The Ohio State football team is buying into what new strength coach Mickey Marotti is feeding them — literally and figuratively. And with a new “no loafing” rule in effect the players are quickly buying into Marotti’s plan. While working in an ultra-competitive weight room environment, OSU players have responded to their new program instituted by Marotti, the assistant athletic director of football sports performance. Players and coaches have already seen positive results, Marotti told reporters Wednesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. OSU is in week five of its five-days-a-week program, which Marotti described as a hybrid program that attempts to maximize the genetic potential of each player. “We do Olympic lifting. We do power lifting. We do strength training. We do speed training,” Marotti said. “We want (players) faster. We want them quicker. We want them leaner. We want them meaner. We want them stronger, more explosive.” Marotti said each player’s flexibility, body fat and strength were assessed, and players are getting a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in the program. “Everything is done in a very disciplined, accountable fashion,” Marotti said. “So if someone doesn’t do something right, the whole group suffers or — I hate to say ‘suffers’ — the whole group has a consequence of doing it again.” “Disciplined” might be an understatement. Marotti has created a breakfast club for “high-needs players” that need to cut or gain significant amounts of weight, and for all freshmen. A dietitian is present at on-campus eateries to guide the players in their dining selections during set hours. Marotti also helped overhaul the student-athlete meal menu at The Fawcett Center. “We re-did the whole menu,” Marotti said, “and it’s all stuff you’re supposed to eat as an athlete.” Additionally, the players are adjusting to new statistics that team managers keep track of during drills called loafs. A loaf is credited to a player during a moment of deceleration during a drill, Marotti said. When a second loaf is credited to a player, they’re given a lavender shirt that must be worn around the training facility. Redshirt junior linebacker Etienne Sabino, who said he has lost weight and feels faster after five weeks in the new program, has yet to wear a lavender shirt. “You don’t want to wear those shirts at all,” Sabino said. “Just loafing in general, you don’t want to get those. The lavender (shirt) is definitely motivation not to get any loafs.” Sabino, who said he has dropped to 235 pounds from 245 pounds, said the challenges of Marotti’s comprehensive plan have produced results. “We’ve all seen great changes in our bodies,” Sabino said. “We’re really pushing ourselves. It’s definitely been challenging. It’s harder than I thought.” Junior defensive lineman John Simon agreed and said each player has been tested. “I think the workouts have been tough for everyone. The whole workout, there’s no let up,” Simon said. “Everyone’s getting great workouts in. A lot of people are getting in shape, myself included. Everyone’s improving.” Marotti has also instituted some combative events into the program, such as offense versus defense tug-of-war. Marotti said the new workouts, while foreign to some players, are designed to back the players into a corner and force them to fight their way out of it. “The response has been great,” Marotti said. “Competition — it’s everything. It’s not just push-ups or beating a guy around a cone … All the players know who beat who, … who came in last, who came in first. It’s all about competing on a daily basis.” OSU begins spring football drills on March 28 with the 2012 Spring Game set to take place on April 21.
Fresh off a last-second overtime victory against then-No. 8 Penn State last weekend, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team comes back to Columbus for part two of their four-game run against top-10 competition when No. 10 Denver comes to town Saturday afternoon. Sophomore midfielder Jesse King, who scored Saturday’s game-winning goal, said he understands the importance of the victory, but that it wouldn’t take away from his focus on Denver. “I’m glad that (freshman attacker Carter Brown) trusted me enough to throw it in there,” King said. “But I know that we’re really focused on getting ready for Denver.” Junior defender Darius Bowling, who won 8 of 15 face-offs against the Nittany Lions, said he knows the importance of using every practice this week to prepare for OSU’s conference rivals. “We know offensively they have a lot of playermakers that we’re definitely going to have to respect,” Bowling said. Several players have contributed to the Buckeyes’ offense so far this season, with senior attacker Logan Schuss leading OSU with 18 points on the year and Brown and King tied for second with 16 apiece. Denver has been one of the better teams in the Eastern College Athletic Conference over the past couple of seasons, ending the season in the top 15 the past three seasons. OSU coach Nick Myers said he knows the level of talent the Pioneers will bring into Columbus. “They’re a heck of a team,” Myers said. “They’ve got an offense that’s going to put a lot of pressure on you, and defensively they’re sound.” After back-to-back outings of double-digit goals from the Buckeyes, King said he is excited about the prospect of playing another stout defensive team this week and hopes to help keep the offense rolling. “I’m excited we’ve got Denver coming to town, it’s almost like a new season when you’ve got your big ECAC rival coming in,” King said. Following the matchup against Denver, the Buckeyes are scheduled to hit the road for a three game stretch against No. 8 Virginia, No. 2 Notre Dame and Bellarmine. Myers said he is keeping the locker room calm despite the pressure of the team’s tough slate. “The message this week’s been clear,” Myers said. “We’re looking for our first ECAC win.” OSU looks to continue its four-game win streak this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium against Denver.
Then-Georgia quarterback Justin Fields (1) leads the offense during the second quarter against Austin Peay on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. Credit: Courtesy of TNSFrom his time watching Urban Meyer make depth chart decisions as the head coach, Ryan Day has an idea of how it all works. He talks to the position coaches, makes sure they are all on the same page and watches film, among other things. But most of the time, the answer to the question of who will start is somewhat obvious. “Most of the time, it’s already going to be decided. You know who the starter is,” Day said. “You know guys over a period of time and have a body of work. You kind of know who the starter is.” Since the start of his first spring as head coach, Day has pointed to the quarterback position as a battle between redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin and sophomore Justin Fields. Over the course of the past 15 practices, Day has watched as both quarterbacks have built up their own personal body of work, watching how they react to certain on-field situations, the way they manage the playbook, their ability to work a team downfield and their leadership on and off the football field. And the Spring Game is just another aspect of that process. Day views it as another practice, except this time, both quarterbacks will play before a near-capacity crowd at Ohio Stadium on Saturday. But to most people, the quarterback position has already been decided. Coming in as a former five-star recruit, Fields, a transfer from Georgia, came with the Ohio State starting quarterback job in his sights. Just his presence on the depth chart, being one of the top quarterback recruits in recent memory, forced a quarterback out in Tate Martell, and makes it difficult for any other quarterback to be in the picture. Day saw what every other person saw when recruiting Fields: a talented quarterback with sky-high potential. Ohio State’s head coach called Fields’ physical traits “tremendous,” highlighting his size and ability to move along with his strong arm. When he arrived at Ohio State, Day noticed the intangibles when the head coach worked with Fields one-on-one: his ability to read defenses at the line of scrimmage, his level of knowledge from the huddle.“Very impressed with his ability to retain information, his football IQ,” Day said. “You forget for such a mature kid, he hasn’t played much football at all.” In that way, Fields and Baldwin are similar, but in different circumstances. While Baldwin was sidelined with an injury, Fields sat behind Jake Fromm at Georgia, waiting for an opportunity that never truly came. Playing in parts of 12 games with the Bulldogs, Fields showed flashes of his five-star potential, completing 27-of-39 attempts, averaging 12.14 yards per completion with four passing touchdowns. On the ground, he was just as electric, averaging 6.3 yards per carry with four rushing touchdowns. Coming to Ohio State, Fields did not have anything to prove. He said he didn’t know what to expect either. He said his only goal, even without a definite grasp on the starting job, was to continue to grow. “Coach Day wasn’t giving me handouts,” Fields said. “I knew coming here I would have to work for it.” To Day, both quarterbacks are still freshmen and both have something to prove. But in practice, Fields has seen a bulk of opportunities with the first-team offense. Whether it’s running the offense under center, which primarily has led to a play-action pass, or the return of the option J.T. Barrett ran in his career, the Ohio State offense seems to be leaning toward the abilities of Fields more than Baldwin. But there has not been an official decision, and there likely will not be one until the fall. The Spring Game might not be as critical to Day’s decision as the outside world may perceive. But there is one thing Day wants to see from Fields and Baldwin. “The coaches are off the field, so now it’s their team,” Day said. By the time Aug. 31 comes around and the coaches are off the field for good, it will likely be Fields’ team.
New Sevilla manager Pablo Machin has admitted that the opportunity to manage the club was “very hard to say no” to and was happy with his “fairy tale” exit from GironaThe Spanish coach was announced as the new boss of Los Hispalenses on Monday after impressing in his four years in charge of Girona in La Liga.Machin was appointed the manager of Girona in March 2014 and saved them from being relegated to the second division and then led the Catalan side to a top-10 finish this season.“It’s the happy ending of a fairy tale,” said Machin, according to Football-Espana.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.“Some time ago I stated that I wanted the people of the city to be proud of Girona, proud of the team and that the club will continue to grow, with more people wearing the shirt.“Now they will also have one more supporter in Seville and I would only ever have left if an irrevocable offer arrived, and it did.”He added: “When a Coach like me is put before a club like Sevilla, then it is very hard to say no.”Joaquin Caparros, who replaced the fired Vincenzo Montella in April, and ensured Sevilla’s place in Europe for next season will now become the director of football at the Spanish side.
Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen hailed the progress his old side have made in their backline over the past five yearsThe Reds will be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day for the first time since the 2013/14 campaign.Back then, under now-Celtic coach Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool nearly claimed their first English league title since 1990 – only to end up finishing two points behind winners Manchester City.But this season Liverpool are yet to lose a single one of their 18 games with just seven goals conceded in the process.And Owen is now backing Jurgen Klopp’s side to go one better this time around due to their improvements in defence.“They’ve got a better defence,” said Owen on the Premier League website.“You can look at [Daniel] Sturridge, [Raheem] Sterling and Suarez, and say, ‘Who’s the best?’ Those three, or [Sadio] Mane, [Mohamed] Salah and [Roberto] Firmino, and you can debate it all night long.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.“But the facts of the matter are, their defence now, they don’t ever look like conceding.“Brilliant goalkeeper, brilliant back four, protection in front of that back four. They’re looking ominous.”Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville also agrees that Klopp’s team is better than the one coached by Rodgers five years ago.“They’re a better team than the Brendan Rodgers team,” said the six-time Premier League winner.“I know they had [Luis] Suarez, they had Steven Gerrard, but I think they’re a better team [now].“They’ve got a better squad, they’re playing better football, they’re in control, it’s worrying for us Man Utd fans that’s for sure.”Liverpool defeated Wolves 2-0 on Friday night.
The Napoli footballer was racially abused on Wednesday during the match between his club and Internazionale MilanNapoli’s footballer Kalidou Koulibaly was racially abused during the match between his side and FC Internazionale Milan.Inter Milan has been sanctioned with two games to be played behind closed doors, and a partial closure for the Nerazzurri’s third match.And FIFPro and UEFA have jointly condemned the racist abuse.Serie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“Both organizations applaud the prompt actions taken by Italy’s football authorities, who sanctioned FC Internazionale with the next two matches to be played behind closed doors and, additionally, with a partial closure for FC Internazionale’s third home match,” read a statement published on FIFPro’s official website.“However, FIFPro and UEFA are very concerned by this unacceptable racist incident and by what appears on the surface to be a failure to respect the widely-recognized three-step anti-racism protocol.”“Koulibaly, a French-Senegalese defender, was subject to racist chanting and, despite announcements made by the stadium speaker, the chants did not stop,” the release continued.“Moreover, it seems that Napoli’s coaching staff had already informed the referee several times of racist chants.”