New data highlights continuing need to fight opioid addiction in rural communities

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest New data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration shows that rural communities have the highest death rates nationwide from opioid prescriptions, more than three times the national average.A previously unreleased database from DEA tracking prescription painkillers showed that the highest per-capita opioid death rates from 2006 to 2012 were in rural communities in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia, with more than three times the national average of 4.6 deaths per 100,000 residents. Thirteen of those counties had an opioid death rate more than eight times the national rate.Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau, said, “We have seen firsthand the destructive force of opioids in rural communities, and our research shows that three out of four farmers have been impacted. That’s why we stepped up to address this crisis. We stand with the families and communities that have been affected, and we continue the fight against opioid addiction in our partnership with National Farmers Union through our Farm Town Strong campaign. If someone you know is struggling, it’s important for them to know that there is hope.”Roger Johnson, president of National Farmers Union, said, “The new data released by DEA highlights what we already know about the impact of opioids on farm country: Rural areas are being disproportionately impacted by opioid addiction. This is an issue we’ve been all too aware of for too long, and we have mobilized resources and partnerships over the past two years to help address this crisis. We are Farm Town Strong, and we will continue to work together to address the serious issues identified in today’s news.”The American Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union, in conjunction with USDA Rural Development, launched the Farm Town Strong campaign in January 2018 to provide information and resources to help those struggling with opioid addiction. For more information, and to find help, please visit farmtownstrong.org.last_img read more

adminDecember 17, 2019yhpeuLeave a Comment

Read More

Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe: Sri Lanka win by 139 runs

first_imgTillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga starred in a record 282-run opening stand to set up Sri Lanka’s 139-run victory over Zimbabwe and help them qualify for the quarterfinals of the World Cup, at Pallekele in Sri Lanka on Thursday.Faced with the uphill task of chasing Sri Lanka’s 328, Zimbabwe were bundled out for 188 in 39 overs as Dilshan, following his blazing knock, shown with the ball too, picking up four wickets to cap off a memorable day in the field.The 268-ball partnership between Dilshan and Tharanga is the second highest in the history of World Cup.Dilshan blasted 16 fours and a six to score a 131-ball 144, while Tharanga plundered 17 fours en route to his 133, to guide the 1996 winners to a mammoth 327 for six in a group A encounter at the Pellekele stadium here.TeamsZimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (captain), Regis Chakabva, Charles Coventry, Graeme Cremer, Terry Duffin, Craig Ervine, Greg Lamb, Shingirai Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Tinashe Panyangara, Ray Price, Vusi Sibanda, Tatenda Taibu (Wicketkeeper), Brendan Taylor and Prosper Utseya.Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (Captain and Wicketkeeper), Mahela Jayawardene, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath.Umpires: Marais Erasmus (SA) and Nigel Llong (Eng)Third Umpire: Tony Hill (NZ)Match Referee: Chris Broad- With PTI inputslast_img read more

adminNovember 28, 2019bttqtLeave a Comment

Read More

Controversial push for all girls hockey in BC not a good idea

first_imgVANCOUVER – A push to grow girls hockey on Vancouver Island is being criticized by some parents, but one advocate says the controversial move is the only way to save the sport from attrition.The Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association has put forward a resolution that would require all girls play on a female-only team. Any girls who want to play on a co-ed team as well would be allowed to do so and would pay a single registration fee for both teams, said Jim Humphrey, the association’s president.For years, the group has turned away dozens of girls who want to play on female-only teams, but can’t because there isn’t one available, he said.“The only way the girl’s system is going to grow and to improve is having females help to grow the female game,” Humphrey said.“Female hockey is going to die on Vancouver Island if we don’t do something.”But the move has been met with resistance from some parents. A thread on the association’s Facebook page features several comments from people who say their daughters would rather quit hockey than play on an all-girls team.Heather Wong isn’t part of the Facebook thread, but her daughter played on both all-female and co-ed teams in Nanaimo.Wong said she doesn’t think the association’s proposal is a good idea because it alienates girls who play co-ed hockey.“They’re telling them they have to play girls-only. Well, if they wanted to play girls-only, they’d be playing girls-only,” she said.Canadian human rights tribunals have ruled that girls should be allowed to play on boys teams. The Manitoba Human Rights Commission ordered the Manitoba High School Athletics Association to pay two sisters $3,500 each in 2006 after it found they were discriminated against when they weren’t allowed to try out for their school’s male hockey team.“Telling a girl in this day and age that you can’t play on a mixed team probably isn’t the best thing to do,” Wong said.A better way forward could begin with finding out why some girls don’t want to play on all-girl teams, she addedHumphrey said he’s “at a loss” as to why the resolution is getting push back.“We’re not trying to take anything away from a girl,” he said. “We’re trying to give more to the girls who want to play boy hockey, but we’re also trying to make sure that the girls who want to play hockey, but don’t want to play boy hockey, have a place to play.”The issue is a kind of a “chicken and egg problem,” said James Nedila, president of an all-girls league called the Vancouver Angels.“You want to give more girls a place to play, but you don’t have a place to play unless you have more girls,” he said.The Vancouver Angels is the only all-girls hockey association in Vancouver.Ian Fleetwood is spokesman for a group that’s trying to create a similar all-girls hockey association in Victoria.Girls currently playing on all-female teams have to travel all over Vancouver Island and having an association in Victoria would allow them to play more games locally, he said.The group would attract both girls who have never played hockey and girls who are playing on mixed teams, Fleetwood said.“We’re not going to force girls to come to it, but we think the improved development model and more local games would attract a lot of girls.”In Vancouver, Nedila said the Angels are constantly competing with the larger groups of boys to get ice time and other resources, so they have to go out of their way to show families the benefits of an all-girls team.His own daughter is almost 14 and she loves the social aspect of playing with other girls.“When girls play on a boys team, they’re usually on their own, the boys don’t really know what to do with them. … They kind of feel isolated and not really part of the team,” Nedila said.“When you walk into a room full of girls, it’s very different, a very different atmosphere. All of the sudden, you have somebody you’re going to be able to talk to.”last_img read more

adminOctober 17, 2019yelfwLeave a Comment

Read More

THE INFLUENTIALS 2018

first_imgAdvertisement Minister of Foreign Affairs2 With America on sabbatical as global defender of human rights, Freeland has leapt into the void. In August, she called out MBS, the power-mad Saudi prince, for jailing a women’s rights activist. When he levied sanctions, kicked out Canada’s ambassador and ordered all Saudi students to leave Canada, Freeland doubled down, stating that Canada was “very comfortable with its position.” A month later, she appeared on a panel called “Taking on the Tyrant,” which featured a video montage of Trump alongside autocrats like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and China’s Xi Jinping. The timing didn’t help her relationship with POTUS, who was growing frustrated with the stalled NAFTA talks. “We don’t like their representative very much,” he said of Freeland, who remained characteristically unfazed. For the umpteenth time in 2018, she visited Washington in pursuit of a favourable agreement for Canada. Finally, in October, she secured a deal that protects Canada’s vital industries and, rebrand aside, isn’t so different from its predecessor. Friends in high places: In April, Freeland hosted all the G7 foreign ministers for brunch at her Summerhill house.Markian LozowchukJOHN TORYMayor3 Call him bland or a ditherer, but he must have done something right to nab 63 per cent of the vote. Tory is a no-surprises maintenance man who worries, so we don’t have to, about all the unsexy stuff that keeps our metropolis running. To his credit, he has proved a smooth operator, pushing through overdue TTC improvements (express buses and reduced fares for people with disabilities, for two), forming committees (on important but dull stuff like construction road closures) that get things done, and avoiding major strikes and service disruptions. We also take for granted his steadiness when confronted with the previously unimaginable horrors of mass shootings and van attacks on our streets. Right now, with the sheer craziness to the south and the rule-by-spite at Queen’s Park, it’s nice to have Mister Reliable minding city hall. Up next:Funding for his SmartTrack transit plan finally won approval at council, but the entire thing could be a wash if he doesn’t get on the premier’s good side.Getty ImagesDRAKEMusician4 In 1966, John Lennon said the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. In 2018, Billboard decreed Drake was bigger than the Beatles when he smashed a longstanding Fab Four record: seven of his songs appeared on the Top 10 simultaneously. Also this year, he opened the sports joint Pick 6ix, reunited the Degrassi crew for the “I’m Upset” music video, produced the police-violence film Monsters and Men, and delivered the song of the summer, “In My Feelings.” All of this matters because, outside of Canada, the first—and sometimes only—thing millions of people know about Toronto is that it’s Drake’s hometown. When he looks good, so do we. Charity circuit: He blew his “God’s Plan” video budget (roughly $1.23 million) on shopping sprees, university scholarships and other charitable causes for the people of Miami.Daniel EhrenworthJORDAN PETERSONAuthor5 In the course of a year, Peterson went from eccentric prof to global phenomenon. His 12 Rules for Life, a self-help guide to enjoying a more enlightened existence, topped bestseller lists around the world. The New York Times columnist David Brooks called him “the most influential public intellectual in the Western world,” and by the fall, his book had sold more than two million copies. Up next: Pursuing defamation lawsuits he’s launched against two Laurier professors and a former staff member who compared him to Hitler.Getty ImagesMARGARET ATWOODAuthor6 Atwood’s fictional worlds have never been more alive in popular culture. Alias Grace earned critical fawning and roughly four million viewers on CBC plus millions more on Netflix. Season two of The Handmaid’s Tale was as good as—if bleaker than—the first. Even if the Emmys semi-snubbed the show (20 nods but no major wins), viewers didn’t; the season two premiere attracted twice the audience of the original’s. Women in red robes and white wings popped up to protest the Kavanaugh confirmation in Washington, to rally for abortion rights in Argentina, to stage an operatic Handmaid’s Tale adaptation in Australia. Up next: Season three of The Handmaid’s Tale.Getty ImagesCAROLINE MULRONEYAttorney General7 The Harvard- and NYU-educated quadrilingual descendant of Canadian political royalty brings sophistication to an often pugnacious regime. When Ford wanted to deploy the notwithstanding clause to ram his council-slashing bill through the legislature, he tasked Mulroney with publicly defending it, then called on her again to spearhead the tricky cannabis file. Lately, she’s been touring the province and meeting with business owners who want to repeal the Liberal government’s efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Friends in high places: George W. Bush and Queen Noor of Jordan attended her 2000 wedding to Andrew Lapham.Getty ImagesSTEPHEN POLOZGovernor of the Bank of Canada8 Poloz decides when to lower the Bank’s overnight rate and when to raise it, an equation that affects the worth of the dollar and the interest rate Torontonians pay on our gargantuan mortgages. Over the past five years, his other decisions have lessened the blow of Alberta’s oil collapse, kept inflation on target and wrangled unemployment to a four-decade low. This year, when POTUS threw a trade temper tantrum, Poloz boldly raised the overnight rate from 1.25 to 1.5 per cent, betting Canada would thrive despite a volley of tariffs. The arrival of USMCA proved him right. Up next: Before his term ends in June 2020, he’ll have to decide what to do with the overnight rate a dozen more times.Getty ImagesGUILLERMO DEL TORODirector9 The horror-fantasy auteur’s masterpiece, The Shape of Water,earned a field-leading 13 Oscar nominations. When it won four trophies, including Best Picture and Best Director, del Toro used his acceptance speech to crusade for inclusion and immigration. His success is a boon to the Toronto film industry: del Toro has been shooting here since 1997’s Mimic, and every blockbuster he films in Ontario means more money, work and prestige for local crews and studios. Up next: In 2019, he’ll produce the Keri Russell horror flick, Antlers, direct Pinocchio for Netflix, and—the truest indicator of iconic status—make an animated cameo on The Simpsons.Craig BoykoSTEPHAN JOSTDirector, Art Gallery of Ontario10 Stephan Jost kicked off 2018 with Guillermo del Toro’s Monsters exhibition, which drew 192,000 visitors. He followed it with Infinity Mirrors, a kaleidoscopic journey through a series of eye-popping rooms. That exhibit wasn’t just a success on Instagram; it was a financial boon (169,000 visitors) and confirmation that the AGO isn’t just for monocle-hoisters and art majors. It’s a cultural centre for all, an oasis of thought-provoking works, live concerts, evening yoga sessions and much more. Friends in high places: He’s on a first-name basis with the Obamas.Getty ImagesMARK SAUNDERSChief of Police11 Two catastrophes—the Yonge and Finch van attack and the Danforth shooting—and a string of violent incidents made the summer of 2018 memorable for all the wrong reasons. But when Constable Ken Lam stared down Alek Minassian at Yonge and Sheppard and chose to holster, rather than fire, his sidearm, the Toronto Police—and their leader, Saunders—became a symbol of everything that’s right about law enforcement, especially in the eyes of Americans fed up with police brutality. Up next: Modernizing the force by deploying officers where and when their presence is most needed, a reform that’s long been challenged by the union.Getty ImagesSHAWN MENDESPop star12 The kinder, gentler Justin Bieber is now eclipsing his forerunner. His self-titled 2018 album shot to the top of the Billboard 200 chart and earned him Billboard’s inaugural Artist of the Year award, the same honour he picked up at the MMVAs. He’s now a certified A-lister: he graced the cover of Variety’s Young Hollywood issue, attended his first Met Ball, scored an invite to Taylor Swift’s American Music Awards after-party (with a trophy in hand), made cameos on The Voice and Ellen, landed on Justin Trudeau’s summer playlist, rocked the Jingle Ball tour with Cardi B, received an adoring write-up in the Time 100 from his hero John Mayer and performed for the Queen. Dave Grohl called Mendes a “bad motherfucker”—a compliment in Foo speak. Oh, and did we mention he’s only 20 years old? Up next: Starring in an Ivan Reitman movie musical called Summer of Love. Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Hardly anything went down in Toronto this year that didn’t bear the new premier’s imprimatur. Recreational pot became legal, but not before Ford steamrolled the pre-existing plans and implemented a framework for private sales. In September, students and teachers returned to the classroom unsure of whether they were allowed to call it a penis or a pee-pee or anything at all. A little over a month before voters went to the polls, Ford chucked the municipal electoral process into a blender. He roadblocked Trudeau’s carbon tax scheme, cancelled the basic income pilot and went on and on about the all-curing virtues of one-dollar beer. So steady was the firehose feed of news flowing from Queen’s Park that you’d be forgiven for not paying attention to the other influential Torontonians who were busy changing the world in 2018. Chrystia Freeland emerged semi-­victorious from her NAFTA arm-wrestle with Trump; Drake conquered the music world, and then Shawn Mendes did, too; a quirky Jungian psychology professor became the guiding light of a new global men’s movement; our adopted frightmeister, Guillermo del Toro, snagged four golden statuettes on Hollywood’s biggest stage; Jessica Mulroney became Pippa 2.0; and one brave, level-headed police officer at Yonge and Finch decided to holster his gun, rather than fire it—demonstrating to a world grappling anew with racism, bigotry and violence what Toronto is truly about.Markian LozowchukDOUG FORDPremier1 At the beginning of 2018, the Ford family circus seemed like a distant hallucinogenic memory. By year’s end, its wiliest son was running the province with a Lannisterian will. Doug, a few notches smarter than Rob, got to work right away, recalling the legislature for a rare summer session. With unprecedented speed and ferocity, he torched several of Kathleen Wynne’s signature initiatives: the cap-and-trade carbon emissions program (as well as a related $100-million school repair fund), the sex-ed curriculum, the Ontario Basic Income Pilot. He froze salaries for public service managers and halted new measures on police oversight. And, of course, he chopped Toronto city council in half, which was, depending on your point of view, either a brilliant cost-cutting move or a puerile act of vengeance. “Promise made, promise kept,” Ford said, with hashtag regularity. In other words, burn it all down. Up next: Figuring out how to balance the provincial budget, while keeping his promise not to slash jobs or services.Markian LozowchukCHRYSTIA FREELAND Advertisementlast_img read more

adminOctober 15, 2019bttqtLeave a Comment

Read More

Four Strikes And Youre Out

The plane at the bottom of the figure is the plane that rises from the front of home plate — the same one on which the official strike zone is occasionally rendered in television replays. The thick red lines on the axes denote the strike zone. The red on the horizontal axis is the width of home plate; the red on the vertical axis is the normalized distance between the batter’s chest and the bottom of his knees.3MLB’s Pitch f/x system provides measurements of the top and bottom of each batter’s strike zone, which we used to normalize the height of the strike zone for each batter. If you were a home-plate umpire, you’d be looking down through the plane, over the catcher’s head and towards the pitcher.The 3D heat map rising from the plane measures the probability of a called strike at each location on the plane. Home-plate umpires are good at calling the obvious. Pitches that travel right down the center of the official strike zone — through the red at the top of the heat map — are called strikes more than 99 percent of the time. Pitches that cross the plane well outside the official strike zone — where the heat map is its deepest blue — are called strikes less than 1 percent of the time.Umpires are inconsistent at the edges of the official strike zone, where the heat map turns green. Here, pitches that cross the plane in the same location are sometimes called strikes and sometimes called balls. This band of uncertainty is wide: about six to eight inches separate pitches that are called strikes 90 percent of the time and pitches that are called balls 90 percent of the time.There’s a difference between an umpire being inconsistent and an umpire being biased. Inconsistency usually takes place within that band of uncertainty, when the umpire makes different calls on pitches at the same location. But he is biased when those differences correlate with factors other than pitch location, like the count. Where umpires are inconsistent, they also happen to be biased. To see this, consider two versions of the figure above: one for when the count has three balls, and one for when the count has fewer than three balls. These heat maps should be the same. Whether there are three balls in the count shouldn’t matter. All that should matter is the location of the pitch.When we look at the difference between these two heat maps, we should see no difference — a flat plane. But we don’t. We see an expansion of the strike zone in three-ball counts.Change in the Probability of a Called Strike With Three Balls The official strike zone is the red rectangle beneath the heat map. The color and height of the heat map measure the change in the probability of a called strike when the count has three balls versus when there are two or fewer balls. The deep blue signifies no change — these are the pitches that are so obviously a ball or strike that not even a three-ball count changes them. In the center of the official strike zone, obvious strikes are still strikes; on the periphery, obvious balls are still balls. But on the edge of the official strike zone — in the band of uncertainty — a ring of mountains rises from the plane. The strike zone expands in three-ball counts, particularly at the top and bottom of the zone’s vertical axis. Borderline pitches, which are normally called strikes 50 percent of the time, are called strikes about 60 percent of the time with three balls in the count. Umpires act as if they would rather keep an at-bat going on a borderline pitch than issue a walk.In two-strike counts, we see the inverse effect. For close pitches, a strike is now less likely to be called, which makes our heat map look like a moat.Change in the Probability of a Called Strike With Two Strikes Consider a forgotten game in April 2010 between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox were up a run with two outs in the eighth. Their set-up man, Matt Thornton, was on the mound, protecting a lead with a runner on first and the right-handed Jhonny Peralta at bat. Ahead in the count with one ball and two strikes, Thornton froze Peralta with a slider on the outside half of the plate, a couple inches below the belt. For a pitch like that, the umpire, Bruce Dreckman, would normally call a strike — 80 percent of the time, the data shows. But in two-strike counts like Peralta’s, he calls a strike less than half the time.Sure enough, that night Dreckman called a ball. Two pitches later, Peralta lashed a double to right, scoring the runner and tying the game. Neither team scored again until the 11th, when Cleveland scored twice to win the game. Had Peralta struck out to end the top of the eighth, Chicago almost certainly would have won.1When the home team carries a one-run lead into the bottom of the eighth, it wins 89 percent of the time.This one call illustrates a statistical regularity: Umpires are biased. About once a game, an at-bat ends in something other than a strikeout even when a third strike should have been called. Umpires want to make the right call, but they also don’t want to make the wrong call at the wrong time. Ironically, this prompts them to make bad calls more often.That’s according to research I did with David P. Daniels showing that the strike zone changes when the stakes are highest. We looked at more than 1 million pitches, almost all ball and strike calls from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 regular seasons, and found that the strike zone expands in three-ball counts and shrinks in two-strike counts.2Baseball observers have previously documented how the strike zone changes with the count. Other researchers have shown that the count changes how likely umpires are to call a strike outside of the official strike zone or a ball within it. It also shrinks again when the preceding pitch in the at-bat was a called strike. To put it another way, on close calls, umpires are unlikely to call a fourth ball, a third strike, or a second strike in a row. Umpires call balls and strikes as if they don’t want to be noticed.The umpire’s job is simple: Call a strike when the pitch crosses the official strike zone; call a ball when it doesn’t. When the right call is obvious, umpires make it almost every time. One way to see this is to look at the probability of a called strike by pitch location.Probability of a Called Strike The strike zone shrinks by as much as 20 percentage points in the top and bottom. With two strikes, borderline pitches — those that are ordinarily 50/50 calls — become 30/70 calls (30 percent strikes, 70 percent balls) for the average umpire. And with two strikes, the most biased umpire calls balls on borderline pitches almost every time. On close calls, umpires act as if they would rather give the batter another chance than call a third strike.In both maps, the biases are greatest where the boundaries of the official strike zone are least apparent. What matters most is the vertical location of the pitch. Standing behind the plate, the umpire can easily tell whether a pitch is too far inside or outside. But it’s harder to know where the pitch is relative to the batter’s knees and chest. We would expect this uncertainty to breed inconsistency. But it also seems to induce the greatest bias. The highest peaks and the deepest parts of the moat are at the top and bottom of the strike zone.Finally, we see that the strike zone shrinks again when the previous pitch in the at-bat was a called strike.Change in the Probability of a Called Strike When the Previous Pitch Was a Called Strike Here, the shrinkage is more uniform — about the same on the sides as on the top and bottom. The blue tips of the moat are about 15 percentage points deep: 50/50 calls become 35/65 calls when the last pitch in the at-bat was a called strike. Umpires appear reluctant not only to end the at-bat but also to call two strikes in a row. (Interestingly, there is no change in the probability of a called strike when the last pitch was called a ball.)These mistakes are frequent — pitchers tend to pitch to the borders of the official strike zone. And they are consequential — they happen in the most pivotal calls. When a 50/50 call becomes a 60/40 call, as it does with three balls, umpires are mistakenly calling strikes on 10 percent of borderline pitches. When a 50/50 call becomes a 30/70 call, as it does with two strikes, umpires are mistakenly calling balls on 20 percent of borderline pitches.Major League Baseball has embraced technologies that are meant to make calls on the field more consistent. The league has long used pitch-tracking technology to encourage home-plate umpires to behave more like machines, evidently without complete success. This past offseason, the MLB extended replay review to cover essentially all umpire decisions — except ball and strike calls. Now as before, no justice will be served when a pitcher throws a strike and the umpire drops the ball.This article is adapted from “What Does it Take to Call a Strike? Three Biases in Umpire Decision Making,” which the author wrote with David P. Daniels. read more

adminSeptember 30, 2019fqqjgLeave a Comment

Read More

Lion tamers Turner OSU top Penn State

Desperate times call for desperate measures.When Ohio State let the majority of a 17-point lead slip away Wednesday at Penn State, Evan Turner took matters into his own hands.Despite making just one of his eight shot attempts in the first half, Turner continued to fire away down the stretch, leading the Buckeyes (22-7, 12-4) to a 75-67 victory over the Nittany Lions (10-17, 2-13).The National Player of the Year candidate dished out seven assists and grabbed seven rebounds to go along with his 25 points, one of four Buckeyes in double figures.OSU used a 19-6 run to open up a 49-32 second half lead before Penn State fired back. The Nittany Lions connected on a barrage of 3-pointers to cut the lead to 50-44.After the Buckeyes built the lead back up to 11, Penn State forced a series of OSU turnovers to trim the lead to 59-57.That’s when Turner took over. The junior scored OSU’s next eight points, pushing the lead to eight, an advantage the Buckeyes wouldn’t relinquish.Forward David Lighty chipped in 18 points, while Jon Diebler added 16 and William Buford 12. Guard Talor Battle paced Penn State with 22 points.The win marked the 13th in a row for OSU over Penn State, the longest current streak of one team over another in the Big Ten.Ohio State welcomes Michigan to the Schottenstein Center for a Saturday matinee this weekend at noon. read more

adminSeptember 28, 2019fpplrLeave a Comment

Read More

Position battles continue as season approaches for Ohio State football

Ohio State football is again a nationally ranked team and appears to be entrenched as a squad worth paying attention to in 2012, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t uncertainty among its personnel. OSU, which The Associated Press announced Saturday was ranked No. 18 in its first Top 25 poll of the 2012 season, begins its third week of preseason preparation Monday and is less than two weeks until its season-opening game Sept. 1 against Miami University (Ohio). Several key position battles are yet to be sorted out for the Buckeyes, though. Senior tight end-turned tackle Reid Fragel and freshman Taylor Decker are continuing what coach Urban Meyer called a “battle” for the starting right tackle position while both the running back and wide receiver groups are jockeying for position up and down their respective depth charts. Perhaps chief among the position competitions is the one being waged between Fragel and Decker. During OSU’s Aug. 12 media day, Meyer said the Buckeyes weren’t functional at right tackle, a position Fragel volunteered for after Meyer arrived at OSU in November. “I knew when coach Meyer came in, his offensive philosophy was different from (former OSU coach Jim) Tressel,” Fragel said at OSU’s media day. “Being a pro-style tight end, I knew I couldn’t fit in as a spread tight end. I also knew I had some blocking ability and size to work with.” For his offer to switch positions, Fragel was rewarded with a fight for playing time with Decker, a 6-foot-10, 310-pound first-year player from Vandalia, Ohio. By Friday, the final day of a week that included eight practices and three two-a-days, Fragel said he feels that he’s been put up against a wall. “I tend to respond pretty well to pressure,” Fragel said. “Taylor’s a great kid, a great player, so, he’s going to be a great player in the future and this year I’m just trying to get the No. 1 (right) tackle spot, and whoever that is in the way, I look to compete against them. In the end, I plan to win.” The competition at running back is a bit more complicated than the straightforward, one-versus-one battle between Fragel and Decker. Senior running back Jordan Hall is the team’s No. 1 option at running back, but he could miss as many as three games during the non-conference portion of OSU’s schedule due to an injury. Hall stepped on glass while walking his dog, a pit bull named “Cali,” in June. Surgery was needed to repair a torn ligament after the incident, and junior back Carlos Hyde might be called upon to fill the void. Hyde carried the ball 106 times for 566 yards, six touchdowns and an average of more than five yards per carry in 2011. Perhaps his strongest outing of the 2011 season came in the electric atmosphere of Nebraska’s first-ever Big Ten conference home game where he rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Through nearly two full weeks of fall camp, running backs coach Stan Drayton said Hyde has stepped his game up and “answered the bell.” “I didn’t coach Carlos last year, I coached those wide receivers. And just kinda (through) side vision, I thought he was a little lazy as a football player, quite honestly,” Drayton said. “I’m sure he’ll tell you the same thing. And the one thing that he’s improved upon is his approach to the game and his passion and energy level is through the roof right now. He’s really escalated his value to this football team.” For Meyer’s part, he said during Big Ten Media Days that he feels this is the defining moment in Hyde’s career. “It’s either yes or no (for Hyde),” Meyer said. “There can’t be any more gray area. He’s had too much gray in his career, and he’s got talent.” There’s no room for complacency for Hyde – there’s a competition brewing for the backup position once Hall returns. Included in that competition, Drayton said, is redshirt sophomore Rod Smith and freshman Bri’onte Dunn and Warren Ball. “That’s a competition. You know, you’ve got Bri’onte Dunn who’s really had a physical camp. With the ball in his hands, he’s really good. Just the other stuff – he kinda needs to get honed in on protections.” Drayton said. “That’s going to take a little longer for a back. You know, and Warren Ball just got off the boat, man. “You know, he’s hearing this stuff for the first time, getting a feel for the intensity for the first time. You know, but again, he’s a guy that goes from Point A to Point B as fast as he can go.” Finally, the receivers are battling for catches and playing time under the supervision of first-year receivers coach Zach Smith. Smith told the assembled media on Friday that he feels senior receiver Corey “Philly” Brown has emerged along with sophomore Devin Smith, calling Brown “unbelievable” while adding that Devin Smith has made the most progress of any player in that position group. After Brown and Devin Smith, it might be a thin group – Zach Smith declined to rank his receivers, choosing instead to continue complementing the two standouts he had already noted. Smith said the pressure has been mounting on him and his players since he came on the job. After all, the Buckeyes’ passing offense finished 116th in the nation last season according to multiple sources. “There’s definitely pressure. I mean, obviously, it’s been world renowned from (Meyer), beneath him to anyone that talks about it (the passing offense),” Smith said. “There’s pressure on the group. I think that really gives them an opportunity. You kind of see who thrives under that pressure and who doesn’t. “A lot of them have embraced that as an opportunity. You know, some of them kind of crumble depending on the kid. But it’s a very, very positive thing for the group and the kid because they see it as an opportunity to go out and be more of a focal point of an offense and catch footballs and actually touch the ball.” These battles will continue into this week and Fragel has confidence in the system for both his personal battles as well as those of his teammates. “The way it should be in any system is the better player will play,” he said. OSU’s season-opening game against Miami University (Ohio) kicks off Sept. 1 at noon at Ohio Stadium. read more

adminSeptember 28, 2019yelfwLeave a Comment

Read More

Mens Hockey Ohio States Frozen Four run ends with 21 loss to

Junior forward Dakota Joshua skates with the puck against Princeton during the Buckeyes’ NCAA tournament win on March 24. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternThe Ohio State men’s hockey team could not have dreamed of a worse start in its first Frozen Four game since 1998. It giving up two goals to Minnesota Duluth in the first three minutes of the game and got outshot 17-4 by its opponent in the first period.The Buckeyes seemed to tilt the momentum toward them as the game wore on and picked up their first goal with 10:33 remaining in the game. But the late push was not enough and the No. 1 Ohio State men’s hockey team fell 2-1 to No. 3 Minnesota Duluth in the semifinals of the Frozen Four, ending its season. This is the second year in a row that the Bulldogs (23-16-3) eliminated the Buckeyes (26-9-5) from the NCAA tournament.The game’s first goal came less than two minutes into the game on a cross-ice pass from Minnesota Duluth freshman defenseman Matt Anderson. He found Louie Roehl alone, and the freshman forward buried a shot past redshirt goalie Sean Romeo to take the early lead.Just 71 seconds later, Bulldog senior forward Jared Thomas beat Romeo low on a breakaway attempt made possible by a pass through the neutral zone by senior forward Karson Kuhlman. It was his 10th goal of the season.Romeo badly misplayed the puck and nearly gave up a third goal shortly after the Bulldogs’ second goal. But he was able to recover just in time to keep the puck out of the net. Romeo held strong the remainder of the game and stopped 26 shots. The Buckeyes got on the scoreboard in the third period with a power-play goal by sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski. With the help of sophomore defenseman Wyatt Ege’s broken stick, Laczynski found himself alone in the slot with the puck, and ripped it past goalie sophomore Hunter Shepard to make the score 2-1.The biggest missed opportunity for Ohio State came in the second period on a power play. Sophomore forward Ronnie Hein had a wide-open net to shoot at while Shepard was down, but Kuhlman blocked the attempt with his stick, shutting down Ohio State’s momentum on the man advantage.Shepard gave the Buckeyes fits, saving 19 of 20 shots. read more

adminSeptember 28, 2019tznlsLeave a Comment

Read More

Football No 21 Northwestern brings offensive challenges to No 6 Ohio State

Ohio State freshman wide receiver Chris Olave (17) and redshirt senior wide receiver Terry McLaurin (83) celebrate after Olave scored a touchdown in the first half of the game against Michigan on Nov. 24. Ohio State won 62-39. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorAfter Ohio State’s 62-39 win against then-No. 4 Michigan, the Buckeyes go into the Big Ten Championship with momentum — momentum that could lead the Buckeyes into the College Football Playoff, a feat that seemed impossible just a few weeks ago. Redshirt senior wide receiver Terry McLaurin has thought the committee has been pretty consistent on its view of Ohio State in the playoff rankings, something that has fueled the team as a whole. “I think up until last week, I think they thought there were some inconsistencies or they want to say our defense or our offense can’t run the ball, things like that,” McLaurin said. “We’ve heard it all and we just try and focus on getting better each and every week. At the end of the day, we’ve been winning games and that’s what really matters.” But No. 6 Ohio State remains on the outside looking in, and it needs a convincing performance against No. 21 Northwestern on Saturday to earn a place in the College Football Playoff. This is something Northwestern has prided itself on all season long: playing its opponents close.The Wildcats (8-4, 8-1 Big Ten) have been within 14 points in each game it has played this season, falling to ranked opponents Michigan and Notre Dame by a combined 13 points, yet narrowly defeating Nebraska in overtime and recording one-score wins against Rutgers and Illinois. This hurt Northwestern in significant ways, losing all three of its non-conference games, including a 39-34 loss to Akron. However, head coach Urban Meyer does not view the Wildcats as a team Ohio State will play down to, something he admits happens in the program. “You watch them play. They’re very — they’re not averaging 55 points a game. But they’re very productive,” Meyer said.  “So, yeah, we play at the level of competition. That happens sometimes. You’d like to not have that happen. It does. That certainly is not this case.” The Northwestern defense brings something that will not allow for the Ohio State offense to have what McLaurin refers to as a “hangover” after putting up 62 points against the Wolverines. Despite having the 20th-worst offense in the country, the Wildcats allow 21.7 points per game, tied for No. 29 in college football. Much of this has to do with head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s pass defense strategy: perfecting the zone. “You just don’t see big hits against them,” Meyer said. “They keep the ball in front of you. And sometimes that’s — nowadays that’s harder than a team that you know is going to be man coverage across the board.” Despite allowing 238 yards passing per game, placing near the bottom of the Big Ten in pass defense, the Wildcats have allowed only 14 passing touchdowns all season, the same as Penn State and Wisconsin, who are the No. 2 and No. 5 pass defenses in the conference, respectively. With redshirt junior defensive lineman Joe Gaziano, who was named as a second-team All Big Ten defense member, and sophomore linebacker Blake Gallagher, Ohio State will have to overcome a Northwestern defense that McLaurin says is “bend and don’t break.”Redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins even said his approach to the offense will have to change when facing zone coverage instead of man-to-man coverage. “With zone coverage, you have to complete 70 percent of your passes to be able to move the ball down the field against them,” Haskins said. “So you have to be able to pick them apart, dissect them and be able to see the coverages and zones and knowing that every pass is not going to be a touchdown.” While the Ohio State offense faces a defensive scheme it’s not used to, the Buckeye defense will face a Northwestern offense that does not exactly stand out on paper. The Wildcats hold the 23rd-worst scoring offense in the country, averaging 23.7 points per game. Northwestern has not found much success running the ball, recording only 114.8 rushing yards per game. However, it has found its signature back in freshman Isaiah Bowser after Jeremy Larkin announced in September that he had medically retired from football. Bowser, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, has recorded six touchdown runs this season. The Sidney, Ohio, native has also rushed for more than 100 yards in four of his past six games, recording two multi-touchdown contests. The passing game is led by redshirt senior quarterback Clayton Thorson, who has completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Even with underwhelming numbers, Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano views Thorson, who threw for 256 yards and ran for 44 yards with two total touchdowns against Ohio State in 2016, as an accurate passer who understands schemes very well. “He’s an NFL quarterback,” Schiano said. “We need to make sure we understand how that all fits in their entire offense.”PredictionOn paper, it’s clear who has the advantage in this game. Northwestern’s numbers do not stand out on the page and do not have any advantages personnel-wise over Ohio State.  But that has not kept the Wildcats from playing these games close. Northwestern led then-No. 14 Michigan 17-0 prior to allowing 20 unanswered points from the Wolverines. Even with the collapse, Northwestern still had a very close deficit when the clock hit zero. Now, the Wildcats go into its first Big Ten Championship with something to prove: that it can overcome a ranked Ohio State team that has arguably the most momentum heading into a conference championship game than any other team in the country. But even if a loss is not in the future for Northwestern, it is likely the Wildcats will play a game similar to the other ranked opponents it has faced this season, keeping with Ohio State until the very end. The Wildcats can do this by limiting Ohio State’s success in the passing game, erasing any big-play ability for Haskins and his wide receivers by limiting the Buckeyes to short slant and crossing routes. This may not keep the Buckeyes off the scoreboard, but would take time off the clock and take away an important part of the Ohio State passing attack. Ohio State is favored and likely will win this game. But Northwestern will not become the 59-0 example that the Buckeyes got in Wisconsin during the 2014 season. Colin Gay: 42-24 Ohio State Wyatt Crosher: 30-13 Ohio StateEdward Sutelan: 34-17 Ohio StateRachel Bules: 54-21 Ohio StateAmanda Parrish: 35-14 Ohio State read more

adminSeptember 28, 2019mskyyLeave a Comment

Read More