Archive for "September, 2019"

Nick Foles Is Not Carson Wentz And The Eagles Adjusted Accordingly

Posted in fofabvlic on September 29th, 2019

Yards/Completion …% of Passes by Air distance QuarterbackThrough AirAfter CatchTotal<=0 Yds1-10 Yds10+ Yds Around Thanksgiving, the idea that the Philadelphia Eagles would make it all the way to Super Bowl LII wouldn’t have surprised many people. Philadelphia started the season 10-1, and quarterback Carson Wentz emerged as the front-runner for league MVP honors. But after Wentz was lost to injury in Week 14, the Eagles’ title chances seemingly disappeared, too. Backups — like Philly’s stopgap, Nick Foles — seldom carry a team to Super Bowl glory. Carson Wentz7.74.812.415.5%44.3%40.2% *Playoff games onlySource: ESPN Stats & Information Group Nick Foles*5.56.712.228.646.025.4 In today’s NFL, throwing shorter passes isn’t always correlated with better outcomes. But Foles is succeeding in large part because his receivers are taking those short passes and running for big gains after the catch. With Wentz under center, the Eagles’ pass-catchers produced only 98.6 yards after the catch per game (eighth-fewest in football); with Foles in the playoffs, they’ve nearly doubled that output (164.5 YAC/game). In particular, they’re doing a ton of damage on screen passes, which Pederson seldom utilized with Wentz. Running back Jay Ajayi, for instance, went from gaining just 7.4 yards after catch per game with Wentz during the regular season1In the five games immediately after Ajayi was acquired from the Miami Dolphins in late October. to 51.0 yards per game in the postseason, including nearly 30 receiving yards per game on screens alone. Foles is also making smart reads and getting the ball out very quickly. In the playoffs, he’s averaging 2.39 seconds before each pass, a mark that would have been fourth-fastest in the NFL during the regular season. (Wentz, for comparison, was 17th-fastest, at 2.54 seconds.) Foles has used that quick release to lethal effect when conducting the run-pass option — which is more than just a ubiquitous piece of announcer-speak during Eagles broadcasts. The RPO helps freeze defenses with the added threat of handing off to a dangerous runner like Ajayi, and it lends itself to the types of quick passes that Foles has excelled at this postseason. Philly ran plenty of RPOs even before Foles took over, but that section of the playbook has been crucial to Pederson’s resurrection of the Chip Kelly-era version of Foles.Now, it remains to be seen which version will show up for the Super Bowl this Sunday. The conditions have been right for Foles to succeed in the playoffs thus far — Philadelphia hasn’t had to play from behind much and has enjoyed one of the league’s most drastic home-field advantages. But there’s no telling what will happen if things go off script. That’s why the Eagles need to stay out of third-and-long, where the drop-off from Wentz to Foles is really glaring. (On third down with 8 or more yards to go, Wentz was the NFL’s top passer this season according to ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating; only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers was even remotely close.) They need to keep feeding the ball to Ajayi, who’s averaging roughly the same number of yards from scrimmage in these playoffs (98.5 per game) as he did during his All-Pro season with Miami in 2016. And perhaps most importantly, Foles needs to keep playing mistake-free football: Only 8.2 percent of his passes have been off-target this postseason — a rate that would easily have ranked No. 1 in the league during the regular season.He could do all of that, of course, and still fall short: Tom Brady could always reach into his bag of comeback tricks, and there’s also the small detail of Brady and Bill Belichick’s 15-0 record in the playoffs against teams that they’re facing for the first time in a season. But putting those metaphysical factors aside, the Patriots have their own vulnerabilities. They aren’t exactly a defensive powerhouse, having ranked ninth-worst in the NFL in expected points added during the regular season. And although that number improved as the year went on, they still allowed the league’s fourth-highest QBR on passes that traveled fewer than 10 yards through the air — the kinds of throws they’re likely to see a ton of from Foles and company. If the Eagles can execute their newfound offense and resist Brady’s supercharged comeback powers, there are plenty of reasons to think Foles (of all people) will be the one to deliver Philadelphia its long-awaited Super Bowl parade down Broad Street.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Foles did little to suggest otherwise in four mostly lackluster appearances to close the regular season. But he spent the month of January proving himself up to the challenge. With 352 yards (on 26-for-33 passing) and three touchdowns versus Minnesota, he produced one of the greatest QB performances in conference championship history. The game brought back memories of Foles’s 2013 season in Philadelphia, when he posted the third-best single-season passer rating in NFL history. But it was also a testament to the adjustments that Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson made to accommodate the different strengths of Wentz and Foles.Under both Wentz in the regular season and Foles during the playoffs, the Eagles’ offense averaged over 390 yards per game. But those yards were accumulated in different ways. Before Wentz’s injury, Philly was a balanced team whose aerial attack primarily relied on the power of its quarterback’s arm — often assisted by Wentz’s magician-like ability to improvise and buy time in the pocket. One thing it didn’t do, however, was ask receivers to do lots of work after hauling in the football. Through Week 14, Wentz led the league in touchdown passes per attempt and ranked third in air yards per attempt, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, but his targets were only 22nd in yards after the catch per reception.Foles connected on three 40-yard passes against the Vikings. But those have been big exceptions to the Eagles’ general approach with Foles at the helm, which has been to throw much shorter. In the playoffs, Foles’s average pass has traveled 7.1 yards through the air. Compare that with Wentz’s average of 9.8 air yards per attempt during the regular season, and you can begin to see how Pederson has shifted his offense’s focus. Forty percent of Wentz’s passes went 10 or more yards downfield, compared with 25 percent for Foles in the playoffs. And Foles has actually thrown a larger share of his passes to players at or behind the line of scrimmage (29 percent) than 10 yards past it. Philly’s passing offense changed in the playoffsDistance traveled through the air — and after the catch — for passes by Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks, 2017 season read more

Mariano Riveras Unanimous Induction Shows An Evolving Cooperstown

Posted in xgzdvglq on September 29th, 2019

Mariano Rivera100.0%100.0%0.0% Todd Helton16.519.53.0 Larry Walker54.662.27.6 Mike Mussina76.774.5-2.2 Roy Halladay85.491.25.8 Miguel Tejada1.20.8-0.4 Barry Bonds59.161.82.7 Edgar Martinez85.482.3-3.1 Roger Clemens59.563.33.8 Fred McGriff39.843.43.6 The Hall of Fame has four new membersActual results of the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame election vs. our finalpre-announcement projection Andy Pettitte9.95.9-4.0 Curt Schilling60.961.10.2 Manny Ramirez22.825.02.2 Roy Oswalt0.90.90.0 Sammy Sosa8.58.90.4 Gary Sheffield13.614.40.8 Lance Berkman1.21.0-0.2 Andruw Jones7.510.42.9 PlayerActual ResultFinal Model Projection*Error The Mussina miss notwithstanding, our projections were pretty accurate, with an average error of 2.1 percentage points; only the totals of Halladay and Larry Walker were off by more than 4 points.3Shoutout to Jason Sardell, whose alternative model did even better, with an average error of 0.9 points.Appearing fifth, sixth and seventh in the actual voting were Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Schilling jumped to 60.9 percent from 51.2 percent last year. He has three years of eligibility remaining on the BBWAA ballot. Meanwhile, Bonds and Clemens, whose careers were tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use, could only inch up on a crowded field. Clemens received 59.5 percent, up from 57.3 percent last year. Bonds received 59.1 percent of the vote, up from 56.4 percent in 2018. Their glacial rate of improvement means they will be hard-pressed to hit the required 75 percent in their three remaining years on the ballot; they appear to have hit a plateau. Scott Rolen17.219.52.3 Jeff Kent18.118.20.1 Michael Young2.11.3-0.8 The only question about Mariano Rivera’s candidacy for the Baseball Hall of Fame was whether he would be the first player voted in unanimously by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, which serves as the primary gatekeeper for entry to the Hall. On Tuesday, the great New York Yankees pitcher became the first player to appear on 100 percent of writers’ ballots, with all 425 voters finally agreeing on something: that Rivera should be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York.With his ballot sweep, the fearsome closer did something unmatched by even the greatest of his starting pitcher brethren, including Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Tom Seaver and Randy Johnson — all of whom topped 97 percent. Three years ago, Ken Griffey Jr. came the closest to complete consensus when he received 99.32 percent of the vote — just three ballots short.Rivera, eligible for the first time this year, was joined by three other inductees — the late Roy Halladay (85.4 percent of ballots), longtime Seattle designated hitter Edgar Martinez (85.4 percent) and former Oriole and Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina (76.7 percent).1Voters are limited to 10 names per ballot. Based on ballots that had been made public before the announcement, we were expecting that Rivera, Halladay and Martinez would gain entry to the Hall. As of our last model run,2Conducted just a few minutes before the announcement, when 232 ballots had been revealed. we thought Mussina was just a borderline case. Billy Wagner16.717.60.9 *With 232 public ballots known.Sources: Baseball Writers’ Association of America, RYAN THIBODAUX’S BASEBALL HALL OF FAME VOTE TRACKER Omar Vizquel42.841.9-0.9 Walker, however, is rapidly trending toward Cooperstown: He ranked eighth in voting percentage (54.6 percent), making a substantial leap from 34.1 percent last year. Next year will be his final year of eligibility, and he’s still 20 points short of election — usually an impossible task. But this year proved that Walker is capable of such a massive gain, so his candidacy is likely to provide genuine suspense next year.But Tuesday was headlined by Rivera making history.Anyone familiar with baseball knows of Rivera’s excellence. There is a strong case to be made that he is the greatest reliever in history. The 13-time All-Star is the sport’s all-time saves leader with 652. He was a part of five World Series championship teams in New York. In addition to his regular-season dominance, he has the lowest career postseason ERA (0.70) and most playoff saves (42) in MLB history.And when using advanced measures to evaluate performance, Rivera stands out not just as a great relief pitcher — only Dennis Eckersley ranks higher among relievers in the JAWS metric that combines career and peak performance to evaluate Hall candidates — but as an all-time great pitcher regardless of role.His ERA+ — which adjusts a pitcher’s earned run average for ballpark and run environment, enabling comparison between eras — ranks No. 1 all-time among all pitchers (minimum 1,000 innings).Traditional statistics like wins and saves are increasingly viewed as poor measures to evaluate performance because they award or penalize pitchers for many factors out of their control. But even the most common new-age measure to evaluate performance, wins above replacement, is inadequate to measure reliever performance because it is in part volume-based, and relievers pitch fewer innings than starters. Better measures to evaluate the performance of relief pitchers are statistics like win probability added, which tallies the change in win expectancy between plate appearance, and a context-neutral version of win probability added (WPA/leverage index).For instance, Rivera is 77th all-time in Baseball-Reference.com pitching WAR. But he ranks fifth all-time in WPA (56.6), trailing only Clemens, Lefty Grove, Maddux and Warren Spahn. In other words, he’s among the elite of the elite.Of course, relievers face a greater proportion of high-leverage situations than starting pitchers do; protecting a one-run lead in the ninth inning is more critical than pitching with a one-run lead in, say, the second. But even when employing a context-neutral win probability (WPA/leverage index), Rivera still ranks as the 21st-most win-adding pitcher of all time and is 13 spots higher than the next reliever (Hoyt Wilhelm at No. 34).Rivera combined elite command with an almost unhittable pitch: his cut fastball. Though just a portion of his career took place during the pitch-tracking era, he ranks second to Dodgers stopper Kenley Jansen in the run value of his cutter.Rivera is just the eighth pitcher to work primarily as reliever to be enshrined. The others are Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, Eckersley, Bruce Sutter, Goose Gossage, Trevor Hoffman and Lee Smith. Three have joined the Hall since last year — Rivera, Smith (veterans committee, 2019) and Hoffman (BBWAA vote, 2018) — and the number of relievers figures to grow over time as bullpens are used in an ever-greater share of innings. Last season, relievers accounted for a record 40.1 percent of innings.The only position group with fewer players in the Hall than relief pitchers is the designated hitter group. Despite not playing a position in the field for much of his career, Martinez’s bat was so dominant that he made it to the Hall in his final year on the ballot.Martinez’s career OPS+4OPS+ considers a hitter’s overall ability but adjusts to account for ballpark and run-scoring environment. An OPS+ of 100 is league average. of 147 is tied for the 42nd-best mark of all time. Martinez joins Frank Thomas and Harold Baines — another 2019 veterans committee selection5Baines, a controversial pick in December, had a career OPS+ of 121, tied for 340th place. — as the only players in the Hall to play more than half their games at DH. Thomas ranks 52nd all time in batting WAR (73.9), while Martinez ranks 80th (68.4).Halladay, who died in a 2017 plane crash, tied with Bob Feller for 41st in all-time pitching WAR (65.5). He tied for 37th in all-time ERA+ (131). The two-time Cy Young Award winner was the ultimate workhorse for his era, leading his league in innings pitched four times and exceeding 230 innings six times. He’s also the only player other than Don Larsen to throw a no-hitter in the postseason.Mussina pitched in hitter-favorable ballparks and during the high scoring “steroid era” of the late 1990s to early 2000s. While his traditional stats might not seem elite, his career WAR (83.0) and JAWS (63.8) totals rank ahead of the average (73.4 WAR, 61.8 JAWS) for Hall of Fame pitchers.A few years ago, it was hard to imagine pitchers like Mussina, with a 3.68 ERA before adjustments, or Halladay, with barely 200 wins, getting into the Hall of Fame. And it was probably unthinkable that anyone — let alone a relief pitcher — would be elected unanimously. But the Hall of Fame electorate is changing, and that seems to be increasing both the quality and quantity of the players being elected. read more

Anyone Could Win The AFC North — Except The Browns

Posted in qntkvqtv on September 28th, 2019

5ClevelandAFC North5.93-2.9 To go with our 2016 NFL predictions, FiveThirtyEight is previewing each division. RANKTEAMDIVISIONPROJECTEDACTUALDIFFERENCE AFC North fans are blessed with one of the NFL’s most exciting divisions. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals have all been successful and evenly matched, politely taking turns in the top spot. In fact, the AFC North is the only division that has never had a back-to-back-to-back champion: 3BaltimoreAFC North9.35-4.3 2015 WINS The Ravens’ 2015 misfortune was twofold. They did terribly in close games, with their first eight losses coming by margins of six, four, four, three, five, eight, two and two. They also had a ridiculous number of injuries. Neither of these issues were totally random; strategy can cost teams in close games, and players are more likely to get injured when they’re members of one of the NFL’s oldest rosters. But luck played a major part too, and the Ravens are a trendy bounceback candidate for 2016, with Vegas putting their over/under at 8.5 wins. We expect them to improve as well, but only to 7.6.Cleveland BrownsWhile AFC North has never had a repeat champion, it does have the most predictable bottom-feeder in the NFL: 2San DiegoAFC West8.44-4.4 How will your favorite NFL team do this year? See all of our predictions for the 2016 season » This year will not be the year that streak is broken. And while Cincinnati took the crown in 2015, we give them just a 36 percent chance of repeating.Pittsburgh SteelersIt’s hard not to think of the Steelers as a defensive team. The franchise that gave us the Steel Curtain also had the best sustained defense of the 21st century. From 2000 to 2012 they allowed the fewest yards in the NFL six times and finished in the top 10 every season.No longer. The Steelers have quickly transformed into an offense-first squad, 21st in yards against and 3rd in yards gained last season. They have the best wide receiver in the NFL and the best running back unit (after Le’Veon Bell wraps up his three-game suspension). They went 8-4 in 2015 when QB Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t out with an injury, and Vegas has them at 10-1 to win Super Bowl LI. That’s tied with Panthers and behind only the Patriots, Seahawks and Packers. Our biggest misses of 2015 4San FranciscoNFC West8.05-3.0 The Cleveland Browns have finished last in the AFC North for five straight years and in 11 of the last 14 seasons. It’s the kind of franchise that’s in a position to make some gambles, so this season they signed quarterback Robert Griffin III and made him their starting QB.The saga of RGIII has been such a bummer these last couple of seasons that it’s easy to forget just how great he was in 2012. As a rookie, Griffin led the league in yards per attempt (8.1), edging out Peyton Manning. He also tied Tom Brady for the league’s lowest interception rate (1.3 percent) and added 815 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. He closed out the season with seven straight wins to lead Washington to the playoffs, and if it were not for Adrian Peterson’s incredible 2,097-yard season, Griffin might have had a legitimate case for MVP.Griffin took huge steps backward in 2013 and 2014 and then got benched for a year. But if the 2016 version of RGIII can be three-quarters the player he was in 2012, he could be the best quarterback the Browns have had in years. It’s something to hope for, at least.VIDEO: How one spurned Rams fan found a new team Our preseason Elo projections are a little less bullish, putting Pittsburgh as the seventh-most-likely Super Bowl winner. The Steelers could improve from last season just by having Roethlisberger for all 16 games, but they’re without their starting running back for three games, plus receiver Martavis Bryant has been suspended for the year and veteran tight end Heath Miller retired. Bryant and Miller combined for 1,300 receiving yards in 2015.Cincinnati BengalsThere are a lot of ways an NFL franchise can be depressing. The Bills lost four straight Super Bowls. The Browns and Lions have never made it to one. And the Cincinnati Bengals are winless in their last seven playoff games, wasting some of the best seasons in the franchise’s history.Last year was especially brutal. The Bengals looked outstanding at the start, going 8-0 with wins over the Chiefs, Seahawks and Steelers. After their Week 9 victory over the Browns, the Bengals hit a new franchise Elo high of 1672. (This was only good for third-best Elo in the NFL at that moment, which itself is pretty depressing, if you think about it). They finished at 12-4 with a +140 point differential — the best regular season in franchise history — but they lost starting QB Andy Dalton to injury in Week 14.Everyone knew what was coming next. Like clockwork, the Bengals lost their Wild Card game for a fifth straight year. To refresh your memory on the specifics, Cincinnati trailed 15-0 entering the fourth quarter, pulled ahead 16-15, and and then committed not one but two egregious personal fouls to hand Pittsburgh a game-winning field goal. Cincinnati will carry over a lot of its talent from 2015, but very little pride.Baltimore RavensWhat happened to the Ravens? The 2014 squad was the 7th-best in the NFL per our final pre-Super Bowl Elo ratings, after a 10-6 season that ended at the hands of eventual champion New England. Going into 2015, we projected Baltimore to win 9.3 games, with a 55 percent chance of making the playoffs. They went 5-11. 1DallasNFC East9.84-5.8 read more

Buckeyes Matta in favor of tournament expansion

Posted in uecgexfa on September 28th, 2019

You can never have too much of a good thing. Just ask the NCAA.Although the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is one of the more popular sporting events in the country, coaches, school presidents and athletic directors from around the nation met last week to discuss a possible change. The discussions focused on a potential increase of the tournament from 65 to as many as 96 teams.A final decision was not made, nor is it expected to be anytime soon.The possible expansion has received mixed reviews throughout the country, but Ohio State coach Thad Matta said he loves the idea.“I think it would be excellent, I really do,” Matta said. “I think that you look at what used to be 16 [teams] and then I think they took it to 24 then to 32, 48 and 64. I think that that would be a great thing.”Some speculate that the longer list of tournament invitees would give teams from mid-major conferences a better chance to play in the postseason. It is possible that the extra round could serve as a play-in round for smaller schools that would otherwise be denied the opportunity.Others, however, suggest that the extra round would be filled with more teams from the power conferences, such as the Big Ten. It is thought that teams that finish at or near .500 in their conference could get the nod over the smaller schools to fill the additional spots.Matta made it very clear which side of the argument he supports.“I’d say the Big Ten,” Matta said when asked whether he’d like to see teams from his own conference or mid-major conferences make the tournament. “I know this [conference] is hard. I know what it takes to go through a stretch like we do of 18 Big Ten games.”One concern Matta did express with the expansion was a potential decreased interest in the regular season — games that the coach said are what makes college basketball so great.“The greatest thing I ever heard was from John Wooden and he said, ‘People put too much emphasis on the last game of the year,’” Matta said. “There is so much excitement along the way and I think that we lose the sight of what’s happening now as it’s all geared toward getting into the NCAA Tournament. There is so much great basketball to be played in the month of February and even in early March.”A possible solution to Matta’s problem would be an increase in high-profile, out-of-conference matchups, a change that he said would be rather easy.“[A larger tournament] allows you to be a little more risky in your non-conference schedule,” he said. “We’ve [played] Tennessee, we’ve done Florida and we’ve done LSU, but you can get out and do those things a little bit better and know that you’re going to be rewarded.”Even given his concern, Matta was clear that he felt an expanded tournament would be in the best interest of college basketball. There are some, like OSU junior David Lighty, who see the situation a little differently.Lighty doesn’t see a need for a change, but unlike his coach who seemed concerned about bettering the entire sport, his opinion was based on more selfish reasoning.“I like it how it is,” Lighty said. “As long as we’re in it.” read more

Ohio States Jaamal Berry named suspect in alleged assault Gene Smith aware

Posted in hqpxmowc on September 28th, 2019

Ohio State football player Jaamal Berry has been named a suspect in an alleged assault that occurred Friday morning, according to a report from the Columbus Police Department. It is the second incident involving Berry allegedly assaulting another individual in less than a month.The latest incident occurred at 2:20 a.m. Friday on Vine Street, behind North Market, and involved a 21-year-old non-OSU student. The victim was “struck in the face with a closed fist,” according to the Columbus police report.Berry, a redshirt sophomore running back, was with another African-American male and was allegedly yelling at the victim and his friend, after the victim was struck by a car. The victim, who The Lantern has chosen not to name at this time, said that Berry and his friend were yelling vulgar remarks at him. After asking why they were yelling, the victim said that Berry crossed the street and punched his friend, and then punched him in the face with a closed fist.Berry was later identified by a witness, and the alleged victim said he confirmed Berry’s identity when shown a picture by police.The victim’s mother, who requested anonymity, said she spoke with Gene Smith, OSU athletic director, about the incident on Friday afternoon.Smith said that the athletic department is aware that Berry might have been involved in an altercation.“We have not been informed by anyone else that charges have been filed,” Smith told The Lantern Monday. “If Jaamal is charged, he will be suspended pending the outcome of the case.”Berry and other witnesses involved did not immediately respond to The Lantern‘s requests for comment.On Sept. 28, Berry was involved in what an OSU police report described as an “assault” on another student. Berry was admitted and released from the OSU Medical Center and no charges were filed. read more

Analysis Ohio State cannot afford to lose rivalry game to Michigan

Posted in hedadxww on September 28th, 2019

Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) calls out a play in the Ohio State-Maryland game on Oct. 7. Ohio State won 62-14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorRedshirt senior linebacker Chris Worley equates Ohio State’s game against Michigan to laws. “You don’t break that law,” he said. “You better beat The Team Up North.”Since Worley arrived on campus for his first season, he has abided by that law. The Buckeyes have defeated the Wolverines the last five seasons, and Ohio State opened as 13-point favorites to extend the streak to six victories.Having knocked off Michigan State 48-3 two weeks ago and Illinois 52-14 last weekend, No. 9 Ohio State enters Saturday’s game with hefty momentum. No. 24 Michigan, on the other hand, limps into the matchup coming off a 24-10 loss to No. 5 Wisconsin. The Wolverines also lost to the Spartans and Penn State earlier in the season, both teams Ohio State defeated.The Buckeyes hold many advantages, enough to quell most concerns about the matchup. Yet, due to Ohio State’s turbulent two-loss season, pressure on the Buckeyes to win has not dipped, and might have intensified. There’s never an optimal time to lose to a rival. Urban Meyer hasn’t lost to Michigan as Ohio State’s head coach, but this would be especially poor timing for his first.With losses to Oklahoma and Iowa, the Buckeyes already sit in uncharted territory. No two-loss team has made the College Football Playoff since its inception in 2014. Just two weeks ago after a 55-24 loss to Iowa, Ohio State’s playoff hopes seemed dashed. But now it seems increasingly likely that if the Buckeyes defeat Michigan and take down Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship, they will earn a playoff berth.Much remains on the line for Ohio State beyond just postseason action.The veteran-laden roster contains 19 seniors, including quarterback J.T. Barrett, who will look to become the first signal-caller to win the matchup in four straight seasons. Last year, the Buckeyes made the playoff in spite of their youth and inexperience, which showed up in the 31-0 loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.This season, Ohio State was supposed to take advantage of seniors such as Barrett, center Billy Price, defensive end Tyquan Lewis and left tackle Jamarco Jones pairing with a talented crop of underclassmen, including running backs Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins, defensive end Nick Bosa, defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones and others. But the Buckeyes have not reached their potential this season. Ohio State always expects to win every game, but a loss to Oklahoma was far from the end of the world. Meyer’s team overcame a loss to Penn State the prior season and made the playoff. But a loss to Iowa, a clearly inferior group? That sent shockwaves through a fan base that expects nothing less than a playoff appearance.Imagine the reaction if Ohio State lost to Michigan. Sure, the Wolverines have not taken down the Buckeyes since 2011 and have defeated their rivals just once in the last 13 matchups, but fans live in the present. A three-loss regular season would send Ohio State to the Big Ten championship without playoff hopes and a lesser bowl appearance could bring out the worst in the fan base.It might not get better for the Buckeyes next season.A new quarterback combined with an exodus of talent on both the offensive and defensive lines leads to a question-filled 2018 Ohio State season. Michigan, on the other hand, will return a majority of its starters and will pose a much greater threat to next year’s youthful Buckeyes.Barrett’s legacy also relies on the game. He can either make history with a fourth win, or will lose his third game of the season. Of course, the hate he would get would not be fair. Not a single quarterback on either side has beaten his opponent in the game four times. But Barrett would be viewed as someone who continually can’t win big games.He knows he will not be welcomed with grace in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but said he embraces the negative reaction. “I don’t think it’s going to be pleasant, I’m pretty sure they’re going to hate me,” Barrett said. “Got to learn to love the hate. I like being hated sometimes. I don’t mind it. They hate us anyway.”Meyer said the history of the game has showed both teams play their best against each other. Though Michigan has yet to win a game against a team with a winning record, Meyer expects the Wolverines to offer staunch opposition.Ohio State seemed to lose its playoff hopes after the loss to Iowa. But reclaiming them only to lose to a lesser Michigan team would be a worst-case scenario for the Buckeyes. read more

Mens Lacrosse Jack Jasinski finds path to becoming crucial player for Ohio

Posted in myekaaeu on September 28th, 2019

Then-sophomore attackman Jack Jasinski heads for the goal in the fourth quarter during the first round of the NCAA tournament against Loyola Maryland on May 14, 2017. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Former Oller ReporterOhio State lacrosse senior midfielder Jack Jasinski is currently the top point scorer for the Buckeyes, but the Alabama native is focused on helping his teammates and changing the way people see lacrosse in his home state.Jasinski grew up in Birmingham, an area not known for lacrosse the way it is for football or basketball. His high school days weren’t normal due to him taking up the sport.“It was very, very different. I think there are only 13 high school teams in the whole state for lacrosse,” Jasinski said.Jasinski found lacrosse through his older brother, who decided to take up the sport while Jasinski was in the eighth grade. He was focused on baseball at the time, but decided to give lacrosse a chance. “I didn’t expect it,” Jasinski said. “I was like, ‘I’ll probably still play baseball,’ and I ended [up] playing lacrosse, and I’ve pretty much never looked back.”Now, as the top scorer for the Buckeyes with 26 points, Jasinski has become one of the most important players on the No. 4-ranked lacrosse team.“He’s a guy that just continues to get better and better,” Ohio State head coach Nick Myers said.Jasinski is usually one of the shortest players each time he takes the field, standing at 5 feet 7 inches, but his mentality has helped make him the top scorer of the only undefeated team left in the Top 25. “I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder, just being from Alabama, just being from a small area,” Jasinski said.His development has never been more evident than during this season. Jasinski broke onto the scene after an impressive junior season that was enough for him to be named on the Big Ten Watch List.“When he got here, he was probably a little bit more raw than not,” Myers said. “But I think he’s really developed well into a lacrosse player.”Not only has Jasinski made a difference to the stat sheet, he has also embraced the role of a leader that comes with being a senior.Hei is one of seven seniors on the Ohio State roster that is making team culture a priority.Despite not being named a captain, Jasinski still takes on that role and shows his support for the players named captains.“The guys that were selected captains were selected because they’re really good leaders,” Jasinski said. ”I have nothing but support and praise. They’ve done a great job this year.”Off the field, Jasinski took a service trip this past summer to help people in Puerto Rico.“I went down there and was blown away, their culture there, the positivity they bring, they had gone through a lot in the past 24 months with hurricanes,” Jasinski said. “It gives you a good perspective like, ‘You know what? You don’t really have a lot to complain about here.’”During the trip, Jasinski went to a village where it was difficult for the residents to get supplies in order to fix the houses affected by the hurricanes. He helped paint houses, give supplies, meet with local community members and hand out shoes to the kids who didn’t have any.The senior midfielder credits that trip to Puerto Rico for changing him as a teammate and reminding himself that things could be much worse. In the wake of graduation, Jasinski’s hopes to keep playing lacrosse as long as he can.“If I get the opportunity, that’d be awesome,” Jasinski said.With the Dallas Rattlers taking Jasinski with the 37th pick in the Major League Lacrosse draft, it looks like the undersized player from Alabama will get his opportunity. read more

Early bed time could be warning sign for heart problems in men

Posted in uecgexfa on September 25th, 2019

first_img 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. While early nights were linked with higher blood pressure, getting more sleep was unlikely to do anything to help the condition, they cautioned. Despite going to bed earlier, those with high blood pressure managed no more sleep overall – and scored significantly worse in tools used to measure the quality of slumber. On average, those with high blood pressure – also called hypertension – scored 5.3 in assessments, where a score of five or more indicted poor sleep quality. Among those with normal blood pressure, the score was 4.7, according to the study findings, presented at the European Society of Cardiology, in Rome. Men who want an early night could be showing a warning sign of heart problems, medics have warned.A study of 2,400 adults found that among men, bed times were significantly earlier among those suffering from high blood pressure.On average, those with the condition – one of the key risks for heart disease – retired for the night 18 minutes earlier than those without it.And once they got to bed, those with high blood pressure were significantly more likely to spent the night tossing and turning, the Japanese study found. Researchers said the desire to turn in early could be a clue to health problems which might otherwise be missed. Lead researcher Dr Nobuo Sasaki, from Hiroshima University, said: “Early bed times were associated with hypertension independent of anything else.”Researchers said those with high blood pressure might tend to prefer earlier nights because their underlying health was worse, making them more tired. But they said it was also possible that the condition could alter the body clock, causing “abnormal circadian rhythms” which left them exhausted in the evenings, but likely to lie awake at night. The study, of adults aged between 40 and 60, showed that the average bed time of those with high blood pressure was  11.10pm, while for those with normal pressure it was  11.28pm.British experts said anyone with concerns about blood pressure should get it checked.Both groups slept for an average of 6.2 hours – though the group with high blood pressure lay awake for longer.  Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “People often have raised blood pressure without knowing it, but it is unlikely that a tendency to go to bed early is the best way to detect this – you should check your blood pressure regularly and see your GP if you are concerned.”last_img read more

Mothers plea over schoolboy hounded to death by trolls who targeted teen

Posted in jetevarl on September 25th, 2019

first_img 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. I want to raise awareness because we all have a collective responsibility to prevent other young lives being lostLucy Alexander A grieving mum has written a heartbreaking open letter to the bullies who drove her son to suicide – after he was teased because he was not allowed to play Call of Duty.Felix Alexander, 17, died under the wheels of a train earlier this year after suffering seven years of abuse.The teenager told his parents he was getting the bus to school but instead went to the railway tracks and stepped in front of an oncoming train.He was killed instantly when he was struck near his home in Worcester, on the morning of April 27 this year.An inquest concluded Felix had committed suicide after suffering years of bullying, firstly in the playground and then by online trolls. One website he was targeted on was Ask.fm, which has been linked to seven teenage suicides.His bullying began in 2009 following a playground argument about violent video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.The 18-rated game had just been released but Felix, then aged 10, was branded a “p—-” by classmates at school in Worcester after he admitted his parents had banned him from playing it.Felix moved to a different school last September but the bullying continued until he was unable to cope any longer.His mother Lucy, 51, has now written an open letter to her son’s bullies, as well as to schools and parents, explaining the torment Felix suffered. It started with social isolation when he was around ten. He didn’t get invited to parties and wasn’t included in weekend activitiesLucy Alexander It says: “I write this letter not for sympathy, but because there are so many more children like Felix who are struggling.”His confidence and self-esteem had been eroded over a long period of time by the bullying behaviour he experienced in secondary education.”It began with unkindness and social isolation and over the years, with the advent of social media, it became cruel and overwhelming. People who had never even met Felix were abusing him.”He was however so badly damaged by the abuse, isolation and unkindness he had experienced, that he was unable to see just how many people truly cared for him.” Felix Alexander, who took his own life after being bullied on social media “On the morning Felix died, we suspected something was wrong as we knew he hadn’t got to school. It wasn’t something we expected or were worried about.”We thought we were coming to the end of the tunnel, but obviously he couldn’t see the light. My other children were devastated to lose their brother. It was just horrendous.”Lucy, who also lives with husband Ratan, 55, an anaesthetist, is now fundraising for the Place2be charity, which offers mental health counselling to young people.She added: “I’ve gone back to work and I have superb friends and family who have helped me through it all.”My friend suggested the charity when Felix died as they help support children in schools who are going through a number of different types of trauma.”What appealed to me is that they believe in early intervention, which I believe is the key to stopping bullying early.”I want to raise awareness because we all have a collective responsibility to prevent other young lives being lost.” “Then the online abuse started when he was 14. It was initially via the website Ask.fm and then it escalated with basically every social media platform you could imagine.”It all started when people kept asking him why he didn’t have Call of Duty for the PlayStation.”He was 10 at the time, so why on earth would I let him play an 18-rated game that was full of violence?”One child even called him a ‘p—-‘ because he wasn’t allowed to play it. It was really silly comments like that which started the whole thing.”It spiralled from there and escalated into people who barely knew him joining in, and then he became Felix who everyone hated.”The damage had already been done. He couldn’t see a way to be happy.”He saw a psychologist when he was ten because he was in a very dark place. The bullying was poisonous.”He moved from his old school because he was very unhappy there and didn’t get the grades he needed to get into sixth form.”We don’t like to think that our children could be responsible for being cruel to another child, but I have been shocked by the ‘nice’ kids who were responsible in part for Felix’s anguish. “On several occasions we removed all form of social media from Felix as it was causing so much distress, but that just isolated him further. Felix Alexander, who took his own life after being bullied on social mediaCredit:PA Lucy, a sexual health nurse, who also has a daughter Charlotte, 22, and a son Ben, 21, said: “I wrote the letter as I want to educate our educators and to the bullies themselves so they can see the effect they have on the people they target.”Teachers need to be aware of the dangers of bullying and I want more help to be available.”I’m working with my son’s high school to raise awareness there, in the hope that teachers can receive further training.”He had been targeted for many, many years. It was generalised cruelty.”He was known as the most hated person in the year at school. “It started with social isolation when he was around ten. He didn’t get invited to parties and wasn’t included in weekend activities.last_img read more

Army fitness slips but female soldiers close the gap on men

Posted in qntkvqtv on September 25th, 2019

first_imgBritish soldiers This year in the Army, 18.8 per cent of women and 17.6 per cent of men failed one or more fitness tests The proportion of Army soldiers failing fitness tests has nearly doubled in three years amid concerns that personnel are losing focus because they are not being sent to war.Female troops are also narrowing the gap with their male counterparts after years of falling behind, The Telegraph can disclose.In 2013, 7,120 – or 9.6 per cent – of the 74,010 personnel who were made to complete personal fitness assessments failed at least one, according to figures released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). He said: “They are responsible for ensuring that their men are battle fit.” Col Kemp added that it was possible commanders “might see there’s less incentive to push it” now troops are not regularly being sent into combat.He said: “When they are deploying on operations it’s a matter of life and death. They may think that’s not the case if they are not going on operations as much, which is of course a mistake because they could go at any time.”But an Army source said in recent years there had been a greater focus on testing soldiers’ fitness and the figures could reflect troops who had not been checked for some time, suddenly finding they were being tested. It is understood that if a test is failed, personnel are put on programmes aimed at helping improve their fitness levels. A MoD spokesman said: “Over 90 per cent of our personnel are fit to be deployed on operations around the world at any time. “All our forces are educated in nutrition, diet and exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight, and in some circumstances additional measures are considered in order to achieve this.” In comparison, between January and mid-September this year 11,300 troops – around 17.7 per cent – out of a possible 63,910 tested failed one or more.When looking at body mass index, more than 31,900 serving personnel were also found to be overweight or obese in the last three years. Last night, Army sources suggested that the failure rate may have dramatically increased due to fewer operational deployments.The MoD said basic fitness tests had not changed over the past three years. All Army personnel are required to take personal fitness assessments, including sit-ups, press-ups and a 1.5-mile run, twice a year.Three years ago, just over 12 per cent of females tested failed at least once, while 9.4 per cent of men did. This year, 18.8 per cent of women and 17.6 per cent of men failed one or more assessments.   When they are deploying on operations it’s a matter of life and deathCol Richard Kemp Knowing that they don’t have a deployment in the next six months to Afghanistan probably does lead to people taking their foot off the gasRecently retired Army officer One recently retired Army officer suggested that soldiers were finding it more difficult to focus on keeping fit because they knew they were not going on operations.He said: “Operations sharpen the mind and focus your efforts on keeping fit – the prospect of going to Afghanistan was certainly an incentive to get fit. After all you don’t want to let your mates down by being unfit and not prepared. Being shot at is hard enough when you’re fit, let alone when you’re out of shape.”He went on: “Not having that focus, knowing that they don’t have a deployment in the next six months to Afghanistan probably does lead to people taking their foot off the gas.“Former colleagues are also constantly telling me how the lads are bored and morale is suffering. Low morale tends to lead to a lack of motivation.”Col Richard Kemp, a former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, said commanders must take the responsibility for any lack of fitness. 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.last_img read more