-credentialed individuals at all times.”
Texas A&M QB King out indefinitely
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M quarterback Haynes King is out indefinitely after having surgery to repair his broken right leg, suffered early in the seventh-ranked Aggies’ 10-7 win at Colorado over the weekend. Coach Jimbo Fisher said Monday that King’s surgery to repair a broken tibia went well but that there is no timeline for his return.
Fitzpatrick out, Washington turns to Heinicke
Ryan Fitzpatrick is going on injured reserve with a hip injury, and Washington is turning to Taylor Heinicke to start at quarterback against the New York Giants on Thursday night.
Cam Newton is not walking through that door, and Robert Griffin III is not walking through that door. This is Heinicke and Kyle Allen’s show for the foreseeable future, and coach Ron Rivera does not plan on bringing in a veteran QB any time soon. Heinicke will be the 10th quarterback to start a regular-season game for Washington since releasing Griffin in 2016.
Lions’ Okudah out for year with Achilles injury
Detroit Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah has a season-ending Achilles tendon injury, the team announced Monday.
“He will be out for the rest of the year,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “I hate it for him, and I hate it for us as a team because he has really been coming around.”
Okudah was hurt in the fourth quarter Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers held on to win, 41-33, against the Lions.
Titans cut K Badgley after pair of misses
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans are moving onto yet another kicker, waiving Michael Badgley a day after he missed an extra point and a 46-yard field goal in their season-opening loss.
The Titans announced Monday that they also waived tight end Tommy Hudson and also released linebacker Jan Johnson from the practice squad. They signed safety Bradley McDougald and tight end MyCole Pruitt off the practice squad.
Zalatoris named PGA rookie of year
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Will Zalatoris has been voted PGA Tour rookie of the year, the first player in 20 years to receive the award without being a full PGA Tour member.
Zalatoris played well enough on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020 to earn a spot in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, which did not have qualifying and was pushed back to September because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That meant it was part of the 2020-21 season.
Zalatoris tied for sixth, and with two other top-10 finishes, he was able to join the PGA Tour as a special temporary member in November, meaning unlimited sponsor exemptions.