Month: September 2019
Floyd Mayweather does not like being locked up so much, which is a surprise to no one.And surely he did not like the decision that came down Wednesday from a judge who denied his request that he be released from jail because the low-quality food and water have threatened his health.Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragoas wrote in her decision that Mayweather, who began serving and 87-day sentence for domestic battery on June 1, shoulde should eat and drink what is being given to him behind bars. She also wrote that water has been made available to Mayweather around the clock and the only reason he isn’t eating properly is because he refuses to eat the provided meals. Saragosa said Mayweather’s complaints that he is unable to exercise in jail are also unfounded.“While the physical training areas and times provided to (Mayweather) may not be consistent with his prior regimen, he is indeed provided sufficient space and time for physical activity if he so chooses,” Saragosa decided.A mere 10 days after Mayweather turned himself in to begin his three-month sentence, his legal team filed an emergency motion Monday asking the court to put him under house arrest or move him into the general jail population — something that jail officials had avoided to protect the celebrity fighter. The motion claimed the undefeated champion might never fight again because he was getting out of shape in solitary confinement.Mayweather lawyer Richard Wright didn’t immediately return a phone message late Wednesday. Wright said earlier this week that he was not seeking special treatment for the 35-year-old fighter.Mayweather pleaded guilty last year to reduced domestic battery charges stemming from an attack on his former girlfriend while two of their children watched. The plea deal allowed him to avoid trial on felony charges that could have gotten Mayweather up to 34 years in prison if he was convicted. Mayweather was sentenced Dec. 22, but was allowed to remain free long enough to make a Cinco de Mayo weekend fight.Mayweather’s legal team told the court this week that his personal physician, Dr. Robert Voy, visited the jail Friday and determined the fighter had lost muscle tone. Voy estimated Mayweather was consuming fewer than 800 calories a day instead of his usual 3,000 or 4,000 calories. Mayweather also wasn’t drinking enough because he wasn’t allowed bottled water and doesn’t enjoy tap water.“I am concerned about Floyd withdrawing, developing anger he cannot dissipate through the usual means of dedicated exercise and training,” Voy wrote in an affidavit. “Boxing has been Mr. Mayweather’s life since he was a young man and we need champions of this type to continue to their natural retirement and hopefully their contributions to society thereafter.”
The Philadelphia Eagles have fired defensive line coach Jim Washburn after their 38-33 loss to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night.According to the team, Washburn was “relieved of his duties” following the team’s eighth straight loss. The Eagles defensive line gave up 123 rushing yards compared to the Cowboys 183 rushing yards, which does not seem to be the reason behind his firing.“Jim is a fine football coach and we appreciate the efforts he gave to this team over the past two years,” coach Andy Reid. “However, I determined that it was in the team’s best interest that we move in a different direction in terms of trying to maximize the production of that position group. We look forward to having Tommy Brasher back on board to work with the defensive line.”Brasher was the Eagles defensive line coach in 1985 and from 1999 through 2005.One the determining factors that played into Washburn’s firing was that he had become a “cancer” around the team, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. His attitude took a turn for the worse when defensive end Jason Babin was released last week and picked up off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars.Washburn was hired by Reid in Jan. 2011 to improve his pass rush defense. He brought his wide nine scheme to the Eagles, which aims to sack the quarterback at the expense of a run defense. The Eagles only managed to sack Tony Romo Sunday night one time for an 11-yard loss.The Eagles have 46 sacks on the season, but that was not enough for Reid nor the Eagles front office.Washburn built a reputation with the team for being outspoken about his thoughts. Last November, he was involved in an argument with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on the sideline during a game.He also expressed his frustrations to players about former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, who was fired earlier in the season by Reid. Washburn has also complained about new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.With a few more weeks left to go in the season, Reid has potentially seen his last days as the Eagles head coach and could possibly receive his pink slip soon.
While the opening round of the NBA playoffs so far could have been blindly simulated, chaos is governing the ice.Ranked dead last in early January, the St. Louis Blues completed arguably the greatest midseason U-turn in NHL history by advancing to the conference semifinals. And that’s probably just the third-most-surprising storyline of this young postseason. Tampa Bay and Calgary, the top seeds in each conference, survived less than two weeks, combining to win a single game. Never before had the President’s Trophy-winning team been swept. Never before had the top seeds both been eliminated in the opening round.It has already seemed like “the year of the underdog” in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. But unlike its hardcourt brethren, the NHL is accustomed to things not going to plan in the “second season.” So how does this postseason stack up against years past? Using the archived money lines at SportsOddsHistory.com, we can decipher a team’s implied probability of advancing and use that to rank the wildest opening rounds in Stanley Cup history. After marauding the league during the regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning were installed as 1-to-4 favorites going into their series with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jon Cooper’s outfit won the President’s Trophy behind 128 points and 62 regular-season wins, which tied for the most ever. Tampa was the league’s highest-scoring team by a generous margin, spearheaded by three 40-goal snipers — a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in nearly a quarter-century. Not since 2009-10 had there been a bigger favorite in a series.1That year, Washington, Chicago and San Jose all had implied odds greater than 77 percent. Columbus checked in at +325, which translates to a 23 percent implied probability of winning after adjusting for the cut of the bookmaker, or the vigorish.2We calculated the true implied odds by dividing the implied probability of one team by the sum of the implied probability of both teams. Tampa Bay fell apart against the new-kids-on-the-block Blue Jackets in what could be argued was the single biggest collapse in modern sport. What’s more, it was the first series win in Columbus franchise history.“In today’s game with the parity, it’s not unusual that an eight [seed] beats a one anymore,” Cooper said after the loss. “Everybody’s that close.”North of the border, the Calgary Flames were given a 67 percent implied probability of winning their series against the Colorado Avalanche. Bill Peters’s squad included the league’s second-best offense3Tied with Boston. and a triumvirate of 30-goal scorers. After taking the series opener, Calgary got buried in four straight games by the Avalanche, a wild-card club with the 17th-best record in the NHL.“Obviously we were the big underdogs,” Avs center Nathan MacKinnon said. “And no one picked us to win.”But the pandemonium didn’t stop there. Despite not having home ice, the Pittsburgh Penguins had a 59 percent implied probability of winning their series against the New York Islanders. They were promptly swept. The Nashville Predators, which had reached at least the second round in three consecutive seasons, had a 61 percent implied probability against the Dallas Stars, but the Preds fell in just six games.The Vegas Golden Knights, last season’s expansion surprise, were slight favorites over the San Jose Sharks despite not having home ice. But the Sharks came back from down 3-1 in the series to force a Game 7, in which they found the net four times on one power play and edged Vegas in an all-time classic. “That’s a once in a lifetime game,” Sharks center Logan Couture told The Athletic. “I don’t think my heart can take another one like that.”The Winnipeg Jets, meanwhile, entered the season on the short list of Cup contenders but were slight underdogs against St. Louis even with their home ice. They lasted only six games in the playoffs. And the Toronto Maple Leafs gave the favored Boston Bruins all they could handle before falling in Game 7. There’s potential for more chaos as well: The defending champion Washington Capitals hold home ice and a 57 percent implied probability of winning. But they failed to put away the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6 and will need to win a series-deciding seventh game on Wednesday to stay alive.In total, of the seven teams to advance so far to the second round, just two were favored (St. Louis and Boston), and just three of those with home ice advanced (Boston, San Jose and New York). Last year, seven of the eight opening-round matchups were won by the team holding home ice. Since the turn of the century, only 18 away teams have advanced to the second round without an implied probability of at least 35 percent. Two have come this season.Which is to say, the second round won’t be as top-heavy in terms of quality as it has been in recent years. From the 2010-11 season through last year’s playoffs,4Excluding the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign. the average team to qualify for a conference semifinal team had been a 105-point outfit that was 0.39 goals better than the average team in that given season, according to Sports-Reference’s Simple Rating System. The average of this year’s crop is a 99-point outfit that’s 0.29 goals better than average. Three of the four best teams in the league didn’t even reach the second round. This means that the eventual winner is anybody’s guess: MoneyPuck.com gives six teams odds of better than 10 percent to win the whole thing, with the Blues leading the pack at 16 percent.These gargantuan first-round upsets are rare, regardless of the sport. In MLB’s wild-card era, only five teams touting the best conference record have failed to reach the second round, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. In the NBA, a 1- or 2-seed hasn’t lost in the opening round of the playoffs since the top-seeded Chicago Bulls in 2012. But with its randomness, hockey stands out for its opportunities to surprise. Research by Michael J. Lopez, Gregory J. Matthews and Benjamin S. Baumer found that, on average, the better NBA team in a best-of-7 series advances 80 percent of the time. To match that rate, the NHL would require a best-of-51 series.This postseason has been a difficult one for giants, with new blood chasing Lord Stanley’s Mug. And while the outcome in the NHL is far less predetermined than, say, the NBA or NFL, it’s been a banner two-week stretch of upsets. Suffice it to say that luck goes a long way in hockey (so too does a red-hot goalie). But seldom does the best team hoist the trophy at season’s end. That’s what makes professional hockey special — you can witness history every time you tune in.
OSU redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) prepares to throw the ball during a game against Northern Illinois on Sept. 19 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won 20-13. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorOhio State redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett was arrested by Columbus police early Saturday morning near campus for operating a motor vehicle while impaired.The 20-year-old was cited with a misdemeanor OVI and released Saturday morning. Shortly after, OSU coach Urban Meyer announced Barrett would be banned from OSU’s next game, a Nov. 7 meeting at home against Minnesota.The arrest came a week after Barrett made his first start of the season in a 49-7 win at Rutgers. Against Minnesota, the keys to the offense will be handed back to redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones.According to multiple reports, Barrett’s suspension is for one game — not the mandatory two outlined in OSU’s student-athlete drug and alcohol policy when the student is underage — because the citation was for a misdemeanor.OSU athletic director Gene Smith told various outlets that the one-game suspension was fully at Meyer’s discretion.Kickoff is scheduled for the Buckeyes’ meeting against Minnesota for 8 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.
It wasn’t necessarily a textbook performance from the Ohio State men’s basketball team (18-10, 10-5), but it still got the job done Saturday night at Nebraska (14-14, 6-9). Despite a sluggish start, 17 turnovers and two players fouling out, the Buckeyes toppled the Cornhuskers 65-62 in overtime. With the win, OSU’s postseason flame still burns, albeit dimly. Freshman guard JaQuan Lyle poured in 19 points, including a pair of free throws that sent the game into overtime and three key buckets down the stretch in overtime. Alongside Lyle’s strong showing, sophomore forward Keita Bates-Diop had 16 points and classmate Jae’Sean Tate had 15 and a dozen rebounds. Junior forward Marc Loving matched Tate’s 15 points. Outside of this quartet, no other Buckeye scored. Both teams got off to horrendous starts, as they settled for jump shots that simply were not falling. OSU shot just 1-of-10 from the field in the first 11:36, while Nebraska missed 11 of its first 14 shots, too. The result of this indolent start was a 6-2 Nebraska advantage in the first nine minutes, with Tate being the only Buckeye to register in the scoring column. It was a forgettable way to get out of the gates. But as it turns out, OSU quickly did forget its lackluster start. The Buckeyes flipped a switch, peeling off a 13-5 run over a nine-minute period to snatch a 15-13 advantage.During that span for the Cornhuskers, a lack of aggressiveness plagued them. They continued to settle for too many jump shots, converting on just one of their six attempts from downtown.More of the same sloppy basketball ensued up to the halftime horn, with Nebraska holding a one-point lead, 22-21, at the break. The 43 combined points made for the lowest total in the first half of a Big Ten game this season. Freshman forward Jack McVeigh led the Cornhuskers with six points, while classmate Glynn Watson Jr. had five points and four rebounds. As a team, Nebraska shot just 26 percent from the field, including a painful 3-of-17 performance from 3-point land. For OSU, only three players — Tate, Bates-Diop and Loving — scored. Loving led the way with 11 points and three rebounds on 3-of-7 shooting. Tate added six points and four boards, while Bates-Diop registered four points, although he needed seven shots to do so. When the second half began, the Buckeyes were noticeably more aggressive. After an opening 3-pointer by McVeigh, OSU started driving to the basket, either getting fouled and going to the free throw line or connecting on easy layups. The Buckeyes’ first 13 points in the second period came from the charity stripe or inside the paint. At the 10-minute mark, amid a 20-5 run, the Buckeyes were leading 41-30.That momentum-shifting stretch was spearheaded by Lyle, who used a combination of the inside and outside game to score 11 straight points for OSU. It started to look like the Buckeyes were pulling away, but the Cornhuskers had other plans. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Watson and McVeigh immediately breathed new life into Nebraska. Then, a few possessions later, junior guard Tai Webster knocked in a 3-pointer from the top of the key, which cut OSU’s lead down to two points and fired up the white-and-red clad crowd. Over the course of the next four minutes, the two teams traded punches. Nebraska got it to as close as one on two separate occasions, but OSU also had an advantage as large as five in that stretch. After slicing OSU’s lead back to one point at the 1:19 mark, Lyle missed a layup, giving it back to the Cornhuskers with a chance to take the lead. Andrew White III didn’t squander the opportunity. The junior guard buried a contested 3-pointer from a few steps beyond the line, giving Nebraska its first lead in 17 minutes. Trailing 56-54, OSU got its chance to counter. Lyle dribbled the ball at the top of the key, as the clock dwindled, eventually taking his man off the bounce and forcing a foul. The freshman composed himself and knocked down the game-tying free throws. A turnover by Nebraska and a last-second heave from freshman Mickey Mitchell clanked off the rim, sending the game to overtime. In the bonus period, Lyle carried the Buckeyes. Loving scored OSU’s first points, but after that, the freshman guard used his size to take his man off the dribble, weaving to the rim for three consecutive layups. The third and final one ended up becoming the game-clincher for OSU after the Cornhuskers’ final few chances came up short.McVeigh led Nebraska with 16 points and four rebounds. Next up for OSU is one of its hardest tests to date, a matchup with No. 8 Michigan State on Tuesday at the Schottenstein Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m.
There’s a problem with the expectations that come with a perfect record: Anything less than perfection is a total failure. That’s what Thad Matta’s Buckeyes (24-0, 11-0 Big Ten) are faced with. With their great season, these Buckeyes have set National Championship expectations just like the 2006–07 squad did. After what this team has shown so far, anything less would lead to scarlet-and-gray heartbreak. There’s no more esteemed company than John Wooden’s undefeated UCLA championship teams of the 1960s and early ’70s, or Bobby Knight’s Indiana team of ’76 that went unbeaten en route to a title, so it’s unrealistic to put the 2011 Ohio State men’s basketball team into the same category. Now, the talent pool is as wide and deep as it’s ever been. The clich&e exists for a reason: Any team can be beaten on any given night. If you don’t believe that, look at some of OSU’s stressful wins against lesser Big Ten teams and say you weren’t the least bit worried. You can’t. This team is far from perfect. It ranks 162nd in the country in rebounds and relies heavily on just seven players. Matta would tell you it still has plenty of room to improve, despite its flawless record. There would be little harm in the team familiarizing itself with the crushing feeling of defeat sooner, rather than later. A loss during the regular season or Big Ten Tournament wouldn’t change OSU’s chances at a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament. Getting that sentiment out of the way would alleviate the added pressure of going into the NCAA Tournament undefeated and dealing with all the nonmaterial questions about Wooden, Knight and the historical implications. Not to say the Buckeyes should lose on purpose, but knowing what a loss feels like could be beneficial — just ask the football team. OSU would have to get 16 more wins in the regular season and postseason to get to a perfect 40-0, the pinnacle of the sport. It undoubtedly would be one of the most incredible achievements in sports history, given the era and climate of college hoops. Is this team capable? Perhaps. Is it likely to happen? No. Only seven teams have won national titles while going undefeated, none more recent than Knight’s ’76 Hoosiers. Eleven teams have finished the regular season undefeated in the tournament era and come up short of the title. The most recent team to do so was Jameer Nelson and Delonte West’s 2004 Saint Joseph’s Hawks — a team that’s hardly memorable. These Buckeyes don’t want to be in that category. That’s why a national title would mean far more than an undefeated regular season. If they were to flame out in the tournament, the only thing that would be remembered about the 2011 Buckeyes would be their failure to live up to expectations.
After missing the first two games of the season due to a suspension, junior running back Jordan Hall has become Ohio State’s most reliable source of offense for the last two games. In Miami, Hall rushed for 87 yards, which at first glance may not seem like a lot. But in a one-dimensional offense that only accumulated 209 yards, two field goals, and 35 total yards of passing, Hall was the one good thing to come out of the disaster in South Beach. Against Colorado on Saturday Hall put up similar numbers on the ground. He rushed for 84 yards and had a touchdown. “It definitely felt good to be out there the whole game because last week felt like I let my team down because I couldn’t play in the second half,” Hall said. “So it definitely felt good.” Hall’s worth was much more than in head coach Luke Fickell’s pro-style offense. Hall was able to make a huge difference on special teams. “Coach says we want to use special teams as a weapon,” Hall said. Hall was that weapon. In the third quarter, after Colorado had narrowed the margin to 17 after a 47-yard field goal from CU kicker Will Oliver, Hall took the ensuing kick-off 90 yards down the field to give OSU a first-and-goal. Sophomore running back Carlos Hyde punched it into the end zone on the next play for a five-yard touchdown run. After the game, Hall was laughing at himself for his inability to take the kick return to the end zone himself. Hall was caught five yards short. He said he received playful ridicule from his teammates after the return. “They already said what they had to say on the sidelines,” Hall said. “So I ain’t worried about it.” Fickell said Hall gave the Buckeyes much needed lifts in the game against Colorado. “Obviously Jordan (Hall) can do a lot of different things. He can be a weapon back there. People have to be aware where he’s at, kicking the ball to him, whether it’s punts or kickoff returns,” Fickell said. In two weeks, senior running back Daniel “Boom” Herron returns to the field after a five-game suspension for his involvement in the tattoo scandal. Herron along with former quarterback Terrelle Pryor, senior wide receiver DeVier Posey, senior defensive lineman Solomon Thomas and senior offensive lineman Mike Adams received a five-game suspension for their involvement that led to former head coach Jim Tressel’s forced resignation. Coach Fickell has said all along that every player has to earn their starting roles each week, and nothing is assumed. Hall said that when Herron returns, it will just add one more weapon opposing teams have to prepare for. “We’re just going to feed off each other and just make the defense have to… account for all of us,” Hall said. “I think when he gets back, it will definitely spark the offense even more.” To start the season, Hall was suspended for the games against Toledo and Akron for receiving impermissible benefits from a former booster at a Cleveland-area charitable event earlier in the year. The NCAA reinstated his eligibility before the Miami game. It was determined that Hall took $200 from the booster, and was ordered to repay it to a local charity. Hall said that while the running game looked good against Colorado, there is always room for improvement. Between Hall, Hyde, freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, sophomore running back Jaamal Berry and freshman running back Rod Smith, the OSU running attack picked up 226 yards on the ground. “I think you can always get better,” Hall said. “I think we’re just going to have to keep working and practicing and use it on the field on Saturdays.”
Redshirt-junior Hunter Callahan serves the ball during a match against Texas A&M Feb. 9 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU won, 4-3.Credit: Alice Bacani / BuckeyeTV news directorThe Ohio State men’s tennis team has come out of the month of March looking like a lion. After identifying themselves as kings of the Big Ten, the Buckeyes are now ranked number one in the nation for the second time this season.Playing on the road Friday and Sunday against Minnesota and Wisconsin, respectively, the Buckeyes (23-2, 8-0) solidified their spot atop the ITA rankings.Against the Badgers (9-11, 1-6) Sunday, the second and third doubles teams got off to fast starts to earn the point for the Buckeyes.Redshirt-junior Kevin Metka and freshman Herkko Pollanen defeated junior Michael Sinha and sophomore Jakhongir Jalalov, 8-4, while redshirt-junior Hunter Callahan and redshirt-sophomore Chris Diaz crushed sophomore Frederik Strabo and freshman Elliott Sprecher, 8-2.Moving to singles play, Callahan and redshirt-freshman Ralf Steinbach were off first after dominating the back end of the Badgers’ lineup.Callahan defeated Strabo 6-1, 6-0 and Steinbach beat Sinha 6-3, 6-3.Senior Peter Kobelt clinched the match for the Buckeyes off with a 7-5, 6-1 win over sophomore Alexander Kokorev. Kobelt, ranked No. 8 in the country for singles, had lost his previous two matches, but came out strong on Sunday.“A whole lot of tennis is just forgetting about the past and that was my goal (Sunday),” Kobelt said Sunday. “Just try to play good tennis and I was able to do that (Sunday). The results come after that. I was able to get a win … hopefully the wins keep coming. You can only prepare to play good tennis, not win or lose.”Metka, Pollanen and Diaz all won in straight sets as well to sweep all matches and give the Buckeyes the 7-0 win.Friday against the Gophers (9-9, 3-3) the number one doubles team of Kobelt and Steinbach got in on the action along with Callahan and Diaz to give the Buckeyes the doubles point.Kobelt and Steinbach defeated juniors Leandro Toledo and Eric Frueh 8-7 (7-2) while Callahan and Diaz beat junior Mathieu Froment and sophomore Ruben Weber 8-5.In singles, Steinbach and Callahan were off first this time after winning their respective matches.Steinbach took down freshman Jeremy Lynn 6-1, 6-1 and Callahan beat senior Juan Pablo Ramirez 6-3, 6-1.Kobelt was upset by Toledo 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), but shortly after, Metka defeated Frueh 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) to give the Buckeyes the match.A win by Pollanen and loss by Diaz made the final score 5-2.Next the Buckeyes are scheduled for a big non-conference road test at No. 14 Kentucky Wednesday. The two teams played each other Feb. 7, with the Buckeyes winning 4-0.The match against the Wildcats in Lexington, Ky., is set to begin at 2 p.m.
Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett carries the ball during a game against Michigan State on Nov. 8 in East Lansing, Mich. OSU won, 49-37.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorFollowing arguably the biggest win at Ohio State during the Urban Meyer era, the Buckeyes are preparing for their second-consecutive ranked opponent.Entering the third week of the College Football Playoff rankings, the Buckeyes jumped up six spots to No. 8 and the Minnesota Golden Gophers appeared for the first time on the list at No. 25.As the Buckeyes get set to travel to blustery Minneapolis, The Lantern sports editors have come up with a list of five things to look for when OSU takes on the Golden Gophers.1. Can OSU keep its eye on the prize?Let’s be honest, last week’s win over Michigan State was probably the biggest win for the Buckeyes since the 2010 Rose Bowl against Oregon.But was it too much for the Buckeyes to handle?The mantra around OSU since Meyer arrived in Columbus has been giving players and coaches 24 hours to enjoy a win, but redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas said Monday that the Buckeyes were still enjoying the victory.With that said, will the Buckeyes overlook a Minnesota team that is coming off of a 51-14 drubbing of Iowa?Only time will tell.2. Will the weather affect the Buckeye offense?While the entire Buckeye starting offensive line is from Ohio, their starting quarterback is from Texas, and probably hasn’t played in a game as cold as he will Saturday.While the kickoff temperature was 39 degrees last week in East Lansing, Mich., the estimated high temperature in Minneapolis for Saturday, as of Wednesday night, was just 28 degrees with a low of nine.Barrett, who has ignited the Buckeye offense, averaging 304.22 yards per game by himself has been on the sidelines for games like this (see 2013 games against Indiana and Michigan) but has never had to play in such bitter temps.Just one current Buckeye offensive player was on the roster the last time OSU played in Minnesota, and that is redshirt-senior Darryl Baldwin, who was still a defensive lineman at the time.The Buckeyes won 52-10 in the last matchup in 2010, a win that was later vacated because of NCAA violations committed by former coach Jim Tressel, then-quarterback Terrelle Pryor and other players.3. Can J.T. Barrett make a Heisman push?If Barrett can have an encore performance from his 386 total yard, five touchdown game against the Spartans, there is a good chance Barrett could enter serious Heisman discussions.The redshirt-freshman made his first appearance on ESPN’s Heisman Watch this week, and currently ranks second in the FBS in touchdowns responsible for with 34 (26 passing, eight rushing).In addition, Barrett is just five touchdown passes away from breaking the school record for touchdown passes in a season, set by the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner, Troy Smith.For Barrett to enter serious consideration, there is no doubt the Buckeyes will have to win their remaining games, plus a Big Ten title.But if Barrett can look as good as he did against Michigan State the rest of the season, don’t be surprised if you see the Texas native in New York for the Heisman ceremonies.4. Can Minnesota senior running back David Cobb emulate Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford?Minnesota senior running back David Cobb (27) runs the ball during a game against Purdue on Oct. 18 in Minneapolis. Minnesota won, 39-38.Credit: Courtesy of TNSSure, OSU ended up beating the Spartans, but the redshirt-senior running back Langford gouged the Buckeyes’ defense for 137 yards and three touchdowns on just 18 carries.Now that same defense has to find a way to slow down Cobb, who has already racked up 1,205 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground this season. He’s the workhorse of the Minnesota offense — he has 227 carries while the team as a whole has only attempted 165 passes.Apart from an Oct. 25 misstep against Illinois, the Golden Gophers’ only loss this season accompanied Cobb’s worst game of the year. Minnesota lost to Texas Christian University, 30-7, in September, and Cobb had just 41 yards on 15 carries. Outside of that game, he’s had at least 71 rushing yards per game — including a pair of 200-plus yard outings. If the Buckeyes can slow Cobb down, it could be a long day for redshirt-sophomore quarterback Mitch Leidner. But if he gets rolling early, OSU might face a difficult task to keep its seven-game winning streak alive.5. What role will the OSU H-backs play?With sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson — the Buckeyes’ typical starter — out with a broken foot, it’ll be up to a few different players to pick up the slack.The first option is likely to be redshirt-freshman H-back Jalin Marshall, who has already shined multiple times for OSU this season. The former high school quarterback can line up in a variety of positions for the Buckeyes, including at quarterback in the wildcat package.Leading up to the showdown in Minneapolis, Meyer even hinted that the Buckeyes “have a couple passes” in place for Marshall going forward. He failed to connect on his only passing attempt so far this season, but Meyer and the coaching staff clearly have some faith in his arm.But even if Marshall doesn’t let it fly, the H-back spot could have a notable impact for the Buckeyes. Meyer mentioned that freshman Noah Brown will be in the mix, and at 240 pounds, he adds a new dimension to the OSU attack.No matter if Brown is causing mismatch problems with his size or if Marshall is showing off his arm, the Buckeyes will likely try to put as much firepower on the field as they can.OSU is scheduled to take on the Golden Gophers on Saturday at noon in Minneapolis.
After leading Ohio State’s lacrosse program to its first-ever national championship appearance, coach Nick Myers has signed a five-year contract extension, Ohio State announced Tuesday afternoon. Myers has been the coach at Ohio State for nine seasons and has led the program to the NCAA quarterfinals three times and final four and national championship games once, while posting a career 85-63 record.“We are excited to see Coach Myers’ contract here at Ohio State,” said Janine Oman, senior associate athletic director, student services and sport administration and senior women’s administrator, in a statement. “His focus on student athlete development in all facets of their life is an exemplar for others to follow. He has made a tremendous impact on the Ohio State lacrosse program, but, more importantly, the young men he mentors during their time at Ohio State.”Last season was Myers’ most successful as head coach of the Buckeyes as the team set a program record with 16 wins on his way to a semifinal victory against Towson and championship game loss to Maryland, the same team it lost to in the Big Ten tournament finals. Six All-Americans emerged from last season’s team, including then-junior defenseman Ben Randall, Ohio State’s first-ever first-team All-American.Under Myers, the program was accepted into the Big Ten in 2015 after spending its previous five seasons in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. While in the ECAC, Myers led the team to a conference tournament title in 2013 and a regular season title the following year. Ohio State reached the NCAA quarterfinals in 2013 for the second time in school history before Cornell upset the Buckeyes, 16-6.Myers began his coaching career at Ohio State in 2002 as a volunteer assistant coach for two seasons — including 2003 when the Buckeyes made it to their first NCAA tournament — before joining Butler’s staff in 2004. After the 2005 season, Myers returned to Columbus as the top assistant coach for the Buckeyes and helped to lead the team to its first NCAA quarterfinals appearance in 2008 when it lost to Duke. Myers was promoted to head coach in July of the same year.