Two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Vince Young was spotted in Austin-Straubel airport on Sunday evening, confirming reports that the Green Bay Packers plan to workout with Young at practice on Monday.Currently the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, but beyond him the talent is questionable. Graham Harrel, 28, who is Green Bay’s current backup quarterback, has not shown any potential to be a quality fill for Green Bay should Rodgers go down. Competing with Harrel, is seventh round draft pick BJ Coleman who hasn’t proven to be a better option than Harrel and failed miserably in Saturday’s family scrimmage.In stark contrast, Young has experience leading an NFL team to success. In six NFL seasons with Tennessee and Philadelphia, Young has played in 60 career games with 50 starts and completed 755-of-1,304 passes (57.9 percent) for 8,964 yards in his career with 46 touchdowns and 51 interceptions. The AFC offensive rookie of the year in 2006, Young also has 282 carries for 1,459 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and 12 touchdowns.If Young can still perform at 30 years old, he would bring the Packers veteran experience for Aaron Rodgers backup for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.
Month: September 2019
The big beneficiaries of that were Ohio State, which tacked 18 percentage points onto its CFP probability, and Louisville, which picked up 12 points — as well as the Big Ten’s less-heralded contenders (Wisconsin and Penn State) and whoever wins the Big 12 (probably Oklahoma), who now has a Hail Mary’s chance to make the playoff. WisconsinBig Ten24+92+1 Oklahoma St.Big 123—<1— AlabamaSEC90%+438%+7 MichiganBig Ten36-2012-7 TEAMCONFERENCEPROBCHANGEPROBCHANGE Ohio StateBig Ten56+1817+7 USCPac-122+2<1— Changes in FiveThirtyEight’s CFP prediction model are since last week.Source: ESPN Stats & InfoRMATION GROUP Washington St.Pac-124—<1— AuburnSEC<1-10<1-2 OklahomaBig 1215+72+2 Penn StateBig Ten8+6<1— Western MichiganMAC<1—<1— 2016 College Football Playoff predictions update (Nov. 16) MAKES PLAYOFFWINS NAT’L TITLE FloridaSEC<1—<1— Will your favorite team make the College Football Playoff? See all of our predictions for the 2016 season » We’d said Louisville needed help to squeeze back into the playoff picture, and this past weekend provided it. If the Cardinals win out (the biggest obstacle to which is Houston, on the road, this Thursday night), they’d be slightly better than 50-50 to make the CFP. And Michigan’s loss only ratchets up the pressure surrounding “The Game” against Ohio State on Nov. 26: Provided each team beats its next foe (both Michigan and Ohio State are very likely to beat Indiana and Michigan State, respectively), the winner of the two rivals’ annual clash will be practically guaranteed to make the CFP — while the loser’s chances will be slim at best.All of these shake-ups will lead to a few weeks of extra anxiety for the coaches involved. But from a fan’s perspective, they took a relatively tidy (read: potentially boring) playoff picture and made it far more chaotic, a good recipe for an exciting climax to the season.Check out our college football predictions. After one of the wildest upset weekends in history — three of the AP poll’s top four teams all lost on Saturday — you knew the college football landscape was due for some bulldozing. That applied to both the College Football Playoff committee’s rankings, which landed Tuesday night, and FiveThirtyEight’s CFP prediction model, which uses those rankings to simulate the rest of the season and project who will be left standing when the committee makes its final decision. Each leaves us with a cloudier view of the playoff picture now than we had a week ago.On the committee side, Washington dropped out of the rankings’ all-important top four (the Huskies fell to No. 6 after falling to USC), Clemson slid from second to fourth after its loss to Pitt, and Ohio State vaulted from No. 5 to No. 2. At the same time, Michigan stayed at No. 3 despite losing to Iowa, and Alabama strengthened its grip on No. 1 — so three of the top four from last week’s rankings remained in those coveted positions. But now slots 2 through 6 in the rankings are all occupied by one-loss teams, with six more two-loss teams directly behind them. Aside from the Crimson Tide’s ongoing dominance, there’s not much to feel confident about going into the final few weeks of the regular season.That point is underscored by our CFP prediction model. Alabama remained relatively steady, and now has a 90 percent probability of making the playoff; at this point, the Tide would likely get in even if they lost a game (whether to Auburn in the season finale, or perhaps even the SEC championship). But the weekend also took identical 20-percentage-point tolls on Michigan and Washington’s CFP probabilities, and lopped 9 points off of Clemson’s as well. TennesseeSEC<1—<1— LouisvilleACC40+129+3 ColoradoPac-1210+2<1— NebraskaBig Ten<1—<1— West VirginiaBig 126+2<1— ClemsonACC70-914-3 WashingtonPac-1232-205-5 UtahPac-122+2<1—
It takes an entire 25-man roster to make a winning baseball team — just ask the defending-champion Boston Red Sox. Sure, Boston had plenty of top-line talent at its disposal, but it also got key playoff contributions from the likes of Steve Pearce and Nathan Eovaldi, neither of whom was especially heralded when the Red Sox picked them up in midseason deals. Postseason history is littered with similarly unsung heroes from down the roster who step up in big moments.But what if teams didn’t need to rely on all of those non-star contributions? Instead, we want to find the opposite: teams that are too top-heavy, with lots of star power but few quality role players to help fill out the rest of the roster. These are teams who lack for diamonds in the rough — though the stars sure do shine brightly.For instance, if there was an NBA Jam for baseball, where teams could only use two players (let’s say a pitcher and a hitter), which club would come out on top? Here are the best team hitter-pitcher tandems in MLB this season,1Through games on July 23. according to the sum of the wins above replacement2Using JEFFBAGWELL (Joint Estimate Featuring FanGraphs and B-R Aggregated to Generate WAR, Equally Leveling Lists), our custom average of the WAR versions found at FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.com. per 162 games across both players: 2NationalsAnthony Rendon5.9Max Scherzer9.014.9 17YankeesDJ LeMahieu6.7Masahiro Tanaka3.19.8 22Blue JaysEric Sogard3.2Marcus Stroman4.37.6 5AngelsMike Trout10.5Ty Buttrey2.613.1 In terms of two-man teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ combination of Cody Bellinger (10.1 WAR per 162) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (6.1) is easily the best in baseball this year. The former is having one of the best seasons in baseball history, and the latter has been the surprising pillar of one of baseball’s best rotations. Bellinger’s ability to play three outfield positions plus first base also helps in this hypothetical universe where he has to field all of the balls hitters put in play against Ryu. (In related news, no, I didn’t completely think through the mechanics of how MLB Jam would work.)Of course, the Dodgers are also arguably baseball’s best team in the real world. So that doesn’t do us much good here; we are, after all, looking for the teams whose fortunes would change the most depending on whether we look at their stars or the entire team. To that end, let’s break down the teams with the biggest differences in WAR ranking between their top hitter-pitcher duo and their full roster.According to that method, the team that would most benefit from an MLB Jam-style roster construction is the Chicago White Sox, whose top pairing of pitcher Lucas Giolito (6.2 WAR/162) and third baseman Yoan Moncada (5.2) is ninth among pitcher-batter combos. That placement for Giolito and Moncada is much higher than the White Sox’s overall team ranking in WAR (No. 26), making them baseball’s top-heaviest team in terms of leading twosomes. The Pale Hose edge out the Texas Rangers, whose top combo of pitcher Lance Lynn (7.6) and Joey Gallo (5.1) ranks seventh in MLB despite the team sitting only 15th in WAR overall.The Tampa Bay Rays, meanwhile, are on the opposite end of the spectrum to the White Sox and Rangers. Their leading duo of pitcher Charlie Morton (5.8 WAR/162) and second baseman Brandon Lowe (4.2) ranks just 16th among MLB’s top 1-2 hitter-pitcher punches, but Tampa as a whole is fourth in WAR on the basis of its impressive depth. Eleven different Rays are on pace for at least 2.0 WAR — the mark of a solid season — and, perhaps more importantly, only 10 Rays have 0.0 WAR or fewer (which is tied for the fewest of any team). Although Tampa Bay lacks star power, it has been able to build its 47 percent playoff probability by avoiding what Jay Jaffe calls “replacement-level killers”: players who produce little or no value in substantial playing time.Expanding the scope to the top five players on each team — and now looking at the ranking irrespective of positions — the Colorado Rockies emerge as another markedly top-heavy team. Colorado has four players on pace for at least 4.0 WAR — shortstop Trevor Story (6.0), third baseman Nolan Arenado (5.2), and pitchers German Marquez (4.7) and Jon Gray (4.0) — which helps to drive a top five tally that ranks 14th in the league. However, the Rockies also have 22 players producing at or below the replacement level. Several of those players were expected to have much better seasons (most notably Kyle Freeland and Daniel Murphy), but their actual performances have left Colorado ranking 22nd overall in spite of its productive core. 4DiamondbacksKetel Marte7.4Zack Greinke5.613.1 28MarlinsMiguel Rojas3.2Caleb Smith2.96.0 20RedsEugenio Suarez3.1Luis Castillo5.48.6 15BravesRonald Acuna Jr.5.8Mike Soroka4.710.5 9White SoxYoan Moncada5.2Lucas Giolito6.211.3 6AstrosAlex Bregman7.0Gerrit Cole5.912.9 16RaysBrandon Lowe4.2Charlie Morton5.810.0 21PhilliesJ.T. Realmuto4.1Aaron Nola3.87.9 27CardinalsPaul DeJong4.4Jack Flaherty2.26.6 7RangersJoey Gallo5.1Lance Lynn7.612.6 19PadresFernando Tatis Jr.5.5Kirby Yates4.09.5 14RockiesTrevor Story6.0Jon Gray4.610.7 12Red SoxXander Bogaerts6.7Chris Sale4.311.0 3BrewersChristian Yelich9.3Brandon Woodruff4.313.6 18IndiansCarlos Santana4.9Shane Bieber4.69.5 11TwinsJorge Polanco6.7Jose Berrios4.611.3 10AthleticsMatt Chapman7.3Frankie Montas4.011.3 30GiantsEvan Longoria2.5Madison Bumgarner3.15.6 29MarinersEdwin Encarnacion*2.9Marco Gonzales3.05.9 23TigersNicholas Castellanos2.4Matthew Boyd5.17.5 8MetsPete Alonso6.1Jacob deGrom5.711.8 13CubsKris Bryant6.3Cole Hamels4.410.7 A similar top-heavy split applies to the Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals. Milwaukee‘s top five is led by reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich (9.3 WAR/162) and rounded out by Brandon Woodruff (5.0), Mike Moustakas (4.6), Yasmani Grandal (4.3) and ghost-ball master Josh Hader (2.8). Given that group, it would seem impossible that the Brewers are merely an average team (14th in MLB) according to overall WAR. Milwaukee’s problem isn’t even that the team uses a ton of replacement-level scrubs — it’s just that the Brewers lack solid role players beyond their top handful of stars. (In no small part due to down years from Lorenzo Cain, Jesus Aguilar, Jhoulys Chacin and Travis Shaw.)The Nationals are in a comparable situation. In terms of star-level production, you’d take Washington’s top-line group — Max Scherzer (9.0 WAR/162), Stephen Strasburg (6.8), Anthony Rendon (5.9), Patrick Corbin (5.1) and Juan Soto (3.6) — against just about anybody’s in baseball. By WAR, only the Dodgers have a better top five than the Nats, and only the Dodgers and Houston Astros have a better top 10. Yet Washington only ranks 10th in total WAR because the supporting cast has largely failed to meet expectations. (Trea Turner counts among that group, though his recent hot streak — highlighted by hitting for the cycle Tuesday — could at least signal another top performer reemerging in Washington’s galaxy of stars.)Finally, you have the New York Yankees who, like the Rays, consistently show up as a better overall team than their top performers would indicate. For instance, New York leaders DJ LeMahieu (6.7 WAR/162) and Aaron Judge (4.2) only rank 15th in tandem WAR — and the team’s top 10 also ranks just 15th — despite the Yankees ranking fifth in overall WAR. Some of that is a bit misleading because of the Yankees’ injury problems: Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andujar have all missed significant playing time this year, among others. But it also speaks to how deep the Yankees’ roster truly is, with lesser-known contributors such as Luke Voit, Mike Tauchman and Gio Urshela keeping the team afloat in the face of so many star absences.If you had the choice, clearly it’s ideal to be a team like the Dodgers, who have the best star power and the best supporting cast. But teams like the Rays and Yankees prove that a deep stable of contributors can outperform more star-powered teams such as the Nationals, Brewers, Rockies, White Sox and Rangers — even if the latter group of teams would be a lot better if we could just play baseball using “NBA Jam” rules.Check out our latest MLB predictions. RkTeamTop Batter (WAR/162)Top Pitcher (WAR/162)Sum Major League Baseball’s most dynamic duos of 2019MLB teams with the best combination of a top hitter and top pitcher, according to the sum of both players’ WAR per 162 games 1DodgersCody Bellinger10.1Hyun-Jin Ryu6.116.2 25RoyalsWhit Merrifield4.5Brad Keller2.67.1 * Player is no longer with club. Data through July 23.WAR is based on JEFFBAGWELL — the Joint Estimate Featuring FanGraphs and B-R Aggregated to Generate WAR, Equally Leveling Lists.Source: FanGraphs.com, Baseball-Reference.com 24PiratesJosh Bell4.1Joe Musgrove3.17.2 26OriolesTrey Mancini2.7John Means4.37.0
OSU players attempt to take down Illinois then-junior running back Josh Ferguson (6) during a game on Nov. 1, 2015 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Lantern File PhotoFor the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes, the important part of the season sits on the horizon.Looming are matchups with No. 13 Michigan State, No. 12 Michigan and, if things go right for the Buckeyes, a meeting with No. 5 Iowa is likely in the Big Ten Championship Game.Before any of those games come, however, OSU (9-0, 5-0) has a meeting with a team that has played spoiler in the past.A trip to Champaign, Illinois, to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini (5-4, 2-3) is on the docket for the Buckeyes on Saturday at noon.While the team understands the season-defining importance of the games following Saturday’s, sophomore linebacker Raekwon McMillan said the team’s coaches have made sure the team is only thinking about the task immediately ahead.“With (coach Urban) Meyer’s mentality, and our whole coaching staff’s mentality, it’s one game at a time,” McMillan said. “We really don’t worry about what’s down the road or what’s two weeks from now, we have to worry what’s right now and what’s coming at this time.”The Illini have given the Buckeyes trouble in the past in “trap games.”In 2007, Illinois came into Ohio Stadium and stunned the No. 1 Buckeyes. In three of the next four years following that game, the Illini put up a fight against OSU, losing by 10 points in 2008 and 2011 and 11 points in 2010, though the 2011 meeting saw OSU as the underdog pulling off an upset victory.However, Meyer’s arrival in 2012 has been accompanied with a turnaround in that trend.In Meyer’s three games against Illinois, the Buckeyes have won by a total of 96 points, scoring 167 points.Previously for IllinoisIt has been a season of change for the Fighting Illini, as the team fired its coach Tim Beckman just one week before the season, replacing him with interim coach Bill Cubit.Then, on Monday, the school’s athletic director Mike Thomas followed Beckham out the door following a report detailing mistreatment of football and women’s basketball players.Amid the high rate of turnover off the field has come an equal rate of inconsistent play on it.After a strong start to the season that saw the Illini start 4-1 — with its only loss coming against now-No. 23 North Carolina — the wheels came off the bus. In its last five games, Illinois has gone 1-3.That stretch featured a three-game losing streak, with competitive losses to No. 5 Iowa and No. 25 Wisconsin by nine and 11 points, respectively. However, the third game was a 39-0 thumping at Penn State.The Illini bounced back last Saturday, traveling to West Lafayette, Indiana, to blow away Purdue 48-14.Other than the rushing attack, one of Illinois’ strengths this season has been forcing turnovers, as it has come away with 11 interceptions, second most in the Big Ten. Redshirt junior safety Taylor Barton has led the way with four picks.Illinois is led by a strong run game anchored by the tandem of redshirt senior Josh Ferguson and true freshman Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who combined for 313 yards rushing against Purdue.“This team is going to try to establish the run, but it’s up to us to stop it,” McMillan said.Ferguson missed two games before the Purdue game but came back with 133 yards against the Boilermakers.“He’s a spark for that team,” McMillan said. “He wants to be that playmaker, so they’re going to put the ball in his hands a lot.”Back to full strengthAfter OSU lost a starter on the defense to the injury for the first time this season in the last two games, it appears the top 11 will be getting back to full strength on Saturday.Senior defensive tackle Tommy Schutt made his return to the depth chart for the Week 11 matchup after missing two games with a wrist injury.Though he will still have to wear a cast on the field, Schutt’s return comes welcome for a defensive line that rotated redshirt senior Joel Hale and redshirt sophomore Michael Hill in Schutt’s absence.For the season, Schutt has 20 tackles, including four for a loss.While not missing more than part of the fourth quarter, redshirt senior Braxton Miller is also expected to be able to play.Meyer said the H-back suffered a neck injury when his head was thrown to the turf on a tackle, but he should be fine for Saturday’s contest.OSU will also be getting redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett back following a one-game suspension for a citation for operating a vehicle impaired.“I think it’s going to be a good thing,” redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall said about Barrett. “He’s proven himself as a great player, so we’re looking forward to having him back with the offense and the team.”Up nextThe Buckeyes are set to finish up their home schedule in a key Big Ten East division game against No. 13 Michigan State on Nov. 21. Kickoff is scheduled for either noon or 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.
Junior midfielder Turner Evans (5) watches the ball during a game against Marquette Feb. 22 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. OSU won, 11-7.Credit: Brett Amadon / Lantern reporterThe struggle to piece wins together continues for the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team.The Buckeyes (1-5, 0-0) dropped their third straight game early in the season after falling to No. 9 Denver, 9-5, Saturday.Playing as non-conference opponents for the first time since before 1998, freshman midfielder John Kelly opened up the scoring after recording his first career goal on an assist from junior midfielder David Planning, who led the Buckeyes with a career-high three goals and four points.However, Denver responded quickly as freshman attackman Zach Miller scored his first of five goals just more than a minute later.After two more goals put the Pioneers up 3-1, the Buckeyes used a man-up goal from Planning as well as a goal from freshman attackman J.T. Blubaugh to tie the game at three before halftime.Junior midfielder Jesse King, who leads OSU in scoring with 22 points on the year, recorded the assist on Blubaugh’s goal to extend his point streak to 29 games.The teams traded goals coming out of the break, but Denver used a five-goal run to seize a 9-4 lead late in the fourth quarter.Planning scored the fifth goal for the Buckeyes off an assist from Kelly, but OSU — who was stymied for much of the second half — could not draw any closer as the Pioneers closed out the victory.This was the second consecutive game the Buckeyes were limited to five goals, after they fell to Hofstra, 7-5, March 8.Offensively, the Pioneers were led by Miller, who finished with a career-best seven points on five goals and two assists. Senior midfielder Jeremy Noble, who was drafted sixth overall in January’s Major League Lacrosse Draft by the Denver Outlaws, had three points (one goal, two assists) on the night.OSU senior goaltender Dutton made six saves for the Buckeyes.OSU is scheduled to return home next week for its first of three straight games in Columbus, set to take on ECAC opponent Bellarmine (4-2, 0-2).
OSU redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis leads the Buckeyes into Ohio Stadium as coach Urban Meyer greets each player before the Buckeyes’ 30-27 victory over Michigan on Nov. 26. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorLast season, the Ohio State football team relied heavily on its secondary — namely, safety Malik Hooker and cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore, and Gareon Conley — to be the playmakers and backbone on the Buckeyes’ defense.With the departure of this athletic trio for the NFL draft, however, the “Silver Bullets” will now lean on an experienced defensive line to lead the way for defensive coordinator Greg Schiano in his first full season at the helm of the defense.As spring practice began this week, Schiano said the team has some lofty challenges ahead of it after losing a handful of key components on the roster. However, Schiano said he is looking forward to working with the abilities and skill he has upfront on defense.“That’s a heck of a group and I think we got really elite defensive lineman, and I think we have the best defensive line coach (Larry Johnson) in America,” Schiano said. “So, when you put those two things together, it’s fun to work with those guys and I’m excited to see how it all comes together.”Among those upfront, redshirt senior defensive end Tyquan Lewis returned for his final year of eligibility after the devastating, shutout loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. Following OSU’s exit out of the College Football Playoff, Lewis said he substantially thought about his plans for the future, but collectively, said he is satisfied with his decision to come back.“After the game, I had a talk with my family, coach (Larry) Johnson, and I had to evaluate some things,” Lewis said. “There was a lot going into it, I had a lot to consider — the pros and cons and everything. I had to make the right decision, so I chose to come back and I feel that, that was what was best for me.”Schiano said that as challenging as it will be, he will need to find a way to get Lewis and a talented group of linemen on the field at the same time. With that, Schiano added that improvements can be made to the rotation of redshirt junior Sam Hubbard, senior Jalyn Holmes and sophomore Nick Bosa on the edges, and redshirt sophomore Dre’Mont Jones and redshirt senior Michael Hill at defensive tackle already implemented into the Buckeyes’ scheme.“Our plan is a very solid and great plan. It keeps everybody fresh. Nobody is playing, like, 70 plays and that’s a good thing,” Lewis said. “Nobody should have to put their bodies through that all the time, and the type of caliber players we have here, you win games like that — with great players.”Despite being the reigning Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, Lewis said that he still has improvements to make as a pass rusher in his technique with his hands and hips. Lewis also said that when it comes to being recognized for his performance on the field, his main focus is on being the top player at his position.“I mean, I just want to be the best. I just want to go out and play hard for my teammates, that’s the main thing,” he said. “Whatever else comes with all the accolades, I mean, I don’t really get into things like that. I just accept them.”
Ohio State senior Logan Melander performs on pommel horse against Michigan on Feb. 4. Credit: Daneyliz Rodriguez | Lantern reporterReturning from the Big Ten championships with their 14th conference title, the No. 3 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team prepares to hit the road for the NCAA championships. The journey, however, might not be the only thing on the minds of the athletes, as the Buckeyes mourn the loss of former team member, Larry Mayer, who passed away Monday evening.“We recently lost a member of our gymnastics family, and it was very hard for us,” said OSU coach Rustam Sharipov. “Larry Mayer was bright and a great athlete … Our thoughts go to his family and we are thinking of him. As for (the) NCAA championship, we’ve had some rough patches this season … but the guys work very hard and we are ready.”Mayer, 24, graduated in 2015 with a successful season, placing 10th on vault at the Big Ten event finals and seventh on vault at the team finals. He also won vault with a 15.150 against Michigan, and tied for second place on vault against Penn State with a 14.900. He was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete.The NCAA championships start on Friday at the Christl Arena at The United States Military Academy at West Point.The championships qualifier begins Friday with two pre-qualifying sessions. The top three teams will advance to Saturday’s final session.Last season, the Buckeyes advanced to the 2016 NCAA championships with a second-place finish at the NCAA pre-qualifier at St. John Arena. However, it was Oklahoma who took home the title with a team score of 443.400 points. Stanford finished second with 434.050, while OSU placed third with 433.050.The Buckeyes will enter the championships ranked third in the all-around, second on pommel horse, third on rings, third on parallel bars and fourth on high bar.“We’ve basically just been making sure that everyone is healthy and everyone feels ready to go this weekend, but we’re actually so prepared that athletes who haven’t competed much this season will compete during the qualifier to give other guys a break,” said junior Seth Delbridge. “We’ve had a great season, and I just want to do the best that we can to earn the title. If we all go in with this outlook, I think we’ll do great.”OSU will compete in the first pre-qualifying session on Friday at 1 p.m. Team, all-around and event finals will take place on Saturday.
Ohio State senior right tackle Isaiah Prince answers questions from the media at Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Aug. 28, 2018. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State football team sat in silence. It had just suffered its first loss of the season, a 49-20 loss on the road at Purdue on Oct. 20. As a captain on the offensive line, Ohio State senior left tackle Isaiah Prince put it on himself to send his teammates into the bye week with a few words of encouragement. “We lost and at Ohio State, we are not used to losing, but I mean, that’s a part of life,” Prince said. “The adversity, you are going to get hit, you gotta get back up. There’s no point in pouting about it, crying about it. You got hit, you lost. We can’t go back in time and change it, so the only thing we can do is fix the mistakes and focus on what you do in the future.” But as Prince leads Ohio State into its Nov. 3 game against Nebraska, he’s not forgetting the loss to Purdue: It is what is driving him. Prince is a self-proclaimed sore loser, a mentality, he said, that comes out in every aspect of life, from video games to bench press reps. He doesn’t like losing. But as a senior lineman used to blocking for a running quarterback, Prince has had to take some losses on the line this season as Ohio State runs a run-pass option with a pocket-passing quarterback. With this offensive approach for the unit as a whole, Prince knows what his job is. “Obviously, we don’t have a running quarterback anymore. We have a quarterback who stands in the pocket and throws, so that’s just what happens on RPOs,” Prince said. “It’s a run first, so my job description is to run block first. He pulled the ball and threw it and I was downfield. That’s our offense now.” But Prince said the problem is when Ohio State is running an RPO, he doesn’t know what the backfield is doing while blocking. With the run block-first mentality, Prince has gotten beat a few times in big ways, including allowing two sacks to Minnesota junior defensive end Carter Coughlin on Oct. 13. For Prince, the mistake was easy to identify. He was run blocking, Coughlin was pass rushing, allowing him to easily get past Prince and get to redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins, something the senior offensive lineman is not proud of. “I’m a guy with a lot of pride. I don’t want to give up any sacks. My goal was to have a no-sack season,” Prince said. “In that situation, there’s nothing I can do. That’s just part of the offense. I mean, the quarterback has to get rid of the ball fast. If he don’t, I mean there’s a reason why he didn’t. You can’t fault him for that. That’s just part of the offense.” As Ohio State prepares for the Cornhuskers, the running game is on the forefront of Prince’s mind, trying to figure out how the five players up front can help make space for sophomore J.K. Dobbins and redshirt junior Mike Weber, both former 1,000-yard running backs. Prince said it could take more downhill running plays, knowing what to do on scheduled rushes to create space, create holes, making it more of a traditional running game. But Prince did say that he will do whatever the coaches tell him to do, whether it’s continuing to play the guess game in RPO blocking or if it’s more of a traditional blocking approach in some cases. For him and his unit, the senior offensive lineman is just eager to perform. “I think everybody on the offensive line is very eager,” Prince said. “That is what we pride ourselves on, it’s toughness. Our program is based on toughness. That’s something we are very excited to get back to.”Instead of leading a quiet locker room, Prince plans to lead an Ohio State offensive line he describes as “pissed off.” However, for a player self-described as one who doesn’t like to talk about himself, Prince seems to want to prove something personally too. He’s pissed off, and he doesn’t like to lose.
Ohio State sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson attempts a block against Cleveland State on Nov. 23 in St. John Arena. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorKaleb Wesson has been the focal point of the Ohio State offense over the last three games. Coming into the season with a career high of 18 points, the sophomore forward matched that against South Carolina State and exceeded that in his next game, scoring 19 points against Samford. Wesson continued his key role in the Ohio State offense in St. John Arena: the same place his father played in. In Friday’s 89-62 win against Cleveland State, he led the team with 19 points, matching his career high, making eight of 15 attempts from the floor. When you ask Wesson about the groove he’s been in, about the integral role he’s played in the offense in the last three games of Ohio State’s six-game winning streak to start the 2018-19 season, he does not mention himself. It’s all about the players around him. “I feel I have more opportunities because of my teammates,” Wesson said. “My teammates stepped up early in the year. Creighton, me and C.J. [Jackson] didn’t play very well and we still won the game because people stepped up. I feel if more people step up, I will get more shots.” He said his teammates move the ball around on the outside, finding an easier angle for the big man in the middle, finding an ability to pin defenders in the low post. But for a team that lost a lot of its forward depth right before the season began, with Micah Potter announcing his transfer from the program prior to its first game against Cincinnati on Nov. 7, many of the questions revolved around the same general topic. Wesson is only one player, and with only two other true “big men” on the roster —sophomore forward Kyle Young and freshman forward JaeDon LeDee — how would Ohio State be able to be consistent in the paint? How would Ohio State be able to play big? It’s setting the identity of Ohio State, no matter the personnel the team has available. It’s something that was planned for in the second half against Cleveland State. “The plan was to get the ball inside,” Wesson said. “Every single time, we try and play inside out.” In the second half, Wesson led the team with 10 points, connecting on four of seven shots from the floor. In Wesson, Ohio State is able to set the tone for the rest of the team in that area, something that Cleveland State head coach Dennis Felton had to prepare for.“We know that when he is in the game, they want to run their offense through him. They want to do a lot of things that end up being about four out, one in to get him the ball,” Felton said. “He’s very heavy and wide and strong and he’s terrific at using his girth to seal for angles. That came as no surprise.” Like Wesson said, though, it’s not just him, barrelling over opponents in the paint, using his size and girth to bully opponents in the low post. It’s his teammates, getting him in the right positions, finding the mismatches defensively. Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said he gives credit to Wesson not being trapped so much, finding one-on-one matchups down low as opposed to what Creighton did, double teaming the forward in the paint. But even in those situations, Holtmann said Wesson has found a way to succeed. “What people have to understand is Kaleb, he understands how to play,” Holtmann said. “If there are two guys on him, he’s going to pass the ball out. There’s some teams that are really going to try and limit his scoring and he’s going to have to recognize that and be able to make the right basketball play.” But Wesson still can’t do everything in the paint by himself, and the numbers have shown that. The Buckeyes recorded 38 rebounds to Cleveland State’s 37, a team that its head coach described as struggling with its post presence. Much of the success for the Vikings against Ohio State was their ability to get second chances in the paint, recording 12 offensive rebounds and 10 second-chance points. Ohio State sophomore forward Kyle Young showed a bit of promise in that area, recording three offensive boards in Friday’s win, showing a hustle in the paint, getting to the loose balls, something Holtmann said the team, as a whole, did not do a good job in against Cleveland State. Wesson understands how important offensive boards are to a team’s success. “We definitely have to pick up our offensive rebounding,” Wesson said. “That’s a big key, getting extra possessions in the game, getting extra shots.” To Holtmann, it’s simpler than that. It’s rebounding in general, offensive and defensive boards. That’s what is going to give Ohio State that staying power. Even if his offensive numbers decrease, that’s where Wesson’s staying power will be, where his impact will be made: on the glass.
“It is the heritage of Canterbury trampled and trodden on by a pair of thieves. We have been caught up in a whirlwind of thievery.” “The combs are so fragile that in their hands they will disintegrate,” added Mr Bennett.”They may end up on eBay or car boot sales for pennies whereas their real place is in a museum. They are our legacy for future generations.”These two people have been allowed to run rampant and steal our material. They are a couple of low lives who live locals. They must have a huge swag bag. Trust director Paul Bennett, who this week received an MBE from the Prince of Wales, said it was a ‘disaster’ for the country.“It is one of the biggest thefts of archaeological artefacts in the world,” he said.“It is almost like in Syria, Iraq and the archaeological sites there and Libya, where I also work.“It ranks with the theft of the Benghazi treasure in 2011 at the end of the revolution.“They have left such chaos it is difficult to determine what has been stolen. It is as bad as the Viking Sacking of Canterbury in 1011.” Pictures showing the amphitheatre in the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria before and after Isil destructionCredit:AFP Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A Kent Police spokesman said: “Officers from Kent Police are appealing for information after historical artefacts were stolen by burglars.”The items are reported to have been stolen from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, in Kingsmead Road, overnight on 22 and 23 January and again on 23 and 24 January.Anyone with information is asked to contact Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting ZY/4200/18.Alternatively contact Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111. The raids left artefacts strewn across the floor at the Canterbury Archaeological Trust Credit: Canterbury Archaeological Trust Propaganda videos released by the terrorist group have shown militants dynamiting centuries old churches and mosques and rampaging through museums with pickaxes and sledgehammers.Isil claims it is destroying idol worship and correcting the history of Islam and has sold plundered artefacts to fund its campaign.However the attacks in Canterbury appear to have purely financial motives. The two thieves also stole copper cables from the building during the burglaries and one of the men was caught on camera stealing beer from a local shop.The trust was hit by four break-ins in the space of a week in January and the perpetrators took around 860 Anglo-Saxon beads as well as replica bronze axes, Iron Age coins, combs and pins and a plaster bust of Queen Victoria. Hundreds of Anglo-Saxon beads were takenCredit:Canterbury Archaeological Trust The ancient Syrian city of Palmyra being blown up by Isil Thousands of rare Anglo-Saxon and Iron Age treasures have been stolen from an archaeological trust in a raid likened to Isis’s destruction of ancient archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq.Canterbury Archaeological Trust said its collection had been devastated by a ‘whirlwind of thievery’ in which precious artefacts, coins, beads and bones were snatched.Archaeologists are concerned that the nationally important hoard could end up on eBay or sold for scrap metal and are urging the public and antiques dealers to lookout for the items. The destruction of archaeology has hugely increased in recent years, fuelled by Isil’s war on cultural heritage which has seen sites like the Syrian city of Palmyra bulldozed and blown-up.