5 things to know about Ohio State’s nonconference schedule

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 @ 2:16 PM

Ohio State's Urban Meyer: Spring game press conference

As we count down the days to the return of football, here’s a look at the non-Big Ten teams Ohio State will tangle with in 2018:  

1. The Buckeyes’ first opponent could be their worst of all.  

Oregon State was terrible last year (1-11) and probably will still be terrible this year.  

The Beavers have a new head coach (alumnus Jonathan Smith) who looks like a good hire as an OSU grad who worked under the esteemed Chris Petersen at Washington.  

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They are No. 110 in the projected S&P+ rankings at SBNation.com and Phil Steele placed them No. 114 in his power poll without much to worry about on either side of the ball.  

(The other top contenders for worst opponent are also not really Big Ten teams: Tulane, Rutgers and Maryland.)  

2. There is something interesting about Oregon State, though.  

Beavers defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar spent the last three seasons at Wisconsin. That means he knows how to coach effective linebackers and has some familiarity with Ohio State’s scheme.  

It probably won’t be enough to save Oregon State (No. 127 in defensive S&P+ last season), but it could complicate things, especially early when the Buckeyes will also still be feeling things out in all likelihood.  

Openers are often weird anyway, but maybe this is a reason not to take whatever the points in what is sure to be a massive spread.  

3. TCU should be good, but not Oklahoma good.  

Ohio State faces the Horned Frogs (11-3 last season) in week three (after a visit from Rutgers), and things could get pretty interesting on the “neutral” field in Arlington, Texas.  

TCU ranks as the Buckeyes' fourth-best opponent according to S&P+ thanks to what is expected to be a typically good defense for head coach Gary Patterson. 

The Horned Frogs (21st in Phil Steele’s power poll) will be breaking in a new quarterback, likely to be highly regarded Shawn Robinson, who could take TCU to new heights on that side of the ball. 

4. Tulane (5-7 last season) could be really good on offense but really bad on defense.  

The third nonconference foe for Ohio State comes to Columbus on Sept. 22.  

Phil Steele rates the Green Wave 96th while they check in 98th in S&P+.  

Third-year coach Willie Fritz is known for his innovative offenses, and he’ll have an experienced, dual-threat quarterback in senior Jonathan Banks.  

S&P+ projects Tulane to have the No. 41 offense and 122nd defense. 

5. This slate should serve the Buckeyes well. 

Oregon State provides an easy opener, TCU beefs up the resume without being as risky as playing a true blue blood and Tulane might be just good enough to keep the Buckeyes interested a week before a trip to Penn State. 

Adding a test beyond conference play is good, but the College Football Playoff committee announced last year there’s no point in overdoing it when they chose Alabama over the Buckeyes even though the Crimson Tide didn’t beat anybody. 

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Former Ohio State football player passes away

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:55 PM

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 15: Mike Kudla #57 of the Ohio State Buckeyes recovers a fumble by quarterback Kyle Orton #18 of the Purdue Boilermakers for a touchdown during the fourth quarter on November 15, 2003 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeatede Purdue 16-13. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 15: Mike Kudla #57 of the Ohio State Buckeyes recovers a fumble by quarterback Kyle Orton #18 of the Purdue Boilermakers for a touchdown during the fourth quarter on November 15, 2003 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeatede Purdue 16-13. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

Highland Local Schools announced Monday afternoon the passing of former Ohio State football player Mike Kudla. 

No cause of death was released, but Kudla was only 34. 

After graduating from Highland in 2002, Kudla played linebacker and defensive end for the Buckeyes from 2002-05. 

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He was an All-Big Ten first-team pick in 2005 and had three sacks in a season-ending win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. 

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Dragons pitcher Naughton Midwest League player of the week

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:41 PM


            Dragons pitcher Packy Naughton is the Midwest League player of the week for July 9-15. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
            MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Dragons pitcher Packy Naughton is the Midwest League player of the week for July 9-15. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

Dragons pitcher Packy Naughton, who extended a scoreless streak to 24 innings during a defeat of Cane County on Sunday, was named the Midwest League (Class A) pitcher of the week for July 9-15 on Monday.

»RELATED: Dragons photo gallery

»RELATED: Streak ends but Dragons win

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Naughton is a left-hander from Boston and was a ninth-round draft pick by the Reds in 2017 out of Virginia Tech University. In his last four starts Naughton has allowed just two runs over 27 innings (0.67 ERA). He went six innings in a 5-3 defeat of Cane County and improved his record to 5-8 (4.04 ERA). His 104.2 innings pitched leads the league.

»RELATED: Former Sinclair, Hamilton pitcher wins

»RELATED: Dragons rally in 10th

In his prior start on July 9 Naughton was at his best, going eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts and allowing just two base runners in a 5-0 win at Great Lakes.

»FACEBOOK: For more sports you should like Marc Pendleton

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Votto: Riggleman brings ‘good energy’ to Reds

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:22 PM

Who is Joey Votto: Ten facts about Reds first baseman

The Cincinnati Reds shared a press conference with Joey Votto on Facebook Live on Monday, one day before the 89th All-Star Game in Washington, D.C.

Votto, a six-time All-Star, answered all manners of questions from reporters. Here are a few highlights of the session:

On former teammate Shin-Soo Choo being a first-time All-Star: “I was stunned when I found out it was his first time. If this is his first time, I’m very proud for him. I’m excited to see him. I plan on taking a picture with him. ... We spent so much time together (in 2013). He’s a very hard-working, sincere man.”

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» HAL McCOY: Will the real Reds stand up?

If you could change one thing about baseball: “I love the game as it is. I think I can continue that thought with some of the chatter about potentially taking away the DH from the National League. I wouldn’t change the game. I get excited about the National League experience and interleague play and the two leagues mixing together.”

» REPORT: Reds interested in long-term deal for Gennett

On his declining home run numbers: “I’m always trying to round out my game. I hit 26 home runs before the All-Star break last year. I would never have expected that. And I’ve got nine this year, and I wouldn’t have expected that. I’m just going to keep playing and try to be a balanced hitter.”

On the shift: “I would be surprised if they removed the shift, but as someone who has really been dinged by the shift, I think I would welcome it. If there’s only two guys on one side of the field, I’m going to take what I can get. Once they started shifting more without question, I adjusted my approach. You have to, or else you get burned by it; .290 turns into .250 turns into .220 like nothing. We’re really talking about 10 or 20 or 30 hits. If you don’t make the adjustment, you’ll lose all those hits.”

» FUTURES GAME: Reds’ prospects show their stuff

If you could pick any past player from history to get a drink with: “We’d probably have cereal. ... My cliche answer would be Ted Williams. I think now it’s Rogers Hornsby. I think that’d be great.”

What are your strengths: “I can hit the ball hard on a consistent basis. I can choose how I want to hit the ball on a consistent basis. So if I want to hit fly balls all the time, I can. If I want to hit line drives all the time, I can.”

On interim manager Jim Riggleman: “He’s on top of us. He expects us to play a certain way. He challenges us. I think he brings a good energy to us during the game, after the game. He listens well. He’s really done a very good job.”

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Dragons pitcher Naughton Midwest League player of the week

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 3:26 PM
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:03 PM

Dragons starting pitcher Packy Naughton is the Midwest League player of the week for July 9-15. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Dragons starting pitcher Packy Naughton is the Midwest League player of the week for July 9-15. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Dragons pitcher Packy Naughton, who extended a scoreless streak to 24 innings during a defeat of Cane County on Sunday, was named the Midwest League (Class A) pitcher of the week for July 9-15 on Monday.

»RELATED: Dragons photo gallery

»RELATED: Streak ends but Dragons win

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Naughton is a left-hander from Boston and was a ninth-round draft pick by the Reds in 2017 out of Virginia Tech University. In his last four starts Naughton has allowed just two runs over 27 innings (0.67 ERA). He went six innings in a 5-3 defeat of Cane County and improved his record to 5-8 (4.04 ERA). His 104.2 innings pitched leads the league.

»RELATED: Former Sinclair, Hamilton pitcher wins

»RELATED: Dragons rally in 10th

In his prior start on July 9 Naughton was at his best, going eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts and allowing just two base runners in a 5-0 win at Great Lakes.

»FACEBOOK: For more sports you should like Marc Pendleton

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