An OSU helmet sits on the field before the 45th annual BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. OSU won 44-28. Photo Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor GLENDALE, Ariz. – Before No. 7 Ohio State took the field to close out its 2015 season with a 44-28 victory over No. 8 Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, The Lantern’s sports editors Ryan Cooper and Kevin Stankiewicz laid out five things they would be looking out for. Here are how those five elements transpired.Fast startsNotre Dame got the ball first to start the game and were given the gift of OSU redshirt senior Jack Willoughby sending the kickoff out of bounds. It was exactly what Brian Kelly wanted for his team, but the Fighting Irish could not convert that into a quick start, as they would have hoped. Instead, Notre Dame went three-and-out. For OSU, it was night-and-day different. The Buckeyes took over possession at their own 20-yard line and surgically marched down the field. Redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller had 36 all-purpose yards and Ezekiel Elliott punched it in from 2 yards out to cap off a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in just 3:01. “Obviously their first series was outstanding,” Kelly said. “They ran the ball effectively right down the field. So I just think that they executed very well early on.” From the get-go, it was clear the Buckeyes suffered from no cobwebs. The Fighting Irish, again, went three-and-out, including a false start penalty, forcing another punt. Just three plays later, the Scarlet and Gray found the end zone for the second time, this time courtesy of a 15-yard catch-and-run by redshirt junior wide receiver Michael Thomas. Notre Dame was able to claw back into game throughout the rest of play, getting it down to just a one-score deficit, at 28-21, but its ice-cold start, compared to OSU’s flaming hot one, clearly hindered the Fighting Irish. “It was the difference in the game really, those 14 points early,” Kelly said. “We had to play catch-up from there.” Trick playsIn postseason play, teams will often look to trick plays of sorts to try and catch their opponent off guard. That was the case in the Fiesta Bowl, however, it was only just once. Down 14-0, with 9:22 left in the second quarter, redshirt freshman quarterback DeShone Kizer threw a backward pass to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr., who, instead of advancing forward, took a step back and looked to throw. Hunter had an open man in the end zone, tight end Alizé Jones, but the throw had slightly too much on it, as it fell incomplete just beyond Jones’ reach. Although the play was unsuccessful, it showed that Kelly was trying to find any way to kickstart his team after the sluggish start. OSU, for the most part, avoided any sort of trickery, but some unusual route combinations did appear at times throughout the game, notably on Thomas’ 13-yard catch on the first drive of the second half. End of the roadThe victory over Notre Dame gave the 18 members of OSU’s senior class 50 career wins, the most in program history. Although it couldn’t secure a second consecutive berth in the College Football Playoff, the Fiesta Bowl win was still a good final chapter for the group.“I am glad we got that win for them,” sophomore defensive end Jalyn Holmes said following the game. Many of the seniors that saw the field on Friday were instrumental in the outcome. Linebacker Joshua Perry’s seven tackles were tied for the team-high. On the offensive line, left tackle Taylor Decker was key, like usual, in excavating large holes for Elliott to run through and protecting Barrett. Right tackle Chase Farris, who at times has struggled during the year, turned in a solid performance, as well. As for Miller, one of the most decorated players in OSU history, his final showing in scarlet and gray was certainly not a bad one. The win marked the first postseason victory he was active for and, after disappearing at times during the season, Miller made his presence felt Friday. He finished with 26 rushing yards on two attempts, as well as two catches for 12 yards. Miller didn’t display any wicked spin moves like he did against Virginia Tech, but, all things considered, his OSU finale was a good one. Holmes said the senior class will be missed and that there is “so many” who have left their marks on the program, not only because of their performances on the field, but for the lessons they have taught off it.“All the seniors try to just help someone out in any way,” he said. “Chase Farris, (defensive tackle) Joel Hale, Joshua Perry, they all try and help on and off the field. That’s what made them so special.” Barrett’s big-stage debutAfter missing out on postseason play last year, Friday’s Fiesta Bowl was Barrett’s bowl debut. The redshirt sophomore has not been known to melt under the bright lights, but wondering how he might respond to such a large stage was a valid question. He answered them soundly, ultimately winning the game’s most valuable player award.Barrett started the game with an eight-yard completion to Thomas, and from there, he continued to facilitate the offense exceptionally. He completed his first seven pass attempts for 82 yards and one score. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native also ran for 16 yards during the 7-of-7 stretch. Overall, Barrett finished the game 19-of-31 for 211 yards and one touchdown through the air, while also picking up 96 yards on the ground. He did have one interception in the third quarter after his pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, but, for the most part, Barrett’s performance was very efficient. He showed no signs of the big stage making him crumble. After the game, Barrett praised the Notre Dame defense, but he said the key to the offense’s success was just taking whatever was given to them.“They tried to make sure they took away our (deep) shots,” Barrett said. “We was able to try to hit things underneath. (We) did a good job of that.” Finding help up the middleWith two starters on the interior defensive line out for OSU, there was plenty of attention centered on how it would compensate. The solution, it appeared, was to slide junior defensive end Joey Bosa into that position frequently alongside a rotation of other defensive tackles. But then, the solution once again became a problem, as Bosa was ejected after a targeting call with 5:26 left in the first quarter. It was a huge blow for the OSU defense, which, prior to the penalty, had just intercepted Kizer. The interception was negated and from there, OSU was forced to play without three usual starters on the D-line. Even so, the defense was able to limit the damage done up the middle, as it held the Fighting Irish to just 121 rushing yards. Kizer, who OSU was focused on slowing down on the ground, finished with just 21 yards on 15 attempts. “It just speaks of the program,” Holmes said about the defense still being able to be effective despite not having three starters. “It’s just a ‘next man up’ program. I feel like we played great. We did what he had to do to get the win.”
OSU freshman midfielder Sarah Roberts (10) during a game against Minnesota on Sept. 17 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 2-1. Credit: Sam Harris / For The LanternThe Ohio State women’s soccer team (6-3-2, 1-2-1) is preparing to travel to Champaign, Illinois, to face the Illinois Fighting Illini (8-2-1, 2-1-1) on Friday evening.Junior forward Nichelle Prince said she is leaving Sunday’s loss to Nebraska behind as the team looks to this week’s matchup. “We did not play to our best capabilities, so it is really important that we have a really good week at practice going into Illinois because we need that confidence back and need to get back to our basics,” Prince said.This week presents OSU with its third away game in a row, but Prince doesn’t believe the travel will serve as a challenge to the Buckeyes.“It’s just really important when we’re away to get the recovery needs that we need; making sure that even though we’re in a hotel that we’re getting the sleep we need, doing pool recoveries and stretching and foam rolling,” Prince said. “It’s not bad being away, we just need to make sure that we’re prepared and focused.”Last weekend when the Buckeyes were on the road, they had two games with a day of rest in between. The game against Illinois on Friday is the only contest on the road trip for OSU, which pleases OSU coach Lori Walker.“What I really like about this weekend is it’s a single game, and so our entire focus will go into what we need to do to compete against Illinois,” she said. The last time the Fighting Illini and Buckeyes met, OSU was defeated 4-1. Illinois is 6-0 at home this season, something that Prince said motivates her heading into the game.“I think that’s one of the things that’s really exciting because you get to go to their home and make an upset,” Prince said. “So, being on our game and playing for something, knowing that they have a lot of confidence, but so do we.”Walker said a key for success against the Fighting Illini is a well-rounded performance from all three lines — the defense, midfield and attackers. “We’ve had segments of games where each line is pretty special, but I don’t think we’ve had a full game yet where we are playing 90 minutes of quality soccer and not having lapses in our concentration,” Walker said.The Buckeyes are set to kick off at 7 p.m. at the Illinois Soccer Stadium.
Ohio State redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) hands the ball off to senior forward Jae’Sean Tate (1) in the first half in the game against Michigan on Dec. 4. Ohio State won 71-62. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State (10-4, 2-0 Big Ten) begins the true Big Ten season on Jan. 4, but before then, the Buckeyes have one final nonconference game against Miami (OH) Saturday.The last two seasons, it was a challenge for Ohio State to escape the nonconference slate without a bad loss on its resume. Although the Buckeyes don’t have a signature nonconference win, avoiding a gargantuan letdown against the Redhawks (7-5) will end the nonconference schedule without a major blemish.The game tips at noon at the Schottenstein Center on ESPNU. Here’s what to expect.Projected startersMiami:G — Jake Wright — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-4, 202 lbs., 8.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.5 apgG — Darrian Ringo — Junior, 6-foot-2, 173 lbs., 8.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 7.9 apgG — Nike Sibande — Freshman, 6-foot-3, 178 lbs., 14.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.9 apgF — Dalonte Brown — Freshman, 6-foot-7, 196 lbs., 7.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.3 apgF — Logan McLane — Senior, 6-foot-9, 225 lbs., 10.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 0.9 apgOhio State:G — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 13.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.2 apgG — Musa Jallow — Freshman, 6-foot-5, 200 lbs., 3.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.3 apgF — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 12.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.1 apgF — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 18.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.4 apgC — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 12.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.7 apgScouting Miami (OH)Ranked No. 257 by KenPom.com, the Redhawks are led by freshman guard Nike Sibande, who has attempted more than half his shots from 3-point range. Sibande is shooting 37 percent from deep and 44.4 percent from the field and plays roughly 31 minutes per game. If the Redhawks are to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the year, Sibande will need to have the best game of his career.Miami is statistically one of the worst offensive teams in the country. Per 100 possessions, the Redhawks score just 95 points, according to KenPom, which ranks 312th in the country. They also turn the ball over on more than 23 percent of their possessions, ranking 322nd out of 351 teams.In its two games against major conference opponents Missouri and DePaul, Miami attempted an average of more than 28 3-pointers and allowed the opponent to shoot 63 and 54 percent in effective field goal rate.Outside of the first half against North Carolina, Ohio State has shot the ball well for the past month. Saturday against the Redhawks should be no different.What to expectHoltmann said Friday before the Miami matchup that his team didn’t play well through ball screens last Saturday against North Carolina. The Buckeyes will see plenty of that Saturday with the Redhawks trying to free Sibande on nearly every possession.“Our ball-screen defense can be improved,” he said. “That’s going to be tested tomorrow. They have an outstanding point guard. Really good shooting around him.”As mentioned before, this is Ohio State’s final nonconference game. Holtmann has said for a couple weeks that it has been a main focus for the team to finish the nonconference schedule strong and enter the Big Ten season with any sort of momentum. Ohio State, ranked No. 46 by KenPom, has an opponent it is vastly superior than to work on any shortcomings it had against the Tar Heels.“Our turnover percentage would certainly be one,” Holtmann said. “We can continue to improve defensively across the board … The biggest thing is you have a chance to finish the nonconference and feel really good about it. And that’s what’s in front of us here tomorrow.”If Miami’s past games against high-major opponents are any indication, Ohio State’s 48 percent second-half shooting against North Carolina will carry over to Saturday and redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop will be the difference maker, again, with his size and length.Prediction:Ohio State wins 87-63
Ohio State head women’s volleyball coach Geoff Carlston watches theaction during his team’s match with Purdue on Friday, Oct. 27 at St. John Arena inColumbus, Ohio. Purdue won the match 3-0. Credit: Jeff Helfrich | Lantern ReporterContinuing into the heart of its Big Ten season, Ohio State will head to Rutgers on Friday and Penn State on Saturday.The squad will face Rutgers, which stands at 6-11 for the season and is on a four-loss streak, having lost every Big Ten match played.The Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions will have a rematch after Ohio State took the win in four sets in their previous match. Since then, Penn State has fallen from No. 4 to No. 9 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. The Buckeyes will be coming off a tough loss to Indiana last week, and this will be their first opportunity to prove their strength since then.“I thought Indiana revealed where we’re trying to fill some gaps in terms of our leadership and voice,” Ohio State head coach Geoff Carlston said. “I know it wasn’t from lack of intent or lack of want but I think it just exposed our youth quite a bit. But that’s not an excuse, it’s our job as a group to navigate those moments.”Junior middle blocker Madison Smeathers also took the Indiana match as an opportunity to reflect on the season.“It’s a good reminder that you can never be complacent,” Smeathers said. “No matter how high your highs are you can never have too low of lows.”The Buckeyes have not lost to the Scarlet Knights since 1981 and has won the past seven matches in straight sets. The Nittany Lions have a 48-16 advantage in the all-time series.Penn State leads the country with 3.18 blocks per set and Rutgers is fifth with 2.97. Penn State’s freshman middle blocker Serena Gray is No. 7 in country with 1.55 blocks per set and Rutgers’ junior middle blocker Stasa Miljevic is 13th with 1.49.Smeathers looks to these teams and others in the Big Ten as motivation. “You can always look around at other teams in the Big Ten and see what other people are doing, and that keeps you hungry,” Smeathers said. “Losing obviously is a big killer that keeps you going, and so is coming into practice knowing how much better you can get every day.”The Buckeyes will face Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey at 7 p.m. on Friday before heading to University Park, Pennsylvania to face the Nittany Lions at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Former Bayern Munich captain Oliver Kahn wants Zinedine Zidane to suceed Jupp Heynckes at the club for next seasonDespite being in only his second full season as a coach at the highest level, the Frenchman has already become the first manager to have won back-to-back Champions League tittles and is currently aiming to win the competition for third consecutive time.Kahn, who played as a goalkeeper for both Bayern and Germany, would like to see Zidane take over the reins from Heynckes at the Allianz Arena.“Zinedine Zidane is undoubtedly worth considering. I think he’s sensational,” Kahn told ZDF (via ESPN).“He has won everything with Real Madrid and can win his third Champions League title. He’s a coach who fits perfectly Bayern Munich’s requirement profile.”While Bayern have stated, on several occasions, in the past that they are only interested in German-speaking coaches, Kahn believes that Zidane’s qualities will outweigh such a minor disadvantage.Report: Bayern are held by Leipzig George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Bayern Munich was held to another draw, this time by RB Leipzig.Bayern Munich finds themselves in the unfamiliar position of sitting third in the…“He is French and can speak Spanish, so he could learn German,” said the 48 year-old.“The question is more what can he do extremely well? He can manage a star-studded squad, he was an absolute world star himself, and while many former top players don’t go on to become great coaches, he has.”One candidate that has been touted to replace Heynckes at the club for next season is Eintracht Frankfurt manager Niko Kovac, who is not against the idea.The Croatian is believed to now be one of the front-runners for the role, after Thomas Tuchel reportedly rejected an offer from Bayern in March. Although Frankfurt sporting executive Fredi Bobic has recently revealed that the club have had no contact from the Bundesliga leaders.“There is no reason to doubt I will still be the coach here next season,” said Kovac.“So many things happen in football. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. As of now, I will be here until 2019.”
Andres Iniesta was left struggling for words after sealing his ninth La Liga title for Barcelona on SundayThe captain had announced that he will be leaving his beloved Barcelona at the end of the season in an emotional press conference last week and was, once more, left struggling to find the right words in light of their latest La Liga triumph.An early goal from Philippe Coutinho looked to have set Ernesto Valverde’s side on their way against Deportivo La Coruna with Lionel Messi adding a second later on.However, the struggling Deportivo responded with two goals from Lucas Perez and Emre Colak levelling the score between the sides.Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.But two late goals from Messi ensured that the Catalan side would emerge as the winners in a 4-2 thriller.“It’s an indescribable feeling, on a personal level and as a sportsperson, there are no words when you receive so much love from people and even more so in difficult moments for them [as Deportivo were relegated],” said Iniesta, as reported on Marca.“It’s an eternal thank you because it’s very beautiful. This [move] isn’t a change of opinion, but I am making the most honest decision for myself and my club.“To finish the season with these feelings before the World Cup and with another adventure ahead, I wish it were eternal. I would like this to never end, but everything has its beginning and its end.”
England duo Gary Cahill and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are wary of the threat that their former Chelsea teammate Radamel Falcao will provide in their last of 16 tie of the World Cup on MondayAfter a stellar career, Falcao looked a shadow of the player he had once been and notably struggled in his two loan spells in English football with both Manchester United and Chelsea between 2014 and 2016.After two seasons in the Premier League and 36 games in total, Falcao returned to his parent club AS Monaco with only five goals to his name in a dismal spell after failing to regain his confidence and sharpness after suffering a serious knee injury with the Ligue 1 side in January 2014.But the 32-year-old has since resurrected his career at the Stade Louis II and scored for Colombia in their 3-0 win over Poland last Sunday.While much of the focus on the game will largely be on James Rodriguez’s recovery from injury, Cahill is not going to underestimate his former teammate.“Falcao had a difficult time in England clearly, but outside of England he’s a very high-profile player,” said Cahill, according to The National.“He’s scored many, many goals. He did have a difficult time in England, showed his character when he went to find his form again and now he’s a huge player for them.Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“I’m sure a huge amount was probably confidence. He had that spell at Manchester United, then he had that spell at us, he was short of sharpness at both of them.“I suppose in his eyes, the rest is history, he’s refound his form now. He’s tricky in the box, he likes to come off the shoulder a little bit, and he’s a good finisher.“When he gets half a chance, we saw that in training he’s a decent finisher. Everyone knows him, everyone’s aware of him, his ability.”Loftus-Cheek, who spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace, has also tipped former Chelsea player Juan Cuadrado to be a threat alongside Falcao.“When I was at Chelsea training with them obviously Cuadrado didn’t get much game time but he still looked sharp,” he said.“He is so sharp and he can just do things off the cuff, he gets past defenders. As for Falcao, we all know what a player he is. Falcao is always a goal threat and he has been for his entire career.“It will be a difficult game, just like any other at the World Cup. So we will need to analyse Colombia and work out how we want to play against them.”
Sidelined by choice of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho in the past few weeks, Romelu Lukaku reportedly considers leaving Old Trafford if something doesn’t change in the forthcoming periodBrought to the Old Trafford for a reported fee of £75 million, Lukaku has emerged as one of the most prolific goalscorers in the English top tier during his two-season spell with the Red Devils.After being accused of lack of commitment on the field by the Portuguese manager, the Belgium international has found himself in a difficult spot over the last 30 days.Pochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.Having registered just two Premier League starts in November and December, the 25-year-old forward has joined Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez on the list of players disliked by Mourinho.Now, according to The Sun, former Everton star may decide to leave the Red Devils if this frustrating spell continues.Although no team showed interest in Lukaku, at least publically, ex-Chelsea flop won’t come cheap if Manchester United’s bigwigs even consider selling their best striker.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has revealed that the league will reach the much-discussed number of 28 teams as FC Cincinnati is set to become the 24th team in MLS in 2019.Investigations reveal Inter Miami and Nashville will follow soon after with Austin expected to join the fray as well. At some point, MLS and, according to MLS commissioner Don Garber, the league will almost certainly roll right past it.Speaking at his annual State of the League address, Garber said via Goal:“We will grant the 28th team and make that decision sometime in the next 12 months,” he said on Friday.“There’s no rush.”“Then we’re going to have to decide if we want to go forward beyond 28 teams. That’s a discussion that is taking place. We’ll begin to introduce the subject at our board meeting in the middle of next week.Alexis Sanchez rules out move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami Andrew Smyth – September 5, 2019 Alexis Sanchez reckons he’s still got another “five or six years left” of European football in him amid links of a move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami.“I don’t expect or anticipate there will be an announcement coming out of that, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we can support having more than 28 teams in Major League Soccer, no doubt in my mind.”Garber says the league will not be expanding further into Canada, where the Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC will remain the lone representatives.“This is a big country,” Garber said.“I could remember when we first started looking at the expansion. I came in at 12, went down to 10. We went up to 14 in 2005. I don’t know that at that time we ever thought we’d be at the size we are now.”“There has been so much that’s gone on over the last decade or more in this sport, that has been empowering a lot of the interest in cities across the U.S. and Canada.”
Everton manager Marco Silva rues his side’s lack of concentration after they managed to draw 2-2 against Watford despite taking an early lead.Richarlison gave Everton the lead in the 15th minute, but Coleman’s own goal and Doucoure’s header completed the comeback for Watford within three minutes in the second half.Lucas Digne rescued a point for Everton six minutes into stoppage time with a stunning free-kick from 25 yards.“The own goal is not fortunate as well,” he added. “It (the situation surrounding Richarlison’s goal) is part of the game and I understand Javi Gracia’s view in that moment,” Silva told Sky Sports.“It was possibly offside. I didn’t see it but he told me he was offside. After that, I didn’t see many chances for Watford.“The second half was different. They reacted and scored twice in three minutes but after the own goal and a missed penalty, I don’t understand how we can talk about fortune.“The game is not just about the end of the last minutes.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“When they scored two goals in three minutes, we completely lost our focus. We started the match well and scored early, which was good for us.“They reacted which is normal. They had a lot of long balls up to Troy and Troy is a really strong player.“We knew before the match they would do that and they started to create more problems. At that moment, we had to put our quality on the pitch as well and play our game.“In the second half, our performance wasn’t normal and wasn’t the best. The game started to become difficult for us and we have to understand that was our fault.“Of course, we tried to make the fans proud of our team and we wanted to give them three points tonight. We didn’t so now we work for the next match.”