3.1464 3.1415926535 3.141592657 3.141592610 3.14133 3.141526 3.173 LEVEL OF PRECISIONPERCENTAGE OF RESPONDENTS Today is Pi Day — the day each year, March 14, that follows the first three digits of pi (3.14). And this year’s Pi Day is a special one: Since — in the U.S. — the date is represented as 3/14/15, we have the first five digits of pi on the calendar.That’s news for some people. When it comes to how many digits of pi people know by heart, the majority only know 3.14. Which is fine! Unless you’re building a bridge, that’s the most you will really need to know.I asked SurveyMonkey Audience to put out a poll to see how far people could get reciting the infinite digits of pi. Of 941 respondents, 836 attempted to name the digits after the decimal point. This is how far they got: 3.14159212 3.1415919 If you can get to the first 3 after the decimal point, you’re in the top 5 percent of pi memorizers. I asked the people who got that far to keep going, and most tapped out shortly after.The biggest drop came after “3.14,” as respondents who got that far made it to “3.141” only about 52 percent of the time.And that’s fine!NASA employees can probably get away with knowing only the first six digits after the decimal point. Also, we have calculators for when we need a few more digits, TI-89s for when those calculators are insufficient and Wolfram Alpha for when we reduce those calculators to a smoking, melted mess.Maybe after the highly anticipated apocalypse, the guys at the Large Hadron Collider will be happy to have that dude who memorized tens of thousands of pi digits around, but for now, he’s just got a weird hobby. Knowing pi is strictly a performative act, like people who readily volunteer their SAT score or high school completion percentage.But, uh, happy holidays.
The Minnesota Vikings found a way to stop Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins, showing late resolve after a series of final-minute collapses.Adrian Peterson ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns, and the Vikings forced Griffin into three straight incompletions from the 4-yard line to hold on for a 34-27 victory Thursday night.After losing three games this year in the final minute, the Vikings finally pulled one out.“There were many times during the course of that game where they could’ve gone, ‘Oh, no, here we go again,’” coach Leslie Frazier said.Christian Ponder went 17-for-21, for 174 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Minnesota before leaving late in the third quarter with a dislocated shoulder on his non-throwing left arm. John Carlson had seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown, and rookie Cordarrelle Patterson also had a scoring reception for the Vikings (2-7).“We just played the way we were supposed to,” Ponder said. “We executed like an NFL team is supposed to, especially a 10-6 playoff team like we were last year. We really needed that, to help out with our confidence, and now that’s our expectation for the rest of the year.”Griffin was 24-for-37 for 281 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers for the Redskins (3-6), who led 27-14 early in the third quarter. He also ran seven times for 44 yards, but the Vikings took him down for four sacks for 39 yards in the second half, including 2 1/2 by Kevin Williams.The Redskins committed eight penalties for 63 yards.“You can’t do that,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “You’ve got to keep your poise. You make mistakes like that and so often it will cost you the game.”With the Redskins out of timeouts, Griffin ran for 12 yards on fourth-and-1 at his own 49, right after the 2-minute warning. After a run to the 4, the Vikings stopped the clock. Wide receiver Greg Jennings was livid on the sideline, but Frazier defended the timeout to give the drained defense a rest and allow at least a few seconds for a comeback in case the Redskins scored.Read more at ESPN.
Watched golf this weekend—no this was not a masochistic endeavor. It was sort of a one-man straw poll on the sport that once rose like a supernova that is now descending like a fallen star.What is watching golf like without Tiger Woods?It’s like having sweet tea without the sugar; like watching Training Day without Denzel; like a Beyonce video that’s too dark to see.Empty.It does not matter the event or the depth of the field. If Tiger Woods is not playing, the panache is absent.It once was considered an overstatement to say that golf lived and died with Tiger Woods. Not anymore. Golf is dying—professionally and recreationally—as Woods makes his descent.Watching Woods play badly is more interesting than seeing world No. 1 Rory McIlroy shoot 62.Who would have thought that a Black man would dominate the sport so significantly that at one point people wondered if it was good for the game that he won so much? Here’s the thing: Everyone won when Woods was at his apex.TV ratings were sky high. Prize money exponentially increased to induce Woods to play and because sponsors were at a premium, knowing Woods was going to fill the course with patrons in record numbers and generate unprecedented TV ratings. Many who never considered the game recreationally began playing, especially in the Black community.Woods made a lot of people a lot of money as a Black man reigning over a traditionally white sport, and doing it with flair.You had to watch. And you began to think you should at least try to play. Even if you weren’t very good—which describes everybody in the beginning.But the worst case scenario happened to the game: Tiger Woods is not playing as he tries to locate a game that has been missing for some time now. His absence and the decline of golf viewership run parallel. It is not a coincidence.Phil Mickelson’s a great American player who does not have the zest of Tiger. McIlroy is as interesting as Irish coffee. A host of young, talented players have no drawing power to the casual, would-be viewer.Television ratings have dipped to levels of the absurd without Woods. The final round of the 2014 Masters lured only 7.8 percent of television viewers. That weekend produced the unique major championship’s smallest TV audience since 1993.Sunday when Tiger does not probably could have been tallied by head count by Neilson.Unless Woods’ game has deteriorated to the point where he wouldn’t want to embarrass himself, he will tee it up next month in Augusta at the Masters. Watch the ratings skyrocket, whether he plays well or not.If, by some amazing reversal, Wood is in contention on Sunday, golf executives around the country would be kissing his spikes. He moves the interest meter like no one in sports has since Michael Jordan.Outside the PGA Tour, golf is losing, too. TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, the world’s biggest maker of golf clubs and clothes, had sales plummet 28 percent last year, its parent company Adidas said to The Washington Post.More stats: Sports & Fitness Industry Association data show those who said they played golf at least once last year has fallen to one of its lowest point in years. Young people—that coveted 18-to-30 demographic—playing golf has fallen an incredible 35 percent over the last decade.And more stats: More golf courses closed than opened in 2013 for the eighth straight year, according to the National Golf Foundation. And the number of course closures has sped up, averaging 137 closings every year since 2011, data from golf-industry researcher Pellucid show—right around the time Woods began to fall apart.“There’s nobody out there who’s going to save us,” Pellucid’s president Jim Koppenhaver said at a Professional Golfers Association of America gathering in January. “We have to save ourselves.”Tiger Woods gave golf a great gift. An identity. A reason to watch. Inspiration to play. All that’s fading now, and the numbers say the descent is in full throttle. As he works to get back to form, the game continues to diminish in stature and interest. Now, you can bet all those who were rooting against Woods are now praying for him to save the sport.
History was made at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Sunday night, when the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team of the NHL’s salary-cap era to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.1The NHL instituted a salary cap after labor disputes that resulted in the loss of the entire 2004-05 season. Winning back-to-back titles wasn’t as big of a deal for much of the NHL’s history — through the 1970s and ’80s, it wasn’t uncommon to see teams win two, three or even four Stanley Cup titles in a row — but repeating has been notoriously difficult in recent decades.The last franchise to go back-to-back was the Detroit Red Wings, whose ridiculously talented Steve Yzerman-led teams won in 1997 and 1998. And before that, it was Mario Lemieux’s Penguins, buttressed by some teenager from the Czech Republic named Jaromir Jagr; they lifted the Cup in the springs of 1991 and 1992, cementing Pittsburgh as a hockey town.Just as those Penguins teams from the early 1990s owed a lot to their captain — Lemieux won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP in both Cup-winning campaigns — these Penguins have been powered by their leader, Sidney Crosby. He played brilliantly in this season’s playoffs, scoring 27 points in 24 games, including 7 in six games during the Final, and earning a second consecutive Smythe. Only one other player, beyond Crosby and Lemieux, has won back-to-back Smythes since the award was first given out in 1965.2That player is goalie Bernie Parent, who led the Philadelphia Flyers to Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975. (And it was never done by all-time greats like Wayne Gretzky, Patrick Roy and Bobby Orr, although each of those players won the trophy at least twice in his career.)Of course, netminder Matt Murray wasn’t too shabby, either. After returning from injury to play in the conference finals, Murray was virtually unbeatable. In 11 games, he recorded seven quality starts3Hockey-Reference.com defines a “quality start” as one in which a goalie records a save percentage greater than or equal to the league average for the season. (Or, if a goalie faces 20 shots or fewer, he must record an 88.5 percent save percentage for the start to be considered “quality.”) and stopped 93.7 percent of the shots he faced.Here’s the most ludicrous thing of all: Murray led Pittsburgh to not one, but two titles as a rookie. After backstopping the Pens to the title last season, he still qualified as a rookie for 2016-17 because of the way the NHL judges rookie status. That elevates Murray into the same territory as Montreal great Ken Dryden, who as a rookie led the Habs to a Stanley Cup championship in 1971.Dryden won the Conn Smythe that year, and because he’d played in only six regular-season games, he still qualified as a rookie for the 1971-72 season. The Habs failed to repeat, but Dryden won the Calder Trophy as the league’s best rookie. Regardless of what Murray does over the rest of his career, he and Dryden will always be mentioned in the same breath. That’s not bad company!Beyond Crosby and Murray, Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was exceptional, finishing as the leading scorer in the playoffs. Geno’s 28 points are tied for the sixth-most of any player in a single postseason since the lockout and are the second-most of his playoff career (trailing the insane 36 points he dropped in 2009, when he won the Conn Smythe).In the first nine seasons they played together, Crosby and Malkin were playoff fixtures. They won one Cup, but otherwise, the Penguins during that time frequently seemed to disappoint in the postseason. After Pittsburgh’s championship in 2009, its record under coach Dan Bylsma was just 27-27 in the postseason, and the team was 0-5 in elimination games. Despite having two of the best players of their generation, the Pens were underachieving. The Crosby-Malkin era had held such promise, but each star was aging out of his prime. It was beginning to look like they might have missed their window for further championship success.All that panic feels like a dream now. Two championships in succession have put Pittsburgh’s tally during the Crosby-Malkin era at three — one more than the team earned in the Lemieux-Jagr era.So where does this place Crosby and Malkin in Penguins lore? It’s difficult (and kind of foolish) to compare eras. The game has changed a lot since Lemieux and Jagr played together, and Crosby and Malkin probably won’t touch their predecessors’ scoring totals. But in terms of titles, the Crosby-Malkin era has been the most successful run in the Penguins’ history. It’s hard to argue with all that silverware.
The very first women’s NCAA basketball tournament was held in 1982, and Louisiana Tech took center stage. The Lady Techsters had already compiled a 109-9 record over the previous three seasons, winning the 1981 AIAW Championship (the precursor to the women’s tourney) with a perfect 34-0 record. Led by Wade Trophy winner1Given to the nation’s best women’s college player each season. Pam Kelly, the team put the finishing touches on another title in 1982 by defeating Cheyney and legendary coach C. Vivian Stringer in the final. It was the first of two NCAA championships Louisiana Tech would win in the 1980s and started a run of seven No. 1 seeds across nine NCAA tournaments.Louisiana Tech was the UConn of the women’s NCAA tourney’s early era. But aside from a few more strong seasons in the 1990s, it’s been downhill since. The Lady Techsters haven’t made the NCAA field since 2011 — at 14-14 this season, they aren’t likely to end that drought soon — and they haven’t had an All-American since Tamicha Jackson in 2000.Louisiana Tech isn’t alone among once-great programs whose talent pipelines have dried up. A number of teams that were the titans of the early NCAA tournament have struggled in recent decades. And in their place, a new ruling class of schools has emerged to become the defining programs of the modern age. In a championship as young as the women’s tournament, it’s been fascinating to watch the rise and fall of programs that, not very long ago, were in a very different place.To visualize the progress of women’s programs in the absence of game-level data, such as our Elo ratings, we can use NCAA Tournament seeds as a proxy for team strength over time. This doesn’t explicitly factor in how a team performs in the tournament itself, but it does measure the general quality of a team’s entire season — plus, higher seeds tend to win more in the tournament anyway2Both because they are better teams and because the women’s NCAA tournament gives higher seeds home games early in the bracket.. To measure this, we awarded “seed points” in proportion to a given seed number’s expected wins in the tournament, calibrated to a 100-point scale where the No. 1 seed gets 100 points, No. 2 gets 70 points, and so forth.3Using data since the women’s tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1994. 1Tennessee73.795.487.468.982.1 Which women’s programs have been most successful during the NCAA tournament era?Seed points* in NCAA tournaments held for women’s programs, by decade and overall since 1982 2UConn2.272.089.4100.068.4 3Stanford15.783.351.177.458.5 10Notre Dame0.010.935.993.435.4 7Texas76.429.835.035.142.6 5Georgia65.045.742.924.644.0 4Duke2.723.389.455.344.5 Some teams, such as Tennessee, have been relatively consistent throughout the NCAA era. Although the Lady Vols were at their best under coach Pat Summitt during the 1990s, ranking first among all programs in seed points per tournament, they were also the third-best program of the 2000s according to our metric, fourth-best of the 1980s and even fifth-best of the 2010s, though the past few years haven’t been as strong by Tennessee standards. (The Vols probably won’t be adding to their tally this season, either: Tennessee is currently 18-11 and ranks 63rd in the RPI ratings, making it a bubble team at best for this year’s bracket.)Maryland and North Carolina have also been relatively good throughout the history of the women’s tournament. But more striking on the list above is how many programs followed the Louisiana Tech path — dominating the early days of the tourney, only to drop off the face of the Earth later. In addition to the Lady Techsters, three other programs — Long Beach State, Southern Cal and Old Dominion — have seen the biggest drop-off in seed points per tournament between the tournament’s first two decades and its two most recent. 6Louisiana Tech92.622.214.171.1244.0 18Old Dominion57.242.517.10.028.5 14Baylor0.00.041.183.731.5 *Seed points award a score on a 100-point scale; a No. 1 seed gets 100 points, while the rest descend in proportion to the seed’s expected wins during the tournament.Source: NCAA Other stunning out-of-nowhere success stories include current No. 1 Baylor, which made its first NCAA tournament in 2001(!); defending champion Notre Dame, which didn’t win an NCAA tournament game until 1996; and Duke, which — despite the success of its men’s team — failed to make much noise on the women’s side until the late 1990s/early 2000s. With the exception of the Blue Devils (who at 14-14 are unlikely to make the tournament), all of these programs have continued to be great this season. In fact, many more of today’s top teams — such as Louisville, Mississippi State and South Carolina — all emerged from humble results during the 1980s and ‘90s.Most sports see early champions maintain some sort of strong presence into modern times, like the New York Yankees in baseball and Boston Celtics in basketball. So it’s surprising that this many of the most dominant teams of the early women’s tourney have vanished from the competitive landscape. It’s not impossible to imagine Louisiana Tech returning to its former glory someday, but for now the Lady Techsters’ success is a memory fading quickly into ancient history.Sara Ziegler contributed research. Seed Points Per Tournament, by decade 15Virginia40.858.419.34.931.0 11Penn St.31.048.732.319.633.4 13Purdue126.96.36.1997.531.5 19Iowa188.8.131.52.026.0 17LSU25.216.860.017.430.5 16Vanderbilt11.146.948.510.530.8 12Ohio St.46.115.536.233.832.1 School1980s1990s2000s2010sOverall 20NC State41.326.619.512.924.6 A more basic scoring system might assign 16 points to a No. 1 seed, 15 to a No. 2, etc., all the way down to 1 point for a 16 seed. But that would understate the power of a high seed: Instead of being only twice as valuable as, say, a 9 seed, a No. 1 seed wins about seven times as many games during the average tournament.Averaging those seed-based point totals over all the women’s tournaments held since 1982, here are the top overall programs of the entire NCAA tourney era. 9North Carolina25.438.362.520.237.7 At the other end of the spectrum, we have the programs that started slow and picked up steam into the present day. And as hard as it is to believe now, Connecticut wasn’t always the unstoppable force we see today. The Huskies didn’t make their first NCAA tournament appearance until 1989 and didn’t win a championship before 1995. Now it’s shocking news when UConn might not be a No. 1 seed, and it’s currently riding a streak of 11 straight Final Four berths. According to our metric, no team’s fortunes have improved more between the NCAA tourney’s early period in the 1980s and the current era than the Huskies’. 8Maryland43.520.838.650.437.7
OSU freshman forward Maddy Field (22) fights for the puck during a game against Minnesota State on Oct. 23 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won 5-3.Credit: Courtesy of OSUIn the final weekend of matchups of the regular season, the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team (10-23-1, 6-21-1) split its series with the No. 9-ranked University of North Dakota (16-11-5, 13-10-5).OSU showcased the strides it has made this season as it beat the Fighting Hawks 3-1 on Friday before falling 3-2 in a tight contest a day later.On Friday, after an extremely competitive first period, the Buckeyes and Fighting Hawks were tied 0-0. Despite 17 combined shots from both teams, neither OSU nor North Dakota was able to find the back of the net.However, that turned around 16:51 into the second period, as OSU got on the board off a goal from freshman forward Maddy Field. Sophomore defenseman Dani Sadek then doubled the Buckeyes’ lead less than three minutes later.In the third period, North Dakota’s Meghan Dufault knocked the puck past OSU goalie Alex LaMere to cut the Buckeyes lead in half with a little more than three minutes to play. The Fighting Hawks pulled their goalie in an attempt to find the equalizer, but that alllowed OSU junior Claudia Kepler to score with four seconds remaining on an open nut to seal the 3-1 result.In Saturday’s senior day affair, OSU jumped out to its fastest start of the season with two goals in the first three minutes. Junior Alexa Ranahan and sophomore Lauren Spring scored the goals for the Scarlet and Gray, with Ranahan’s being her first of the season. However, North Dakota answered with a goal with less than three minutes left in the first period — a sign of things to come in the contest.In the second period, North Dakota was able to get two shots past redshirt senior goalkeeper Stacy Danczak, who got the start in her final game at OSU. Becca Kohler and Dufault scored the two goals for the Fighting Hawks. Neither team was able to score in the third, as the game culminated in a 3-2 final score.After the game, seven senior Buckeyes — Danczak, Melani Moylan, Julia McKinnon, Kendall Curtis, Cara Zubko, Maggie Rothgery and Bryanna Neuwald — were honored at center ice in recognition for their time wearing scarlet and gray.Both games were close contests, and OSU assistant coach Carson Duggan said she thinks the second game was decided by a few more positive plays for North Dakota.“Those are two evenly matched teams and it was just they executed one more time than we did,” Duggan said. “I think we had our chances and we battled hard. We came out with a lot of energy and it’s an emotional day for a lot of kids, but I think that was the only difference is that they executed one more time than we did.”Field, however, offered a different explanation for Saturday’s defeat, citing the referees as an issue in the second game and the way the team let the officials’ calls affect their play.“Obviously you can’t blame it on the reffing, but I think the reffing kind of let the game get out of control,” she said. “We had a really good start but I think we let the reffing get in our head and we let a weak goal in.”The team was only able to score on one of eight power plays over the weekend, which is something they will look to improve upon in their first-round playoff series against Minnesota next weekend.“I think that we won a lot of our battles and we were getting shots at the net,” Field said. “I think we need to work on capitalizing on power plays but I think we did really well penalty killing.”Duggan said she thinks the team’s drive and tenacity will be keys to the playoff games next weekend.“I think just leaving it out there. At this point in the season it’s who wants it more and how bad do you want it and what are you willing to do to get it, and I think our girls showed a lot of character and a lot of heart this weekend,” Duggan said. “We have a short bench, and the girls battled hard, as a coach that’s all you can ask for. So I think just taking that mentality and why not let’s see what we can do in Minnesota.”OSU is scheduled to travel to Minnesota next weekend to take on the Golden Gophers in the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs. The puck is set to drop in Minneapolis on 8:07 p.m. on Friday and 5:07 p.m. on Saturday. If Friday’s and Saturday’s games are split, there will be a deciding game on Sunday.
OSU senior guard Ameryst Alston sets the offense during a game against Illinois on Feb. 21 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 117-74. Credit: Brooke Profitt | Lantern photographerAs time ticked down at the Schottenstein Center in the final home game of the Ohio State women’s basketball team’s regular season against Illinois, the question was not which team would score more points. It was whether OSU’s starting backcourt of Kelsey Mitchell and Ameryst Alston could outscore the Fighting Illini on their own.On a warm Sunday afternoon in Columbus, No. 5 OSU (23-4, 15-1) ran past Illinois (9-18, 2-14) with an outstanding offensive showing, 117-74. The Buckeyes powered past the Illini behind an impressive offensive performance from the senior guard Alston, who scored 39 points, just three points shy of the single-game record at OSU. Meanwhile, the sophomore Mitchell had an extremely efficient day, putting in 35 points on 11-of-14 shooting, including eight 3-pointers.Combined, the duo matched the point total of the entire Illinois team, with 74. “We played with great pace, we shared the ball (and) we shot it well. We were extremely efficient,” OSU coach Kevin McGuff said. “There’s not much more I could ask for in terms of how our offense went today.”The Buckeyes are now on a season-high 11-game win streak and still hold sole possession of first place in the Big Ten. Before their final game at the Schott began, Alston, along with fellow senior Cait Craft and redshirt junior Kalpana Beach, were recognized for their contributions to the program over the course of their careers.The emotional pregame turned into a high-powered first-quarter offense for the Buckeyes. The Fighting Illini held their own through the first five minutes, but quickly fell behind by double digits when the Scarlet and Gray turned to their full-court press defense. The Buckeyes finished the first quarter with 37 points, 16 of which were dropped in by the nation’s fifth-leading scorer, Mitchell.OSU followed up its first quarter outburst with another offensively charged 10 minutes. An array of Buckeyes contributed to the second-quarter barrage.By the half, the lead had bloomed to 27 points as the Buckeyes owned a 67-40 advantage heading into the locker room. It marked the highest-scoring first half of the season for the Buckeyes. The Scarlet and Gray’s big lead was due in part to impressive team 3-point shooting effort, as they connected on 11 of their 18 attempts. At the midway point, Mitchell had 25 points for the Buckeyes on a nearly perfect 8-of-9 shooting. Alston added 19 points of her own.Although the Buckeyes maintained control for the vast majority of the game, Craft said she is still focused on what the team can improve on heading toward the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.“I feel that offense is something our team has, even when we’re not hitting shots, we find other ways to score,” Craft said, “Defensively is where we really need to work.”OSU showed no signs of rust coming off the break as it continued to add onto its already-impressive lead. No single player took control in the third period, but just about everyone who checked in meshed with the others and helped create scoring opportunities. At the conclusion of the third period, the Buckeyes were in control by 44 points. In the closing quarter, the Buckeyes held their own, maintaining their massive lead and spreading out playing time. The three players recognized before the game subbed out just before the end of the final quarter and were given a big round of applause by the home crowd. “I think we were really dialed in,” Alston said. “I feel like that’s how the game should be. When you make it fun and everyone is scoring it becomes contagious.”The Buckeyes are set to get back in action Wednesday on the road against Minnesota (18-9, 10-6). Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
In a successful homecoming for Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State (8-2, 5-1) avenged last season’s 13-6 loss to Penn State, leaving Happy Valley with a 24-7 victory Saturday at Beaver Stadium.Brandon Saine’s six-yard touchdown reception with 9:37 remaining put the Buckeyes up by the final margin, as the whiteout crowd — the fourth largest in the stadium’s history — filed for the exits.Pryor, a native of Jeannette, Pa., had a hand in all three OSU touchdowns.“Terrelle Pryor came in here and did a heck of a job,” coach Jim Tressel said. “He was a little bit banged up, but he gutted it out and did what he had to do.”Receiver Ray Small returned a punt 41 yards to the Nittany Lions’ 9-yard line, setting the table for the Buckeyes’ first score, a seven-yard rush by Pryor.“I always go out there and do my part, and coach [Tressel] always preaches special teams,” Small said. “So every time I’m back there, I’m thinking big. The first drive, I sparked it, and it just got me going from there.”Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark spent the evening under pressure from the OSU defensive line. Junior Cameron Heyward led the Buckeye charge with 11 tackles, including three for loss and a pair of sacks. In all, OSU held Penn State to just 201 total yards.“It seemed like every time I looked around, Cam [Heyward] was back there bull-rushing over a guy, using brute strength,” senior linebacker Austin Spitler said. “It was unbelievable to see these guys. We have a great defensive line, and everybody’s aware of that. They played lights out.”The lone Penn State score came early in the second quarter. Clark punched it in from less than a yard out to tie the game 7-7.The Bucks answered with a 10-play drive, culminating in a 37-yard field goal by 26-year-old walk-on kicker Devin Barclay, who replaced starter Aaron Pettrey, out for the regular season with a knee injury.“Devin’s been good all year,” Tressel said. “He’s been good when called upon in games. He’s a veteran.”OSU had one final chance to tack on a score in the first half, but Pryor overthrew a wide-open Dane Sanzenbacher near the end zone, and the Buckeyes settled for a 10-7 lead at the break.“No one is harder on themselves than [Pryor],” Tressel said. “The fact that he had a chance to hit a home run and didn’t, you know that was eating at him.”Pryor got his opportunity to atone for the overthrow.With 1:47 left in the third quarter, Pryor connected with sophomore DeVier Posey for a 62-yard touchdown strike, nudging the OSU lead to 10.“We had been running a lot on first downs,” Tressel said. “We felt like, if we had decent field position, that it was time to try to strike.We were out near the 40, and we felt like we could get behind them.” Penn State never got in an offensive rhythm, especially in the second half, when held scoreless. Clark completed just 12 of 28 passes, and the Nittany Lions’ rushing attack averaged just 2.5 yards per carry.“Going up against a great offense like that, you don’t expect to hold them to such few yards and such few points,” Spitler said. “We always talk about how we want to outplay their defense if we want to win the game. Obviously, we did that tonight.”With the victory — and Iowa’s first loss of the season, 17-10 to Northwestern — the Buckeyes control their own destiny in the quest for a Big Ten championship. OSU hosts Iowa Saturday, and with a Buckeye victory, both the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions would have two conference losses to OSU’s one, guaranteeing OSU at least a share of a Big Ten title.“November is for contenders,” Tressel said. “That’s why it’s hard to get too ecstatic now, because we know the Hawkeyes are coming to town.”Oh
When the No. 13 Ohio State men’s volleyball team first faced No. 7 Penn State earlier this season in Hawaii, it turned from a luau into a nightmare.The Buckeyes are seeking revenge as they welcome the Nittany Lions into St. John Arena tonight. Ohio State (10-6, 5-1) steps away from conference play as they face what coach Pete Hanson calls one of their toughest opponents of the season.“Penn State is a very good team,” Hanson said. “They have several outstanding players including four All-Americans. This is a big challenge for our guys.”Senior Ted Schoenfeldt said he also recognizes the talent that Penn States has on its roster.“Penn State has always had a very strong volleyball program, and this year they continue to be a big physical team,” Schoenfeldt said. “They have a lot of talented athletes on their roster, and have several guys who can be a threat both attacking and from the end line.”The Buckeyes are going to have to elevate their game if they want to avoid a repeat of their earlier season matchup. OSU was dominated in all aspects of the match, falling 3-1 (30-16, 30-27, 24-30, 30-25). “We need to match their physicality,” junior John Klanac said. “Working on first-swing kills and transition offense is a must when you play a team like this.”“We are preparing to serve Penn State hard to try to drive them out of system as much as possible,” Schoenfeldt said. “By forcing them into bad pass situations, it will make it much easier for us to deal with their offense and gang up on guys with our block.”Ohio State has the luxury of facing the Nittany Lions in St. John Arena, where the Buckeyes are undefeated and have yet to drop a set.“It always helps [playing at home],” Hanson said. “Our guys feel really good playing at home and it allows them to relax and be comfortable.”Having those familiar faces supporting the Buckeyes was something lacking in Hawaii, but Schoenfeldt said the fans really helps the team “get pumped to win big games.”While Penn State is a marquee opponent, it has no effect on the Buckeyes in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball conference standings. However, facing an elite opponent may resonate on OSU in upcoming MIVA play.“Being able to play against a high caliber Penn State team will allow us to hold ourselves to a high standard when it comes to playing teams that we come into knowing that we’re the better team,” Schoenfeldt said.Hanson sees this matchup as a measuring stick to see how far the Buckeyes have come this season.“This is a very good match to play to keep working on things and helping our guys improve and get better for the later matches we will have with the MIVA opponents,” Hanson said.OSU will meet the Nittany Lions at least one more time this season with a match at Happy Valley, but they could also face Penn State in the NCAA Semifinals or championship if both teams win their conferences.“Playing a good team like this, there never is really a dull moment,” Klanac said.
Ohio State then-sophomore center Micah Potter finishes on a dunk with 6:19 remaining in the first half of Ohio State’s win over Wooster. Credit: Jacob Myers | Former Managing EditorJunior forward Micah Potter announced that he will be transferring from Ohio State according to a release by the program.Potter averaged 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from the field in 59 games and 16 starts during his Buckeye career.“We appreciate Micah’s contributions to our program, and we wish him the very best moving forward,” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said via the release.Ohio State did not release information as to where Potter would be transferring.The Buckeyes will open the season Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Cincinnati.