“Jones, last year’s fourth-round pick from Ohio State, has plenty of talent, but only time will tell whether he has acquired much-needed maturity to understand the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare to play his best.”
-Vic Carucci, The Buffalo News
While it is apparent that Tyrod Taylor is not the quarterback of the future for the Buffalo Bills, what is less obvious is who will replace the two-year starter. The ball is in the Bill’s court to pick up Taylor’s contract extension, worth $30.75 million in guaranteed money, and with thin options on the bench in Buffalo, the best move might just be to accept Taylor as the starter for the time being.
The Bills have the 10th-overall pick in the NFL Draft this year, but there are not many first-round worthy quarterback prospects available, especially at such a high position, and the Bills have a lot of other needs at alternative positions that could be met with their premium picks.
Early feedback on North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky indicates that he will need significant improvement to his throwing mechanics before he can be a viable NFL quarterback, and while the Bills would have the option to trade up for him, it would be looked upon as a poor move for an unproven talent. Similarly, Deshaun Watson of Clemson has shown considerable skill in the college football arena, but many view his talents as being more suited to the college game.
Without a logical choice in the draft, a trade seems probable, but the most promising veteran option--Jimmy Garoppolo--would likely cost the Bills an exorbitant sum when trading with a division rival in the Patriots. Other options, including Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon, Dallas’s Tony Romo and Chicago’s Jay Cutler are all far less likely veteran options that would not benefit Buffalo in the long run.
However, the answer may already be on the Bills’ roster. General Manager Doug Whaley has been supportive of former Buckeye Cardale Jones, whose only playing time in his rookie season came in the Bills’ final regular season matchup against the Jets (he went 6-for-11 for 96 yards and one interception). Given the dearth of draft and available veteran talent on the market, Jones might find himself in the de facto quarterback position for the Bills come next season.
“They have a lot of pride, great tradition and eight national titles, so anytime you can beat a team like that, it’s a great day.”
-Ohio State director of tennis Ty Tucker, via The Ohio State University
Third-ranked Ohio State men’s tennis swept No. 10 Georgia yesterday 4-0 in their seventh sweep of the year. The Buckeyes now sit at a perfect 9-0 to start the season. Ohio State defeated the Bulldogs 3-0 in singles behind wins from senior Herkko Pollanen (6-2, 6-4), junior Mikael Torpegaard (6-4, 6-4) and freshman Kyle Seelig (6-2, 7-5). Earlier in the day, Ohio State had earned the hard-fought doubles point in three matches. Junior Hugo Di Feo and sophomore Martin Joyce won the first match 6-2 before junior Matt Mendez and sophomore Hunter Tubert were defeated by the same score--the Buckeyes’ first doubles loss of the season. Then, in the final doubles match, Torpegaard and Pollanen earned a break to win the doubles match 6-4 and earn the doubles point for the Buckeyes.
Thus far, all of Ohio State’s matches have been played at home, but the Buckeyes travel to their first away match Wednesday against Penn State in State College. They then have a quick turnaround before heading to the ITA Indoor Championships in Charlottesville.
The women’s team, meanwhile, just experienced its first loss of the season to second-ranked North Carolina in the semifinals of the ITA national women’s team indoor championship in a hard-fought, 4-3 loss. The Buckeyes lost the doubles point early by a 2-1 score. The two squads were tied 3-3 in singles matches with wins by Ohio State seniors Sandy Niehaus, Miho Kowase and Ferny Angeles Paz, but the Tar Heels clinched the match, with fifth-ranked Hayley Carter of North Carolina defeating sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo--the top-ranked women’s player in the NCAA--in three sets. Di Lorenzo, a three-time ITA national champion, is now 3-1 versus Carter individually. Next up, the 7-1 women’s team faces Michigan in Columbus Friday in their first conference matchup of the season.
#Buckeyes finish up weekend road trip with a 24-20 win at No. 13 Minnesota, improve to 11-2 on the year. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/ykke10v6Dp— Ohio State Wrestling (@wrestlingbucks) February 12, 2017
The fourth-ranked Ohio State wrestling team scored two big wins over the weekend over No. 6 Nebraska Friday in Lincoln and No. 12 Minnesota Sunday in Minneapolis to close out the regular season. The Buckeyes finished the regular season 11-2 overall and 7-2 in conference with wins over seven teams ranked in the top-25 nationally.
Earlier in the weekend, the Buckeyes earned a decisive 24-13 win over the Huskers--the first-ever win in Lincoln in program history. Ohio State boasts three top-ranked wrestlers in their respective classes, all of whom earned victories over Nebraska. Overall, the Buckeyes won seven of their 10 matchups, including four over opponents individually ranked in the top-10 nationally in their own weight classes.
After a short turnaround, Ohio State earned an extremely narrow 24-20 victory in bonus points after splitting 10 matches with Minnesota and winning four of five matches in bonus points. Two falls, a technical fall and a major decision helped to close the 20-14 deficit to give the Buckeyes their third-straight win, all of which have come over ranked opponents. It was the first Ohio State win in Minneapolis since 1993.
Last week, the Buckeyes earned a 23-18 win over No. 13 Rutgers to get back on track following consecutive losses against No. 3 Iowa and No. 2 Penn State. Kyle Snyder (heavyweight), Nathan Tomasello (133-pounds) and Bo Jordan (174-pounds) were undefeated in the regular season.
Next up, Ohio State is scheduled to face No. 9 Cornell in NWCA Championship Dual Series, in which Big Ten conference teams go up against out of conference teams in a national showcase. Following the duals, the Buckeyes head to the Big Ten Championships in Bloomington the first week of March.
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