MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):Novak Djokovic called it the best he has ever played against old foe Roger Federer. Serena Williams was just being her dominant self.The defending champions both made their way back to the Australian Open final, with Djokovic beating Federer 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 and Williams defeating Agnieszka Radwanska 6-0, 6-4 yesterday.”I’ve had matches where I’ve played similar tennis,” said Djokovic, the top-ranked player in the world. “But I think against Roger, these first two sets have been probably the best two sets I’ve played against him overall throughout my career.”Hours earlier at Rod Laver Arena, Williams advanced to within one win of another Grand Slam milestone. If the six-time Australian Open champion wins tomorrow’s final against seventh-seeded Angelique Kerber, she will equal Steffi Graf’s 22 major singles titles, a record in the Open era and the second-most in history behind Margaret Court’s 24.”I was able to do everything that I needed to do,” Williams said of yesterday’s match. “I was really hitting just all the right shots, making little to no errors, which is kind of hard to play like that.”Djokovic, a five-time champion at the Australian Open, advanced to his sixth final at Melbourne Park.For Federer, the signs were ominous from the beginning. Djokovic held his first service game at love and broke the 17-time Grand Slam champion in the second. After seven minutes, Federer was trailing 3-0.In the first semi-final match, Kerber ended Sydney-born British player Johanna Konta’s surprising run with a 7-5, 6-2 win to reach her first Grand Slam final. Konta was the first British woman since 1983 to reach the semi-finals at a major tournament.
Tags:#Autoliv#Autonomous car#car safety#driverless#Internet of Things#IoT#Self-Driving#Volvo Related Posts IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… David Curry Swedish auto manufacturer Volvo announced a partnership on Tuesday with Autoliv, a leader in automotive safety systems, in an effort to build a fully autonomous system for all vehicles.A jointly-owned company will be formed in Gothenburg, Sweden, to work on the development. Volvo and Autoliv have agreed to provide 100 workers each to the project, increasing to 600 total in the next few years.See Also: Would it make sense for Tesla to buy Lyft?The automaker and Autoliv have also signed an agreement to share advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous drive (AD) patents and ideas with one another. The duo expect to see the first developments from the separate company in 2017.“By combining our know how and resources we will create a world leader in AD software development,” said Volvo CEO and chairman, Håkan Samuelsson. “This means we can introduce this exciting technology to our customers faster.”Volvo system could be sold to othersAutoliv is allowed, according to Volvo, to license the autonomous system to other automakers. Volvo will pack the technology into its own cars, which it may then sell to a ride-hailing service.The two did not disclose plans to build a ride-hailing app, which may put them at the mercy of a highly competitive market where multiple players are building the hardware, software, and services in-house.Volvo is in a better position than some automakers, since it has already partnered with Uber. It sent 100 SUVs to Uber’s Pittsburgh fleet earlier this month, which have been integrated into the taxi service.The Swedish duo will face competition from other suppliers, like Delphi and Mobileye, which earlier this month announced their own self-driving partnership. Mobileye and Intel also signed an agreement with BMW to supply internal hardware and software to the iNext, coming in 2021. For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…
Pinarayi writes to CMs on new cattle trade rules West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said her government would not abide by the recent notification of the Union government imposing restrictions on cattle slaughter.“We are not accepting the notification. We will take recourse to law and consult our advocate general,” she said at a press conference at the State SecretariatMs Banerjee described the notification as a “deliberate attempt to encroach upon the State power”, and termed it “unconstitutional.”Also Read Cattle markets fell under the purview of the State and the Centre was encroaching on the powers of the State when it was imposing restrictions on sale of cattle in such markets, she said, adding, “I would request the Centre to not interfere in State subjects.”Ms Banerjee, who had spoken about the right to one’s food, said that no one had right to decide what one should eat.The Chief Minister also questioned the timing of the notification. She asked as to why it was out before the month of Ramzan.
The Election Commission on Wednesday launched voter identity cards with Braille label to ensure greater participation of persons with visual impairment in the electoral process.The Commission also unveiled a strategic framework on “Accessible Elections” on conclusion of a two-day national level consultation with representatives of the Central government, political parties, NGOs and experts on disabilities.Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat announced a series of measures for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in the electoral process, which includes printing of photo-identity cards with Braille, accessible communication awareness materials, a mobile phone application to motivate and educate the voters and appointment of Disability Coordinates at the Assembly constituency, district and State level.Free transport facility The EC plans to impart cascaded training on accessibility to poll officials, set up auxiliary polling stations, provide accessible photo voter slips, sign-language window in all the audio visual training and advertisement content material for the convenience of deaf persons and free transport facility to PwDs and their Assistants.A new Accessible Division in the India International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Management will also be set up.Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: “We should go far beyond the bureaucratic measures to overcome the barriers. Technology has the capability to fill the gaps and it shall be explored to its fullest potential.”
Congress should not be left out in U.P., says Salman Khurshid While an official announcement is yet to be made, the formula for an alliance of the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal seems to be ready in Uttar Pradesh, with the parties showing little interest in accommodating the Congress, sources say.SP and BSP leaders said the leadership was less inclined to include the Congress, and at best would leave just the Rae Bareli and Amethi seats for the grand old party. However, they said the seat-sharing arithmetic was “still fluid”, and the final call would be taken by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav. “Alliance is confirmed. But the final decision will be taken by the national president,” said a senior SP leader on Sunday on condition of anonymity.The leader said while the exact formula for the 80 seats would be revealed “any time”, the two top leaders of the parties had reached an understanding over the arrangement. The SP would also accommodate its ally, the Nishad Party, while the RLD is expected to get a few seats.Also Read No to Rahul vs ModiSources said that Mr. Yadav met Ms. Mayawati recently to discuss the arrangement and that the two parties were in constant touch. They said the announcement was being delayed till the last minute to give the BJP minimum chance to come up with an alternative narrative. “Who knew till the last moment in Phulpur and Gorakhpur, and then in Kairana about the support by the BSP and then fielding of the RLD candidate,” the SP source said, illustrating his point. The SP believes that the Congress does not bring in any “add-on” votes, and its leadership is apprehensive that giving the Congress space in U.P. would, in turn, make the election about “Rahul Gandhi vs Narendra Modi”.A BSP source also said that the talks between the two parties were “conclusive.” “Everything is finalised, people are waiting for the declaration,” he said.While it is being speculated that Ms. Mayawati will make the announcement on her birthday on January 15, BSP general secretary Satish Mishra last week told reporters outside Parliament that “this is not how birthdays are celebrated”.Sources in the BSP are also apprehensive that an alliance with the Congress would not only reduce the party’s bargaining power but also not ensure any positive transfer of voters. “The 1996 election is a bad experience. The Congress votes did not get transferred to the BSP. Besides, by committing to a pre-poll alliance with the Congress where Dalits have traditionally voted, the BSP would lose its independence as a political force,” said a BSP leader. The alliance with the SP was based on a “natural formula and old experience,” said the leader.According to the BSP leader, the seat-sharing formula would be based on the positions acquired by the parties in 2014, though sources said Ms. Mayawati had been adamant on at least 38 seats. The final difference between the SP and the BSP number will not be much, an SP leader said. While the BSP had scored a zero in 2014, it stood second in 34 seats. The SP won five and came runner-up in 31. The RLD was second in Mathura.The BJP won 71 seats, while its ally, the Apna Dal, added two more. This time around, the BJP also has to accomodate another ally, the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, which is breathing down its neck over the implementation of the sub-categorisation of the OBC quota.R.D. Tripathi, senior journalist from Lucknow, said the SP-BSP alliance would be potent enough on its own. He said the Congress fighting as a separate force will not only help the party but also damage the BJP more. “It is seen that when Congress combines with either the SP or the BSP, the upper caste voters get inclined to vote for the BJP,” said Mr. Tripathi, giving examples of the 2017 Assembly poll and the 1996 election.Mr. Tripathi said that by fighting alone, the Congress can be an alternative for the floating voters and the upper caste voters angry with the BJP but not willing to join the SP-BSP alliance.“Not just arithmetic, the SP-BSP alliance will be about chemistry, as there is rural distress. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s credibility is down and Yogi Adityanath’s governance has been poor,” said Mr. Tripathi.
Mercedes Benz price increaseMercedes Benz is incidentally the first luxury maker to have entered India more than 15 years ago. With the launch of the new A-Class and B-Class Sports Tourer vehicles, it has been able to regain lost ground from competitors BMW and Audi. Owing to rising input costs and high exchange rate, the company has recently announced a small price hike of 2.5% across its model range from September 1, 2014Speaking more on the situation, Mr Eberhard Kern, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, said, “Mercedes-Benz continues to offer ‘top of the line’ products for its customers and focuses on adding more value to their overall ownership experience. We have decided to upwardly revise the prices of some of our models given the rising input costs and continued high exchange rate. Mercedes Benz models are highly enriched in terms of features and they command high customer preference in the market. Our aim remains to grow sustainably in the market in the long-term and keep creating new benchmark in modern luxury for our customers.”Quality, world-class safety standards and refined performance are always standard with the Mercedes brand and the company will continue to maintain its high standards even in times of inflation. To adhere to the interests of the buyers, Mercedes Benz has come out with a host of financial services. Elaborating on the same, Mr. Kern said, “Despite the price hike, the attractive financial solutions from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services like ‘Flexinomics’, ‘STAR Agility, STAR Lease’ and ‘STAR Supersonic’ loan approvals etc. are all tailor made for our customers. These solutions will provide benchmark value proposition, enabling a hassle free purchase, while our service programmes like Star Care, Star Ease and Road Side Assistance, will enhance the customer’s overall ownership experience.”advertisement
Two days after Thanksgiving, the Miami Hurricanes closed out another mediocre regular season with what the Miami Herald called a “dismal downer” of a game. They never led Pitt in the 35-23 defeat, and many UM faithful streamed out of Sun Life Stadium with almost an entire quarter left to play. Miami will appear in a postseason game this month because it has a just technically bowl-eligible 6-6 record (and it’s a well-known university). But the Duck Commander Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, is not exactly a destination befitting a program that was once college football royalty.Cycles of boom and bust, however, are nothing new in Coral Gables. This Saturday, ESPN is airing “The U Part 2,” a “30 for 30” by director Billy Corben that follows up on his 2009 documentary about the Hurricanes’ dominant, lawless football program of the 1980s. The sequel explores the process that rebuilt the scandal-ridden team into what would become, statistically, the most talented — if not quite the most dominant — team in college football history.Before the Hurricanes came back from the brink, they were as low as they are now. Miami’s mid-to-late 1990s deterioration reached its nadir at the end of 1997, the program’s first losing season in 18 years. When the final whistle blew on that campaign, Miami had a +3.8 Elo rating,1According to an Elo-like modification of ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) developed by FiveThirtyEight’s editor in chief, Nate Silver. which means Miami would have been favored by just 3.8 points against an average FBS team on a neutral field. To use 2014 teams as a comparison, Miami was the equivalent of this year’s Colorado State or Navy teams — a far cry from their dominant squads of the 1980s and early 1990s. (Although this year’s team is even worse, with a rating of +2.0.)This is what happens when a program transgresses enough NCAA rules to deserve its own documentary. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Hurricanes’ violations ranged from a pay-for-play scandal to a UM academic adviser helping players defraud the federal government of Pell Grant money. When the NCAA was finished handing down its penalties, the Hurricanes had been banned from the postseason for a year and stripped of 31 scholarships from 1995 to 1997.For college football teams, scholarships are currency. There’s a clear relationship between a team’s recruiting success and its on-field performance, and in the wake of the sanctions, Miami was unable to recruit as effectively as it had during the early 1990s.2Although it bears mentioning that, even in a relatively “down” recruiting year like 1996, the Hurricanes still hauled in four of the nation’s 100 best recruits.But under Butch Davis, the Hurricanes had figured out how to rebuild. From creative accounting to get around the scholarship limits — Davis persuaded wide receiver Santana Moss (among others) to run track on scholarship for UM while walking onto the football team — to rummaging through the recruiting bin for undervalued prospects, Davis amassed a talent collection better than college football has ever seen before or since. If we judge the players by where they were drafted in the NFL, tally the expected future approximate value for players picked in that slot, add it up for each school by each historical draft class, and assign a weighted sum of the previous four years to each college team-season,3The weights, in this case, are 4-3-2-1, derived from what combination best predicts a team’s FPI rating for the season in question. So, for instance, Miami players accumulated 103 points of AV in the 2002 draft, 86 points in the 2003 draft, 115 points in the 2004 draft and 46 points in the 2005 draft. That means the weighted sum for the 2001 Hurricanes squad is 4 times 103, plus 3 times 86, plus 2 times 115, plus 46 — which equals 946 points, the highest total any college team posted since the first NFL/AFL common draft in 1967. the Miami teams built by Davis and eventually coached by his successor, Larry Coker, are in a universe unto themselves.The single most talented college roster of the past 48 years, according to this measure, was the fabled 2001 Miami Hurricanes, who went 12-0 and won the BCS title while posting one of the best point differentials (+395) of any national champion. Davis-built Miami teams in 2000 and 2002 also rank third and fourth, respectively.The Hurricanes turned their unprecedented collection of talent into a one-loss 2000 team (which media-poll voters thought should have played undefeated Oklahoma for the national championship instead of Florida State, whom Miami had beaten earlier in the season); a historically dominant, unbeaten national champion in 2001; and a 2002 squad whose sole loss came in double overtime of the BCS title game.“You could have taken that 2001 [Hurricanes] team and put them in the NFL,” former Hurricanes safety Antrel Rolle told Corben, “and without a doubt they would have made the playoffs.”It’s probably the closest such a sentiment has ever come to actually being true. Then again, as stacked as the Davis/Coker Hurricanes were in terms of skilled athletes, and as impressive as their 34-game winning streak4Which stretched between Sept. 23, 2000, and Jan. 3, 2003. was, it’s difficult to argue they would have torn up the pros when they barely cracked the top 10 in terms of the highest modified FPI ratings by college teams in the past three decades.Under Davis, the Hurricanes’ Elo rating peaked at +24.3 after they beat Florida, the AP Poll’s No. 7, 37-20 in the 2001 Sugar Bowl — Davis’s last game as UM’s coach before leaving for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. After Coker took the reins, Miami’s rating would grow to +29.0 after thumping Nebraska 37-14 in the 2002 Rose Bowl, and crested at +30.2 before the 2003 Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State.That mark represents the 10th-highest rating achieved by any team since 1982, but it trails entries from some of college football’s other most celebrated dynasties — including the 1990s Nebraska Cornhuskers, the 2000s USC Trojans, the 2008 Florida Gators, the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide and even the 1988 Miami Hurricanes.There’s also the tricky matter of how the Hurricanes’ second golden era ended, marred by yet another scandal. While the program was ultimately assessed lighter penalties than it had received in the mid-1990s, in some ways that was due as much to the NCAA’s botched investigation as it was an absolution of Miami’s violations.And now the Hurricanes are back in the muck. But if there’s good news for Miami, Corben’s documentary underscores just how volatile this program has been over the past three decades. Of the top 18 FBS programs (by Elo rating) since 1982, Miami has by far the widest distribution of end-of-year Elo ratings.5In stats parlance, it has the largest standard deviation — 9.5 Elo points.In other words, the team tends to seesaw between greatness and mediocrity. And while life at “The U” has its peaks and valleys, if the story of Corben’s second Miami film is any indication, the next Hurricane dynasty might be just around the corner, no matter how bad things seem in the present.
Ohio Stadium and other university athletic facilities could see multi-million dollar renovations. Credit: Lantern File PhotoOn Friday, Ohio State announced its plan for construction on several athletic venues across campus, including Ohio Stadium and the Schottenstein Center.OSU is seeking approval from the Board of Trustees for several multi-million dollar construction and renovation plans. The board is set to meet next week.The university proposed a $39 million dollar facelift to Ohio Stadium. The construction plan includes the laying of new concrete on the C-deck, plus the addition of new suites and boxes for fan seating. The estimated time of completion is set for before the beginning of the 2020 football season.A university spokesman could not comment on whether renovations would add seats to the already 104,944-seat stadium.“Ohio Stadium is the crown jewel of our athletic operations,” said Gene Smith, senior vice president and Wolfe Foundation-endowed athletics director, in the press release. “These renovations will improve the fan experience and continue to make it one of the best facilities in the nation.”Another project awaiting approval from the Board of Trustees is a $31.5 million renovation to the Schottenstein Center. The project would expand the concourse, improve the team store and athletic ticket office, as well as add natural lighting to the venue. Construction is estimated to take a full year and be completed in Feb. 2018. The Covelli Multi-Sport Arena, originally announced last fall to be located on the corner of Ackerman Road and Fred Taylor Drive, is being moved north of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, and will be combined with the Jennings Family Wrestling Practice Facility. The Covelli Multi-Sport Arena, originally reported as a $30 million investment, costs north of $49 million with the addition of the Jennings Family Wrestling Practice Facility.OSU women’s and men’s volleyball, wrestling, men’s and women’s gymnastics, and men’s and women’s fencing teams will compete at the 3,700-seat venue, scheduled to be completed in 2019.“Innovation and creative planning helped find a new opportunity for the Covelli Multi-Sport/Jennings Family Wrestling Facility,” said Alex Fischer, Trustee and head of the Master Planning and Facilities Committee, in a press release. “Combining the arena and the practice facility will ultimately realize a cost savings on both projects.”The Biggs Facility that is attached to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center will be replaced with the Schumaker Student-Athlete Development Center. The new facility will include around new athletic offices and a “state-of-the-art” athletic training facility. The project’s cost is estimated at $43 million. There was no date given in the press release for completion of the project.All athletic construction projects are self-funded by the Athletic Department through revenue and fundraising.
From left to right: redshirt freshman linebacker Tuf Borland (32), freshman defensive end Chase Young (2) and sophomore defensive lineman Robert Landers (67) run onto the field during the second quarter at the at the OSU-Maryland game on Oct. 7. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo EditorHere is a position-by-position breakdown of Ohio State’s defense in 2018. The years provided by the players indicates grade in the 2017 season. Defensive tackleGraduating: Michael Hill, Tracy SprinkleReturners: Dre’Mont Jones, Robert Landers, Jashon Cornell, DaVon Hamilton, Haskell Garrett, Malik Barrow, Jerron CageAdditions: Taron Vincent, Antwuan Jackson Jr., Tommy TogiaiThe situation: Redshirt seniors Michael Hill and Tracy Sprinkle will graduate, leaving a hole in the middle of Ohio State’s defensive line. But that crack will enlarge if redshirt sophomore Dre’Mont Jones leaves early for the NFL draft and the Buckeyes are forced to rely on less experienced linemen. Redshirt sophomores Robert Landers, Jashon Cornell and DaVon Hamilton have played substantial snaps, but none has made an impact similar to that of Jones. They will be joined by freshman Haskell Garrett, a former highly rated prospect, who could earn an increase in snaps and push for a starting position. Redshirt freshman Malik Barrow suffered a torn ACL and missed the 2017 season. Freshman Jerron Cage has not played much outside of special teams. Transfer Antwuan Jackson Jr. offers Ohio State possibly its most intriguing option, with the talented junior-college product having two years of collegiate experience. Five-star prospect Taron Vincent could push for early playing time. Projected starters: Robert Landers, Dre’Mont JonesThe Reasoning: Landers served Ohio State well as a rotation piece in 2017 and deserves a starting role next season with the departures of Sprinkle. He offers a unique blend of quickness at a defensive line position known for size and girth. Jones would retain a starting spot if he decides to return and work on improving his pass-rush skills. Jackson will push for a starting opportunity and has the talent to earn the spot.Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa (97) celebrates after taking down USC’s quarterback in the third quarter of the 2017 Cotton Bowl against University of Southern California on Dec. 29 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Ohio State won 24-7. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorDefensive endGraduating: Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn HolmesReturners: Sam Hubbard, Nick Bosa, Chase Young, Jonathon CooperAdditions: Alex WilliamsThe situation: This season, Ohio State’s depth has been its biggest strength at defensive end. That will not be the case next year because redshirt senior Tyquan Lewis and senior Jalyn Holmes will graduate and redshirt junior Sam Hubbard is likely to declare early for the 2018 NFL Draft. However, the Buckeyes will not experience any dearth of talent at the position. Sophomore Nick Bosa will return and remain as a starter, but will play many more snaps next season due to the NFL-bound defensive ends. Freshman Chase Young, a former five-star prospect who looks more like an NFL player than a freshman, has earned first-team snaps this season and has an opportunity to win a starting spot next year. Redshirt freshman Jonathon Cooper was lost in the shuffle due to Ohio State’s loaded upper class of defensive ends and Young’s hype, but the former four-star Ohioan will be expected to rotate with the returners on the line. Earlier in the season, defensive line coach Larry Johnson said he did not like playing true freshmen in disadvantageous situations. That might not be an option in 2018, with Ohio State likely having just three nonfreshman defensive ends. Alex Williams and, potentially, another 2018 defensive end recruit will add to the minimal depth.Projected starters: Nick Bosa, Chase YoungThe Reasoning: Bosa and Young, both former five-star prospects, have lived up to their billing, but have yet to bear the workload of a full starter. Next season, they are likely to be the starters and will have an opportunity to cause havoc in opposing backfields. The potential loss of three starters will take its toll on the depth, and Cooper will be the lone defensive end available to spell Bosa and Young.Ohio State freshman linebacker Baron Browning (5) attempts to stop a Scarlet Knight in the fourth quarter against Rutgers on Sep. 30. Ohio State won 56-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorLinebackerGraduating: Chris Worley, Zach TurnureReturners: Jerome Baker, Dante Booker, Malik Harrison, Tuf Borland, Baron Browning, Pete Werner, Justin Hilliard, Keandre Jones, Nick ConnerAdditions: Teradja Mitchell, Dallas Gant, K’Vaughan PopeThe situation: Redshirt senior Chris Worley will graduate, which means Ohio State is losing a starting linebacker and leader of the unit for the second year in a row. Junior Jerome Baker also stands a good chance to exit early for the NFL draft, meaning the Buckeyes will be left with two vacancies at linebacker. Redshirt freshman Tuf Borland started for the second half of the season and has a good shot to open the season at the starter in the middle. Redshirt junior Dante Booker started the majority of the early season, but, once again, was injured and lost his spot. Sophomore Malik Harrison has played a considerable amount of snaps and the athletic linebacker could slide into a starting position. Freshman Baron Browning, a former five-star prospect, is one of Ohio State’s most physically gifted linebackers. Freshman Pete Werner garnered praise from Meyer for his special teams plays, but the first-year player did not see many snaps on defense. Redshirt sophomore Justin Hilliard and sophomore Keandre Jones will be in the mix for increased playing time, but both mainly played special teams. Redshirt sophomore Nick Conner has dealt with a multitude of injuries and has not played this season. The Buckeyes will add a talented group of linebackers, led by Teradja Mitchell, but none are likely to earn consequential reps.Projected starters: Baron Browning, Tuf Borland, Malik HarrisonThe Reasoning: The athleticism of potential first-year starters Browning and Harrison, combined with Borland, might be too much for Ohio State to pass up. Harrison has the inside track to earn a starting position considering the important snaps he has played this year, but Browning will have to beat out a multitude of talented players. Browning earned compliments from defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and teammates for his bowl practice showings. Ohio State sophomore cornerback Kendall Sheffield (8) takes down a Badger in the third quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorCornerbackGraduating: Denzel Ward (NFL draft early entrant) Returners: Damon Arnette, Kendall Sheffield, Jeffrey Okudah, Shaun Wade, Amir Riep, Marcus WilliamsonAdditions: Sevyn Banks, Tyreke JohnsonThe situation: With junior Denzel Ward becoming an early entrant into the 2018 NFL Draft, Ohio State will likely enter next season with a similar crop of cornerbacks minus this year’s best. The Buckeyes will count on major offseason improvements from redshirt sophomores Kendall Sheffield and Damon Arnette, both of whom had shaky 2017 seasons. A sizable group of current freshmen will push them for playing time. Former five-star Jeffrey Okudah played ample snaps and fellow former five-star Shaun Wade has a shot to earn more playing time after recovering from an abdominal injury. Amir Riep and Marcus Williamson have not played much outside of special teams, but each could enter the rotation next year. Incoming recruits Sevyn Banks and Tyreke Johnson are unlikely to play much.Projected starters: Kendall Sheffield, Jeffrey Okudah, Damon ArnetteThe Reasoning: Given the physique and athleticism of Sheffield and Okudah, Ohio State will be unable to keep them off the field. They could cover the outside while Arnette covers in the slot. Though Arnette has struggled with the responsibility, he will be in his third season as a key contributor and must play at a higher level in 2018.Sophomore safety Jordan Fuller (4) awaits the snap during the second quarter at the OSU-Maryland game on Oct. 7. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo EditorSafetyGraduating: Erick Smith, Damon Webb (starter)Returners: Jordan Fuller, Isaiah Pryor, Wayne Davis, Jahsen Wint, Brendon WhiteAdditions: Josh Proctor, Marcus HookerThe situation: Senior Damon Webb, a two-year starter, and senior Erick Smith, who began the season as a starter but missed multiple games for undisclosed reasons and relinquished his starting position, will graduate. Sophomore Jordan Fuller will remain a starter for the second year. Freshman Isaiah Pryor was Webb’s backup since the opening week of the season. Redshirt freshman Wayne Davis was listed as Fuller’s backup while Smith was suspended, but has not played much other than on special teams. Redshirt freshman Jahsen Wint also has not seen much playing time on defense. Freshman Brendon White has played multiple positions since arriving at Ohio State in the spring, but has been with the safeties since fall camp. He is a gifted athlete and will find snaps at some point, no matter what position he ends up playing. Four-star Josh Proctor have a chance to earn early playing time, but must first make an impact on special teams. Though Marcus Hooker, younger brother of former Buckeye safety Malik Hooker, is listed as a cornerback, he will to play safety in college and might redshirt.Projected starters: Jordan Fuller, Isaiah PryorThe Reasoning: Fuller will retain his spot as a starter and Pryor will likely slide into Webb’s starting spot due to lesser competition at the position. Fuller impressed in his first season as a starter and could enter 2018 as one of Ohio State’s most talented defensive players. Opposite Fuller, Pryor has the upper hand, but that position battle could go through spring camp and into the fall without a starter named.Check out the preview of Ohio State’s offense.
England boss Gareth Southgate has revealed that he has been preparing his side for penalty shoot-outs since March by having his players practice, study and develop strategiesThe Three Lions will face Group H winners Colombia at Moscow for next Tuesday’s Round of 16 clash after losing top spot in Group G following their 1-0 defeat to Belgium on Thursday.England are chasing their first knockout win since the 2006 World Cup and have been preparing for every possible scenario that may occur at Russia with penalties having been a high priority for Southgate this summer due to the national side’s terrible record in penalty shoot-out’s with just one win in seven attempts at a major tournament.Southgate, who himself infamously missed a penalty for England at the Euro ’96 semi-final against Germany, is determined to ensure that his side are well prepared.“In terms of penalties, we’ve been practising and going through strategies on them since March,” said the former defender, as stated on Sky Sports.“We’ve done various different studies and had individual practice.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.“We’ll obviously go through that in a little more detail now, but it would have been too late to start that now, three days away from a game.“We are aware the margins are going to be really fine in these knockout phases, and we have got to be prepared physically to go to extra-time if needed, mentally to go to extra-time – and to go beyond that, if that’s what it takes.”The 47-year-old is under no illusions over the individual quality within the Colombia squad, but he is confident that his players have what it takes to win.“I believe it’s a game we can win,” said Southgate.“It’s going to be a fantastic challenge for us. The numbers that they’ve got supporting them is clear, and they have some outstanding individual players.”Southgate made eight changes in England’s 1-0 defeat to Belgium on Thursday with the World Cup’s leading goalscorer Harry Kane being a notable absence as Adnan Januzaj’s brilliant strike settled the game in Belgium’s favour.