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

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    The snaps that were low a week ago weren't low on Saturday.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- One week's all-consuming problem can quickly become next week's easily forgotten problem solved. So before we rush on to Penn State week for the Ohio State Buckeyes, a word about center Michael Jordan.

    He fixed it.

    Last week in Ohio State's 40-28 win over TCU a bevy of low snaps to quarterback Dwayne Haskins caught the eye of concerned fans. In a game with 80 offensive plays, at least 20 snaps were low, and around eight were really low -- low enough to have led to a real problem if Haskins' hands weren't so soft.

    Nothing was fumbled, but the 6-foot-3 quarterback was forced to reach down and bend his knees before dropping back to assess the TCU defense. It wasn't what an offense wanted. And it really wasn't what an offense wanted to happen again.

    So it didn't.

    Saturday against Tulane, the shotgun snaps were what you expected them to be.

    Unnoticed. Because they were on target.

    Credit Jordan, the 6-foot-7 All-Big Ten guard who moved to center this season because the Buckeyes didn't have another good option and needed him in the middle in order to play their best five linemen.

    How did it get fixed?

    "Just emphasis," Urban Meyer said after the 49-6 win over Tulane.

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

    Problem acknowledged, problem solved.

    A third-year starter as a true junior, Jordan could head to the NFL after this season. If he stays at Ohio State for his senior season, I have a feeling he'll move back to guard.

    With backups playing in the second half Saturday, you got a good look at the second-team offensive line.

    The left tackle was junior Joshua Alabi, the left guard was sophomore Gavin Cupp, the center was redshirt freshman Josh Myers, the right guard was redshirt freshman Wyatt Davis and the right tackle was true freshman Nicholas Petit-Frere.

    Ohio State's starting offensive line includes three seniors in guards Malcolm Pridgeon and Demetrius Knox, and tackle Isaiah Prince. So with Jordan back in 2019, a guess at next year's starting line would be left tackle Thayer Munford, then Jordan, Myers, Davis and Petit-Frere.

    That would put Jordan back at his natural spot. For now, he's playing where Ohio State needs him, and fixing what needs to be fixed.

    Buckeye Take is a quick 300- to 400-word column on a single aspect of Ohio State football. We're trying to replicate in written form the feel of our Buckeye Talk Podcast, where we drop a multitude of opinions every week. We know not all of you listen to the pod (though you should), and we don't want you to miss out on what we're thinking about the Buckeyes. 


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    The Indians have given right-hander Cody Allen a week's break as they prepare for their third straight trip to the postseason. How will he respond in October?

    With playoff baseball right around the corner, cleveland.com is taking a look at the biggest issues facing Terry Francona and the Cleveland Indians. As the 2018 regular season winds down, the answers to these questions will reveal whether or not the Tribe is Ready for October.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - Things can get overlooked in September. The rosters can expand to 40 players and managers routinely use six, seven and eight relievers in games because the restrictions of the 25-man roster no longer exist.

    So, if a reliever goes missing for a couple of days, no one really notices. So, it has been with Cody Allen, the franchise leader in saves for the Indians, who hasn't pitched since Sept. 5 against the Tigers. The Indians' current talking points have focused on Trevor Bauer's comeback from a stress fracture in his right leg, Josh Donaldson's availability after three months of inactivity, Jose Ramirez's slump and whether or not Andrew Miller can just be Andrew Miller again.

    Allen's late-inning troubles seemed to have been corrected sometime in late August or early September. So why the sabbatical and what does it mean for the postseason-bound Indians?

    Manager Terry Francona and Allen said there is no reason for concern. He threw a bullpen session before Saturday's 7-5 win over the Red Sox and is scheduled to pitch against the White Sox on Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field as the Indians begin their final trip of the regular season.

    "Yeah, everything is good," said Allen on Saturday night. "We had some struggles there in August and I feel like I've thrown the ball a lot better in September. But it's not only those innings in the appearances in September, but I was throwing a lot in-between appearances, just ironing stuff out."

    Relievers usually don't throw much between appearances because they get used a lot in games. Allen felt the extra work was catching to him.

    "Going into that last series against Detroit where we clinched (Sept. 14-Sep.16), I could feel it kind of catching up with me a little bit," said Allen. "I wasn't recovering as well as I hoped."

    Allen got together with Francona and pitching coach Carl Willis charted a plan similar to spring training. In spring training, the Indians usually don't push the starters and relievers who have pitched a lot of innings the season before. They let them ease into the exhibition schedule and that's what they decided to do with Allen. Clinching the AL Central on Sept. 15, the earliest clinch by any team this season, gave them the ability to do it.

    "We were able to map out like how many times do I need to get in because now we want to focus on going back-to-back, going multiple innings, doing up-downs (pitching an inning, sitting down and coming out to pitch another inning) . . .things we're going to do in the postseason," said Allen. "So, (we're) getting a little rest before kind of getting into that.

    "It's not like I've been down for three weeks where I need to ramp up. It's four or five days and I'm still throwing bullpens. So, we're still getting off the mound. It's just more of a controlled environment."

    Allen said the Indians did the same thing with him last year when they won 102 games.

    "We did it last year and we did it a little bit in 2016, but in 2016 we clinched a little later and then we were playing for home-field advantage," said Allen. "We were last year, too, but we were able to do it a little bit differently."

    If Allen pitches Monday, it means he will have had a week's break between games. Overall, he's 4-6 with a career-high 4.06 ERA and 27 saves in 32 chances. He posted a 5.40 ERA in June, a 6.57 ERA in July and a 4.85 ERA in August. In September, he has not allowed a run in seven appearances, covering 6 2/3 innings.

    Allen and Andrew Miller were cornerstones of the bullpen that took the Indians to Game 7 of the World Series in 2016. Allen did not allow a run in 10 appearances, covering 13 2/3 innings, in that postseason run. He struck out 24, walked five and went six-for-six in save situations.

    This will be Allen's fourth postseason with the Indians. In 15 games, he has a 0.47 ERA, allowing one earned run in 19 1/3 innings. He's struck out 33, walked eight and saved seven games.

    On Oct. 5, Allen and Miller will enter the postseason for what is expected to be the final time with the Indians because they're both free agents after the World Series. They were a force in 2016. Now the degree of certainty and reliability they brought to the mound two years ago needs to be re-established if the Indians intend to get past the best-of-five ALDS.

    More Ready for October posts:

    What can Josh Donaldson bring to the Indians in October?

    Is Jason Kipnis the Tribe's best option in center?

    Who should be the Tribe's 4 starting pitchers in the ALDS?

    Does Terry Francona plan to rest starters down the stretch?

    Will the Tribe get vintage Andrew Miller for its playoff push?


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    The Buckeyes stayed at No. 4, but should have a big opportunity to move up this week at Penn State.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State football stayed at No. 4 in this week's Associated Press college football poll as the top-four teams in the poll went unchanged from last week.

    Alabama is still No. 1 with 60 first-place votes, followed by Georgia, Clemson (1 first-place vote) and the Buckeyes. LSU is the new No. 5 team this week, jumping Oklahoma. Penn State, Ohio State's opponent this weekend, is No. 9.

    How cleveland.com's Bill Landis voted this week

    Ohio State stayed at No. 4 in this week's coaches poll, too. The top nine teams in the coaches poll remained unchanged.

    This week's AP college football poll is below:

    1. Alabama (60)

    2. Georgia

    3. Clemson (1)

    4. Ohio State

    5. LSU

    6. Oklahoma

    7. Stanford

    8. Notre Dame

    9. Penn State

    10. Auburn

    11. Washington

    12. West Virginia

    13. UCF

    14. Michigan

    15. Wisconsin

    16. Miami

    17. Kentucky

    18. Texas

    19. Oregon

    20. BYU

    21. Michigan State

    22. Duke

    23. Mississippi State

    24. California

    25. Texas Tech


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    Woods delivered the perfect ending to his amazing return from four back surgeries on Sunday with a performance that felt like old times.

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Tiger Woods, in his Sunday red shirt, both arms raised in victory on the 18th green.

    For so many years, the scene was familiar.

    This time, it was surreal.

    "I can't believe I pulled this off," Woods said Sunday during the trophy presentation at the Tour Championship, where he gave thousands of delirious fans at East Lake, and millions more around the world, what they wanted to see, and what they thought they might never see again.

    And at that moment, Woods was overcome with emotion and paused.

    After two back surgeries six weeks apart, he couldn't lie down, sit or walk without pain. Golf was the least of his concerns, so much that he once said anything else he achieved would be "gravy."

    One year ago, while recovering from a fourth back surgery, he still had no idea if he could come back to the highest level of golf.

    "Just to be able to compete and play again this year, that's a hell of a comeback," he said.

    Woods delivered the perfect ending to his amazing return from back surgeries with a performance out of the past. He left the competition feeling hopeless as he built a five-shot lead early and then hung on for a 1-over 71 and a two-shot victory over Billy Horschel.

    It was the 80th victory of his PGA Tour, two short of the career record held by Sam Snead that is now very much in play. And it was his first victory in more than five years, dating to the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational.

    And that brought a new version of Tigermania.

    After he hit his second shot to the par-5 18th safely in a bunker in front of the green, the crowd came through the ropes and followed behind in a chaotic celebration. It was like that when he walked from the left side of the 18th fairway at the 1997 Masters he won by 12. It was reminiscent of that walk up the 18th fairway later that summer at the Western Open in Chicago.

    This was pure pandemonium. Fans chased after any inch of grass they could find to watch the ending.

    "I didn't want to get run over," Woods said with a laugh.

    This felt just as big as a major, maybe better considering where Woods had been.

    Several players, from Zach Johnson to Rickie Fowler to Horschel, waited to greet him. It was Johnson who unveiled red shirts at the Ryder Cup two years ago in the team room that said, "Make Tiger Great Again."

    "They knew what I was struggling with," Woods said. "It was special to see them."

    Woods played only one PGA Tour event over two seasons because of his back. Off the golf course, he had to overcome the embarrassment of a DUI arrest in the early morning of Memorial Day in 2017 when he was found asleep at the wheel, later found to have a concoction of pain medication in his system.

    He was becoming a legend on in video highlights.

    And then he brought it back to life this year, especially the last four days at East Lake. The players who have turns at No. 1 during his absence caught the full brunt of Woods in control. McIlroy faded early. Justin Rose faded late.

    All that was left was the 42-year-old Woods in that red shirt, blazing brighter than ever, and a smile he couldn't shake walking up the 18th to collect another trophy.

    "The 80 mark is a big number," he said. "It's a pretty damned good feeling."

    He finished at 11-under 269 and won $1.62 million, along with a $3 million bonus for finishing second in the FedEx Cup.

    The only disappointment -- a minor one under the circumstances -- was realizing as he came down the 18th that Rose had made birdie to finish in a three-way tie for fourth, which gave him the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus.

    Without that birdie, Woods would have won his third FedEx Cup title after starting at No. 20 going into the Tour Championship.

    "Congrats, Rosie," Woods told him. "World No. 1, hell of a season."

    Actually, former world No. 1 for Rose. His four bogeys over the last 10 holes cost him the No. 1 ranking back to Dustin Johnson, who shot 67 and finished third.

    But this wasn't about the FedEx Cup or even the world ranking.

    This is Tiger's big day, and nothing was going to change it.

    Woods had never lost when leading by three shots or more going into the final round. That was when he was regularly winning multiple times every season, compiling trophies at a rate never before seen in golf.

    Was anything different having gone more than five years without winning?

    Rose had said it was a bit more unknown, and "there's a lot on it for him" as well as everyone else.

    But this was still Woods' arena. The walk from the putting green snakes some 80 yards across the road and through a gallery, and everyone could hear him coming from the procession of cheering. And within the opening hour, the Tour Championship had that inevitable feeling.

    No one brings excitement like Woods, even when he plays so good and so smart that he eliminates any potential for drama.

    The buzz was endless. A couple of teenagers climbed into a tree to see him made a 10-foot birdie on the first hole. When the putt dropped and cheers died, there was a wild sprint some 200 yards up the hill as fans tried to get into position for the next shot. He tapped in for par, and another stampede ensued to line the third fairway.

    On and on it went. No one wanted to miss a shot.

    A year ago, there was no guarantee anyone would see much of Woods, much less Woods winning.

    He's back again. This victory, his first since the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in August 2013 -- 1,876 days, to be exact -- brought him to No. 13 in the world. Not bad for a 42-year-old with four back surgeries who returned to competition in December at No. 1,199 in the world.

    The next stop for Woods is to board a plane with the rest of his U.S. teammates for France and the Ryder Cup.

    After that?

    There's no telling.

    --By Doug Ferguson, AP Golf Writer


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    Check here for the FedExCup Playoffs 2018 standings. Justin Rose edged Tiger Woods for the title.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Justin Rose won FedExCup Playoffs 2018 on Sunday, Sept. 23, in Georgia. Rose, No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, birdied the 72nd hole of the Tour Championship to edge Tiger Woods for the playoffs title.

    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.)


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    Adam Plutko and the Cleveland Indians face Hector Velazquez and the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Here are the starting lineups for Friday's game between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox.

    What: Indians (86-68) vs. Red Sox (105-50).
    When: 7:05 p.m.
    Where: Progressive Field.
    Broadcast: ESPN, WTAM 1100 AM, WMMS 100.7 FM.

    CLEVELAND INDIANS

    Francisco Lindor SS
    Michael Brantley LF
    Jose Ramirez 2B
    Edwin Encarnacion DH
    Josh Donaldson 3B
    Yonder Alonso 3B
    Melky Cabrera RF
    Jason Kipnis CF
    Roberto Perez C

    Adam Plutko (4-5, 5.27)

    BOSTON RED SOX

    Mookie Betts RF
    Andrew Benintendi LF
    Xander Bogaerts SS
    Rafael Devers 3B
    Steve Pearce DH
    Mitch Moreland 1B
    Ian Kinsler 2B
    Jackie Bradley Jr CF
    Christian Vazquez C

    Hector Velazquez (7-2, 3.18)

    Umpires

    Vic Carapazza HP
    Jerry Layne 1B (crew chief)
    Jordan Baker 2B
    Greg Gibson 3B


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    Check here for the final results, leaderboard for Tour Championship 2018 on Sunday, Sept. 23. Tiger Woods won. Justin Rose won the FedExCup Playoffs title.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Tiger Woods (11-under) won Tour Championship 2018 on Sunday, Sept. 23, in Georgia. Woods earned PGA Tour career victory No. 80, but his first since 2013.

    The Tour Championship is the finale of the FedExCup Playoffs, which Justin Rose won.

    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.)


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    Wisconsin took a step forward in the fight for the Big Ten West with a comeback win over Iowa. Get all the news around Ohio State football and other important teams in today's Buckeye Breakfast. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Get all the news around Ohio State football and other important teams in today's Buckeye Breakfast. 

    By Ryan Isley

    How a last-minute Wisconsin touchdown might have changed the Big Ten West

    Wisconsin trailed 17-14 on the road and had the ball to start a drive at its own 12-yard-line with just 5:40 left in the game against Iowa Saturday night. What happened over the next almost five minutes just might shape how the Big Ten West plays out this season.

    Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel broke down how the Badgers drove the field for the game-winning touchdown -- a 17-yard pass from Alex Hornibrook to A.J. Taylor with less than a minute left -- and then forced an Iowa turnover and scored another touchdown to seal the win.

    Potrykus also wrote about the versatility of Jason Erdmann and how the redshirt junior stepped up to play center in the second half after Tyler Biadasz went down with an injury.

    Postgame Buckeye Talk

    Ohio State made quick work of Tulane and can now turn its sights to a battle with Penn State in Happy Valley.

    In the latest edition of the Buckeye Talk podcast, Doug Lesmerises and Bill Landis sit down and answer questions from listeners and readers about the upcoming game and try to make Ohio State fans feel better about their concerns about the defense and penalties.

    Scott Frost knows things need to change after Nebraska gets destroyed at Michigan

    Michigan jumped out to a 39-0 halftime lead over Nebraska and then continued its dominance over the Cornhuskers in the second half in a 56-10 win Saturday afternoon.

    The Wolverines racked up nearly 500 yards of offense while holding Nebraska to just 132 total yards in the game.

    The loss was just the latest in a string of disappointing performances for Nebraska under first-year head coach Scott Frost, and the former Nebraska quarterback knows that things need to change.

    Parker Gabriel of the Lincoln Journal Star talks about how Frost said the team got its "butt whipped" and that if the guys on the field aren't ready to make the necessary changes, Nebraska will find another player who will.

    Also from the Lincoln Journal Star, Michigan players said they remembered comments Frost had made after his UCF team lost to Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2016 and they were ready to make Frost eat his words on Saturday.

    The loss was so bad that even Wendy's had jokes on Twitter.

    Rutgers gets embarrassed for the second straight week

    Rutgers kicked a field goal on its opening drive to take a 3-0 lead over Mid-American Conference foe Buffalo, but it was all downhill from there. The Bulls scored five first-half touchdowns to take a 35-6 halftime lead and defeated the Scarlet Knights, 42-13.

    The loss comes on the heels of Rutgers taking a 55-14 loss against Kansas. And for the second straight week, head coach Chris Ash benched starting quarterback Art Sitkowski. Keith Sargeant of NJ.com says Sitkowski knows he has to do more as the starting QB.

    Steve Politi of NJ.com writes that this might be the worst loss in program history, and Ash looks like he is in over his head.

    Old Dominion shocks No. 13 Virginia Tech

    The most surprising outcome of the day came from Norfolk, Virginia, where ODU picked up a 49-35 win over Virginia Tech.

    ODU quarterback Blake LaRussa made his first start of the season a memorable one, as he threw for 495 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Monarchs to the win. The performance by LaRussa was just 3 yards short of the all-time passing record in a single game against Virginia Tech and resulted in the junior being recognized as the Walter Camp national player of the week.

    LaRussa's favorite target on Saturday was Travis Fulgham, who caught nine passes for 188 yards and a touchdown.

    No. 5 Oklahoma survives in OT against Army

    Survive and advance. That's what Oklahoma did Saturday night when it needed overtime to defeat Army 28-21.

    Kyler Murray found CeeDee Lamb for a 10-yard touchdown pass in OT, and the Oklahoma defense came away with an interception on just the ninth pass attempt of the game for the Golden Knights offense to come away with the win.

    The Sooners defense allowed 339 yards rushing to the Army triple-option offense, which ran 83 plays on the night compared to Oklahoma's 38.

    Army has not beaten a top-5 team since 1962, but came very close on Saturday night.

    Big Ten roundup

    Here is a roundup of other games from around the Big Ten.

    * Purdue held Boston College running back A.J. Dillon to just 59 yards, and quarterback David Blough threw three touchdowns for the Boilermakers in a 30-13 win. After the game was tied 7-7, Purdue scored 23 straight points.

    * Maryland jumped out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead and topped previously unbeaten Minnesota, 42-13. The Terrapins had two players rush for over 100 yards: Ty Johnson ran for 123 and a touchdown, and Anthony McFarland ran for 112 and two touchdowns. Maryland racked up 315 yards rushing as a team.

    Catching up on Sunday's news

    * Bill's postgame notes, quotes and nuggets discussed how Austin Mack bounced back from a rough game against TCU to have a good night in the win over Tulane.  

    * Doug looks at how center Michael Jordan fixed a problem in one week and made sure his snaps were on point against Tulane.

    * Bill discusses the great start for Dwayne Haskins and how he now has a chance to shine in the spotlight when the Buckeyes take on Penn State.

    * Doug takes a look at how just days apart, Baker Mayfield and Dwayne Haskins carried Ohio into the passing age.

    * It was alumni weekend in Columbus and "TBDBITL" welcomed back former band members for the game against Tulane. 100-year-old Anthony Violi dotted the "i" on one of the script Ohio's.

    * For the 42nd time, ESPN GameDay will be at the site of an Ohio State game when the show goes live from Penn State on Saturday. It is the second time in three weeks that College GameDay will be at an Ohio State game. The crew was also in Texas for the game against TCU.

    * Ohio State remained at No.4 in the AP Poll. Check out Bill's ballot.

    Ryan Isley is a freelancer from Akron.


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    The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions play Saturday night in Beaver Stadium.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- No. 4 Ohio State is a 4.5-point favorite at No. 9 Penn State on Saturday night, according to lines provided by VegasInsider.com.

    Other sports books have the Buckeyes favored by as few as three points.

    Ohio State and Penn State will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Beaver Stadium, with the game televised on ABC.

    The Buckeyes won 39-38 last year in Columbus. The last time the teams met in State College, Pa., Penn State won 24-21. Ohio State is 2-1 at Beaver Stadium under head coach Urban Meyer.

    Both teams are 3-1 against the spread this year.

    Ohio State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) has wins over Oregon State, Rutgers, TCU and Tulane. Penn State (4-0, 1-0) has wins over Appalachian State, Pitt, Kent State and Illinois.


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    After so may has-been's and never-were's, the electrifying debut of the NFL's No. 1 draft choice, Baker Mayfield, lead to a spirited a comeback and aan actual Browns; win.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - When Dwayne Haskins passed TCU dizzy for Ohio State, the thought occurred to me, as no doubt to many Buckeyes fans, "Tell me again how much we'll miss J.T. Barrett."

    At  least Haskins had provided a small sample previously with big stats against the opening pair of lollipops, Oregon State and Rutgers, plus a much more bravura performance in the wind and amid the hostility of the Big House when he led a comeback to beat Michigan last season in place of the injured Barrett.

    Baker's field day

    It was as nothing compared to the feeling when Baker Mayfield came off the Browns' bench in relief of concussed and conclusively erratic Tyrod Taylor and led the first victory for the candy corn orange in 635 days. Not even Hue Jackson's perverse, reverse Midas touch could turn Mayfield into dross or the New York Jets into victors.

    Mayfield had played only in exhibition games.  Today, he seems to have sprung full-grown, poised and precise, from either the brain of John Dorsey, the new general manager, or Bernie Kosar, whose celebrated gray matter 30 years ago made him the last Browns quarterback to win consistently.

    The details

    Mayfield got lucky with an end zone drop of a possible interception, but he was also victimized by three dropped passes in his 17-for-23, 201-yard performance.  He didn't throw a touchdown pass, nor was he intercepted.

    His throw to Jarvis Landry near the Jets' goal line was completed, in both pitch and catch, in as memorable a manner as anything seen recently on the lakefront.  The "window" of opportunity was more like a keyhole.

    Mayfield was sacked only once, showing good mobility, which, critically, he used to buy time to throw. He also caught a two-point conversion pass. He was an absolute, unqualified success.

    There being no Barrett in the Browns' recent past to evoke legitimate comparisons, to whom do fans turn their lonely eyes with Mayfield now ascendant?

    The others

    Colt McCoy couldn't throw the deep out and had a Derringer arm.

    Tim Couch didn't have the offensive line, a concern for Mayfield too, or the dedication. Couch threw to what he saw finally come open on the field, hurting his arm by trying to Brett Favre it, rather than making intensive study of opposing defensive tendencies. 

    Jake Delhomme and RG3 didn't have good health. Brady Quinn didn't have accuracy. Trent Dilfer didn't have anything but the Super Bowl championship Ray Lewis won for him with Baltimore. 

    Charlie Frye didn't have Mid-American Conference players across the line of scrimmage. Johnny Manziel didn't have discipline.

    On and on the treadmill to oblivion took the Browns  

    Not short on talent

    The big scouting concern was that Mayfield stood barely taller than six feet, so his throws could be deflected.

    But pressure always cut lumbering Derek Anderson down to Lilliput size.

    Fears of Manzielian immaturity, stoked by Mayfield's youthful indiscretions, included his planting an Oklahoma flag in the Block O at the Horseshoe after the Sooners beat Ohio State last year.

    It wasn't exactly an Iwo Jima moment, but it was better than Brandon Weeden, another big galoot, who got trapped under a field-sized Old Glory on his way to an inglorious debut and forgettable career.

    There will be rough moments, but Mayfield looked like a big talent after so many small ones.

    He looked like the beginning instead of another dead end.


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    Jensen Lewis has settled comfortably into his broadcasting gigs in Cleveland. Here's how the former Indians pitcher went from mound to microphone.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - Jensen Lewis still remembers the epiphany about his baseball career.

    He was cruising through St. Louis, on his way to Cleveland from Arizona. He had pitched four years for the Indians, from 2007 to 2010. He had signed minor-league deals with Arizona and then the Chicago Cubs, playing Class AAA, before being approached about a broadcasting gig.

    "Driving back across the country I was passing Busch Stadium. I knew I was done," he said. "There was an overwhelming feeling. It was a crossroads moment. Busch Stadium and the arch were in the rear-view mirror. Baseball, at least from the playing side, was done."

    It marked the ending - and a beginning. Lewis has parlayed a four-year Major League career and an ability to coherently break down the game as a broadcaster. He teams with Al Pawlowski on Fox SportsTime Ohio, the two fixtures near the centerfield gate at Progressive Field after games. He hosts "Beer Money," the sports-trivia game show. And in August he was named as John Lanigan's replacement on WTAM's The Spew with Mike Trivisonno.

    It's a career that suits him, but one he fell into. A player's focus takes on kind of an invincible air, where you think about the present and not so much the future.

    "Our heads are kind of down," he said. "You're not really thinking 'What am I going to do when I am done?' You think 'I'll play 15 years and then do what I want.' "

    Lewis' kick-start came from a call from Indians play-by-play announcer Matt Underwood about an on-air opening. Underwood, he said, made it clear there would be no hard feelings if he didn't take the job but, he added, "to be honest, these kind of things don't come up too often."

    Lewis' training - if you can call it that - was horsing around with Jason Kipnis, who played a "fake color guy," Lewis said. It was something to pass the time. But the job appealed.

    "I didn't give it a second thought," he said. "I'm going to pack up my car and drive across country in two days and see what happens."

    And here's what happened: In his first shot, he had a bug land on his nose. His phone, in his pocket, began to vibrate with friends telling him about it. Like he didn't know.

    s13tribei.jpgLewis played four seasons for the Indians. 

    "People were contacting me - 'Hey, you got this bug on your nose!' "

    Like being on a mound, he kept his focus.

    "You have to get in the moment, lock it in," he said. "That was the first day. The next day the networks crashed. We had to fill time in a commercial. I never had someone talking in my ear. You have the camera on you, you have someone talking in your ear. It was baptism by fire."

    But he figured: "If I can handle those two days I can handle anything else. It was a hell of a first 48 hours."

    He stuck with it, and the job stuck with him. He hosts "Beer Money," the show that rewards guests with cash for correct answers. They can quit anytime, or go for more money and risk it all. What they also risk is blowing an easy question. That draws a look of sarcastic admonishment from Lewis that screams a thousand unspoken words, especially when he tries in vain to offer hints.

    "Sometimes," he said, "you have to walk people to the water, and they still can't get in."

    At first, Lewis told a boss he hesitated about taking that gig.

    "My apprehension was 'If I do this people won't take me seriously.' My boss said 'People will take you seriously because you do know your stuff.' "

    Now, Lewis said, "People come up to me by the set and say 'Hey, Beer Money guy!' It's increased my exposure more than I thought."

    What makes it more fun is that he is doing the show where he grew up.

    18th Annual Greater Cleveland Sports AwardsJensen Lewis at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards in January. 

    Hometown guy

    Lewis was raised in Medina and moved at a young age to Cincinnati.

    "We always had roots here, have been die-hard Cleveland fans. I wore my (Omar) Vizquel jersey to high school during the World Series in '95 and took the wrath from guys I went to school with who were Reds fans."

    It was fitting that it was the Indians who first drafted him at age 18. But he also had a scholarship pending from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and his parents were adamant: Go to college.

    "There are things you need to polish," they said, referring to both life and baseball skills.

    He went to college. (At Vanderbilt, Boston pitcher David Price was his roommate, and Indians assistant general manager Carter Hawkins was a backup catcher.) In staying in school, he increased his draft status from being a 33rd-round choice to a third-rounder, the 102nd overall pick in 2005.

    "They were pretty smart," he said of his parents.

    He worked hard to finish school, bouncing between the short-season Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Class AA Akron Aeros.

    Akron got into the postseason. When the playoffs ended, Lewis jumped in his car for Nashville, moved into his apartment, and went straight to a geology exam.

    "You're not going to get any special treatment," a professor had told him, knowing his situation.

    Lewis met the challenge. He sat in the front row and was the first to finish.

    "I kind of had that smirk," he said.

    The professor called him and noted how well he had done.

    For the test, he studied. For his broadcasting career, he is more of a natural.

    "I never had a minute of on-air training," said Lewis, a communications major. "My first pregame show with Al in 2013 was my first ever on air I had ever done. I was thrown into the fire right out of the gate."

    lewis with al.JPGLewis and on-air partner Al Pawlowski. 

    Being prepared

    That doesn't mean he doesn't work now. Preparation continues non-stop through the grind of a Major League season.

    "We're a psychologist's worst nightmare," he said. "We get done with the game and turn on a West Coast game. I watch as much (baseball) as possible."

    He'll focus on matchups to squirrel away for potential broadcasts. He gets to the ballpark by 3 p.m., visits the clubhouse. He chats with a player who might be featured on the show and maybe asks a question or two to manager Terry Francona. He reads reporters' stories. He will gather as much information as possible for the 24 to 26 minutes he is on the air.

    "From a preparation standpoint, it's more details (to keep track of) than when I played. I have to be up on 30 teams instead of two. That's kind of crazy to think about."

    Pitching, he said, requires a one-track mind. "I know what I'm good at, I know what the hitter is good at. Now, it's being aware of what's around the league," he said, from streaks to tendencies.

    "There's a lot of pride when the team struggles. You have to tell the truth.... It's great when things are going well. But when they're not you have to do a constructive critique. That's part of the job."

    And it's one he has embraced.

    s31tribek.jpgLewis pitching in 2010. 

    "You couldn't draw it up any better," he said. "You feel like you're going to play till your 40 and retire into the sunset. I'm 34. I feel like the Joe Nuxhall of broadcasting, citing another player-turned-broadcaster, who holds the record as youngest player ever in the Majors. In 1944, Nuxhall was 15 when he broke in.

    "When the season is over it's nice to decompress and let the brain get back to even," Lewis said. That means golf, watching football, catching movies and spending time with girlfriend Alyssa Raymond, an anchor-reporter with WTHR in Indianapolis.

    Raymond used to work at WKYC. Her colleague Betsy Kling introduced them at an Indians charity golf outing several years ago. Raymond left for a job in Pittsburgh before moving to Indianapolis.

    "She's originally from Pittsburgh and I'm from Cleveland, so we had to get over that," he said.

    Lewis recognizes how fortunate he is to be working in the city where he played and where his family is from.

    "With more reps you get comfortable. It's that connection with the team and the city. I got a chance to play here but also know these people," he said.

    "It makes it that more special."

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    Doug and Bill give their picks for Buckeyes to watch against Penn State. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State football plays its first, and perhaps only, top-10 matchup of the regular season on Saturday at Penn State. When the No. 4 Buckeyes meet the No. 9 Nittany Lions, it goes without saying that OSU will need everybody.

    This is Buckeye Watch, where we pick out a player or two to focus on coming off one game and heading into the next. Doug Lesmerises and I discuss our picks coming off a win over Tulane, and going into Penn State in the video above.

    Doug is going with middle linebackers Tuf Borland and Baron Browning, and wondering which player might see more time against a Penn State offense that has a lot of athletes who can be dangerous in space, but also a strong running game led by running back Miles Sanders and quarterback Trace McSorley.

    I'm going with sophomore right tackle Thayer Munford, who will be experiencing his first game in Beaver Stadium. I'm not saying I expect Munford to struggle. He's been solid in his first year starting. I'm mostly wondering about this offensive line in general, and how it communicates in that noise with two new starters and a third playing a new position. But I'll focus on Munford, because this will be a real growth experience for him.

    Watch the video to hear us discuss our picks more, and let us know in the comments which Ohio State player is at the front of your mind heading into the Penn State game.


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    Ohio State's coach saw a lack of discipline from the Buckeyes cornerbacks at times Saturday. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After Tulane's lone scoring drive Saturday, Urban Meyer stepped onto the field and huddled with defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and Ohio State cornerbacks Damon Arnette and Jeffrey Okudah.

    On that drive, Okudah allowed a 12-yard slant for a first down.

    Then Okudah ran stride-for-stride with a receiver and looked back and snatched a fantastic interception out of the air near the goal line, but it was called back by a penalty on the defensive line. The corners celebrated that, though.

    Then Arnette was called for pass interference on a slant.

    Then Okudah allowed a 38-yard deep ball on which he had nearly the same coverage as previously, but this time he didn't get his head turned as the ball landed in the receiver's arms.

    Two plays later, Tulane scored, the only points in Ohio State's 49-6 win.

    So Meyer had a message.

    "I just want to see them be -- we had a penalty by Damon and Damon works so hard at practice. He's just better than that," Meyer said. "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."

    That other stuff? The celebration.

    "He was telling us we don't have to be so exuberant in our celebrations, because me and Damon were pretty excited about the interception," Okudah said. "BIA likes to have a lot of swag, so he said tone it down a little bit."

    BIA, for Best In America, is the name the OSU corners bestowed on themselves in recent years. With future first-round NFL Draft picks like Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore, Gareon Conley and Eli Apple, maybe they were.

    At the moment, they aren't.

    Okudah, Arnette and Kendall Sheffield are capable of that coverage, and Sheffield especially has played well this season. But penalties and big plays allowed despite tight coverage have been early issues. Penn State on Saturday is going to throw deep and hope that Arnette continues his tendency to get handsy and draw flags, or Okudah is right there but the pass is completed anyway.

    "It's just little details that go from making a pick to giving up a completion," Okudah said. "So I'm going to work out those kinks and be back next week."

    The corners are better than that. But they haven't shown it often enough in four games.

    Buckeye Take is a quick 300- to 400-word column on a single aspect of Ohio State football. We're trying to replicate in written form the feel of our Buckeye Talk Podcast, where we drop a multitude of opinions every week. We know not all of you listen to the pod (though you should), and we don't want you to miss out on what we're thinking about the Buckeyes. 


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    Follow along with Urban Meyer's Monday press conference previewing Ohio State vs. Penn State.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will be talking about the Buckeyes' game on Saturday against Penn State and recapping a win over Tulane during his Monday news conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

    Here's what I'm thinking:

    * Always interesting to monitor Meyer during these big game weeks. He and the staff are obviously locked into game planning for a good opponent. That doesn't always lead to the most insightful answers. But we also haven't talked much football with Meyer yet.

    * Think I'm going to ask Meyer about variety in the run game after they couldn't really get it going against Tulane, and struggled in the first half against TCU. Wonder how the lack of a quarterback run threat impacts that, and if they need to call different plays. Also working on a quarterback thing this week, but probably won't ask Meyer about it. Ryan Day might be better for that. Hope to get him Tuesday night.

    * Back a normal media gathering this week. I don't see any national writers, not local news reporters.

    * Jerry Emig says we'll get co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson on Tuesday. That'll be good. First time talking to either of them since the spring. Interested in what Grinch will say about the safeties.

    * Dante Booker was the defensive player of the game against Tulane. Good for him. Meyer seemed excited about that.

    * No Nick Bosa this week. "That will be a few weeks," Meyer said. Robert Landers will be back.

    * Meyer said he called Dwayne Haskins on Saturday night about being focused amid all of the attention he's getting. Interesting. Said Haskins handled it well, and that Haskins is a "humble" kid.

    * Lot of questions today about how the Ohio State offense is changing, and how the Buckeyes are pass first instead of run first. Tried to get a little more specific with Meyer on it, and he said it's drastically different. Will be digging into that more this week. The gist of things right now, though, is that teams are keying on Ohio State's run game, playing single coverage and Dwayne Haskins is picking it apart.

    * There have been conversations with Nick Bosa's family about balancing his return, whenever it happens, because of his draft stock.

    * Mike Weber should play this week.

    * Meyer said Bosa wants to come back and play this year.

    * Tim May intimated that Penn State has struggled a little bit defensively this year. Meyer didn't bite on that. Said he sees a solid team all the way around.

    * Good question from Doug about whether Dwayne Haskins could have played like this before this season. Meyer said Haskins could throw the ball well, "but that's two-thirds of playing quarterback." Meyer needed to see more from a toughness and leadership standpoint with Haskins.

    * Meyer a little better today than I thought he might be. Really lit up when Ari Wasserman was asking him about Ohio State sells academically and with life away from football stuff on the recruiting trail.

    * Meyer was shocked to hear that all three starting linebackers -- Malik Harrison, Tuf Borland and Pete Werner -- finished without a tackle against Tulane. Said he didn't have an answer for it, but that was a good thing to throw at Urban to see how he reacts. Tony Gerdeman asked that one.

    * Meyer on Haskins' demeanor, asked if it's even-keeled. "It used to be uneven-keeled," Meyer said. The push has been to get Haskins to have a little more of an edge.

    That wraps up Meyer's time at the podium. More coming later at cleveland.com.


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    Tyrod Taylor misses practice with a concussion on the day Baker Mayfield will be named the Browns starter. Watch video

    BEREA, Ohio -- On Baker Mayfield's first day of practice as the Browns new starting quarterback, Tyrod Taylor was not outside at practice because of his concussion.

    Mayfield will be announced as the starter after practice at 12:50 today, and will make his starting debut Sunday in Oakland.

    He'll be the 30th starting quarterback for the Browns since 1999.

    If Taylor can't play, Drew Stanton will be Mayfield's backup.

    Mayfield came in off the bench to replace a concussed Taylor with 1:42 left in the half of Thursday's night 21-17 victory over the Jets and electrified FirstEnergyStadium. He rallied the team from a 14-point second-quarter deficit to put all 21 points on the board and the give the Browns their first victory in 20 games and 635 days. It improved the Browns to 1-1-1.

    "That's why we drafted him,'' Jackson said after the Jets game.  "We drafted him for that reason. He has that magnetism. He has it. He's still a young player. He has a lot of work to do. He's got to keep working. Tonight is his night. It was his coming out party. It's just really ironic that it happened that the quarterback on the other side was a rookie, too (Sam Darnold). Baker did some good things tonight. He truly did."

    In other Browns practice news:

    * Free safety Damarious Randall was absent from practice for an undisclosed reason. He was questionable for the Jets game with a heel injury, but started and played the whole game.

    * Linebacker James Burgess Jr. was also not at practice today with his knee injury, and could miss some time. But linebacker Christian Kirksey (ankle, shoulder) who's missed the past two games, was back at practice today.

    * Players riding the bikes and working with the trainers today were Seth DeValve, Emmanuel Ogbah and Myles Garrett.


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    Watch Mayfield go through drills as the Browns' new starter. Watch video

    BEREA, Ohio -- In the video above, Watch Baker Mayfield practice on his first day as the Browns new starting quarterback.

    Hue Jackson will name Mayfield at his press conference after practice, which ends at 12:50.

    He'll replace Tyrod Taylor, who sat out practice with his concussion.

    Mayfield will make his first start Sunday in Oakland, where he'll become the 30th quarterback to start for the Browns since 1999. Thursday night, he came off the bench to replace a concussed Taylor and rallied the Browns to a 21-17 come-from-behind victory over the Jets.

    "That's why we drafted him,'' Jackson said after the Jets game. "We drafted him for that reason. He has that magnetism. He has it. He's still a young player. He has a lot of work to do. He's got to keep working. Tonight (was) his night. It was his coming out party.''


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    Mayfield will make his first NFL start Sunday in Oakland after pulling off a come-from-behind victory over the Jets Thursday night.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Browns are hoping the 30th time is the charm.

    Let the Baker Mayfield Mania commence and get the embroidery needle out for the infamous Browns' QB jersey.

    Coach Hue Jackson named his No. 1 overall pick the starting quarterback on Monday, replacing Tyrod Taylor, who was knocked out Thursday night's 21-17 victory over the Jets with a concussion.

    "He's the starting quarterback of this football team,'' Jackson said during his press conference Monday, stressing this is not a temporary move. "He's earned it.''

    Mayfield will make his first NFL start Sunday in Oakland, against the Derek Carr-led Raiders, becoming the 30th quarterback to start a game for the Browns since 1999. 

    "He's got to go make it happen,'' said Jackson. "I'm not surprised by what he did in the game. This is sooner than what I thought would happen. He's not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination. We believe he'll continue to grow.''

    He said Mayfield had a big grin on his face when he told him the news this morning. He said Taylor, who is now the backup, was disappointed but handled it professionally.

    He also said that Taylor isn't going anywhere, despite teams such as San Francisco possibly in the market for a starter.

    "He's right here,'' Jackson said. "Tyrod's going to be needed.''

    Mayfield came in off the bench with 1:42 left in the half of the Jets game and electrified FirstEnergyStadium, rallying the team from a 14-point second-quarter deficit to put all 21 points and the give the Browns their first victory in 20 games and 635 days. It improved the Browns to 1-1-1.

    "That's why we drafted him,'' Jackson said after the Jets game.  "We drafted him for that reason. He has that magnetism. He has it. He's still a young player. He has a lot of work to do. He's got to keep working. Tonight is his night. It was his coming out party. It's just really ironic that it happened that the quarterback on the other side was a rookie, too (Sam Darnold). Baker did some good things tonight. He truly did."

    With Mayfield's quick release and pinpoint accuracy, he brought the Browns' sluggish offense back to life. The receivers and tight ends snapped to attention. The offensive line looked better with his upbeat tempo, and the defense backed him up with three more takeaways in the second half for a total of 11.

    Why Mayfield didn't start sooner and why Gordon was traded

    "Obviously, once Baker got into the game at quarterback, you just saw a different rhythm which was good, good to see,'' said Jackson. "Obviously,  the young man did some really good things. You can't take that away from him. What a night for him. He came off of the bench, went in there and led this team and helped lead this team to victory.''

    Jackson didn't apologize for not starting Mayfield sooner, despite the fact Taylor struggled. In 2 1/2 games, Taylor completed 48.8 of his attempts, averaged only 5.5 yards per attempt, and threw two TDs and two INTs for a 63.7 rating. He was also sacked 13 times.

    "I still stand by the decision,'' said Jackson after the Jets game. "I think it was right. I still think he needed the time. He needed the time to see, and understand the National Football League and how it works. We're better served - I can't tell you that Baker would have performed like that in Week 1. The way he works, the time he spends, it's  been invaluable for him. It led up to when he was ready to play, he was going to play well. That's all I ever said about Baker - when we stick him out there, he was going to play well, and I truly believe that tonight was his coming out party.''

    He acknowledged it was an organizational decision and that GM John Dorsey was in on it. Dorsey, afterall, had watched Aaron Rodgers sit for three years in Green Bay and then Pat Mahomes for a year in Kansas City after he drafted him there. In fact, after the game, Dorsey was overheard saying to Jimmy and Dee Haslam, 'I think I picked the right one.'''

    There were also extenuating circumstances for making him wait, specifically that they had undrafted rookie left tackle in Desmond Harrison who needed to get his sea legs first.

    "My deal I was not really sure about the left tackle and how that was going to unfold and how good that player could be protecting a very young quarterback,''   he said. "(We went with) a veteran quarterback who knew how to deal with that if it didn't happen as well. All of those things go into the bucket to make the decision about what's best. Let's put him out there when we think he's ready, and let's put him out there when we feel like we are ready for Baker Mayfield too. I think that is important that we have enough talent around him that we can support him and let him play.''

    Jackson said there wasn't much about Mayfield that surprised him Thursday night, not the arm, the big throw, the poise or the improvising. Not even him catching the two-point conversion pass from Jarvis Landry to tie the game at 14 with 42 seconds left in the third quarter on the "Philly special.''

    "I meet with Baker after every game in my office, and we sit and talk about a lot of different things,'' he said. "I always try to put things into context for him that these things can happen, and when they do, how's he going to handle it? He normally looks at me in my office and goes, 'Coach, basically, are you kidding me? I am going to go out there and play my tail off.' That's what he did. He's a tremendous football player.

    "I've said that to you guys. I just think that everything was going to work itself out however it was going to work itself out.''

    Jackson couldn't help but throw a little shade at all the critics who panned the Mayfield pick after the draft.

    "Are you guys surprised?'' he said. "I'm laughing because at one time people said, 'Whoa, we should not have drafted him.' Now, everybody says, 'Dang, he can really throw.' In general, when we took him, it was 'he was too small, he could not throw this and could not throw that. Now, 'Dang, look at the throws that he makes.' I'm not surprised by any throws that this young man makes.

    "I told you guys, he does things in practice that I just go, 'Oh, my gosh.' Timing. Timing is everything. The right time. The right situation. You can't deny the talent. You can't deny what he is able to do. He showed that tonight."

    Jackson acknowledged that the game changed on a dime when Mayfield came in.

    "It felt like it was moving quicker,'' he said. "It felt like that position was playing quicker. Seeing things very clearly and the ball was coming out of his hands. That was the good thing.''

    He also noted that good QB play is just what this team has needed since 1999.

    "It makes a huge difference,'' he said. "You guys have seen this organization for years, all of you have. The difference has been the quarterback play. The quarterback play needed to improve and be better. That's what you saw when he came into the game and started to play like he did. You saw the offense start to move and the ball start to matriculate down the field. That position is huge.

    "We know that. We knew that we drafted the right guy. I knew that that was the right guy, but it was going to be the right timing. Nobody knew how that was going to happen. This is how it's unfolded."


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    Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Monday at media day that putting a playoff team on the floor is the franchise's goal for 2018-19.

    INDEPENDENCE, Ohio - Cavs coach Tyronn Lue answered questions Monday at media day about how this will be a different season for the team, what his approach will be, and what he thinks of some of the key players on this year's team.

    Lue said he and his staff know that teaching will be a big theme of the 2018-19 season, and that when he meets with the players, he will tell them, "It's not about wins and losses; it's about wins and lessons."

    He also said the Cavs had no intention of "tanking" this season, and that "being a playoff team is our goal."

    Here are some highlights from Lue's remarks:

    * On Cedi Osman: "He has great potential, and you could see that when he had a chance to play consistent minutes . . . He's ready for it, and we're ready to see what he can do."

    * On Channing Frye: "He's a guy you want on the team until he's 50 years old. He's going to preach the right message. . . Just having a guy like him is huge."

    * On owner Dan Gilbert and the post-LeBron James era: "He's very motivated to keep a product on the floor that can compete every game. . . .You know Dan: He's going to spend and do whatever it takes to get that product on the floor. He never stops. That's what you have to love about Dan. He's going to do whatever it takes."

    * On who is the favorite in the Eastern Conference?: "We haven't lost yet, have we? We'll see. There are a lot of expectations."

    * On rookie Collin Sexton: "My first chance seeing Collin Sexton, he played on Chris Paul's AAU team. I talked with (North Carolina coach) Roy Williams and told him, 'That's the best player right there.' When the game was over, he said, 'You know what, you might be right.' His toughness, his work ethic . . . he's a gamer. He's going to do something right to win a game, because he's a winner. . . . He's about winning first and I'm excited to have him here."

    Follow coverage from media day all afternoon long at cleveland.com/cavs.


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    Ohio State will be back home next week hosting Indiana.

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State football will host Indiana on Oct. 6 in Ohio Stadium. That game will kick off at 4 p.m. on Fox, the Big Ten announced on Monday.

    The Buckeyes have four remaining home games, and it's looking like Ohio State may not host a night game in Ohio Stadium this year.

    It won't be Indiana, and it won't be Michigan, which has already been announced as a traditional 12 p.m. kickoff on Nov. 24. The only other options are Minnesota on Oct. 13, and Nebraska on Nov. 3.

    Ohio State is always a big draw, but it's unlikely a game against Nebraska or Minnesota would make for good use of a prime time slot on Fox, ABC or ESPN. Though Big Ten Network could broadcast one of those remaining home games and move it to a night slot.


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    Kevin Love talked Monday about his role as a leader on mental health and what he thinks he and the Cavs need to do to be successful this season.

    INDEPENDENCE, Ohio - Cavs forward Kevin Love spoke at Cavs media day about his active summer and what he sees from this team going forward.

    The Cavaliers' franchise player has become one of the leading voices for mental health awareness and one of several NBA stars to open up about his own history with anxiety and panic attacks. Love first did that in a powerful essay titled "Everyone Is Going Through Something," which appeared on the Player's Tribune in early March. 

    Last week, he announced the launch of the Kevin Love Fund -- an initiative aimed at helping people improve their physical and emotional well-being.

    Love on Monday was asked about his busy summer as well as where things stand on the court. Some highlights>

    On his whirlwind summer: "I think in terms of mental health, yeah, just seeing the reaction after the Players Tribune article. . . It was very fast, but it was time to make an impact for that community. That's going to continue to grow and evolve, and I'm excited."

    On the Kevin Love Fund: "The idea started organically, just knowing and seeing at least what my father's side of the family had gone through, just knowing what I have gone through on the anxiety and depression side of things, facing this stuff head on . . . knowing that this stuff doesn't discriminate. . . This is universal, it's worldwide. . . Just being able to pay it forward, it's going to be special."

    On how he prepared for the season: "Speaking of the mental side of things, just preparing my my mind for more post ups . . . pick and rolls . . . and just being really gritty on the defensive end. . . . This team really has the cloth, for lack of a better term, to be able to do that."

    Has helping people helped you?: "Absolutely. It's also made me more empathetic. . . Just seeing people from so many walks of life and all corners of the earth, my hometown to LA to New York . . . with mental health, it's universal and in our social climate, it can make a huge impact."

    Advice for families and friends dealing with mental-healthy issues: "It's tough to have the presence of mind when you're young to understand what you're going through . . . But as a parent, that's something I'm going to have to learn when that time comes . . . For most people, (help is) at arm's reach. You can FaceTime, you can text, call, we have this community. Especially now beating down that stigma . . . that transparency is going to be key."

    What success will look like for the Cavs: "We are going to be a team that will surprise a lot of people. Ty Lue knows what he wants from us and vice-versa. Losing the best player in the world, we're going to have a fresh start. . . . We have first- and second-year guys who have to make an impact, and then veteran guys who have playoff experience under their belt."

    On his extension with the Cavs: "This is where I wanted to be. We won a championship here, we've had a lot of special memories, and I wanted to keep that going."


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