The legend of Urban Meyer grows.In coaching the Ohio State Buckeyes to the first ever College Football Playoff Championship on Monday, Meyer not only made college football history, he made statistical history — a history Meyer is uniquely familiar with.After Monday’s 42-20 win over Oregon, Ohio State finished with the second-highest season-ending Elo rating ever (31.7). Only the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers had a higher rating (33.4). A little background, in case you’re not familiar: The Elo rating system was originally used for chess, but at FiveThirtyEight we use it to produce weekly NFL ratings, among other things. As my boss Nate Silver has explained, Elo ratings are a simple and transparent approach to numerically rate a team.What makes this Ohio State team stands out is not just its dominance, but its improvement. Here is the season-ending Elo rating for the 3,758 college football team seasons back to 1982 plotted against their change in start-to-finish Elo rating.Ohio State is an outlier in both respects. In addition to the No. 2 season-ending Elo rating, the Buckeyes had the 31st most dramatic start-to-finish rating improvement.The team nearest to Ohio State in both dominance and improvement is the 2008 Florida Gators, coached by none other than Urban Meyer.
Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Perlata hit two-run homers in a four-run fourth inning against New York Yankees’ ace C.C. Sabathia to catapult the Detroit Tigers to an 8-1 victory Thursday night to sweep the Yankees out of the playoffs for the first time in 32 years.And so, the Tigers advance to the World Series to face the National League winner between St. Louis and San Francisco.“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Cabrera said. “Four more wins, guys. Four more wins.”Pitcher Max Scherzer took a no-hit bid into the sixth against a starting lineup that was again without benched Alex Rodriguez, who flied out with two on in the sixth as a pinch hitter.Austin Jackson added a solo shot in the seventh for Detroit, and Peralta hit another homer an inning later.The game ended with Fielder, Detroit’s $214 million acquisition, catching Jayson Nix’s popup. The Tigers spilled onto the field for a celebration that began near second base and eventually moved closer to the third-base line.General manager Dave Dombrowski hugged Jim Leyland — who is in the final year of his contract — while owner Mike Ilitch rubbed the 67-year-old manager’s right shoulder.“I’ve got a great bunch. We don’t have one hot dog in the bunch,” the pizza magnate said. “They’re all great guys. … The Tigers are something special.”… The Tigers are something special.”Detroit won its 11th American League pennant and first since 2006. The Tigers have five days off before the World Series starts Wednesday at defending champion St. Louis or 2010 winner San Francisco.After scoring in just three of 39 innings during the series, New York headed home to face unpleasant questions about its future after a postseason of awful hitting, benched stars and veterans showing the wear and tear of age. Rodriguez, the $275 million third baseman, was out of the starting lineup for the third time in the playoffs. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera could only watch following season-ending injuries.The Yankees, with a big league-high $222 million payroll, hit .188 in the postseason — a record low for a team that played at least seven games — and .157 in the LCS. New York went quietly in the ninth inning, with the Comerica crowd chanting “Sweep!” while the last three batters were retired in order.Detroit outhit New York 16-2 in the finale and 46-22 in the series. The Tigers’ starters are 4-1 with a 1.02 ERA in this postseason.Without a World Series title since 1984, Detroit lost to Texas in last year’s ALCS, lost slugger Victor Martinez to a season-ending knee injury in January and quickly replaced his offense by signing Fielder. The excitement of that bold acquisition subsided a bit when the Tigers struggled to a 26-32 start in the AL Central, but they overtook the Chicago White Sox in the final 10 days of the regular season and won the division with an 88-74 record, matching the Cardinals for the fewest wins among the 10 playoff teams.“I just reminded everybody when we took our punches all year, ‘You know what? Let’s just wait till the end, and then if we have underachieved, I will be the first one to admit it,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “So hopefully we’ve quieted some doubters now. The guys just stepped it up when we had to. We caught a couple breaks when the White Sox couldn’t win a couple of games they needed to win.”
Quterbacks Stephen Collier (13) and J.T. Barrett (16) get work in at the first day of fall 2015 camp on Aug. 10 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Credit: Giustino Bovenzi / Lantern reporterAll offseason, there has been no question that J.T. Barrett is Ohio State’s starting quarterback. The second-string spot, however, was a lot more in the air.That race might now be over, as redshirt sophomore Stephen Collier’s season is most likely over after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee. The news was first reported by Eleven Warriors.Collier had been in a competition for Barrett’s backup with redshirt freshman Joe Burrow throughout the spring, with plans on the race continuing through the fall. Collier came in for Barrett in the second half of OSU’s spring game on April 16, completing four of 11 passes for 154 yards and an interception. Fifty-five of those yards came from a long connection down the sideline to redshirt sophomore receiver Parris Campbell.With Collier’s knee injury, Burrow, who was 14-of-23 for 196 yards and three touchdowns in the spring game, will almost assuredly receive the second-string role. True freshman Dwayne Haskins Jr., who hasn’t yet arrived on campus, is likely the favorite to be the third-stringer.According to an OSU spokesman, Collier underwent successful surgery Wednesday morning and is expected to make a full recovery.The Buckeyes are set to get their season started on Sept. 3 with a game at Ohio Stadium against Bowling Green. Kickoff time is yet to be announced.
Cardale Jones, quarterback, Glenville High School (Cleveland) Coming from the storied Cleveland Glenville program that has produced former Ohio State stars such as Troy Smith and Ted Ginn Jr., Jones is a late addition to OSU’s future, not committing to the Buckeyes until Signing Day. Don’t look for Jones of the field next season though, as he will enroll in prep school before coming to Columbus next January, pushing his first year of eligibility back to the 2012 season. Bryce Haynes, long snapper, Pinecrest Academy (Cumming, Ga.) In past recruiting classes, coach Jim Tressel has traveled south to pick up skilled players such as receiver Santonio Holmes and defensive end Cameron Heyward. This year, he offered a scholarship to a player possessing a different type of skill. With the emphasis that Tressel often puts on special teams, perhaps its fitting that this year’s class possesses one of the most unheralded members of a special teams unit: the long snapper. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Haynes also received offers from Notre Dame, North Carolina, Utah State and Arkansas. Conner Crowell, linebacker, North Point High School (Waldorf, Md.) Crowell is the No. 24-ranked middle linebacker in the class of 2011, according to Scout.com. At 6-foot-1, 219 pounds, Crowell also received offers from Connecticut, Penn State, Maryland, West Virginia, Kansas State, Stanford and several other schools before choosing the Buckeyes. Ron Tanner, safety, Eastmoor Academy High School (Columbus) Scout.com’s No. 11 safety in the class of 2011 decided to stay close to home in Columbus, choosing the Buckeyes over schools such as Michigan and Stanford. Tanner is a hard-hitting safety that also played quarterback in high school at Eastmoor Academy. Heading into his senior year of high school, he maintained a 3.8 GPA. Nick Vannett, tight end, Westerville-Central High School (Westerville, Ohio) A 6-foot-6, 230-pound tight end, Vannett is ranked as the No. 14 tight end in his class, according to Scout.com. In 2010, Vannett was first team all-conference, as well as a first team all-district selection as a tight end at Westerville-Central in Westerville, Ohio. Devin Smith, wide receiver, Washington High School (Massillon, Ohio) The No. 29 ranked receiver in his class, Smith chose the Buckeyes over Big Ten schools Illinois, Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin. At 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Smith makes up for his lack of size with the elusive speed that makes him a dangerous downfield threat. Joel Hale, defensive tackle, Central Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) One of three defensive tackles in this year’s class for the Buckeyes, Hale chose OSU over Big Ten schools Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin. In his senior season at Central Grove High School in Greenwood, Ind., Hale recorded 43 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss, two of which were sacks. He also forced nine fumbles and recorded an interception. Michael Bennett, defensive tackle, Centerville High School (Centerville, Ohio) A four-star recruit from the same high school that produced OSU stars A.J. Hawk and Mike Nugent, Bennett is the No. 8 defensive tackle in his class. A two-way lineman in high school, Bennett chose OSU over schools Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame and Stanford. Steve Miller, defensive end, McKinley Senior High School (Canton, Ohio) A five-star recruit according to Scout.com, Miller is the No. 9 overall player at his position in the class of 2011. Miller could see the field immediately for the Buckeyes, helping to fill the void left by the graduating Cameron Heyward and the suspended Solomon Thomas. Brian Bobek, center, William Fremd High School (Palatine, Ill.) The No. 1 center in the nation according to Scout.com, Bobek will look to follow LeCharles Bentley, Nick Mangold, and Michael Brewster as the next All-American center at OSU. A native of Palatine, Ill., Bobek chose the Buckeyes over Michigan State, Ball State and Purdue. Curtis Grant, linebacker, Hermitage High School (Richmond, Va.) Grant left the OSU coaches sweating, as he waited until Signing Day to announce his intentions of joining the Buckeyes, but the nation’s top-rated linebacker might prove to be well worth the wait. The leading tackler for the East in the U.S. Army All-American Game, Grant will look to be the next great linebacker at a school that has produced Chris Spielman, Hawk and James Laurinaitis. Ejuan Price, linebacker, Woodland Hills High School (Pittsburgh, Pa.) One of four linebackers in OSU’s class of 2011, Price joins the Buckeyes as the No. 14 middle linebacker prospect in his class. The hard-hitting linebacker from Pittsburgh chose the Buckeyes over Big Ten competitors Michigan State and Iowa, and also Big East schools Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia. Doran Grant, cornerback, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School (Akron, Ohio) Unlike LeBron James, who also attended St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio, Grant chose to stay in Ohio for the next step in his career, choosing the Buckeyes over offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Southern California. As the No. 5 ranked cornerback in his class, Grant makes up for his 5-foot-10, 177 pound frame with speed that allowed him to play defensive back, wide receiver and kick returner in high school. Ryan Shazier, linebacker, Plantation High School (Plantation, Fla.) Ranked as the No. 5 outside linebacker in his class, Shazier will attempt to make a transition to a new position in college, as he played defensive end for the majority of his high school career. Having chosen OSU over national powers Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma and Southern California, Shazier should fit in nicely with an OSU defense that uses versatile players to present multiple schemes. Evan Spencer, wide receiver, Vernon Hills High School (Vernon Hills, Ill.) With the loss of Dane Sanzenbacher to graduation, the Buckeyes will be looking to replace a player who made a knack for making tough catches across the middle of the field. Spencer might be that man. Spencer’s reputation of being a tough player who’s not afraid to take a hit — or make a hit blocking downfield — earned Spencer a four-star ranking from Scout.com as the No. 19 receiver in his class. Spencer is the son of former OSU running back and running backs coach Tim Spencer. Braxton Miller, quarterback, Wayne High School (Huber Heights, Ohio) The headliner of this year’s class, Miller made a reputation for himself as a dual-threat quarterback in high school, earning the No. 2 quarterback ranking by multiple recruiting services. With OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season, Miller will compete this spring with Joe Bauserman, Ken Guiton and Taylor Graham to be the Buckeyes’ starter in Pryor’s absence. Jeff Heuerman, tight end, Barron Collier High School (Naples, Fla) A three-star recruit and the second tight end prospect in OSU’s class, Heuerman chose the Buckeyes over offers from a number of schools, including Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin. At 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, Heuerman has made a name for himself as a blocking tight end who can also be used as a red zone target. Jeremy Cash, safety, Plantation High School (Plantation, Fla.) An early-enrollee at OSU, Cash is joining the Buckeyes following a senior season in which he missed five games with a knee injury. As a high school junior, Cash recorded 96tackles, 23 of which were for a loss, seven sacks and forced five fumbles. He also reported a high school GPA of 4.0. Tommy Brown, offensive tackle, Firestone High School (Akron, Ohio) An All-Ohio selection as a two-way lineman at Firestone High School, Brown plans to enroll during Spring Quarter at OSU as a three-star recruit. At 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, Brown has been praised for his strength and run-blocking abilities. DerJuan Gambrell, cornerback, Rogers High School (Toledo, Ohio) A four-star recruit according to Scout.com, Gambrell chose the Buckeyes’ offer over his hometown Toledo Rockets. Gambrell missed four games of his senior season with an injury, but still managed to be named first-team all-city and all-district playing defensive back and wide receiver. Chase Farris, defensive end, Elyria High School (Elyria, Ohio) A four-star recruit, Farris joins OSU as the No. 10 ranked defensive tackle prospect in the nation. Farris earned all-Ohio honors on both sides of the ball as a senior, playing defensive and offensive line for Elyria High School. He was named the district’s defensive lineman of the year. Antonio Underwood, offensive guard, Shaker Heights High School (Shaker Heights, Ohio) Ranked as a three-star recruit, Underwood joins the Buckeyes as the No. 22-ranked offensive guard prospect in his class. Praised for his power and aggressiveness, Underwood was named the Lake Erie league conference’s offensive lineman of the year in 2010. Ken Hayes, defensive end, Whitmer High School (Toledo, Ohio) The No. 14-ranked defensive end prospect in his class, Whitmer earned a four-star rating from Scout.com, based on his combination of size and strength. Hayes was named his district’s defensive player of the year after posting 47 tackles, 11 of which were for a loss, and seven sacks, as he led his team to a 12-2 record.
After suffering its first loss of the season against Massachusetts on Feb. 26, the No. 16-ranked Ohio State men’s lacrosse team bounced back in dramatic fashion, defeating Penn State, 6-5, in triple overtime on Saturday. The win, the Buckeyes’ first on the road, moves OSU to 4-1 on the season. OSU coach Nick Myers said there was no time to dwell on the first defeat of the season. “We looked at the way we played in our facets, and just felt like we fell short of playing 60 minutes of Buckeye lacrosse,” Myers said after practice Wednesday. “And that’s certainly our goal every week when we step out there and we’re going to try and do that against Penn State.” The Buckeyes did just that. Sophomore attackman Logan Schuss recorded two goals and two assists on the day for the Buckeyes, and they could not have come at better times. He sent the game into overtime, scoring the game-tying goal with 34 seconds left in regulation. Schuss also scored the game-winner against Penn State for the second consecutive year. He has scored at least one point in 19 consecutive games. Despite trailing, 4-2, at halftime and, 5-2, in the second half, OSU was able to battle back and did not allow a goal the rest of the match after the Nittany Lions scored at 5:49 in the third quarter. Freshman goalie Greg Dutton continued to play well for OSU, making nine saves. Also scoring goals for OSU were sophomore attackman Jeff Tundo, freshman attackman Tyler Frederick, junior defenseman Brock Sorensen and senior midfielder Zach Boyt. OSU could claim itself “unofficial Big Ten champions” with the win against Penn State. The two schools are the only ones in the Big Ten that have Division 1 lacrosse programs. The Buckeyes have turned their attention to the unranked Lehigh Mountain Hawks. The Buckeyes have been nationally ranked since Feb. 21, but Boyt said there is no added pressure to the team. “It’s always been about us,” he said. “We don’t really look at those rankings this early in the season.” Sorensen agreed and said the team just needs to focus on its next opponent. “Those rankings don’t mean anything at this point,” he said. “We’ve got a long season ahead of us, so we’ve just got to keep getting better each day.” The game against Lehigh will be the first home game for OSU since it defeated then-No. 3-ranked North Carolina on Feb. 19. The Buckeyes and Mountain Hawks are scheduled to face off at 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
As if 10-cent hot dogs weren’t enough, the Columbus Clippers delivered a walk-off win for fans in attendance at Monday’s Dime-A-Dog Night at Huntington Park. Clippers second baseman Gregorio Petit hit a two-out, two-run double to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Columbus a 4-3 win over the visiting Indianapolis Indians. With runners on first and third and down to his last strike, Petit lined a 1-2 pitch from Indians reliever Tim Wood into left field sending Ryan Spilborghs home from third to tie the game. When Indianapolis left fielder Gorkys Hernandez failed to field the ball cleanly, it allowed Trevor Crowe, running on contact with two outs, to score all the way from first. “I knew I tied the game when it came off the bat,” Petit said after the game. “And when I saw Hernandez struggle with the ball, I knew we had Crowe at first and he can run.” With its back against the wall, Columbus needed Petit’s heroics to get the win, but it was the bullpen that kept the team in the game. “I thought our bullpen did a really good job of keeping us close and giving us a chance to win in the ninth,” Columbus manager Mike Sarbaugh said. “Hagadone, Ray and then Herrmann in the ninth, I thought that was the key.” Clippers starting pitcher Chris Seddon struggled out of the gates giving up a home run on the game’s second pitch. The left-hander allowed three runs on five hits in four innings of work, leaving the game with his team down 3-1. Columbus relievers Nick Hagadone, Chris Ray and Frank Herrmann combined for five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. Indianapolis starter Charlie Morton pitched well for the Indians, going seven-and-two-thirds innings. Down for rehab from Indianapolis’ parent team the Pittsburgh Pirates, Morton allowed one run on six hits, striking out eight. “You’ve got to give credit to (Morton),” Sarbaugh said. “He used all of his pitches effectively and we couldn’t really get anything going against him.” Morton kept the Clippers off the scoreboard for most of the game, but when he gave way to the bullpen, Columbus was able to capitalize, scoring three of its four runs in the ninth off Indians relievers. Kept in check for the better part of the night, the Clippers offense managed to come alive when it needed to. “That’s what fighters do right?” Petit, who was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before his game-winning double, said. “Fighters fight, and that’s how we are. We just battle the whole game and we never give up.” The game was the first Dime-A-Dog Night of the 2012 season. The promotion is usually held once a month at a Monday home game, but it will get special treatment because of the city of Columbus’ bicentennial this year. “It’s one of those Columbus traditions,” Clippers media director Joe Santry said. “And because of that, we’ll do it every Monday.” Columbus and Indianapolis play the second game of a four-game series Tuesday with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. The next scheduled Dime-A-Dog Night is Monday April 30.
Saturday afternoon marked the beginning of a new era of Ohio State football. For the first time, Urban Meyer took the field at Ohio Stadium as head coach of the Buckeyes in front of a crowd of 81,112 people for the 2012 LiFE Sports Spring Game. The intrasquad scrimmage finished with the Scarlet team defeating Gray, 20-14. The final score from the two sides of the divided roster does not carry much relevance, but the performances on the field presented OSU fans with a glimpse into how the team will look this fall. Both offenses and defenses had their ups and downs, but there were a number of aspects from both teams that stood out in the four 10-minute quarters Saturday. 1. Michael Thomas could be the playmaker OSU lacked last season at wide receiver. Thomas enrolled during Winter Quarter as an incoming freshman, but he looks ready to begin making an impact in the passing offense from the team’s first game this fall. Thomas was sensational Saturday, finishing the game with 12 receptions for 131 yards. Last year’s leading receiver, rising sophomore Devin Smith, had 14 receptions and 294 yards for the entire season, and he played in 13 full games. Thomas has good size at 6-foot-2 and is an effective route runner who has the lateral agility to be a difference-maker in space. Even when matched up against the Buckeyes’ best cornerback, rising redshirt sophomore Bradley Roby, he was making receptions on Saturday. 2. The offense should emphasize passing over rushing. Last year, OSU had more than twice as many rushing attempts as passing attempts. The Spring Game indicated that should change this fall. The two teams combined had 55 passing attempts and 443 total passing yards, compared to only 35 rushing attempts and 89 total rushing yards. Meyer said after the game that OSU passed so much during the Spring Game because that’s what the team needed to work on. Regardless, the Buckeyes should pass more often, pairing a more experienced rising sophomore Braxton Miller under center with a more aggressive offensive game plan. 3. The Buckeyes plan to use the no-huddle offense this season. One of OSU’s deficiencies last season was their lack of a hurry-up offense. With an inexperienced freshman quarterback and an inefficient offensive system, the Buckeyes often drove down the field methodically, even late in a game. This year, expect OSU to be able to run an efficient no-huddle offense. The Scarlet offense, led by Miller, came right out of the gate with this strategy, and drove 80 yards to score quickly in 2:17. If Miller can do this with the full OSU offense this fall, the Buckeyes will have much more success at scoring late in games when they need points, and keep opposing defenses on their heels. 4. Ryan Shazier is ready to be a star of the OSU defense. While rising senior captain defensive end John Simon should rightfully earn the majority of attention as the star of the OSU defense, opponents will also have to prepare for Shazier, a rising sophomore outside linebacker. In Shazier’s first start last season against Penn State, he had 15 tackles. He also started the final two games of the season in which he had 18 total tackles. On Saturday, he stood out once again as a playmaker on the defense. He had eight tackles, including two for loss, and was consistently around the football when he was on the field. OSU is well-known for its history of great linebackers. With three years of eligibility remaining, Shazier has the time and talent to be the next great at the position. 5. The defensive line is the strength of the team. Simon barely played Saturday, and rising junior defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins did not play due to a knee injury. Even without the two best defensive linemen on the field, defense dominated the line of scrimmage. The two teams combined for nine sacks on Saturday. Six-and-a-half of them came from defensive linemen, including two from rising sophomore Steve Miller and one-and-a-half from rising redshirt junior Adam Bellamy. Granted, many of these sacks came against reserves on the offensive line, but they nonetheless showed that the defensive line is deep with talent.
The OSU football team sings ‘Carmen Ohio’ after a game against Iowa Oct. 19 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 34-24.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorCollege football coaches across the country typically shy away from talking about rankings with their teams, and Ohio State head man Urban Meyer is no exception.Meyer said Monday during his weekly press conference that he spoke with team about the inaugural BCS standings, released Sunday evening, in what he called his “first state of the union address.”“My comment was that we are, indeed, in the mix. Embrace it,” Meyer said at Monday’s press conference. “In the mix for what? Don’t worry about it. We are in the mix, though.”OSU is currently ranked No. 4 in the BCS, with a .8553 average, which is taken from the Harris Poll, USA TODAY poll and six computers. The Buckeyes are significantly behind No. 3 Oregon, which has a BCS average of .9320.Meyer, though, said he told his team to embrace where it sits and the only thing that matters is what happens is on the field.“People think very highly of you. Maybe some people don’t,” Meyer said. “You just have to go out and be the best team on the field on Saturday, not in the country.”Junior wide receiver Devin Smith echoed his coach’s sentiment Monday.“He told us not to worry about it too much,” Smith said. “Just keep playing football, keep getting better and just take it one game at a time and everything will fall into place.”If OSU has any plans of playing in the BCS National Championship game in January, it is likely the three teams that sit above it (Alabama, Florida State and Oregon) will need to lose before season’s end. Even if that happens and the Buckeyes finish undefeated and win the Big Ten Championship, a one-loss school from another conference such as the SEC could jump them because of the team’s strength of schedule. The chance of that happening, though, is not something that is crossing the minds of OSU players, junior defensive lineman Michael Bennett said.“Can’t really do much about it,” Bennett said. “All you can do is go out and win and try to start handling, and winning by large margins. That’s all we can really do. We’re always trying to destroy teams, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.”OSU is one of three Big Ten teams in the initial BCS rankings, and the only one in the top 20. Michigan (No. 22) and Nebraska (No. 24) are the others, and both already have one loss in 2013.If the Buckeyes want any chance of playing for the crystal football in Pasadena Jan. 6, focusing on and beating each opponent is their first and only concern.“I think guys are aware of (the rankings), but we just need to focus on going out there and winning games because if we don’t focus on the teams we’re playing … that could hurt us if we’re not focused,” sophomore offensive lineman Taylor Decker said.Bennett said “the BCS would work itself out” at the end of the season.“We can handle it, I think we still have that game-to-game approach,” Bennett said. “But it’s just good to know that if we keep doing our job then everything will be fine.”The Buckeyes are only scheduled to play one more currently-ranked team in the regular season (Michigan), so their chances of moving up in the BCS without other teams losing seem slim. Being aware of where they stand, though, is a good thing Decker said.“You gotta be aware of it because it’s going to be talked about,” Decker said. “We still have a lot of football left to play and that, we gotta be focused on, so I think we just need to focus on the next game from a team standpoint.”OSU is set to host Penn State (4-2, 1-1) 8 p.m. Saturday.
Sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa celebrates during a game against Maryland on Oct. 4 in College Park, Md. OSU won, 52-24.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorLife doesn’t stop for Ohio State football players when they get a week off, but it certainly slows down — especially for the upperclassmen.Coming off a 52-24 win against Maryland on Saturday, the Buckeyes have a week off before returning to the field at Ohio Stadium on Oct. 18. Coach Urban Meyer said he is taking the week to give some younger players heavier reps, while lightening the workload for experienced starters.“This (week) I am getting (freshman defensive lineman) Jalyn Holmes a million reps right now and some of the players have to get ready to go,” Meyer said Wednesday. “Some of them though — (senior defensive lineman Michael) Bennett, we have pulled off of him a little bit.”Along with Bennett, Meyer said sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa is getting fewer game-style reps in practice this week.Senior defensive lineman Steve Miller said the week off has been less intense than the Buckeyes’ first bye week of the season, and added it’s been a good chance to make sure some young players get the practice time they need.“It’s been more laid-back for this break,” Miller said Wednesday. “Just trying to get some of the young guys ready.”While the week off doesn’t mean the players can shut it down quite yet, the upcoming weekend without a game gives them a chance to get away. “We don’t practice on Sunday night because I want them to get out of here,” Meyer said. “(Freshman linebacker) Raekwon McMillan I know is going home to see his mom. He has earned that right to go do that.”McMillan played his high school football in Hinesville, Ga.But if players choose not to head home, Meyer said he wants them to keep football on their mind.“It is our second weekend (off). Some guys aren’t (going home) so maybe they will be over to coaches’ houses on Saturday and we are going to finalize plans,” he said. “I want them somewhere, if they are not going home, I want them around a coach.”Miller said he’ll likely be on the list of players who don’t have to spend their weekend with one of the OSU coaches.“I’m gonna probably go home, probably see my family and rest up,” Miller, a Canton, Ohio, native, said.Even though he gets a chance to spend some extra time with his family, Miller said the bye week doesn’t necessarily come at a good time for the Buckeyes.“It’s been strange, because it’s real early,” he said. “And we really aren’t that banged up yet, so it really (isn’t) that bad to be taking a break.”OSU’s first bye week came after a 66-0 win against Kent State in its third game of the season. That win shifted the team’s momentum after a 35-21 loss to Virginia Tech the week before. Coming out of that week off, the Buckeyes’ offense posted 710 yards against Cincinnati before routing the Terrapins for a third consecutive win.Meyer said that first week off “came at the right time,” but added he doesn’t have the same feelings this time around.“You could see we played pretty well afterwards,” he said. “This one, I don’t know. All I know is it remains to be seen. It is uncomfortable to be honest with you.”Meyer said he has looked at past years, and there hasn’t been a time one of his teams has had two bye weeks so early in the season.While his coach isn’t quite excited to be taking a break, junior offensive lineman Jacoby Boren said it hasn’t been all negative. Boren said he and others on the team have been fighting through minor injuries, so a week off can help them get healthy.“I think it’s working right now, and we’ll see how everything else works out,” he said.After the week off, the Buckeyes are scheduled to face Rutgers on Oct. 18 at Ohio Stadium to cap off homecoming week. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
Sandra Rivett, who was allegedly murdered by Lord LucanCredit: Tophams The wife of the late Lord Lucan has given her fullest account yet of the physical and psychological abuse she endured at his hands prior his disappearance.Veronica, the Dowager Countess of Lucan, said she was beaten and belittled for years before her husband attacked her in their former home, after he had already brutally murdered the family nanny, Sandra Rivett.She explained that to understand their relationship at the time of attack in Belgravia it was necessary to go back two years. The book also covers her failed attempts at a reconciliation with her increasingly dissolute husband, including one lunch during which he said sadly “I did love you once”. Lady LucanCredit:Georgie Gillard./ANL/REX/Shutterstock I replied: ‘If you loved me once, then you still do’ — but he said nothing. Lady Lucan, pictured ahead of the June 5th broadcast of an ITV documentary, Lord Lucan: My Husband. The Truth, about her gambler husbandCredit:Tony Ward/ITV “Turning to my husband to remark on this, I noticed he seemed to be grinning peculiarly. “At that moment, I thought: ‘Oh my God, he is mad’.It wasn’t the first time I’d had the feeling my husband wasn’t quite all there — but it was the first time I questioned his sanity.“Before I could ask him about the peculiar stick in my wardrobe, he said: ‘I’m going to beat those mad ideas out of your head.’“He then instructed me to take off my clothes and lean over the back of a chair, with my hands on the seat, while he gave me ten of the best. Lord Lucan marriage to Veronica Duncan November 1963 at Holy Trinity BromptonCredit:Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy She recalled: “One day, shortly after my 34th birthday, I opened my wardrobe and found a stick there with its end wrapped in plaster tape. The 7th Earl of Lucan with his then-fiancee, Veronica Duncan, 1963Credit:Photoshot “Aghast, I had no choice but to comply. Fortunately, his blows were measured — I know he could have hit me harder.“Then he took me to bed and had intercourse with me. And when we’d finished, he examined the injuries he’d inflicted and kissed me very tenderly.“Why did I allow him to do all this? I can only say that I was very weak at the time. So weak, that over the following weeks, I ended up being beaten two more times. Writing in her memoir A Moment in Time, to be published later this year, Lady Lucan, 78, discusses in detail the events of the fateful night of 7 November 1974, and the circumstances of Lord Lucan’s vanishing, missing, presumed dead, in extracts appearing in The Daily Mail. In doing so she provides a chilling insight into their highly privileged yet disordered lives together, and the character of the man who has fascinated the public for more than three decades.At the time she was emerging from a period of depression which had included taking “super-strong” drugs for her illness, “many of which are now banned”.She told how her relationship with her husband had hit “a new low”, and that she feared “he was plotting to have me locked up in a loony bin”.And yet, she said, the couple continued to have a “normal” sex life – despite episodes of shocking violence, humiliation and control. “And after driving me home, he kissed me gently on the cheek for the last time.” 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.