After much hand-wringing over how many Kansas City Royals would start the MLB All-Star Game, the final fan voting tallies were released late Sunday, and the rest of America can breathe a sigh of relief. The tabulation revealed that “only” four K.C. players — Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez — will be slotted into the lineup by the fans.(Two Royals relief pitchers, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera, were added by the players and Royals manager Ned Yost, who is managing the American League this year. Third baseman Mike Moustakas has a chance to become the fifth Royal chosen by the fans in the final round of voting, which ends Friday.)It was a far cry from the staggering eight Royals who were in position to start the game for the American League a few weeks ago, a number that sparked accusations of improper ballot-box stuffing (which MLB officials denied). Had the Royals sustained that number — or even one fewer, if we exclude designated hitters, as Baseball-Reference’s yearly table does — it would have been historic. Since baseball ditched dual All-Star Games in 1963, no team has garnered more than five non-DH position-player starters in one midsummer classic.Kansas City almost certainly didn’t deserve that many players on the lineup card. Based on the historical relationship between a team’s All-Star Game position-player starters and its record, a team with seven starters (again, excluding the DH) should have won something like 68 percent of its games through midseason, which would come out to 110 wins over a full season.1If we regress to the mean, as good sabermetrics would suggest we should, it would work out to a true talent of 103 wins. (Which is still a lot.) That’s as many as the juggernaut 1927 Yankees had.2Albeit in 154 games.But the Royals aren’t the ’27 Yankees. Fangraphs projects that the Royals will finish the year with 92 wins if they maintain their first-half form.As it is, four All-Star starters is an impressive count. Only 14 teams since 1963 have had that many position players as starters.You can quibble over how many starters the team actually deserved. According to Fangraphs’ version of wins above replacement (WAR), only left fielder Gordon leads American Leaguers at his position thus far in 2015. And based on historical teams with the same midseason record, there was only a 1.9 percent probability that the Royals would get four or more starters. The voting power of Kansas City’s fans certainly seems to have exceeded the performance of its players.But the Royals do boast five players who rank among the AL’s top four at their position in WAR (Gordon, Cain and Perez, plus Eric Hosmer and Moustakas). And Kansas City’s record is also very much in keeping with those of the four-starter club’s other members: As of Sunday, their winning percentage on the season (58.2 percent) was only marginally lower than the average first-half winning percentage (59.1 percent) for all teams with four All-Star Game starters since 1963.Yes, the Royals fan base was particularly mobilized during this season’s voting cycle, perhaps out of leftover enthusiasm from last year’s World Series run (which came after years of futility). But maybe that’s a key part of the story as well. From 2001 through 2013, K.C. didn’t have a single All-Star starter; less than a month ago, it looked like they’d have eight in one year. Sympathy turned into backlash. The fans’ votes eventually found the equilibrium between those extremes, and that the Royals ended up with four starters isn’t so crazy after all.
Atlanta156.36-0.3 According to Elo, Kansas City was expected to win about about eight of their 16 playoff games, four more than they actually won. That’s a testament to how good the Chiefs’ regular seasons have been, but also to how many ways they’ve fallen short in the playoffs. They’ve choked late in games (Chiefs fans surely remember the team’s slow collapse against Indy in 2014) and been blown out early (they fell in quick holes against the Colts in 2004 and the Bills in 1994). According to their win probability added (WPA) at various stages of the game, the Chiefs have done plenty of both during their run of playoff futility. Cincinnati94.21-3.2 Kansas City167.64-3.6 Houston62.63+0.4 Cleveland10.30-0.3 Arizona114.26+1.8 Tampa Bay115.35-0.3 Miami177.46-1.4 Philadelphia2613.212-1.2 WINS After a hard-earned bye in Week 1 of this year’s NFL playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs are back in the divisional round for the second straight season. You’ll have to forgive K.C. fans, however, if they aren’t all that optimistic.Simply put, the second round of the playoffs is where Chiefs seasons usually go to die. Including this year, they’ve made seven trips to the divisional round since 1990 (when the league expanded its playoff field to 12 teams). They haven’t made it any further than that since 1993, when they lost to the Bills in the AFC Championship Game.And it hasn’t been for lack of trying. From 1990 through this year, K.C. has been in the postseason 13 times, the eighth-most of any team. But the Chiefs own one of the most disappointing playoff records in modern history: They’ve won a grand total of four playoff games over that span — the fifth-fewest of any team in football. Kansas City’s playoff record is an abysmal 4-12 during that stretch.In fairness to the Chiefs, they’ve played more than half of those playoff games on the road. They’ve also run into more than their share of tough opponents, including the 2015 Patriots and 2010 Ravens in recent years and the Super Bowl-bound Colts, Broncos and Bills in an earlier era. But even if we account for those factors using FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings — which can be used to create a prediction for each game — K.C. still has the biggest shortfall between its actual and expected playoff wins of any NFL team since 1990: Washington146.67+0.4 Buffalo189.610+0.4 Chicago125.95-0.9 San Diego167.87-0.8 Detroit103.91-2.9 Oakland136.76-0.7 New England3822.625+2.4 Minnesota199.16-3.1 Green Bay3619.620+0.4 Biggest playoff underachievers in the 12-team era, 1990-2016 Jacksonville114.55+0.5 Los Angeles105.66+0.4 New Orleans157.97-0.9 Pittsburgh3318.619+0.4 Dallas2413.514+0.5 This funk has lasted so long that it’s hard to assign blame for Kansas City’s struggles. The Chiefs’ stretch of underachievement spans seven different coaches and 11 primary quarterbacks. (Under the team’s current QB, Alex Smith, K.C. has a 1-2 record in the playoffs.) Maybe there’s something in the water — or at least in Arthur Bryant’s barbecue sauce — that precludes the team from making a deep playoff run. Or maybe, given enough teams and enough time, these kinds of droughts will inevitably happen to somebody.VIDEO: The Chiefs are chronic underachievers Indianapolis2913.814+0.2 Denver2613.715+1.3 Carolina167.49+1.6 Seattle2312.013+1.0 N.Y. Jets155.87+1.2 N.Y. Giants229.714+4.3 Baltimore2511.416+4.6 San Francisco2715.215-0.2 Forecasted wins are based on the game’s location and each team’s pregame Elo ratingsSource: Pro-Football-Reference.com Tennessee168.16-2.1 FRANCHISENO. OF GAMESFORECASTEDACTUALDIFFERENCE Either way, this could finally be the year for a Chiefs breakthrough. On Sunday, they’ll play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Elo gives them a 64 percent chance of moving on to the AFC Championship Game — K.C.’s best odds in a playoff game since they hosted the Colts in a divisional-round game in 1996. (Naturally, the Chiefs lost that one, too.) Furthermore, Kansas City is built like a team that traditionally succeeds in the postseason, with a strong special teams and passing defense, plus a surprisingly efficient aerial attack featuring quarterback Alex Smith and tight end Travis Kelce.None of this guarantees that K.C. will overcome its long history of postseason disappointment, nor does it mean the Chiefs are necessarily “due” for a playoff turnaround after such a long wait. But with Elo giving the team a 15 percent chance of winning this year’s Super Bowl, Kansas City’s championship odds are the highest they’ve been at this stage of the playoffs in a long time.1Specifically, since K.C.’s divisional-round game against Denver in 1998, before which it had a 21 percent chance of winning the championship, per Elo. Now it’s up to this team to break with Chiefs tradition and win a dang divisional game.Check out our latest NFL playoff predictions.
PlayerYearAgeOPS+PlayerYearAgeWAR/G Ronald Acuña Jr.’s rookie year was historicFor MLB hitters age 20 or younger in a season since 1901, greatest adjusted on-base plus slugging and wins above replacement per game 20Vada Pinson195920129Mel Ott192819.032 Min. 450 plate appearances for OPS+ leaders and 100 games for WAR/G leadersSources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs 17Bryce Harper201320133Ken Griffey Jr.199020.033 2Ty Cobb190720167Alex Rodriguez199620.064 3Mel Ott192920165Mel Ott192920.051 10Ronald Acuña Jr.201820145Jason Heyward201020.039 18Tony Conigliaro196520133Bryce Harper201320.033 11Juan Soto201819143Vada Pinson195920.038 4Al Kaline195520162Al Kaline195520.051 8Rogers Hornsby191620151Frank Robinson195620.041 15Ken Griffey Jr.199020136Bryce Harper201219.034 13Dick Hoblitzell190920143Rogers Hornsby191620.037 16Sherry Magee190520134Sherry Magee190520.034 At a glance, Acuña’s early 2019 numbers actually represent a slight downgrade from that stellar rookie campaign. His OPS+ has dipped from 145 to 134, thanks to a big decline in slugging percentage (.552 to .487). Relatedly, Acuña is hitting home runs less frequently, and his isolated power is down nearly 70 points. It looks sure like a mild sophomore slump — albeit one we should all be so lucky to have.Under the surface, however, Acuña has made some impressive strides this year in two important areas: plate discipline and defense.Acuña’s 2018 walk rate of 9.2 percent was already better than league average — particularly impressive considering the whole “20-year-old rookie” factor — but his 2019 rate is up to 12.7 percent, which ranks 35th in baseball. He’s seeing more pitches (4.61 per plate appearance, second-most in baseball) and consistently getting into good hitter’s counts more often than he did a year ago. At the same time, Acuña has been whiffing a lot less so far in 2019. He struck out in 25.3 percent of his plate appearances last season, which ranked him around the bottom quarter of MLB hitters, but this year that rate is down to 21.8 percent, comfortably in the top half of the league.Those changes give Acuña an overall strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.72, which is the second-lowest in baseball for a hitter his age. Since a player’s batting eye is a core leading indicator for his underlying hitting skills, Acuña’s improved strike-zone judgment is a great sign of his ongoing development at the plate.The other area in which Acuña has improved is defense. We combined the Ultimate Zone Rating figures found at FanGraphs and the Defensive Runs Saved numbers at Baseball-Reference.com and found that Acuña was no better than an average outfielder last season. (And he might have been worse than that — another prominent metric, Michael Humphreys’ Defensive Regression Analysis, considered him to be 3 runs below average.) This season, Acuña’s numbers are up no matter which source you consult; he’s on pace to have improved by about 10 runs — or 1 entire win — if he ends up playing the same number of innings as in 2018.4Which probably undersells his potential improvement, because Acuña was limited to 111 games last year between injuries and Atlanta’s service-time chicanery.The advanced fielding stats may just be catching up with what the eye test already knew about Acuña’s defensive potential. FanGraphs’ annual poll of fan fielding assessments had already judged Acuña to be one of the most talented left fielders in the game last season, thanks to his tremendous first step and speed to the ball off the bat. But now that he’s putting those skills to use in the metrics, Acuña’s potential value looks even greater: Per 162 team games, he’s tracking for 7.0 WAR this season, which basically matches what Ken Griffey Jr. and Albert Pujols had at the same age.Acuña’s dip in power this year is a bit puzzling, particularly since his Statcast hitting metrics — including exit velocity, hard-hit ball rate and “barrels” (balls hit with the ideal velocity and launch angle) — are also down across the board. Some of that might come down to the injury that kept him out of Sunday’s game: “It’s been on and off,” Acuña told reporters through an interpreter after picking up four hits but exiting Saturday’s game early. “I’ve felt it for a while, so it wasn’t today. Today, it just kind of grabbed at me after I had a quick swing like that and got out of the box pretty quickly. That’s when I felt it. But I felt good coming into today, as always.”But assuming his back isn’t an ongoing issue, Acuña should get plenty more pitches to crush as the season goes on, given his improved willingness to wait out favorable counts. Acuña may not be launching balls out of the park left and right like Bellinger at the moment — he hasn’t homered since April 16, in fact — but the foundation of his game still has superstardom stamped into it as much as ever. 5Mickey Mantle195220162Ted Williams193920.046 14Mel Ott192819139Ronald Acuña Jr.201820.035 When the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Atlanta Braves for a three-game series starting tonight, all eyes will be on a precocious young star who’s taken his game to the next level early this season. We are, of course, talking about L.A.’s Cody Bellinger … right? Certainly Bellinger has been great so far, and he was just named the National League’s player of the month for April. But “precocious young star” could also fit Bellinger’s counterpart on the Braves: Ronald Acuña Jr. Acuña’s ongoing development as a superstar hasn’t gotten as much attention as Bellinger’s, particularly during his recent slump and injury absence over the weekend, but Atlanta’s 21-year-old left fielder is showing important signs of improvement, too, despite surface-level numbers that can’t match those of his Dodger rival.Acuña’s 2018 rookie season already put him in the history books. After being held down in Triple-A until April 25, he posted the 10th-best adjusted on-base plus slugging (OPS+) of any player age 20 or younger in a season since 1901,1Minimum 450 plate appearances. edging out fellow NL East outfielder Juan Soto in the process, and he had the 14th-most wins above replacement2Averaging together the WAR versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. per game3Minimum 100 games. of any 20-or-under hitter over the same span, besting Bryce Harper, Ken Griffey Jr. and Willie Mays. Adj. on-base plus sluggingWins above replacement per game 6Alex Rodriguez199620161Mickey Mantle195220.046 1Mike Trout201220168Mike Trout201220.074 19Jason Heyward201020131Willie Mays195120.032 7Ted Williams193920160Ty Cobb190720.046 9Jimmie Foxx192820148Jimmie Foxx192820.040 12Frank Robinson195620143Manny Machado201320.037
Junior Kyle Snyder lifts Penn State’s Nick Nevills for a takedown on Feb. 3, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 32-12. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Sports EditorThe No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes stepped out to the mats draped in robes on Friday at the Schottenstein Center, but they weren’t able to get comfortable against the No. 2 Nittany Lions, eventually losing 32-12. OSU only managed three wins in 10 bouts.One of those victories was junior Kyle Snyder in the heavyweight division. The Olympic gold medal winner dominated No. 3 Nick Nevills 19-9. That was the highlight for the Buckeyes.Penn State began its dominance early starting with second-ranked Nick Suriano. OSU redshirt freshman Jose Rodriguez had little answer for Suriano, losing via technical fall at 125 pounds.No. 1 133-pounder redshirt junior Nathan Tomasello captured a technical fall of his own to even the team score 5-5, but it was the closest the Buckeyes would come to the upset.Penn State proceeded to go on a six-match win streak, driving the score up to 32-5 before OSU redshirt freshman Kollin Moore captured a victory at 197 pounds. The Buckeyes were mathematically eliminated from a shot at a victory before the 184-pound matchup began.At 149 pounds, No. 5 Micah Jordan (OSU) was pitted against No. 1 Zain Retherford, and dropped the matchup with a 20-5 technical fall. Jordan has faced top-three opponents each of the last two weeks.“Micah Jordan wrestled a heck of a match against a heck of a wrestler,” OSU coach Tom Ryan said. “We had a mental break, and that mental break resulted in a six-point move. Two six-point moves occurred, and then you have a problem.”The Buckeyes trotted out backups at 157 and 174 pounds. Penn State had a top-10 wrestler in each of those classes and showed it by pinning their OSU counterparts at each of those weights.At 184 pounds, there was a rematch from the 2016 National Championships between sophomores Myles Martin and Bo Nickal. While Martin won the National Championship for OSU, Nickal got the better of him in this matchup, winning by decision 8-2.Fourth-ranked 197-pounder Kollin Moore continued to cement himself as one of the elite wrestlers in his weight class with a 9-6 decision victory over No. 9 Matt McCutcheon (PSU).On the night, the Buckeyes finished with three victories in 10 matchups, and they’re second consecutive team loss. There were no upset victories on the night, as every match was won by the wrestler who was ranked higher.At 174 pounds, Bo Jordan was out after aggravating a foot injury last week against Iowa, Ryan said in the post-match press conference.“The only reason why I would’ve wrestled him (Bo Jordan) tonight, was for my ego, the ego of this staff, and that’s a wrong reason to put someone in a wrestling match,” Ryan said. “The best thing for Bo is to heal and get ready to train. We do not want Bo feeling the way he feels now at the Big Tens.”On another note, American wrestlers were banned from participating in the Iranian World Cup, which included Snyder and former Buckeye great, and four-time NCAA champion, Logan Stieber.“I know they want us there to compete,” Snyder said about the current status of the U.S. Wrestling team’s visas to travel to Iran. “We’ll just have to see what happens.”Snyder and Stieber were set to wrestle in the tournament Feb. 16-17 before receiving news that they were not allowed to travel to Iran.OSU’s next match comes against another top opponent in No. 13 Rutgers on Monday in Columbus.
The Ohio State men’s basketball team has been a dominant force at home and has an opportunity to go undefeated at the Schottenstein Center this season.Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament are away from OSU. “Going on the road is battle testing,” junior David Lighty said. “Seeing where your team’s mind is gets you ready for the tournament because you never know where you are going to play.”Despite its unblemished home record, the Bucks are just 2-5 on the road and 1-1 on a neutral court. With four of their final seven regular-season games on the road, including games at Michigan State and Illinois, the Buckeyes will have to have success away from home to have any chance at a regular season Big Ten Championship.Lighty said the team tries to imagine it is always playing in Columbus.“We try to treat it like home games, but it’s hard to do with all the opponent fans chanting and going crazy,” Lighty said. “Coach talks about us keeping that same mindset and being prepared for all the situations that happen on the road.”One problem for the Buckeyes is their lack of offensive production on the road. For a team that has eclipsed the 100-point barrier three times this season, it has only scored 70-plus points once away from home, in a 77-73 loss to North Carolina at Madison Square Garden. Coach Thad Matta said the Buckeyes don’t try to change too much on the road. “You are who you are,” Matta said. “We don’t attempt to reinvent the wheel going into a different opponent. “Road games are a big testing ground for the conference tourney and NCAA Tournament. While the Big Ten Tournament is located in Indianapolis this year, if Ohio State were to make the field of 65, the closest opening round site to Columbus would be in Buffalo, N.Y. “My freshman year we played in San Antonio during the tournament and we could have played Texas A&M, which would have been like a home game for them,” Lighty said. “All the road games we played up to that point prepared us for that situation and you just have to take it in stride.”Junior Evan Turner said that while he knows how important it is to win road games, playing away from Columbus doesn’t bother him. “It prepares you for that tough environment,” Turner said. “Playing overseas in Serbia, that was a tough environment. So playing out here feels like Disneyland.”While the road has been far from a fairy tale for the Buckeyes, they understand how important winning road games are to move up the standings and gain experience for postseason play. But Turner says that they have to remember what’s being played, not where. “We’ve all been through these experiences,” Turner said. “So, you just pay attention to the game, not where you are playing at.”
Redshirt-senior left tackle Jack Mewhort (74) prepares to block a defender during a game against Penn State Oct. 26 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 63-14.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorIt is often said football games are won or lost in the trenches. The 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes make no exception to this school of thought.Although senior running back Carlos Hyde is having a great season for the No. 3-ranked Ohio State football team (10-0, 6-0), if it weren’t for the “big uglies,” Hyde’s numbers would be lower.“I give all credit to my offensive line and my receivers,” Hyde said after the game against Illinois, in which he ran for a career-high 246 yards. “They did a great job.”A big part of the offensive line’s success this year has come from redshirt-senior left tackle Jack Mewhort, who is set to start his final game at Ohio Stadium as a member of the OSU football team. It is set to be the 36th straight game Mewhort has started for the Buckeyes.Mewhort said Monday he is “trying not to think about” playing his last game in Ohio Stadium.“I know that when I run out of the tunnel for that last time, it’s going to be a pretty emotional thing,” Mewhort said. “But it’s been a great ride … I owe who I am to this university and this program. So it’s going to mean a lot to me, like I said my last time. I’m going to be taking it all in and looking forward to it.”The last time Mewhort did not start for the Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium was Nov. 27, 2010, in a 37-7 Buckeye win against Michigan.During the Big Ten Teleconference Tuesday, Meyer said Mewhort brings not only a high level of play, but great leadership to the Buckeyes.“He’s one of my all-time favorite players I’ve been around. He’s playing at an extremely high level, but that’s just part of it,” Meyer said. “His leadership — he got hurt last week so we had to take him out of the game and our offense just started spiring and it’s not just the fact that he’s a heck of a player, it’s just the leadership value he brings and the ‘esprit de corps’ that he is a part of.”A large part of the offensive line’s success, Mewhort said, has been the ability to take responsibility as leaders and players.“We did a lot of growing up, as far as maturity goes. I think when coach Meyer got here, we realized that we were the older guys now, and we had to assume some responsibility and not just take a back seat and watch other guys do it,” Mewhort said. “That’s kind of what I’ve mentioned before, guys taking ownership. That was really cool to see. Coach Meyer put a lot of pressure on us to do that and we accepted that and that’s when we started to see guys thrive.”A big concern for the Buckeyes will be blocking out the Senior Day emotions in addition to the BCS standings, and just focusing on Indiana (4-6, 2-4), Mewhort said.“I think there’s a big focus on that now especially that we’re winding down. I think things are getting kind of real for us,” Mewhort said. “We have our eyes on something, but we don’t want to talk about it and I think that’s what coach Meyer was talking about … we’re just going to take it day by day and go through the daily grind and try to get better as an offense and defense.”Redshirt-senior center Corey Linsley agreed with Mewhort, adding that keeping focused on the next game has been part of OSU’s success this year.“Things like the win streak and clinching the Leaders Division and all this, it’s a lot of pressure on you and to think about that stuff and concentrate on that stuff it produces nothing but anxiety, stress,” Linsley said. “Week in and week out, I know it sounds cliche … but it’s a one game season for us. We’ve done nothing but prepare like that all year. Truly, that’s been a huge part of our success.”Mewhort and the rest of the seniors on the Buckeye offensive line are scheduled for their last game at Ohio Stadium Saturday at 3:30 p.m.Mewhort said it has been special playing with the senior class and watching them grow.“I just think we are a really close-knit group of guys. Passionate, I would say. Really caring,” Mewhort said. “There’s something I haven’t seen … I’ve seen guys change over the past three years and really become selfless people. That’s something that’s really special. Seeing guys transform from ‘me’ guys into ‘team’ guys.”
Sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa (97) leads a group of OSU players in tackling Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds (19) during a game against the Midshipmen Aug. 30 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. OSU won, 34-17.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorJust days after playing Navy, the Ohio State defense is preparing to play a completely different style of football as it gears up for its first home game against Virginia Tech.The Buckeyes, which faced the unusual triple-option offense of Navy last week, are now preparing for a more traditional attack run by the Hokies. Coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday that he and his coaches know making the switch from preparing for Navy to getting ready for Virginia Tech will not, and has not, been easy. “In our defense — coaches are actually saying that its hard enough to play Navy, and then all of sudden the week after, you wish had an easier team than this,” Meyer said. One of those coaches, defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who is in his first year at OSU, said it’s nice to put Navy in the rearview mirror.“It feels good to get that behind us,” Johnson said Monday. “Now (we) can go fast forward (against) a team that runs some things that we can adjust to and play a little faster.”Sophomore safety Vonn Bell said the defense has to be prepared for everything the Hokies will throw at them. “It’s a lot of tricky stuff, a lot of tricky formations. We just have to stay disciplined, reading our keys and we are going to have success,” Bell said. “You never know what to expect. You just have to be alert.”Meyer said Monday that he is particularly excited for his defensive line players, as they had to face relentless cut blocks from the Navy offensive line, something that has become uncommon in today’s college football landscape.“I just think of our D-linemen. (Sophomore) Joey Bosa didn’t come to Ohio State to squeeze down blocks and keep people off his ankles,” Meyer said. “That’s what he had to do last week. He came to rush a quarterback and penetrate. So there’s big smiles across our defensive line right now to let them go play.”Redshirt-freshman linebacker Darron Lee added to Meyer’s comments and said his teammates are happy to be taking on a traditional offense.“I am sure the D-line is happy they get to pass rush now as opposed to taking on double teams all the time,” Lee said Monday. “Our coaches are forcing us back into our basic defenses. We will be fine, it is just switching modes. It’s a bit of relief, just playing our normal game.”Bosa agreed with Meyer and Lee on Wednesday and said that the defensive line has been waiting to show what it can do. “It was not a fun game last week,” Bosa said. “(I’m) still feeling sore from it. This week we will get to rush the passer a little bit, which we obviously love to do.”Bosa also said that because of the switch to Virginia Tech, the defensive line has to get used to doing things the way they were done before playing Navy. “We did nothing we have ever done before last week and now we are getting back to what were our basics and everything we usually run and it almost seems foreign after doing it for so long,” he said.The game against Virginia Tech is expected to take place in front of a record crowd Saturday, as the university added 2,600 seats to Ohio Stadium during the offseason. Bosa said he is ecstatic to be playing in front of the home fans once again.“Nothing is like playing in front of 110,000 people,” Bosa said. “I am just excited to get back in there.”While OSU athletics isn’t quite expecting 110,000 — they’re anticipating about 108,000 fans, which includes non-ticketed attendees, according to a university release — Meyer added to Bosa’s excitement. “I call it ‘night games Buckeye style,’” Meyer said. “That stadium is awesome. We have had some great games there in the last two years at night.”Meyer also said he believes Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James might be in attendance on the sidelines for the game. The Buckeyes and Hokies are scheduled to kickoff at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Passengers on an easyJet flight from Gatwick to Venice endured a terrifying trip in which a traveller repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and “today we will die”.The Mail on Sunday reported the man shouting the threats was a migrant who, accompanied by Home Office officials, was being deported.An 11-minute audio recording captured the man’s tirade. He screamed “Allahu Akbar” 29 times, “death is coming” 17 times, and “we will die” nine times. Earlier this year it emerged that the Government wasted £1.9 million on “phantom deportations” buying plane tickets for failed asylum seekers who never showed up.A spokesman for easyJet said: “We acknowledge that on this occasion the situation on board could have been distressing for other passengers and apologise for that.”The Home Office declined to comment on individual cases. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Witnesses said officials accompanying the man tried to subdue him as best they could.Lucy O’Sullivan, 33, from Detling, Kent who was travelling with her husband, Terence, said she felt threatened.“The worst-case scenario was that we weren’t going to get off that plane alive because we didn’t know who the person was, what the circumstances were or anything. There was nothing explained to us. It was very daunting.“When we got on board, the seats were moving so he was obviously kicking or thrashing out. I thought someone was having a fit.“But when we got up close we could see people were restraining him.”
In the podcast the singer told Mr Corbyn he has an “obsession” with compost and when the opposition leader questioned him further asking: “Do you turn the compost? … and do you put rods in? and do you water your heap?”, the star replied: “I wee on it!” His prized produce, which includes sweetcorn, leeks and artichokes, is complemented by his special compost, he revealed. In a surprising revelation the Labour leader revealed in a podcast to singer Will Young how adding urine to compost is “excellent” and says “everyone in allotments does”. Far from being shocked, Mr Corbyn responded: “Well that too,… Jeremy Corbyn has revealed the secret to his flourishing allotment – how he ‘waters’ his compost.
The death of a student who took ecstasy as a “final fling” following the end of her university exams has prompted a pathologist to warn young people against fooling themselves into believing they are immortal.Joana Burns was with a group of friends celebrating the end of her final year of a maths degree at Sheffield Hallam University when she took £7 worth of the drug.Miss Burns rolled the powdered drug, also known as MDMA, into ‘bombs’ and took one before she went into the union building on June 6 last year.But after taking another bomb in the early hours of the morning the 22-year-old vomited it straight back up and began fitting before being rushed to hospital, where she later died.Pathologist Kim Suvarna told an inquest into her death on Wednesday that Miss Burns died from drug toxicity after the MDMA reacted with enzymes in her body, causing it to overheat.Dr Suvarna, a Consultant Histopathologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said people up and down the country, like Miss Burns and her friends, take the drug without paying too much thought to the dangers.But he added: “There’s no such thing as a safe drug, particularly with this kind of psychoactive substance. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “If you are susceptible, they will kill you. The young tend to believe they can do things they wish because they are young and immortal. Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply.”Lewis Birch, Miss Burns’s boyfriend, told the hearing at Sheffield Coroner’s Court that she had taken the ecstasy willingly and he thought it was probably the third time she had done so.He said they were with a group who decided to go to the Tuesday Club at Sheffield University students’ union – an event he said was known for the use of ecstasy.Mr Birch said he had paid £14 for two quarters of ecstasy – cheaper than the price he had previously paid – and that nobody else who took the drug in the group suffered any adverse effects.There had been reports at the time of Miss Burns’ death that one of her friends had also collapsed.Mr Birch, a former biomedical sciences student who said he had been in a relationship with Miss Burns for three years, said the group had decided to go out that night as a last celebration of their time at university.The night out was described by Detective Constable Elizabeth Cooper, who investigated Miss Burns’ death, as a “final fling”. Assistant coroner Abigail Combes recorded a verdict of misadventure.Following the inquest Miss Burns’s mother Mosca Burns, from Alfreton, Derbyshire, urged youngsters to resist the temptation to experiment with drugs.Speaking outside court she said: “I would prefer it if nobody took MDMA again because I don’t really think you can assess the risk.”It’s different every time you take it. It can have a different effect on your body, it’s made in different ways, in different recipes, in different places, by different people, with different ethics. So, it’s not worth the risk.”Mrs Burns has previously expressed the hope that her daughter, who wanted to be a maths teacher, would be remembered more as an inspiration for girls to take up maths rather than as another victim of illegal drugs.