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No. 25 Virginia Tech holds off Pitt in 39-36 win

Southern California running back Ronald Jones II, center, celebrates his touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against California, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Mark J. Terrill / AP)
Southern California running back Ronald Jones II, center, celebrates his touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against California, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Mark J. Terrill / AP)
Associated Press

Sam Darnold threw five touchdowns passes, Ronald Jones rushed for a career-high 223 yards and Southern California downed California 45-24 on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

Darnold threw for 231 yards, with Darreus Rogers making six catches for a career-high 97 yards, as the Trojans rolled up a season-high 629 yards of total offense. Aca’Cedric Ware contributed a career-high 130 yards rushing to USC’s total of 398.

USC (5-3, 4-2 Pac-12) scored on three of its first four possessions, with Darnold finding Rogers, Jones and Deontay Burnett for touchdowns. Rogers added a second touchdown catch with 28 seconds left, but two fumbles by Darnold allowed Cal (4-4, 2-3) to maintain a modicum of hope despite allowing 451 yards on 46 plays in the first half.

Webb threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns, throwing a ball up for grabs that was intercepted by safety Marvell Tell in the first quarter. Webb also rushed for a touchdown in the third quarter that cut USC’s lead to 28-17 before Jones had a 37-yard touchdown run and Daniel Imatorbhebhe caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Darnold.

Jones had 149 yards on eight first-half carries, as the sophomore broke out of a funk with starter Justin Davis (ankle) not in uniform.

(25) Virginia Tech 39, Pittsburgh 36: Jerod Evans shook off a right ankle injury to throw for a career-high 406 yards and two touchdowns and lead the Hokies over the Panthers at Pittsburgh.

Joey Slye tied the school and Atlantic Coast Conference records by making six field goals to help the Hokies (6-2, 4-1) beat the Panthers (5-3, 2-2) on the road for the first time in 17 years.

Isaiah Ford’s 10 receptions included his school-record 23rd receiving touchdown.

Evans left briefly in the third quarter after getting his right leg rolled up on but returned to overwhelm one of the nation’s worst pass defenses. Bucky Hodges caught six passes for 145 yards and a TD. Pitt could do little against Evans who often looked like a point guard lobbing alley-oop passes as he went up top to his receivers again and again.

Cam Phillips added 109 yards receiving as Virginia Tech all but ended Pitt’s hopes of an ACC Coastal Division title.

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