2 July 2012The outlook seems to be bright for South Africa’s iron ore miners, with a major new mine recently opened, expansion work begun on the country’s main iron-ore rail line – and global investment bank Morgan Stanley saying SA is set to overtake India as the world’s third-largest exporter of iron ore.In its latest forecasts, Morgan Stanley predicts that South Africa will overtake India this year as the world’s third-largest exporter of iron ore after Australia and Brazil, news agency Bloomberg reported on Friday.According to Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley said it expected South African seaborne exports to total 53-million tons this year, 4-million tons more than its prior forecast, while Indian exports were expected to fall to 41-million tons.In May, the South African government launched a major infrastructure upgrade in the country’s West Coast region, focusing on expanding the iron-ore rail line between Sishen in Northern Cape and Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape.The upgrade forms part of a massive, state-led infrastructure drive aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation in the country.Announcing the programme in February, President Jacob Zuma said the West Coast project would boost the region’s iron-ore transport capacity to 100-million tons per annum, adding that this would help to feed the developing world’s demand for iron ore, which is used in making steel.And last month, Anglo American subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore opened its R8.5-billion Kolomela mine, situated about 80km away from its Sishen mine in the Northern Cape.Noting that Kolomela had delivered its first ore to the Saldanha harbour five months ahead of schedule, Kumba CEO Chris Griffith said at the opening ceremony that the delivery of the Kolomela project was “in line with Kumba’s growth strategy of ramping up South African production to 70-million tons per annum by 2019”.Griffith predicted that existing supply-and-demand dynamics would sustain the prevailing higher prices of iron ore for longer than was anticipated.Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll, speaking at the same ceremony, said: “We believe that medium-term replacement of infrastructure in the developed world presents further opportunities for steel, with a bright future ahead for iron ore.”Carroll described the R8.5-billion development of Kolomela as a “vote of confidence” in South Africa.SAinfo reporter
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest NOAA and its research partners are forecasting that western Lake Erie will experience a significant harmful algal bloom (HAB) this summer.This year’s bloom is expected to measure 7.5 on the severity index, but could possibly range between 6 and 9. An index above 5 indicates blooms having greater impact. The severity index is based on bloom’s biomass — the amount of algae — over a sustained period. The largest blooms occurred in 2011, with a severity index of 10, and 2015, at 10.5. Last year’s bloom had a severity index of 3.6, while 2017‘s was 8.0.Lake Erie blooms consist of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, that are capable of producing the liver toxin microcystin that poses a risk to human and wildlife health. Such blooms may result in higher costs for cities and local governments that need to treat drinking water, prevent people from enjoying fishing, swimming, boating and visiting the shoreline, and harm the region’s vital summer tourism economy. These effects will vary in location and severity due to winds that may concentrate or dissipate the bloom.“Communities along Lake Erie rely upon clean, healthy water to support their community’s well-being and economic livelihoods,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “This forecast provides timely and trusted science-based information to water managers and public health officials so they can better anticipate blooms, mitigate impacts and reduce future outbreaks.”The size of a bloom isn’t necessarily an indication of how toxic it is. For example, the toxins in a large bloom may not be as concentrated as in a smaller bloom. Each algal bloom is unique in terms of size, toxicity, and ultimately its impact to local communities. NOAA is actively developing tools to detect and predict how toxic blooms will be.This year, the lake temperature has remained relatively cool due to the higher-than-average rainfall in the region, so the bloom is not expected to start until late July when the water temperature reaches 65 to 70 degrees F. This contrasts with 2018, when exceptionally warm weather at the beginning of June caused an early start. Calm winds in July, especially in western Lake Erie, tend to allow the algal toxins to concentrate, making blooms more harmful. The bloom typically peaks in the western part of the lake in September. Most of the rest of the lake will not be affected.“This extremely wet spring has shed light on the movement of nutrients from the land into Lake Erie,” said Christopher Winslow, Ph.D., director of Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory. “Despite the predicted size of this year’s bloom, portions of the lake will be algae free during the bloom season and the lake will remain a key asset for the state. Ongoing research continues to help us understand bloom movement and toxin production, and remains vital to providing our water treatment facilities with the tools, technology and training they need to keep our drinking water safe.”The Lake Erie forecast is part of a NOAA ecological forecasting initiative that aims to deliver accurate, relevant, timely and reliable ecological forecasts directly to coastal resource managers and the public. In addition to the early season projections from NOAA and its partners, NOAA also issues HAB bulletins twice a week during the bloom season.NOAA continues to expand the use of satellite data into its Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast System, which is helping improve the accuracy of bloom forecast products. The data comes from the European Union’s Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite, which has instruments that measure coastal water color, and have proven to be especially useful for detecting and tracking algal blooms. NOAA is also continuing to work with its research labs and academic partners to refine and improve the models used to develop the forecasts.“This spring brought regular, heavy rainfall to the Maumee River watershed which would normally carry a lot of nutrients into the lake,” said Richard Stumpf, Ph.D., NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science’s lead scientist for the seasonal Lake Erie bloom forecast. “However, due to the amount of rain this year, farmers were unable to plant their fields which reduced the nutrient concentration. That combined with higher than normal lake levels, presents an opportunity to test the accuracy of our models.”Nutrient load data for the forecasts came from Heidelberg University. The various forecast models are run by NOAA’s NCCOS, the University of Michigan, North Carolina State University, LimnoTech, Stanford University, and the Carnegie Institution for Science. Field observations used for monitoring and modeling are done in partnership with NOAA’s Ohio River Forecast Center, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory at The Ohio State University, University of Toledo and Ohio EPA.
Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Great push for Philippine boxing Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games01:30Eriksson’s ‘Azkals’ put Philippines on Asian Cup map01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president With Tajikistan hosting Nepal in Dushanbe in the other Group F encounter, the Azkals are hard-pressed to gain maximum points against the Yemenis, who held the Filipinos to a 2-2 draw in Bacolod last Sept. 5.Strife-torn Yemen, two points behind the Philippines, plays its home matches in Doha due to security concerns.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“If we tie, we still have two chances to qualify,” said Azkals coach Thomas Dooley. LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Philippines tries to inch closer to an AFC Asian Cup berth when it clashes with Yemen on Tuesday in Qatar.Currently on top of Group F with seven points, the Azkals are gunning for their third victory in the qualifying round that will give them the inside track in the race for the two Asian Cup spots at stake in the group.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Read Next View comments
Touch Football Australia brings you this rapid fire “Set of Six” news ‘plays’ from around the Country. TFA’s National Media Coordinator Karley Banks and TFA’s Media Intern Henry Holland bring you up to date every week with a selection of six ‘plays’ on the latest news, views, and events nationally.Welcome to Touch Football Australia’s a Set of Six – Volume Nineteen.WESTERN AUSTRALIA (WA)Play: # 1Average Joes too good in 5’s competition“Average Joes” were too fast, too furious, taking out the Summer Season Launch 5’s competition at UWA Sports Park on Sunday, 9 September 2007. “Average Joes” triumphed 2-0 over “Brothers” in the decider. Brothers performed strongly in the tournament but simply ran out of legs in the decider. The 11:45am final was their fifth 13-minute game since 9:30am!“Hung Over”, comprised of Fremantle-based played, played brilliantly throughout the tournament. Their 3-3 draw round game against Brothers was a highlight of the day, with only several diving saves on the line from Brothers preventing a Hung Over victory.Brothers then got the better of Hung Over in their semi-final, winning 3-1.Earlier in the day, State Manager Matt Bamford took novice players through an Introduction to Playing Course, going though rules and strategies of the game of Touch. Football. These individuals were then put into the Social Pool for the Fast and Furious 5’s. Quendas (Murdoch Uni Ladies), J.C. United (Tompkins Park Juniors) and Barbarians battled it out in a fun and friendly environment in the social division.A big thanks to the TouchWest staff for their assistance in running the event, and also to referees Amy McQuade, Karen Stone, Ross Mulhern, James Sollis, and Russell Moeahu who officiated the day. Other events:The Summer Season is well on the way with Northern Districts holding its registration day next Monday 17th September 2007. Bunbury is having its first of two registration days next Tuesday 18th September 2007 and Goldfields is commencing its six-week AusTouch program on Sunday 9th September 2007. All three areas have been assisted with radio advertising to encourage and promote individuals to be active and play Touch Football.The TouchWest web-site: www.touchwest.com.auSOUTH AUSTRALIA (SA)Play: # 2Touch Football South Australia wins Sport Leadership Grants for Women fundingThe Australian Sports Commission’s Office for Women has awarded funding to Touch Football South Australia to conduct a Level 2 Coaching Course. The Australian Sports Commission received 442 applications for the $770 grant.The Coaching Course will be for men and women and will take place in the coming months. The grant will strengthen Touch Football South Australia’s commitment to getting more women involved in Touch Football. Other events:290 teams from around South Australia are raring to go for the South Australian Catholic Schools Competition. The competition will take place from 11 – 13 September 2007. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting tournament. The Touch Football South Australia website: www.touchsa.com.auVICTORIAPlay: # 3Prospect of new Swan Hill Touch Football affiliateTouch Football Victoria Game Development Officer Carly Goodrich recently held meetings in Swan Hill to raise interest for the establishment of a new affiliate in the region. Touch Football Victoria is hopeful the new competition can be confirmed and initiated soon. Other Events:Touch Football Victoria would like to wish all the best to all those competing in the Victorian Catholic Schools competition on 11 September 2007. There should be some great Touch played and lots of fun had by all students and staff involved. Lots of affiliates are now hard at work organising their upcoming summer seasons, with much planning to be done before their competitions kick off in October and November. The Touch Football Victoria website: www.victouch.com.auQUEENSLAND (QLD)Play: # 4PowerAde Isotonic South East Queensland Touch League finalsThe PowerAde Isotonic South East Queensland Touch League (SEQTL) finals will take place this weekend 14th – 15th September 2007 at the Brisbane Metropolitan Touch Association grounds – White Hill Sports Reserve, Camp Hill.The preliminary finals were scheduled to take place last Friday but were postponed due to inclement weather. Teams will be competing in the Men’s and Women’s Division 1, 2, and 3 A/B in Friday’s Preliminary Finals. The winning teams on Friday night will earn a berth in Saturday’s grand finals, where they will clash with teams that have already qualified for the decider via victory in the Major semi-final.Presentations will take place on Sunday at The Brewhouse Sports Bar and Grill, located at level 1, 142 Albert Street, Brisbane City, commencing at 2pm.Friday – preliminary finals:Men’s division 1Colts v Southern Storm – winner to play CCU in the Grand finalMen’s division 2Southern Storm v CCU – winner to play First Contact Allstars in the Grand finalMen’s division 3AUni Rebels Maroon v Tigers Cobras- winner to play Custard in the Grand finalMen’s division 3BTigers v Southern Storm – winner to play Crushers in the Grand finalWomen’s division 1Dodgers v Colts – winner to play Uni Rebels in the Grand finalWomen’s division 2AColts v Brothers – winner to play Southern Storm in the Grand finalWomen’s division 2BUni Rebels Maroon v Crushers-Hoodz – winner to play Tigers in the Grand finalWomen’s division 3AUni Rebels Gold v Caboolture Colts Blue – winner to play Caboolture Colts Red in the Grand finalWomen’s division 3BRochedale High v RATC winner to play Tigers in the Grand finalGood luck to all teams!Other events:The 2007 Queensland Police Games will be on this weekend at Redlands. The Police Games have been running for nearly 20 years and feature a range of sports. Eight police and emergency services teams will compete in a Men’s Open Touch Football competition, while nine teams will battle it out in the mixed division. FireysCops is the favourite in the men’s division, with a star-studded line-up including current Australian Men’s Open Captain Gavin Shuker, and experienced representative players Justin Mitchell, and Matt and Simon Barclay. Reigning champions Swordfish will not relinquish their title easily and will be looking to retain the gold medal. Players will out impress in order to be selected for the 2008 Australia-New Zealand Police Games in Coffs Harbour.The Queensland Touch website: www.qldtouch.com.auNORTHERN TERRITORY (NT)Play: # 5Northern Territory Under-18 teams prepare for 2007 National ChampionshipsThe Northern Territory Under-18 Girls and Boys teams are into their last stages of preparation for the National Under-18 Championships in Coffs Harbour, 17th – 20th September 2007. Northern Territory players will travel to the Gold Coast from Gove, Alice Springs, Melbourne and Darwin for a two-day training camp before travelling to Coffs Harbour on Tuesday.The Boys team this year is very young and is looking forward to the experience. The Girls team has a mixture of youth and experience, with the two youngest players Jordan Ahsam, a National 18 Years squad member, and Jaylene Bonson, leading the charge.Other events:The Darwin Touch Junior Competition commenced last Wednesday 5th September. The Junior Competition in Darwin is growing with six under-13 teams and six under-16 teams. Opening night was attended by a large number of parents and children who thoroughly enjoyed their first foray into competitive Touch Football.Outgoing Game Development Officer Rebecca Houston’s one regret in leaving Darwin will be leaving the Junior Competition behind. Rebecca has thoroughly enjoyed establishing the competition and witnessing the enthusiasm of the children and their parents. Rebecca’s legacy will be the healthy competition, which will be a platform for further growth and professionalism in the future.The Northern Territory website: www.touchnt.com.auAUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (ACT)Play: # 6Another fantastic gala day for ACT TouchIn another clear indication of the growth in junior participation in the ACT, the Yr 3 – 4 gala was held on 5th September 2007 with a whopping 800 kids participating! The 180 games conducted as part of the tournament were completely officiated by junior referees. The focus of the day was participation and fun, with no scoring, ladders, or trophies.The Yr 3 – 4 event was the last of six successful ACT Touch gala days for 2007. Other events:ACT Touch was pleased to have TFA National Coaching Director Dennis Coffey in town last weekend to put six aspiring coaches through the theoretical part of the Level 2 course. ACT Touch thanks Dennis sincerely for his time and all his effort.The ACT Touch summer season commences on Tuesday 2nd October 2007 and runs through until 28th February 2008 with a 3-4 week recess over Christmas. An early bird incentive price of $950/team is available until 12th September 2007.Summer is generally a far bigger competition season than winter and ACT Touch is expecting a rush of teams nominating, so get in fast to secure your position in the competition.For more info phone (02) 6212 2880The Australian Capital Territory Touch Association website www.acttouch.com.auThat’s it for this week’s edition of “A Set of Six”.Be sure to visit each State website for all the latest news and views from around the nation.
AL-MASNAA, Lebanon — Lebanese exporters rejoiced last month when the Syrian government opened a key land crossing with Jordan that had been closed by years of war, restoring a much-needed overland trade route to lucrative Persian Gulf markets.But lingering disputes between Lebanon and Syria, and political gridlock in Beirut, mean that many Lebanese businesses still rely on longer and costlier transport by sea, further stalling efforts to restore an economy battered by years of war in its larger neighbour.The reopening of the Naseeb-Jaber crossing allowed Mohammed Araji, owner of a trucking firm in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, to retrieve two trucks that had been stranded in Jordan since 2015, when Syrian rebels captured the crossing. Two other of his refrigerator trucks had been parked in front of his house for the last three years.Even before the crossing officially closed, his brother was briefly abducted by rebels while driving a truck through Syria, underscoring the perils they faced in trying to keep the route open.The crossing was Lebanon’s “lung,” Araji said, and its closure was a “death blow” to the economy, affecting farmers, merchants, industrialists and drivers. So he was pleased when Syrian government forces reopened the crossing and secured the route.But for weeks he was unable to find exporters ready to give him shipping contracts. Finally, on Saturday, he sent his first truckloads to Saudi Arabia after offering an exporter an attractive price.“People are still waiting to see what will happen,” he said.The land route through Syria, Jordan and Iraq is vital to Lebanon, which is squeezed between Syria, the closed border with Israel, and the sea. Lebanon’s exports plunged from a high of 78 per cent of GDP in 2008 — three years before the start of Syria’s civil war — to a low of 36 per cent in 2017.Before Naseeb’s closing, more than 250 trucks a day headed from Lebanon to markets in Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the Gulf. After the closure, that dropped to some 300 trucks in a good month, bound only for Syria, customs officials said.An estimated 550,000 tons of vegetables and fruits a year used to be exported through the Syria-Jordan crossing, according to Ibrahim Tarshishi, head of the Bekaa farmer’s union. Since the shutdown, that flow has dropped by nearly 40 per cent, to no more than 330,000 tons. Exports from Bekaa to Saudi Arabia have dropped by 60 per cent, according to figures from the Bekaa chamber of commerce.After the crossing reopened, Syria and Jordan imposed new transit tariffs on trucks heading to the Gulf. The Syrian increase alone was five-fold, Tarshishi said. Lebanon meanwhile subsidizes transport by sea.Traders hope improved ties between Syria and Lebanon will lead to reduced tariffs, but Lebanon’s political leaders are fiercely divided between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad, and they have been unable to form a government since elections in May.Contacts among Lebanese and Syrian officials remain personal and partisan — and some complain Syria is using the tariffs to force normalization. Experts say opaque policies and decision-making have also hindered trade.Charles Zarzour, the head of the government agency for agricultural exports and imports, said the opening of the crossing has at least offered “psychological relief” to traders.“God willing, when we have a government in Lebanon, it lays down a wise policy that serves the country’s interest,” including tariff reductions, he told The Associated Press.Syrian officials had no immediate comment.Tarshishi has pressed for an end to the sea shipping subsidies and other government action to revive land exports, but in the caretaker government “no one wants to take responsibility,” he said.On a recent afternoon at al-Masnaa, the Lebanese side of the crossing into Syria, nearly a dozen trucks loaded with bananas were bound for Damascus. Just one truck, carrying cleaning supplies, was heading to Jordan. None were bound for the Gulf.Talal Darwish, a produce exporter, is still sending his grapes, apples and pears by sea, and on a recent day, workers raced to prepare a shipment bound for Kuwait. By land would be cheaper and faster — a five-day trip as opposed to 25.He has heard talk of efforts to reduce tariffs, but says “we still don’t know officially, so there is no rush.”___Associated Press writer Hiba Delwati in Beirut contributed to this report.Sarah El Deeb, The Associated Press
“The simple measure will be we want to see shovels in ground and pipelines being built.”Suncor reported that the discount paid for oilsands blend Western Canadian Select compared with New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude widened to an average of US$24 per barrel in the first quarter, double the US$12 per barrel average in the fourth quarter of 2017.The higher difference is blamed on difficulty in getting heavy crude out of Western Canada because of a lack of pipeline space.Williams said he’s “greatly encouraged” by what Alberta and federal governments are saying recently and believes even the Trans Mountain expansion project will be built, despite proponent Kinder Morgan threatening to abandon it if it isn’t reassured about its construction by the end of May.He said he also believes Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 pipeline replacement project into the U.S. Midwest will proceed, despite an ongoing disagreement in Minnesota over its routing.Suncor reported lower production in the quarter ended March 31 because of cold weather-related outages at its Base Camp north of Fort McMurray, Alta., and the nearby Syncrude Canada oilsands mine. It said operations returned to normal at Base Camp in February after a water line leak caused a power outage in the upgrader. At Syncrude, a blockage in a bitumen transport line led to the company starting a planned eight-week maintenance shutdown a month early.Total upstream production came in at 689,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter, compared to 725,100 boe/d in the prior year quarter, as oilsands output fell to 404,800 barrels per day from 448,500 bpd.The operations “fell short” of Suncor standards, Williams said on the call, adding, “We need to do better and, be assured, we will.”Suncor reported net earnings fell to $789 million, compared to $1.35 billion in the same period of 2017. CALGARY, A.B. – The CEO of oilsands giant Suncor Energy Inc. says he’s confident new oil pipelines will be built after hosting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at its newly opened Fort Hills oilsands mine in early April.The message he left with Trudeau was that pipeline access must be assured if the industry is to attract the capital it needs to grow, Steve Williams said on a conference call on Wednesday.“We don’t want these new projects to have to bear the burden of some of these (oil price) differentials,” he said, reiterating Suncor’s commitment to build no new major oilsands projects without new pipelines. Williams said the differential had no impact on Suncor’s earnings, however, because what was lost in the pricing of oilsands was recovered through the company’s marketing and refining operations, which benefited from low-cost feedstock as well as high capacity utilization and profit margins.First-quarter earnings included a $329-million non-cash loss on foreign currency denominated debt.There was also a non-cash gain of $133 million from a deal to buy a 37 percent interest in Canbriam Energy Inc. in exchange for northeastern B.C. mineral land holdings and $52 million.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)
BURNABY, B.C. – Protesters at an anti-pipeline camp in Burnaby, B.C., say they will meet with officials to discuss safety measures, but they will not comply with a city-issued evacuation order.The City of Burnaby says there are safety concerns surrounding “Camp Cloud,” including a two-storey wooden watch house and a fire that protesters describe as sacred and ceremonial.Protest organizer Kwitsel Tatel says the participants will not leave, nor will they extinguish their fire. Tatel suggests the structures around the camp’s sacred fire could be modified if only to refocus the attention away from the physical camp and back to the anti-pipeline protest.She adds that snuffing out the fire would constitute a breaking of both B.C. Supreme Court and Coast Salish law.The protesters say the city’s notice, which was issued on Wednesday and expired early Saturday, was written without adequate consideration of a recent court decision or consultation with camp residents.The B.C. Supreme Court ruled in March that both the camp and a nearby watch house could remain in place in response to a court injunction filed by Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd., the company behind the Trans Mountain expansion project.Tatel said the residents of the camp have had conversations with the City of Burnaby about the demands set out in the eviction notice, and they are willing to negotiate in good faith. But she said the city has not engaged in those discussions.“The executive assistant to (Burnaby Mayor) Derek Corrigan came many times with orders instead of questions and concerns. I’m respectfully announcing that is not good faith discussion or negotiation,” Tatel said Saturday. She added that they spoke with the City of Burnaby fire department overnight about the sacred fire, and that a load of timber would be dropped off by the department.Tatel said she will request federal intervention if need be, citing the protesters’ charter right to peaceful demonstration.“I’m asking for (federal Justice Minister) Jody Wilson-Raybould to step up and assist, to pull her goons and her dogs,” said TatelShe and several other camp residents said they saw between 30 and 60 “paramilitary” individuals in and around “Camp Cloud” and the woods around the Kinder Morgan tanker terminal late Friday night, and said additional audio and video surveillance near the entrance to the terminal had recently been installed. Demonstrators are angry over the expansion of the pipeline between Alberta and B.C. that would triple its capacity to carry bitumen destined for export.In May, the federal government announced it would buy the pipeline in an effort to see the expansion completed.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Foles did little to suggest otherwise in four mostly lackluster appearances to close the regular season. But he spent the month of January proving himself up to the challenge. With 352 yards (on 26-for-33 passing) and three touchdowns versus Minnesota, he produced one of the greatest QB performances in conference championship history. The game brought back memories of Foles’s 2013 season in Philadelphia, when he posted the third-best single-season passer rating in NFL history. But it was also a testament to the adjustments that Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson made to accommodate the different strengths of Wentz and Foles.Under both Wentz in the regular season and Foles during the playoffs, the Eagles’ offense averaged over 390 yards per game. But those yards were accumulated in different ways. Before Wentz’s injury, Philly was a balanced team whose aerial attack primarily relied on the power of its quarterback’s arm — often assisted by Wentz’s magician-like ability to improvise and buy time in the pocket. One thing it didn’t do, however, was ask receivers to do lots of work after hauling in the football. Through Week 14, Wentz led the league in touchdown passes per attempt and ranked third in air yards per attempt, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, but his targets were only 22nd in yards after the catch per reception.Foles connected on three 40-yard passes against the Vikings. But those have been big exceptions to the Eagles’ general approach with Foles at the helm, which has been to throw much shorter. In the playoffs, Foles’s average pass has traveled 7.1 yards through the air. Compare that with Wentz’s average of 9.8 air yards per attempt during the regular season, and you can begin to see how Pederson has shifted his offense’s focus. Forty percent of Wentz’s passes went 10 or more yards downfield, compared with 25 percent for Foles in the playoffs. And Foles has actually thrown a larger share of his passes to players at or behind the line of scrimmage (29 percent) than 10 yards past it. *Playoff games onlySource: ESPN Stats & Information Group Carson Wentz7.74.812.415.5%44.3%40.2% Philly’s passing offense changed in the playoffsDistance traveled through the air — and after the catch — for passes by Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks, 2017 season In today’s NFL, throwing shorter passes isn’t always correlated with better outcomes. But Foles is succeeding in large part because his receivers are taking those short passes and running for big gains after the catch. With Wentz under center, the Eagles’ pass-catchers produced only 98.6 yards after the catch per game (eighth-fewest in football); with Foles in the playoffs, they’ve nearly doubled that output (164.5 YAC/game). In particular, they’re doing a ton of damage on screen passes, which Pederson seldom utilized with Wentz. Running back Jay Ajayi, for instance, went from gaining just 7.4 yards after catch per game with Wentz during the regular season1In the five games immediately after Ajayi was acquired from the Miami Dolphins in late October. to 51.0 yards per game in the postseason, including nearly 30 receiving yards per game on screens alone. Foles is also making smart reads and getting the ball out very quickly. In the playoffs, he’s averaging 2.39 seconds before each pass, a mark that would have been fourth-fastest in the NFL during the regular season. (Wentz, for comparison, was 17th-fastest, at 2.54 seconds.) Foles has used that quick release to lethal effect when conducting the run-pass option — which is more than just a ubiquitous piece of announcer-speak during Eagles broadcasts. The RPO helps freeze defenses with the added threat of handing off to a dangerous runner like Ajayi, and it lends itself to the types of quick passes that Foles has excelled at this postseason. Philly ran plenty of RPOs even before Foles took over, but that section of the playbook has been crucial to Pederson’s resurrection of the Chip Kelly-era version of Foles.Now, it remains to be seen which version will show up for the Super Bowl this Sunday. The conditions have been right for Foles to succeed in the playoffs thus far — Philadelphia hasn’t had to play from behind much and has enjoyed one of the league’s most drastic home-field advantages. But there’s no telling what will happen if things go off script. That’s why the Eagles need to stay out of third-and-long, where the drop-off from Wentz to Foles is really glaring. (On third down with 8 or more yards to go, Wentz was the NFL’s top passer this season according to ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating; only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers was even remotely close.) They need to keep feeding the ball to Ajayi, who’s averaging roughly the same number of yards from scrimmage in these playoffs (98.5 per game) as he did during his All-Pro season with Miami in 2016. And perhaps most importantly, Foles needs to keep playing mistake-free football: Only 8.2 percent of his passes have been off-target this postseason — a rate that would easily have ranked No. 1 in the league during the regular season.He could do all of that, of course, and still fall short: Tom Brady could always reach into his bag of comeback tricks, and there’s also the small detail of Brady and Bill Belichick’s 15-0 record in the playoffs against teams that they’re facing for the first time in a season. But putting those metaphysical factors aside, the Patriots have their own vulnerabilities. They aren’t exactly a defensive powerhouse, having ranked ninth-worst in the NFL in expected points added during the regular season. And although that number improved as the year went on, they still allowed the league’s fourth-highest QBR on passes that traveled fewer than 10 yards through the air — the kinds of throws they’re likely to see a ton of from Foles and company. If the Eagles can execute their newfound offense and resist Brady’s supercharged comeback powers, there are plenty of reasons to think Foles (of all people) will be the one to deliver Philadelphia its long-awaited Super Bowl parade down Broad Street.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Around Thanksgiving, the idea that the Philadelphia Eagles would make it all the way to Super Bowl LII wouldn’t have surprised many people. Philadelphia started the season 10-1, and quarterback Carson Wentz emerged as the front-runner for league MVP honors. But after Wentz was lost to injury in Week 14, the Eagles’ title chances seemingly disappeared, too. Backups — like Philly’s stopgap, Nick Foles — seldom carry a team to Super Bowl glory. Yards/Completion …% of Passes by Air distance QuarterbackThrough AirAfter CatchTotal<=0 Yds1-10 Yds10+ Yds Nick Foles*5.56.712.228.646.025.4
Ohio State women’s soccer’s season will continue after a big day on and off the pitch. On the field, the No. 21-ranked Buckeyes beat Nebraska, 1-0, in a Big Ten Tournament opening-round match Wednesday to advance to the next round of competition. Off the field, five OSU players received conference honors, the Big Ten announced. OSU, the Big Ten Tournament’s No. 2-seed, got the eventual game-winner from sophomore midfielder Ellyn Gruber just before halftime. Buckeyes freshman goalkeeper Jillian McVicker made one save in the game to help OSU advance. Prior to the game, the Big Ten Conference announced that five OSU players had received honors, including record-setting senior forward Tiffany Cameron. Cameron, along with junior midfielder Danica Wu, was named a first-team All-Big Ten selection to add to her recent success. On Monday, Cameron was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the second consecutive week after scoring twice in a 5-0 win against Indiana to become OSU’s all-time leading goal scorer. After entering the match against the Hoosiers tied with former Buckeyes Lisa Collison and Lara Dickenmann for the all-time goals lead with 35, Cameron grabbed the record herself with two goals in the team’s regular season finale. Wu was a second team All-Big Ten selection last season and earned the first-team honor despite missing four games on international duty with Canada’s U-20 team. OSU senior midfielder/forward Kendyl Reed, McVicker and junior goalkeeper Rachel Middleman were also honored by the conference, according to a Wednesday OSU release. Reed was tabbed a second team All-Big Ten selection after posting one assist in 18 starts for the Buckeyes while McVicker was named to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman Team after allowing just four goals in almost 734 minutes in goal this season. Middleman was the Buckeyes’ sportsmanship honoree. Members of OSU women’s soccer were not immediately made available for The Lantern’s Wednesday request for comment. OSU (14-4-1) will continue Big Ten Conference play Friday against either No. 3-seeded Michigan or No. 6-seeded Wisconsin. Kickoff for the tournament’s semifinal-round game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. in Bloomington, Ind.
Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop drives to the basket in the first half of Ohio State’s 80-64 win against No. 1 Michigan State. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State and its sixth man showed up in the Schottenstein Center Sunday.The crowd of 17,599 was as loud as it has been in years and the players did everything they could to keep the fans energized as the Buckeyes (13-4, 4-0 Big Ten) stunned No. 1 Michigan State (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten) in an 80-64 upset. It was Ohio State’s first win over a top-ranked opponent since Feb. 25, 2007 when it beat No. 1 Wisconsin 49-48. After the game had ended and all the fans who had stormed the court began making their way to the exits, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann had a moment to reflect on the game that had just unfolded.“Whoa. That was quite an afternoon,” Holtmann said Sunday. “We’ll enjoy this one today here. I can’t say enough about the crowd. The energy was outstanding. Obviously to be expected, we played an incredible team and incredible program, but wow, they really lifted us and lifted our guys.”Buckeye fans celebrate following the game against Michigan State on Jan. 7 in Value City Arena. Ohio State won 80-64. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State ended the first-half on a 16-2 run, capped off by an improbable buzzer-beating 3 from Youngstown on the half-court image by redshirt senior guard Andrew Dakich to take a 41-29 lead, the largest halftime deficit the top-ranked Spartans have faced this season. “That really was a critical stretch. It was all things kind of went in our favor at our point,” Holtmann said Sunday. “All that kind of played into it and it broke open what was a really close game.”The Spartans appeared to seize momentum early with forward Miles Bridges making a mid-range jumpshot and forward Jaren Jackson making a 3 to put them up 5-0 just 36 seconds into the game. About a minute later, Jackson made another athletic layup, spinning while in the air to put his team up 7-2. Bridges finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Jackson had 11 points before fouling out with 9:49 left in the game.But Ohio State remained in the game and progressively began to take over momentum. With every make by Ohio State and miss by Michigan State, the Schottenstein Center was brought to life.A mid-range jump shot by Tate to bring the Buckeyes to within two and subsequent make by redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop sent the crowd into a frenzy as the Buckeyes took a 12-11 lead. A 3 by Bates-Diop gave his team some breathing room and extended its lead to 15-11. He led the game in points with a career-high 32 and added seven rebounds.Bates-Diop caught a pass from Dakich in stride as he raced towards the basket, slamming it home for a one-handed dunk to give Ohio State the 31-29 lead with 1:05 left and forcing the Spartans to call a timeout.Tate took over the game for Ohio State in the final minute of the first half, making a layup to put Ohio State up 33-29. He blocked a layup attempt on the other end of the court by Jackson, dished it over to redshirt senior guard Kam Williams back in the Buckeyes’ offensive side of the court who knocked down a 3 to push the team’s lead to 36-29. Bates-Diop then made two free-throws resulting from a technical foul on Michigan State’s bench.The Buckeyes resumed their roll right out of the gate in the second half. Just 11 seconds in, Williams caught a pass from freshman center Kaleb Wesson and threw down a thundering one-handed dunk to put Ohio State up 43-29. After a Spartan possession, Williams knocked down a 3-pointer to go up 46-31. Ohio State junior guard C.J. Jackson made a defender fall to the ground with a crossover to the left and drove to the basket for a short-range jumper in the paint to put the Buckeyes up 65-42 with 12:23. Tate followed that up with a layup to give Ohio State the 67-42 lead, its largest lead over the Spartans.Ohio State junior guard C.J. Jackson (3) brings the ball down the court in the second half in the game against Michigan State on Jan. 7 in Value City Arena. Ohio State won 80-64. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorMichigan State began to regain some momentum, going on a 10-0 run to cut Ohio State’s lead down to just 69-55. But a dunk by Bates-Diop ended the run and shifted momentum back in the Buckeyes’ corner as the team went on a 8-2 run. The run brought back memories for several of the Ohio State players to last season when the team often blew leads late. And those memories proved fuel for the team to try and avoid letting up at the end.“We’ve been in situations where we’ve been up 20 and we’ve lost in the last one minute. It happened multiple times last year,” Tate said. “I think me, Keita and the guys that were here last year just continue to have those flashbacks in our mind. We call it, ‘Don’t fold. Like don’t fold like a lawn chair.’ And that’s all we kept saying was we are not folding today. And we got it done.”The Buckeyes shot 53 percent from the field — 47 percent from the 3 — while Michigan State shot just 39 percent from the field and 28 from beyond the arc. Ohio State outscored Michigan State 30-24 in the paint and 10-4 in points off turnovers despite losing the turnover battle 12-6.Ohio State will celebrate its upset victory today, but the players and coaches both said after the game thoughts will quickly turn to facing Maryland, which comes to the Schottenstein Center Thursday at 7 p.m.