Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

News, Scores, Teams, Stories & More on Northeast OH Sports on cleveland.com

older | 1 | .... | 2613 | 2614 | (Page 2615) | 2616 | 2617 | .... | 2666 | newer

    0 0

    With an average of over more than 8.6 million viewers, the NFL Network's broadcast of the Browns' thrilling comeback victory of the New York Jets captured Thursday Night Football's highest ratings in nearly three years.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Baker Mayfield effect is real.

    With an average of over more than 8.6 million viewers, the NFL Network's broadcast of the Browns' thrilling comeback victory over the New York Jets delivered the channel's highest ratings for "Thursday Night Football" in nearly three years.

    According to the NFL, the game attracted 5.2 percent of households, an increase of 43 percent over the seven NFL Network exclusive games in 2017. Viewership peaked during the last six minutes of the game, when 10.3 million viewers tuned in to watch Mayfield engineer the game-winning drive.

    The ratings don't include simulcasts on WOIO Channel 19 here in Cleveland or WNBC4 in New York.

    The rookie quarterback is also having an impact on the secondary ticket market. VividSeats tells us traffic from fans looking to buy seats to the next home game Oct. 7 against Baltimore is up about 200 percent over the previous two days.

    The median listed ticket price is up nearly 50 percent from $94 to $139. On TicketMaster, prices in the nosebleed sections start at $63.

    The Browns, presumably with Mayfield getting his first start, travel to Oakland for their next game on September 30.


    0 0

    Hines was on the Chargers' practice squad.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Browns signed linebacker D'Juan Hines off the Chargers practice squad on Saturday and waived defensive lineman Ifeadi Odenigbo, the team announced.

    Hines, 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent out of Houston. The rookie spent training camp with the Chargers before landing on their practice squad.

    Odenigbo was a waiver claim from the Vikings following the league's roster cutdown to 53. He was inactive for all three games the Browns have played this season.


    0 0

    Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger, who will make his 31st start of the season Saturday, needs four strikeouts to reach 200.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Here are the starting lineups for Saturday night's game between the Indians and Red Sox at Progressive Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. with SportsTime Ohio, WTAM and WMMS carrying the game.

    INDIANS

    SS Francisco Lindor.

    LF Michael Brantley.

    2B Jose Ramirez.

    DH Edwin Encarnacion.

    3B Josh Donaldson.

    1B Yonder Alonso.

    RF Melky Cabrera.

    C Yan Gomes.

    CF Jason Kipnis.

    RHP Mike Clevinger, 12-8, 3.06.

    RED SOX

    LF Andrew Benintendi.

    2B Ian Kinsler.

    3B Rafael Devers.

    RF J.D. Martinez.

    SS Xander Bogaerts.

    DH Mitch Moreland.

    1B Brock Holt.

    C Blake Swihart.

    CF Jackie Bradley.

    RHP Rick Porcello, 17-7, 4.30.

    UMPIRES

    H Greg Gibson.

    1B Vic Carapazza.

    2B Jerry Layne, crew chief.

    3B Jordan Baker.


    0 0

    Two defensive touchdowns for No. 1 Mount Union lead to a stunning 23-10 victory over No. 15 John Carroll.

    ALLIANCE, Ohio - The anticipated offensive shootout between No. 1 Mount Union and No. 15 John Carroll became a defensive showdown instead, with the Purple Raiders winning, 23-10, Saturday at Mount Union Stadium.

    After allowing JCU to gain 81 yards and a touchdown on its first possession of the game, Mount Union held the Blue Streaks to -3 yards the rest of the half and 231 yards for the game.

    The closing play came with 30 seconds left in the game and JCU down, 16-10, but driving. Then a corner blitz from Mount's Lewis Berry became the second strip and score of the contest as he sacked JCU QB Anthony Moeglin, stripped the ball from his hands, then sprint 48 yards to lock down the victory.

    "We put in that defense this week,'' Berry said. "He didn't see me. I was thinking he might be a little loose with it."

    JCU had its chances, but only converted 2-of-5 fourth down opportunities, and had one critical fourth-quarter TD called back late for holding."

    John Carroll made its early 7-0 lead hold up until 59 seconds were left in the first half, when Mount Union stripped the ball from JCU's wildcat QB Jake Floria, scooped and scored for a 13-7 lead at halftime.

    A 32-yard field goal for Mount Union made it a two possession game early in the third quarter, 16-7.

    The Blue Streaks pulled the all-time upset, 31-28, over Mount Union on the Purple Raiders' turf in 2016. This was JCU's first return. The Raiders (2-0, 1-0) entered the game ranked No. 1 by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) while the Streaks were No. 15.

    But the big plus for JCU was quarterback Anthony Moeglin, who triggered the upset in 2016 that snapped Mount's 112-game regular-season home field win streak, returning as a much more experienced 6-0, 205-pound junior.

    His counterpart, 6-2, 212-pound junior D'Angelo Fulford, played in that 2016 game and has started the last two seasons, including taking Mount to the 2017 National Championship.

    Moeglin directed JCU on an opening drive of 81 yards, ending with a five-yard TD run by Moeglin, the product of Canton St. Thomas Aquinas High. The 7-0 lead that held up to the end of the first quarter. Both teams defensively settled in as maintaining drives became a chore on both sides.

    The Purple Raiders finally got on the board late in the second quarter as Fulford hit Jawanza Evans-Morris with a 27-yard catch and run for a TD. But kicker Cory Barrett, who missed a short field goal in the first quarter, then missed the PAT to keep JCU in the lead, 7-6, with 5:07 to play before the half.

    Then, just before the end of the half, JCU's wildcat QB, Jake Florida, attempting to run out the clock with :59 to play, was stripped of the football by Mount Union's Danny Robinson, who scooped and scored with a 13-yard scamper to give the Raiders their first lead of the game, 13-7, at halftime.

    "He spun outside and didn't see me coming,'' Robinson said of the hit that caused the fumble and put Mount Union in front.

    The final 30 seconds of the game, Berry would step in and lock down the victory.


    0 0

    The Ohio State Marching band honored the 50th anniversary of the first ever band alumni reunion in Columbus.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio-- For the 50th time, the Ohio State Marching Band welcomed former members back to Columbus to march and perform at Ohio Stadium once again.

    Over 850 current and past members of "TBDBITL" took the field for the 50th annual band alumni reunion and performed such hits as "Good Vibrations," "My Favorite Things," "Celebration," and "God Bless America," before starting the traditional Script Ohio.

    Of the many musicians on the field, perhaps the most important was 100-year old Anthony Violi, who dotted the I during Script Ohio after marching in the band from 1937 to 1942.


    0 0

    The Buckeyes moved to 4-0 on Saturday with a 49-6 win over Tulane. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Urban Meyer didn't appear emotional walking into Ohio Stadium for the first time this season, or at least he did a good job of hiding it.

    But if you wondered if the head coach, back from a three-game suspension, was interested in making some kind of statement on Saturday against Tulane, perhaps you got a glimpse of that toward the end of the first half. 

    The Buckeyes were up 35-6 when Meyer used a pair of timeouts to get the ball back late in the second quarter. The offense entered full pass mode, five receivers and Dwayne Haskins looking to add on another score in a game that was already well in hand.

    Haskins found Austin Mack on a fade in the back of the end zone, his fifth touchdown pass of the half that had Ohio State in cruise mode heading into the break of what was an eventual 49-6 win.

    Call it a solid tune-up before the unbeaten Buckeyes travel to No. 10 Penn State next week.

    "We all know about that environment, but he's answered the bell," Meyer said of Haskins and the offense. "Against TCU now, I think TCU is a top-10 team, and last year in the rivalry game stepped in there and did it. We're all in this together, you know that's one thing about Dwayne, Dwayne, Dwayne, what about Isaiah, what Thayer Munford, what about our center, what about Mike Jordan, what about Demetrius Knox and Malcolm Pridgeon? And I know, but the -- to operate at that capacity, and those kids catching the ball. Because a lot of those are gimmie throws, too, that Parris comes out on the other end on him, so those are all -- it's all together."

    Haskins was near-perfect, completing 21 of 24 pass attempts for 304 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked once, and had five yards on a couple of scrambles, but with a clean pocket picked apart a Tulane defense that came in ranked No. 102 in the country against the pass.

    He connected with Mack, Ben Victor and Terry McLaurin on scoring throws, and threw two touchdown passed to Parris Campbell before taking a seat at halftime with a shiny season stat line that now reads: 1,194 yards, 16 touchdowns, one interception and a completion percentage of 75.7 (87-for-115).

    Ohio State's starting defense was cooling at halftime too, with the first-teamers giving up 129 yards. The one miscue that stuck out was a 38-yard completion allowed on third-and-7 in the second quarter, which extended the drive that led to the only touchdown Tulane scored against OSU's starting defense.

    The Buckeyes, plagued by a handful of big plays through the first three games, didn't come into Saturday with defensive changes ahead of next week's game against Penn State. Jordan Fuller and Isaiah Pryor started at safety, and the starting linebackers were the same. The only difference was Jonathon Cooper starting at defensive end in place of the injured Nick Bosa.

    "A lot of respect for Tulane, triple-option type offense that you have to be assignment sound for the most part," Meyer said. "We played pretty good defense, still can get better, but overall very pleased."

    Tulane finished with 256 yards of offense.

    The truth is that Tulane wasn't going to provide much of a chance to learn anything about OSU's defense. But that group surely left the game feeling good about a day in which it finished with 14 tackles for loss and four sacks, especially with Bosa and starting defensive tackle Robert Landers out.

    Senior linebacker Dante Booker led the defense with four tackles and three tackles for loss.

    Demario McCall at running back

    Saturday's game had the backups in for good at the start of the second half. Junior Demario McCall, who had been working as an H-back in the receiver group over the last year-plus, was featured as a running back against Tulane. He had four carries for 26 yards.

    It's still unclear how McCall fits into the offensive plan moving forward, if at all, but that was a change. He was also used in a mix at punt returner with K.J. Hill and C.J. Saunders.

    No Landers

    Meyer said earlier this week that Landers was "probable" to play with an undisclosed injury. Instead the Buckeyes held him out. Davon Hamilton started in his place.

    Campbell back involved in the plan

    Parris Campbell had only three touches last week against TCU. There seemed to be an effort to get him involved early on Saturday. He was targeted twice on the opening drive, taking a bubble screen 35 yards and then scoring a few plays later on a 14-yard pass from Haskins. He also scored late in the first quarter on a 37-yard, over-the-shoulder ball from Haskins. Campbell led Ohio State with eight catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

    What's next?

    Ohio State (4-0) is back on the road next week for a game against Penn State that could end up deciding the Big Ten East Division title. Kickoff from Beaver Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. on ABC.


    0 0

    The Buckeyes and Browns are now both throwing the ball just like every other team.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two days apart, Dwayne Haskins and Baker Mayfield spun Ohio football into the passing age, throwing in rhythm, throwing with confidence and offering two aerial shows that have been unfortunately rare in this state.

    Having witnessed these combined 505 yards of passing in two halves of football on Thursday night in Cleveland and Saturday night in Columbus, the primal reaction to such quarterbacking is .... that's not normal, right?

    Is that what happens everywhere else?

    Mayfield carved up the New York Jets after entering late in the second quarter on Thursday, revitalized a moribund franchise and invigorated a city, and it was the second-best in-state throwing performance of the week.

    Admittedly, the Jets are better than Tulane, though both wear green and white and lose football games.

    What Haskins did Saturday for Ohio State was more of the same in his first four games as a starter, though every time he establishes this as normal, his ability becomes more extraordinary. Playing only the first half, Haskins completed 21 of 24 passes for 304 yards and five touchdowns, then watched from the bench during the second half as the backups finished off a 49-6 win over Tulane.

    He has three 300-yard passing games in four career starts. That's third in Ohio State history. In four starts.

    There were times in the last several seasons when I thought I'd seen the Ohio State passing game on the rise, J.T. Barrett gaining steam and the receivers getting on track. But almost everything the Buckeyes did in the air then is black-and-white compared to the colors Haskins paints with from his palette.

    Could this be any more hyperbolic? Sorry. But seriously, the Browns and the Buckeyes haven't thrown it like so many other teams.

    Barrett set nearly every school passing record in his career, but that's because the passing bar for the Buckeyes was historically about ankle high.

    Barrett set the program's record for touchdown passes with 35 last season. That's tied for 92nd in NCAA history. Haskins, with 16 in four games while playing a full game only against TCU, is on pace for 56 in a 14-game season.

    That would rank second in NCAA history behind Colt Brennan's 58 in 2006. Of course, the competition will improve, and the numbers will go down, but would anyone guess under 40 on Haskins TD throws? It seems like 45 would be a good bet, and that would tie for 17th all-time and set the Big Ten mark.

    Joe Germaine remains Ohio State's leader in single-season passing yards with 3,330 in 1998. Look at the best passing seasons in NCAA history, and 100th place on that list is 4,037 yards. OSU is more than 700 yards out of 100th place.

    Barrett's best season was 3,053 yards last year. Haskins, with 1,194 yards in four games, is staring down the barrel of a 4,200-yard season. That would get him to 74th on the NCAA single-season list.

    The numbers are silly, but that's the point. Passing is silly, but Ohio State hasn't laughed as much as a lot of schools. But how could anyone watch that Saturday and not smile? Every time he plays another game like this, Haskins increases the chances he'll be one-and-done as a starter with the Buckeyes, with the NFL noticing every perfectly placed rocket between defenders, every deep ball fluttered onto a receiver's hands as if delivered by a butterfly.

    See, hyperbole again.

    Seriously, Haskins can sling it.

    Mayfield, meanwhile, played barely a half and completed 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards. It was electric, especially by Cleveland standards.

    Setting 1990 as the beginning of the modern passing game in the NFL, the best passing season by a Browns quarterback since then is 3,787 yards by Derek Anderson in 2007. 

    That ranks as the ... 208th best passing season since 1990. That's right, in the last 28 years (25 seasons for the Browns) no Cleveland quarterback has managed a top-200 season throwing the ball.

    The Browns' all-time single season passing leader is Brian Sipe, who threw for 4,132 yards in 1980. That season ranks 123rd in NFL history. Having your single-season passing mark held by a quarterback from 1980, the way the NFL has evolved, is like trying to win the Indy 500 riding a horse.

    Enter the modern world, man.

    This week, in the birthplace of football, that happened.

    Mayfield threw it. Haskins threw it. Ohio football fans felt the wind of the passing game in their hair, as so many fans already have. 


    0 0

    Tiger Woods is three shots ahead and one round away from capping his comeback season with a victory.

    ATLANTA -- Tiger Woods is three shots ahead and one round away from capping his comeback season with a moment that has defined his career.

    Winning.

    Woods played the most dynamic golf he has all year Saturday with six birdies in his opening seven holes to build a five-shot lead. He cooled from there with a few mistakes and had to settle for a 5-under 65 and a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose in the Tour Championship.

    He has the 54-hole lead for the first time since his last victory in 2013 at the Bridgestone Invitational. He has never lost an official tournament when leading by more than two shots going into the final round, and his closing record with the lead is 42-2 on the PGA Tour.

    Woods has never been in better position to show he's all the way back from four back surgeries that once made him fear he might never play again.

    "I've gone through a lot this year to get myself to this point, and understanding and fighting my way through it," Woods said. "I'm certainly much more equipped than I was in March because of what I've gone through."

    Wood was at 12-under 198 and will be paired for the first time in final group with McIlroy on the PGA Tour.

    McIlroy birdied two of his last three holes for a 66.

    "It's obviously exciting for the golf tournament. It's exciting for golf in general that he's up there," McIlroy said. "But for me, all I can do is concentrate on myself. The game is hard enough without looking at other people. Go out there, take care of my business, and hopefully that's good enough."

    Rose started the third round tied with Woods, but not for long.

    Rose opened with two straight bogeys before battling back, but the world's No. 1 player already was four shots behind after four holes. He narrowed the gap with a birdie on the 16th as Woods had to scramble for bogey, a two-shot swing.

    "In some ways, it felt like a Sunday just with the energy," Rose said after a 68. "But I knew that it was halfway through a Saturday. Just wanted to sort of chisel a few back and give myself a chance going into tomorrow."

    There used to be no chance against Woods when he was atop the leaderboard going into the final round. His only losses with the 54-hole lead were the Quad City Classic in 1996 when he was 20 and making third start as a pro, and the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine against Y.E. Yang. He also lost a two-shot lead to Lee Westwood in Germany at a European Tour event in 2000.

    Now?

    Woods has gone more than five years without winning. He also has won enough times -- 90 tournaments around the world -- to remember how to do it.

    "It's a little more unknown now," Rose said. "Obviously, his history, his statistics from this point are impeccable. They're incredible. But he's human, and there's a lot on it for him tomorrow, as well as the rest of us."

    The start was simply mesmerizing.

    Woods poured in a 20-foot birdie putt on the first hole. His wedge settled 8 feet below the hole on No. 3. His 20-foot birdie putt on No. 4 tumbled into the center of the cup with perfect pace. Two short birdies followed. And when he finally missed a fairway at No. 7, Woods hit a 9-iron from the bunker that hopped out of the first cut to about 5 feet for a sixth birdie in seven holes.

    The cheers were endless, and there was no doubting what was going on.

    "I've heard the roars all day, and it's been phenomenal," Paul Casey said after his 66. "What an atmosphere it is out there this week."

    Woods, however, made only one birdie over his last 11 holes, a wedge to 7 feet on No. 12. He missed badly on his tee shot at the par-3 ninth, and the shaggy rough to the right of the 16th fairway caused the face of his club to open, missing to the right. His flop shot didn't get up the hill and rolled back toward him, and his next pitch was a bump-and-run played to perfection that kept him from another double bogey.


    McIlroy also started strong, and being in the group ahead of Woods, he knew exactly what was happening. On Sunday, he get a front-row seat. The only other time they were paired together in the fourth round was at the 2015 Masters, when both were 10 shots behind Jordan Spieth.

    Rose won't be in the final group, but he has plenty on the line even if he doesn't catch Woods. He likely needs to finish in the top five to be assured of winning the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus.

    -- By Doug Ferguson, AP golf writer


    0 0

    Ohio State moved to 4-0 in Meyer's return to the sideline. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A completed transcript of everything Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said after Ohio State's 49-6 win over Tulane on Saturday in Ohio Stadium.

    Urban Meyer: Thanks for being here, and before we start this little pin I wore for Matt, my friend. He passed away this week. He is a guy I've known for a couple of years. We go down to Nationwide Children's, and I got very close to his family, so that's what that pin is for, so please keep his family in your thoughts.

    I also want to thank Buckeye Nation, incredible support down in Texas and to see the stadium packed again, I normally start every press conference with that, because you never want to take that for granted, and I certainly know our players don't take it for granted, and our staff doesn't as well.

    I also thanked Ryan Day, and presented him with the game ball afterwards, 3-0, pretty good record. I'm not sure of the exact winning percentage, but it's pretty high. He's done a great job.

    A lot of respect for Tulane, triple-option type offense that you have to be assignment sound for the most part. We played pretty good defense, still can get better, but overall very pleased. Then offensively, Dwayne was 21 for 24 for 300 yards, five touchdowns, and we didn't turn the ball over. Bigger games, that's going to be the key, and everybody in this room knows that. Dwayne did very good, but throwing the ball takes much more than him. The offense line protected well, I think we gave up one sack. The receivers were playing at a very high level. Couldn't get the running game going to the degree, Mike Weber has a little strain on his foot, and he should be fine for next week.

    With that said, special teams were very solid, very pleased with our punt unit, and we had a couple of nice returns in the punt return game. I'll answer questions for you.

    Q. Urban, Dwayne is now completing 75% of his passes, 16 touchdowns, 1 interception, and he's played one half in some of these games. I know you've had great quarterbacks, but have you had one whose thrown the ball the way the way Dwayne is throwing it right now?

    I had Alex Smith at Utah and obviously when Cardale got hot. It's so early, though, I hate to put him in those -- game 5 coming up. This one is a big one coming up, so I'm pleased with his performance. I remember when I watched him throw at one of his workouts, either right before we signed him or right after, and you could see he had that part of the game.

    That's just a part of it. He's getting the command of everything, and the players are just responding to him so playing very well.

    Q. I know his arm is strong, but he's also accurate. How does that open things up for the offense?

    Today we were challenged. It was a lot of single coverage all over the place, and that touchdown to Parris Campbell over his left shoulder, what a beautiful throw and catch, and I'm proud of Parris. That was a catch he has struggled with over the years, and he has really worked so hard at it. But it is, as a defensive coach, you know, when you are a dual threat quarterback that presents problems, if you don't have a dual threat quarterback, you better be extremely accurate and make that be legitimate, or it's going to be hard to run the ball because they'll load the box on you.

    Q. Urban, his numbers are pretty amazing. What else did you want to see from him? What's left to see and maybe going into Penn State how he holds up in that hostile environment?

    We all know about that environment, but he's answered the bell. Against TCU now, I think TCU is a top-10 team, and last year in the rivalry game stepped in there and did it. We're all in this together, you know that's one thing about Dwayne, Dwayne, Dwayne, what about Isaiah, what Thayer Munford, what about our center, what about Mike Jordan, what about Demetrius Knox and Malcolm Pridgeon, and I know, but the -- to operate at that capacity, and those kids catching the ball. Because a lot of those are gimmie throws, too, that Parris comes out on the other end on him, so those are all -- it's all together.

    Q. The leadership you said you wanted to see him grow in?

    He is doing a very good job with that.

    Q. After the game you mentioned you gave Ryan Day the game ball. Can you put in perspective having been the head coach here for seven years how difficult that might have been for him, to go 3-0, and also lose one commitment over two classes from a recruiting standpoint, and now that you're back, being in this point where you're 4-0 now and right in the national championship race, how hard was that for Ryan, do you think?

    It's a job very well done. He was the first one to thank, and Gene was down there, to thank the coaching staff. That includes guys like Coach Marotti and the support staff, guys like Mark Pantoni. It's a healthy, strong program, and Ryan was exactly the guy we needed to lead it and get us through this, and he did a hell of a job.

    Q. Obviously it's your first game back. What was it like emotionally to go through the skull session, to come back, get a win, go through everything you're used to going through here?

    This community and this school and this university mean the world to you, the state, this is our home state. This is something that, you know, in 2012, when Gene made a call and asked me if I would be interested in coming back to Ohio State, and we were going through a tough time then as well, and we did.

    My family is completely engrained in this community, they love this place, I love this university. Walking into that skull session and see Buckeye Nation's support, myself and our team that was somewhat overwhelming and I appreciate that. Very appreciative of it.

    Q. Parris had a decent year last year, but he seems to have taken it up a notch. From your vantage point, what do you see that's different about him?

    Just his ball skills. He made a decision -- he should have come back. I think he's a top first-round draft pick at some point, but he had to improve his ball skills, especially down field. He's improved the crossing routes and bubbles and those types of things. The execution today on that pause route was perfect. He's really playing well.

    Q. Was there one moment today, obviously you brought the team in before warm-ups and you stood there and hugged each one as you usually do, but is there a moment that stood out to you or hit you from an emotional standpoint of being back?

    It's always the same one, between the third and fourth quarter, hearing the band play, "Hang on Sloopy" it's been the same for seven years.

    Q. Coach Meyer, the defensive line really stepped up this game, especially players like Chase Young and Dre'Mont Jones. Do you think their performance in tonight's game showed that they can handle Penn State next week?

    It's a much different game today than it will be next week. Today was wish bone football. So you didn't have the sacks, the pass rush, which is a big part of who those guys are. I thought they played well. They played only 30 minutes of football and we got 'em out. So the challenge of challenges is coming up.

    Q. Was this game kind of tricky to manage for you, in between TCU and going on the road to Penn State. You had to pull guys out, and not trying to nitpick but the second half probably wasn't -- you probably just wanted to get to the finish. Is that difficult to manage?

    Coach Mick and I meet hours upon hours. We got in at 4 am. I think we played 80 plus plays down at TCU against a very fast team and in a very stuffy environment, and we overanalyze everything but that's our job, about hydration. Then we show up on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and it's 90 degrees. Turned up the heat on us. So we've been very cautious about, you know, just about the burn-out of a player and the health and welfare of our guys. That's one of the reasons we decided at halftime to end it and to get ready for this one.

    Q. You had only seen your team in practice. You had not seen them in a game all year. It's different when you see them in a game. What struck you about your team, watching them in a game today?

    The accuracy of the passing and the skill set of our wide-outs. We have a big offensive line. We never had a chance to really get the run game going the way we wanted to. You notice every time we got through that safety was right there to get us down, but that created single coverage I was talking about. That's just -- offensively the accuracy of the quarterback and the kids making catches.

    Q. What about defensively?

    It was a tough game. It's wish bone. It was all triple option, and that was just one of those things, getting down. I just kept worrying about a wheel route coming out of the back end, because when you play a service academy, that's basically what that was. And I didn't have a chance to watch them until Thursday on video, because I thought it was more spread, but that was wish bone football. They only threw the ball 14 times, and he's an hell of an athlete, so the biggest thing is getting him down and not having something pop up behind you.

    Q. You weren't gone long but you were gone. I noticed today you seemed to be more affectionate. You were grabbing Rashod Berry as you ran out, hand on the shoulder of Tate Martell. You seemed to be -- I don't want to get into public displays of affection, but did you feel like, hey, I missed these guys. I want to show them I missed them?

    Very observant, Clay! (Laughter.) I love these guys. I see Ben right there. Ben knows the relationship we have with our players, and it's very special. It's one of the great things about being a coach, coach at Ohio State and you got your family, your players and your staff.

    It was -- I didn't know I was doing that, but I can probably feel that I was.

    Q. After Tulane's scoring drive I think you came on the field and had a talk with Okudah and Arnette and Greg. With your corners, we know they're skilled, but what you want to see from them in the game next week?

    I just want to see them be -- we had a penalty by Damon and Damon works so hard as practice. He's just better than that. The lack of discipline, and then I just wanted to make sure the focus is on the fundamentals of performing and not on other stuff, so that's the chat we had.

    Q. And Mike Jordan had issues with low snaps last week, against TCU. Seemed fine today. What did he do, what did you guys do to straighten that out?

    Just emphasis, and he came up to me every day after practice, because I got on him a little bit. We chart every snap, and he was very accurate this whole week.

    Thanks, guys.


    0 0

    The Indians are the only team in big-league history with four pitchers who have amassed 200 or more strikeouts in the same season.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Mike Clevinger, on a night when home plate was apparently jumping around, joined the 200-strikeout club to make the Indians the only team in history to have four pitchers with 200 or more strikeouts in one season.

    Clevinger reached 200 strikeouts for the first time in his career when Boston center fielder Jack Bradley Jr. was called out on strikes for the second out in the second inning.

    In the first two innings, Clevinger threw 47 pitches. He had three walks, four strikeouts and one hit batsman. The Red Sox put the ball in place twice.

    Clevinger joins rotation mates Carlos Carrasco (217), Trevor Bauer (215) and Corey Kluber (205) with 200 strikeouts. When Saturday's game started, Carrasco was ranked fourth in the AL in strikeouts, Bauer fifth, Kluber seventh and Clevinger ninth.

    Tribe starters entered Saturday's game with 1,012 strikeouts. They ranked second in the big leagues to Houston's 1,058.

    Clevinger has been closing hard on 200 strikeouts. In his last four starts, he punched out 33 batters in 24 2/3 innings. Clevinger's previous high was 137 last year.

    Manager Terry Francona lifted Clevinger after five innings with a 4-2 lead.

    Clevinger allowed two runs on three hits. He struck out six, walked five, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. He threw 103 pitches and has 202 strikeouts for the season.


    0 0

    Bill Landis and Doug Lesmerises break down what they expect from the Buckeyes' quarterback next week on the road against the Nittany Lions. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- These are the Dwayne Haskins stat lines from Ohio State's 4-0 start to the season.

    Oregon State: 22-of-30 for 313 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT

    Rutgers: 20-of-23 for 233 yards, 4 TDs

    TCU: 24-of-38 for 344 yards, 2 TDs

    Tulane: 21-of-24 for 304 yards, 5 TDs

    Totals: 87-of-115 for 1,194 yards, 16 TDs, 1 INT

    So, will that work against Penn State next week?

    The 4-0 Nittany Lions have allowed 78 points this season, surrendering 173 passing yards per game. Haskins may have faced a defense in TCU that will be even tougher than what the Nittany Lions put on the field, though he should expect a test.

    But Penn State certainly hasn't seen a quarterback like Haskins yet.

    Watch this video to see what Bill Landis and I had to say about our expectations for Haskins when the teams meet in top-10 matchup in Beaver Stadium next Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC.


    0 0

    The Buckeyes coach was back for a 49-6 win over Tulane after missing the first three games of the season during a suspension. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Urban Meyer walked down the steps outside the Blackwell Inn on Saturday afternoon and toward St. John Arena for another Skull Session, another prelude to another game as Ohio State's football coach.

    But he hadn't done this for a while.

    Returning from a three-game suspension given to him by Ohio State for his mishandling of fired receivers coach Zach Smith, Meyer wore out his hand slapping fives with fans on the way to the pregame Skull Session pep rally, and then again on his way to Ohio Stadium, where, as usual, he met every OSU player on the field with a hug.

    It was back to normal for the head coach, after a very different two months that he spent mostly away from his football team.

    "It was definitely great to get Coach back today," quarterback Dwayne Haskins said. "Being able to have him in the locker room and being able to talk to him, we missed not having him there the first of the year. Being with him before we go out on the field together, the excitement he brings, the energy he brings, it was definitely missed."

    Meyer was greeted with a standing ovation before addressing the crowd at the Skull Session, one of the two moments from the day that Meyer seemed to absorb the most.

    "My family is completely ingrained in this community, they love this place, I love this university," Meyer said after Ohio State's 49-6 win over Tulane moved the No. 4 Buckeyes to 4-0. "Walking into that Skull Session and to see Buckeye Nation's support for myself and our team, that was somewhat overwhelming and I appreciate that. Very appreciative of it."

    Meyer acknowledged the ovation with a quick bow, greeted the OSU band -- "I missed you band" -- and then thanked three groups for what they did while he was gone: the OSU coaches, the players and the fans.

    The second moment was one that Meyer said gets to him every time, on Saturday and in the 43 previous games he coached in Ohio Stadium.

    "It's always the same one, between the third and fourth quarter, hearing the band play, 'Hang on Sloopy,'" Meyer said. "It's been the same for seven years."

    Most of Saturday was much the same, though Meyer reluctantly agreed with the observation of a Columbus TV sports anchor that he seemed a little more affectionate with his players.

    "I love these guys," Meyer said. "I didn't know I was doing that, but I can probably feel that I was."

    Meyer in the victorious locker room handed a game ball to offensive coordinator Ryan Day, who served as acting head coach while Meyer was out.

    "It's a healthy, strong program, and Ryan was exactly the guy we needed to lead it and get us through this," Meyer said.

    Day was 3-0 in Meyer's absence. Meyer is now 74-8 at Ohio State.

    A big win at home on a fall Saturday? Yeah, that was back to normal.


    0 0

    Haskins put on another passing show against Tulane, and the stage next week against Penn State could only make his star brighter. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The horns kicked in at the start of Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" and Dwayne Haskins started dancing a little bit. The unbuckled back plate sticking out from underneath his rolled up jersey bounced in rhythm with the music as Haskins' hands held onto the white Gatorade towel draped around his neck.

    That's been a common look for Haskins through these first four games of the season, relaxed on the sidelines as the second-team offense polishes off a win. He hit that mode early on Saturday in Ohio State's 49-6 win over Tulane, cooling for the entire second half as his younger teammates and backup Tate Martell closed things out.

    With that much time to kill, might as well dance.

    Haskins smiled as the first lyrics of the song echoed through an emptying Ohio Stadium late in the fourth quarter of another blowout.

    "Do you remember ... the 21st night of September?"

    How about the whole month?

    Haskins' has been pretty special so far.

    Tearing apart a bad Tulane team was just the latest chapter. He completed 21 of 24 passes for 304 yards and five touchdowns. He did that in one half, and he sat a series when Martell played with the starters for a spell in the second quarter.

    For the season Haskins is completing 75 percent of his passes for 1,194 yards, 16 touchdowns and one interception. Imagine what those numbers would be if he had played full games against Oregon State, Rutgers and Tulane.

    His third 300-yard passing game of the season already has him in a tie for third-place all-time at Ohio State. More are coming. Eight is the record, by the way. His 16 touchdowns through four games are the second-most in Big Ten history.

    So yeah, it's OK to dance a little bit.

    "It's probably better than what I thought," Haskins admitted after the game. "I never put into an idea what I could do, just wanted to go out and win games."

    Except he probably has. Someone as forward-thinking as Haskins had to at one time or another imagine what kind of numbers he'd put up if given the chance to be the starting quarterback. We know he dreamed about the job.

    But even the most confident of players, and Haskins is definitely that, might not have imagined what he's done to this point and what awaits him if he's able to stay on this pace through a game next Saturday against No. 10 Penn State, on the road in one of the more unforgiving environments in college football.

    Haskins has been mentioned in NFL Draft talk, and is deservedly in the early Heisman Trophy conversation. He says he hasn't thought about it, and has done a good job of dodging questions. He has, though, thought of playing at Penn State. Not necessarily what it could mean for him, but what it could mean for an Ohio State team looking to get back to the College Football Playoff.

    "You try to focus on who we're playing this week, but how can't you (think of Penn State) when you're playing one of the best teams in the country?" he said.

    Haskins bounced around the sidelines during the fourth quarter, celebrating with Martell when he scored on a rushing touchdown late in the game, cracking jokes with the receivers about Ben Victor's facial hair -- ironic, given how baby-faced Haskins is for a third-year college player -- and talking with his offensive linemen about what's coming next week in Happy Valley.

    Even in celebration, Penn State was not far from his mind.

    The Nittany Lions are likely thinking of him too.

    The whole country is, because Ohio State hasn't had a quarterback like this since ... when?

    Urban Meyer hasn't had a quarterback like this since ... when?

    "I had Alex Smith at Utah and obviously when Cardale (Jones) got hot," Meyer said Saturday. "It's so early, though, I hate to put him in those ... game five is coming up. This one is a big one coming up, so I'm pleased with his performance. I remember when I watched him throw at one of his workouts, either right before we signed him or right after, and you could see he had that part of the game."

    Meyer is very hesitant to go down the road others are going with Haskins.

    Though he did admit that on Saturday, his first view of his team from the sidelines after serving a three-game suspension, was how accurate Haskins is. It makes sense that Meyer would want to wait on fully embracing what he has until after Haskins and this team get through what will very likely be the most challenging game it plays all season.

    TCU was a test, and Haskins passed.

    This will be different, a possible Big Ten title game berth on the line while orchestrating an offense through the cacophony of 107,000 well-lubricated Penn State fans in prime time. However, Haskins -- through four games this year and his performance last year at Michigan -- has showed a calmness under pressure uncanny for a quarterback of his relative inexperience.

    None of this has seemed to faze him.

    Haskins was enjoying himself Saturday, but didn't seem to be really soaking in the moment. It was Tulane after all. He may want to start doing that, though. Ohio State has four home games left, and Haskins may not be playing here again after that.

    He calmly navigated a sea of people leaving the field on Saturday, high-fiving Meyer's daughter Nicki and hugging Meyer's wife Shelley. When he realized he'd be late for the start of "Carmen Ohio" he jogged to the front of the line, grabbed the giant left arm of defensive end Chase Young and draped it over his shoulders, swaying and singing with his teammates.

    He posed for pictures, reached out to high-five fans on his way toward the tunnel and didn't stop smiling until he got to the podium for his post-game news conference.

    He skillfully answered questions again about the ridiculous numbers he's put up, being careful to give teammates proper credit and steer everything back to the team's trajectory, not his own.

    Though he gave a glimpse into how he's feeling when asked how being Ohio State's starting quarterback has changed his everyday life.

    "Probably more film more so than anything," he said. "I go to class, walk back to my car and go home. I hang out with my girlfriend and my dogs, my teammates, and I practice. It doesn't really change much. It's a lot more pressure I would probably say ..."

    Then he paused for just a second, made eye contact with the person asking the question and punctuated his answer with this:

    "But I don't really feel it."

    That much is evident.

    If the pressure of Beaver Stadium doesn't get to him next week, what will?


    0 0

    The Indians recorded their sixth walk-off win of the season Saturday night when Michael Brantley's single to left field with the bases loaded won it in the 11th. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Mike Clevinger became the fourth Indians pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts this season on Saturday night, even though he didn't know exactly where the ball was going.

    But he threw enough of his pitches over the plate to join teammates Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber to become the only team in MLB history to have four pitchers with 200 strikeouts in the same season.

    Clevinger was long gone when Michael Brantley hit a game-winning, bases-loaded single to give the Indians a 5-4 walk-off victory over Boston in the 11th inning. It ended a game losing streak and temporarily, at least, stopped their September stumble toward the postseason.

    The Indians loaded the bases against Drew Pomeranz, their former No.1 pick, when Yan Gomes and Greg Allen reached on singles. After pinch-runner Rajai Davis and Allen pulled off a double steal, Francisco Lindor was intentionally walked. Brantley followed with his single into the left-field corner.

    Friday night the Red Sox intentionally walked Lindor in the eighth inning to load the bases and bring Brantley to the plate with two out and a 7-5 lead.  Brantley, facing lefty Robby Scott, fouled out to left field to end the inning.

    That was on Brantley's mind Saturday when the Red Sox did the same thing in the 11th. There were no outs this time, but he was facing another lefty in Pomeranz.

    "That's on my mind every time," said Brantley. "I wasn't happy that I got out, but I had a chance to redeem myself today and we got a W because of it."

    Clevinger recorded his 200th strikeout in the second when Jackie Bradley Jr. took a called third strike for the second out. But it was a wild ride for Clevinger. In the first three innings he had five walks, five strikeouts, a hit batsman, a wild pitch, threw 75 pitches and allowed one hit -- a home run by Rafael Devers.

    "When we took him out, he said, "Are you sure?'" said manager Terry Francona. "I said it seems like you've thrown 140 pitches in a half hour. He threw a lot of pitches. He was behind, he was hitting guys, but he was competing.

    "For the most part he kept them off the scoreboard, but he was behind and all over the place. His velocity was terrific, but he didn't really locate very well."

    Clevinger allowed two runs on three hits in five innings. He struck out six and left with a 4-2 lead.

    "It was kind of a cool thing to see," said Francona, when asked about a rotation of four 200-strikeout pitchers. "It kind of snuck up on me when it happened. Those guys ought to be proud of themselves."

    Said Clevinger, "A lot of people will say it's our division. . whatever the case may be. But there's a lot of work, a lot of effort and there's a lot of process that goes into all of our stories and how we got here. I'm just proud to be a part of this and be a part of this rotation. It took a while to get into it and you can see why."

    The Indians carried the lead into the eighth when Boston tied it on Andrew Benintendi's two-run single off Brad Hand.

    The Tribe took a 2-0 lead in the second against Rick Porcello on RBI hits by Gomes and Lindor. After Devers homered in the third to make it 2-1, Josh Donaldson stretched the Tribe's lead to 3-1 with a single in the bottom of the third.

    Lindor made it 4-1 in the fourth with a single to right that scored Gomes, who reached on an error by shortstop Xander Bogearts. Lindor's RBI in the second and third innings gave him 89 for the season, the same number he finished last season with.

    Porcello allowed four runs, three earned, in five innings. He struck out one and walked two.

    The pitches

    Clevinger threw 103 pitches, 56 (54 percent) for strikes. Porcello threw 84 pitches, 56 (67 percent) for strikes.

    Thanks for coming

    The Red Sox and Indians drew a sellout crowd of 35,095 to Progressive Field. First pitch was at 7:10 p.m. with a temperature of 62 degrees.

    Next

    The Indians end their home season on Sunday night when they play the Red Sox at 7:05 p.m. ESPN, WTAM and WMMS will carry the game.

    Rookie right-hander Adam Plutko (4-5, 5.27) will start for the Indians. The Red Sox announced after Saturday night's game that they will start right-hander Hector Velazquez (7-2, 3.18).


    0 0

    Bill and Doug try to ease some minds after an easy 49-6 win by Ohio State over Tulane.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the four best college football teams in the country, of that there should be little doubt. That doesn't guarantee anything, not at Penn State on Saturday and not for the four-team College Football Playoff at the end of the season.

    But OSU fans, coming off a 49-6 victory by the Buckeyes against Tulane on Saturday, should like their team and the way they're playing.

    So what's with all the worries?

    On this postgame edition of Buckeye Talk, Bill Landis and I try to settle the minds and answer the questions of listeners and readers concerned about penalties on Saturday, worried about a few defensive issues, and even those fretting about the run game because, what, the passing game is too extraordinary?

    Relax people. Ohio State is better than Penn State.

    On the road at Beaver Stadium at night will be an exceptional test of the Buckeyes. And Penn State could certainly win a shootout.

    But come on, shouldn't there be a little more enthusiasm and a little less uneasiness over a team that won its first four games by average score of 55-17?

    Before listening to the podcast below, make sure to subscribe to Buckeye Talk at any of these places:

    Buckeye Talk on iTunes

    Buckeye Talk on Google Play

    Buckeye Talk on Stitcher

    Buckeye Talk on Spotify


    0 0

    OSU's defense wasn't really tested in a win over Tulane. So is it ready for next week's game against Penn State? Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In the end, Tulane probably wasn't the best team to face if we were hoping to learn something about Ohio State's defense.

    "A lot of respect for Tulane, triple-option type offense that you have to be assignment sound for the most part," Urban Meyer said after a 49-6 win. "We played pretty good defense, still can get better, but overall very pleased."

    The Buckeyes allowed 256 yards of offense on Saturday, with 129 of that coming in the first half against the Ohio State defensive starters. That group also allowed one touchdown, a 2-yard run in the second quarter set up by a long passing play on third down.

    In a bubble, that's a fine defense day. More than fine. Ohio State didn't break a sweat in beating Tulane.

    However, in a world where OSU is giving up big plays at an alarming rate with a meeting against Penn State coming next Saturday night, the general vibe around the defense still seems to be that of concern. Doug Lesmerises and Bill Landis discussed that more in the video above.

    Meyer, while admitting that the defense still has plenty of room to improve, didn't seem overly concerned coming out of Saturday's game.

    "It was a tough game," he said. "It's wish bone. It was all triple-option, and that was just one of those things, getting down. I just kept worrying about a wheel route coming out of the back end, because when you play a service academy, that's basically what that was. And I didn't have a chance to watch them until Thursday on video, because I thought it was more spread, but that was wish bone football. They only threw the ball 14 times, and he's (the Tulane quarterback) a hell of an athlete, so the biggest thing is getting him down and not having something pop up behind you."

    Ohio State allowed two pass plays of 30-plus yards, and one rush. Two of those came in the second half when the Buckeyes had some second and third-teamers in the game.

    For the season now, the Buckeyes are allowing 323 yards and 17 points per game while surrendering 15 plays of 20 yards or more. 

    Starting at them is a Penn State offense that's scoring 55.5 points and averaging 514.5 yards per game.

    So how do you feel about Ohio State's defense heading into next Saturday's game?


    0 0

    Cleveland Browns get a win and a QB when Baker Mayfield rallies them against New York Jets

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield made his not-so-long anticipated first appearance of the season on Thursday Night Football when starter Tyrod Taylor left the game against the New York Jets with  a concussion.

    Mayfield passed the Browns to their first win of the season by coming from behind twice. First he rallied them from 14-0 to tie the game and then he drove them to the winning TD after they fell behind 17-14. In winning, Mayfield completed 17 out of 23 attempts for 201 yds. and a QBR of 94.9.

    It was huge that the Browns were able to win their first game in 635 days, but it was even bigger that Mayfield played so well that Cleveland may finally have found the guy to end the steady parade of mediocrity at QB since 1999.

    But the biggest thing Mayfield did besides energizing the team and the fan base with this win was to unlock all those Bud Light coolers full of free beer.  

    Crowquill, by Plain Dealer artist Ted Crow, appears three times a week in The Plain Dealer and on cleveland.com.


    0 0

    Cleveland Browns General Manager John Dorsey has possibly made two top draft picks that can change the direction of the franchise.

    ABOUT MAYFIELD & DARNOLD

    1. For the Browns front office, Thursday night was a huge victory. Their two most debated draft picks had monster nights. Most fans are aware of the impact of Baker Mayfield. In a matchup with fellow rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, it's easy to see why General Manger John Dorsey and his top talent evaluators favored Mayfield.

    2. Several months ago, Dorsey told a few of us in the media how he asked Eliot Wolf (assistant GM), Alonzo Highsmith (V.P. Player Personnel) and consultant Scot McCloughan how they rated the top QBs in the 2018 draft. It was done on paper. They all favored Mayfield by a wide margin.

    3. Dorsey and his group liked Mayfield's arm strength combined with his extreme accuracy. They also appreciated how he stayed in the pocket. They thought he had the right spirit and leadership traits to deal with coming into a losing situation in Cleveland. This is not so much a knock on the other quarterbacks as much as they thought Mayfield was an elite prospect.

    4. I don't know how they evaluated Darnold, but his 22 turnovers had to be an issue -- 13 interceptions, nine lost fumbles. Darnold is 21 years old. He had started only 18 games as a high school quarterback, 24 at USC. He's not that experienced.

    5. The 23-year-old Mayfield started 46 games. He played at Texas Tech as a freshman, then transferred to Oklahoma. He made both college teams as a walk-on. The Browns believed that determination to beat the odds and prove people wrong would be an asset in the pros.

    6. Mayfield had only six interceptions in his last season at Oklahoma. He lost no fumbles. So it was six turnovers compared to 22 for Darnold. Mayfield also completed 70 percent of his passes compared to 63 percent for Darnold. He was the more poised, more pocket-centered passer.

    7. It's too early to assume Mayfield will have the superior long-range career compared to Darnold. But watching both quarterbacks in the Browns 21-17 victory, you could see Darnold running quickly out of the pocket. He threw two interceptions and often appeared very nervous under pressure. In three pro games, Darnold has thrown five interceptions. He looks like a quarterback who will require a lot of patience to develop.

    8. The progress made by Mayfield from the start of the spring practices until now is remarkable. He understands the playbook. He has blended with veteran quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Drew Stanton. He has a maturity in press conferences, where his confidence does not come off as blatant cockiness. At least right now, Mayfield seems far more NFL-ready than Darnold.

    9. The Browns have only two interceptions and zero lost fumbles in their first three games. The theory that simply not handing (or throwing) the ball to the other team is a way of keeping the score close has been reality for the Browns. Even when starter Tyrod Taylor was struggling at quarterback, he stayed away from a tidal wave of turnovers.

    10. Mayfield was 17-of-23 passing. He had two poor plays. One was a pass that should have been intercepted in the end zone, but was dropped. The other was a fumble that teammate Joel Bitonio recovered. Mayfield had three passes dropped (Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway and Orson Charles). None bothered him.

    Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, September 9, 2018Browns rookie Denzel Ward has a talent for coming up with the ball.  

    THE BIG PICK

    1. Denzel Ward or Bradley Chubb? That was supposed to be the debate for the Browns with the No. 4 pick in the draft. But for this front office, it was about as clear as Mayfield over the other quarterbacks. They believe Ward was the best cover cornerback in the draft -- by far. They also believed cornerback was a bigger need than another defensive end, even if Chubb turns into a Pro Bowl pass rusher.

    2. So the front office picked Ward. They were second-guessed. But so far, Ward has become an immediate impact player. He had two interceptions in the opener. In Thursday's victory over the Jets, receivers caught only 2-of-4 passes when covered by Ward for a total of eight yards.

    3. The Browns loved how Ward read a misdirection pass play. The Ohio State product went against the flow of the offense, spotting Chris Herndon all alone on the right side of the field. When Darnold passed to Herndon, Ward seemed to come out of nowhere to tackle the Jets player for an 8-yard loss.

    4. Ward also ripped the ball out of the hands of Robby Anderson. Ward has been on the wrong end of two TD passes. One was from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Bryant. The other was from Drew Brees to Michael Thomas. Both were outstanding throws and catches, almost undefendable players.

    5. As for Chubb, he doesn't have a sack in Denver's first two games. But according to Profootballfocus, he has played well: "Chubb as played 102 of his team's 122 snaps. He has produced eight quarterback pressures from 49 snaps as a pass-rusher...Chubb's best work has come against the run, where he has four defensive stops -- most among rookie edge defenders."

    Cleveland Browns practice, September 13, 2018Rashard Higgins is one of the Browns receivers who can receive more playing time thanks to the trade of Josh Gordon.  

    ABOUT JOSH GORDON

    1. The Browns also thought it was important to win a game after the Josh Gordon trade. The Browns want the younger receivers to learn the work ethic of Jarvis Landry. They also want the young receivers given an opportunity to show they can play. Antonio Callaway has a history of off-field issues. Did he really need to be around Gordon, who has battled addiction problems for years?

    2. Gordon's practice habits were iffy at times. When he didn't show up in time for the veterans' training camp, it was an alarm that something could be wrong. Then he had some issues last weekend, leading to a trade to New England.

    3. Callaway has caught seven passes for an average of 14.4 yards per catch. The Browns see his natural ability and lightning speed. He could become the same deep threat they hoped Gordon would be this season.

    4. My favorite young receiver is Rashard Higgins, who has nine catches this season for a 13.0 average. Landry leads the team with 20 catches. The Browns want to see if this group -- and possibly rookie Damion Ratley -- can produce.

    5. If Gordon goes to the Patriots and stays out of trouble, so be it. The new front office noticed the Browns were 1-9-1 in the 11 games Gordon has played since his Pro Bowl year of 2013. They want to build a team with receivers who can work together and work hard.

    6. The Browns also have 30-year-old receiver Rod Streater on the roster. He has 127 career receptions. He caught 99 passes in 2012-13 with Oakland, his first two years as a pro. Then he had injury problems. He caught 18 passes with San Francisco last season. They are interested to see if he can help them.

    7. I also like Damion Ratley, a sixth-rounder from Texas A&M who had some nice moments in the preseason. It's possible Gordon can be productive in New England, but the Browns desperately needed a fresh start without him.

    ABOUT THE BROWNS

    1. Give the Sashi Brown front office credit for picking Larry Ogunjobi in the third round of the 2017 draft. That was one of those "who is that guy" selections. Ogunjobi played at North Carolina-Charlotte. Profootballfocus credits Ogunjobi with 11 "quarterback pressures" this season. He also has 3.0 sacks.

    2. Ogunjobi has benefited by playing on the same line as Myles Garrett. The top pick in the 2017 draft already has 4.0 sacks and demands defensive attention. Nonetheless, Ogunjobi has been knocking over most guys trying to block him and making it difficult for opponents to run inside. Ogunjobi even played more snaps (60) than Garrett (57) against the Jets. That shows how he has gained the respect of the coaches.

    3. Early in the season, the Browns used Briean Boddy-Calhoun to defend slot receivers. He had a miserable time. Receivers caught 5-of-6 passes when he covered them -- for 139 yards. That's according to Profootballfocus. T.J. Carrie has taken over that job and at least stopped all the long gains. Receivers have caught 7-of-10 passes against him, but the longest was for 16 yards.

    4. Desmond Harrison continues to improve at left tackle. He was flagged for three penalties in the opener and had a rough time. The rookie has had only one penalty in the last two games and not allowed a sack.

    5. Filling in for the injured Emmanuel Ogbah, Chris Smith has performed admirably on the defensive line. He had three tackles for a loss against the Jets.

    6. Carlos Hyde displayed the type of power inside running the Browns expected from the former Ohio State star. He has run for four TDs this season.

    7. Special teams still is a concern. Rookie Nick Chubb missed a block that led to a blocked punt. New kicker Greg Joseph connected in field goals of 45 and 27 yards. He also made his only extra point.

    8. I learned this week was the second time the Browns had Joseph in town for a tryout. They also looked at him right after he was cut by Miami. They liked his preseason work with the Dolphins, where he was 3-of-3 on field goals...54-48-33 yards. So they wanted to keep tabs on him in case Zane Gonzalez failed, as he did early this season.


    0 0

    ESPN will set up shop at Penn State next Saturday.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- ESPN's College GameDay will originate at the site of an Ohio State game for a record 42nd time on Saturday when the show sets up in State College, Pa., for the top-10 Big Ten East showdown between the Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions.

    Both teams are 4-0, with Ohio State currently ranked No. 4 and Penn State at No. 10. Both teams should hold those positions after wins this weekend, the Buckeyes beating Tulane 49-6 and Penn State handling Illinois on the road 63-24 on Friday night.

    Ohio State already saw GameDay for its week three neutral site win over TCU in Arlington, Texas, but this time the show will capture some Big Ten campus appeal.

    This will be the sixth appearance by GameDay at Penn State since the show began in 1993. It will be the third time it appears for Ohio State's visit to Penn State, following previous shows for the 2005 and 2007 games.

    The show originated from Columbus for the Nittany Lions' visits in 1996, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2017.

    Ohio State is 27-14 in games with GameDay in town. 


    0 0

    Check here for the live final-round leaderboard for the PGA Tour's Tour Championship 2018 on Sunday, Sept. 23. Tiger Woods led by three through 54 holes. The event is the finale of the FedExCup Playoffs.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Tiger Woods (12-under) led by three shots entering the final round of Tour Championship 2018 on Sunday, Sept. 23, in Georgia. Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose were tied for second. The Tour Championship is the finale of the FedExCup Playoffs.

    Woods led after 54 holes for the first time in an official event since 2013.

    The Top 30 in the FedExCup standings comprised the field for the Tour Championship.

    Bryson DeChambeau, who won the first two of the four playoff events, entered the Tour Championship at No. 1 in the standings. He was followed in the top five by Rose, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas.

    Keegan Bradley was No. 6. Bradley defeated Rose in a playoff on Monday to win the BMW -- the third postseason event. Sunday's final round had been postponed because of weather. Bradley opened the BMW at No. 52.

    Mickelson, 48, was No. 14 and Woods, 42, was No. 20. McIlroy was 17th.

    Patton Kizzire claimed the 30th spot. Jordan Spieth was on the outside looking in at No. 31.

    PGA TOUR

    TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

    Site: Atlanta

    Course: East Lake GC. Yardage: 7,385. Par: 70.

    Purse: $9 million. Winner's share: $1,620,000.

    Television: Sunday, Noon-1:30 p.m. Golf Channel), 1:30-6 p.m. (NBC).

    Defending champion: Xander Schauffele.

    FedExCup leader: Bryson DeChambeau.

    Previous tournament: Keegan Bradley won the BMW Championship.

    Notes: This is the fourth and final playoff event for the FedExCup and the $10 million bonus. The top five seeds -- Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau and Justin Thomas -- only need to win the tournament to capture the FedEx Cup. ... Thomas will try to become the first player to win the FedExCup in consecutive years. ... Tiger Woods is the only player to win the FedExCup twice. Woods is in the Tour Championship for the first time since 2013. This is his first appearance in the Tour Championship without having won during the season. ... Nine of the 30 players have not won this season. ... Seventeen players from the 30-man field were in the Tour Championship last year. ... Bill Haas (No. 25) in 2011 is the lowest seed to win the FedExCup. ... Jordan Spieth missed qualifying for the Tour Championship for the first time. Spieth is the only American on the Ryder Cup team not at East Lake. ... Europe has six Ryder Cup players at the Tour Championship. ... This will be the last year of four FedExCup playoff events. There will be three events next year.

    Next week: Ryder Cup.

    (Fact box from Associated Press.)


older | 1 | .... | 2613 | 2614 | (Page 2615) | 2616 | 2617 | .... | 2666 | newer