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September 2019
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‘Sports Spotlight’ Articles

Sports Spotlight Miami Week: DT Robert Landers, who has been at Ohio State a long, long time in his own words, is enjoying the new defense


Robert BB Landers OSU DT Miami Week Talking defense & Mental Health Awareness 9 17 2019


Robert Landers, another standout player for the Buckeyes out of Huber Heights Wayne, says the defense still has much more work to do ( photo)

Coming into this season, no one, fans, media or probably even the staff at Ohio State knew if the defense could get any better than last year. Because, quite frankly, some of the same players would be back minus only DT Dre’mont Jones and CB Kendall Sheffield who went to the NFL.

So new head coach Ryan Day pulled a coup that no one could ever expect. He knew he had to shake up the defensive coaching staff minus DL coach Larry Johnson. So he pulled the unthinkable, raiding OSU’s arch-rival Michigan Wolverines of two of their top coaches in Greg Mattison, defensive line and Al Washington, linebackers. He also brought in Jeff Hafley from the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers to form a formidable coaching staff on the defense with new schemes and ideas.

So with those new ideas to go along with holdover Johnson, the defense has improved even if it has been three games against Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati and Indiana. All three can put up points on the board at anytime. But not against the Buckeyes. Those teams had no clue how to solve the new defense for four quarters.

The Buckeyes defense has allowed just 171 yards rushing the first three games, a 16-year low.

One of the mainstays of the defense has been Robert Landers at DT. The 6’1, 285 pound senior is the most veteran members of the defensive line with 40 games played. He led all defensive lineman in tackles for loss per play the past two years.

This year he graded out a champion in two games thus far. Against FAU, he combined for a half sack. Last week at Indiana, he had three QB hurries. He too, has improved in the new scheme as has all of the returnees on that side of the ball.

Sports Spotlight: CB Damon Arnette glad his decision to come back one more year is paying off



Damon Arnette OSU CB Miami Week On his INT TD return Coming back for senior season The new defense 9 17 2019 (6:03)

The Ohio State Buckeyes every year has a roster with NFL prospects on it.

After the bowl game, there are players who have to make the decision to stay or go. Most make a decision after talking to NFL personnel, their parents and the OSU coaches. Some, when they come to the program, probably have their minds made up, after three years in the program, they are going to the NFL.

Damon Arnette ( photo)

Some players, like graduate senior CB Damon Arnette stayed because he wanted to get better, get his degree and add more schooling along with improving his NFL draft status. Cornerbacks are one position that is always a priority in the NFL.

The soft-spoken Arnette, who is from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, told the media at yesterday’s Tuesday Weekly Media briefing that he is glad that he came back to play for the Buckeyes, being with his brothers on the team and just being around all the great players and most of all great people and coaches.

As you all know, he had a career day last Saturday at Indiana. Broke up three passes and had that electrifying 96-yard interception return for a touchdown that excited the entire team on the sidelines. That was his fifth career INT and first career touchdown. He told us that that was why he came back for that play. More are going to come!

The 6’0, 195 pounder from that famous high school in South Florida, which produces many NFL players, St. Thomas Aquinas, has started 26 of the last 29 games and has played in 41 overall.

He is the leader on the team in career passes defensed with 18.

Arnette is a two-time Big Ten honorable mention honoree.

Sports Spotlight: Jeffrey Okudah loves new OSU defense; allows players to play comfortable


Jeffrey Okudah OSU DB Postgame Cincinnati Game 9 7 2019


Jeffrey Okudah OSU DB talks highly of new defense with the media after Saturday's game ( photo)

Last year’s Ohio State defense was the worst in school history all across the board. But just like new co-defensive coordinator Gregg Mattison has said in news conferences, “They were still 13-1, won the Big Ten East Division, won the Big Ten title and won the Rose Bowl. So they must’ve been good enough to make plays when they needed them.”

After last season with graduation and defections to the NFL, fans were wondering if more of the same was in store for 2019.

When you look on paper, the Buckeyes still have a great core of players on defense led by DE Chase Young, NT Robert Landers, DT Davon Hamilton, LB Malik Harrison, FS Jordan Fuller, CB Damon Arnette Jr. and Jeffrey Okudah.

The new defense seems to be working under Mattison and Jeff Hafley, the other defensive coordinator.

Okudah, who most scouts, broadcasters and media think will be the next Buckeyes DB going to the NFL, has a goal to be one of college football’s top cornerbacks in 2019.

The 6’1, 200 pound, junior from Grand Prairie, Texas, a suburb of Arlington, says that this new defense allows plays to flow comfortable and make plays to the football.

Saturday in its 42-0 win at over over the Cincinnati Bearcats, the defense showed that comfortable, attacking style to the ball, by forcing two turnovers inside its 5-yard line, one stopping a touchdown. The entire unit looks like they have been reborn.

Okudah in the UC game had 4 tackles, 3 solo. He and the rest of the defensive backfield kept the Cincinnati wide receivers in check all day. Although, sophomore wide receiver Alec Pierce was able to shake loose for 93 yards on 4 catches. And the team’s best target, Josiah Deguara, was held to 3 catches for 46 yards. He is usually counted on for more yards and catches in a game.

Sports Spotlight: Cincinnati Week Feature; Justin Fields answers doubters with 51-yd TD run and 4 passing touchdowns

Justin Fields OSU QB ( photo)


Justin Fields OSU QB On his first start What he learned Ohio Stadium atmosphere 9 3 2019

Sophomore QB Justin Fields, the Georgia transfer, had a memorable debut and answered many questions that Buckeyes fans had about him replacing the popular Dewayne Haskins who went to the NFL.

Fields had a day only you could only dream of for a first game: 51-yard TD run on the game’s fourth play; 234 yards passing and 4 touchdowns through the air. Seems like the second coming of Haskins to some people. Only, Fields can run too, as demonstrated by his 61 yards on the ground.

The native of Kennesaw, GA., talks about his first game, scrambling and making plays, taking hits and what to improve on in this 11:05 presser

NASCAR drivers driving for #BurnoutChildhoodCancer this weekend at IMS


Special Promotion To Raise Funds, Awareness of Childhood Cancers

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is partnering with Riley Children’s Foundation in Indianapolis to recognize children and families affected by childhood cancers, launching a promotion for winning NASCAR drivers Sept. 7-8 at the Racing Capital of the World to perform a unique burnout in celebration of their big victories.

Winning drivers in the Indiana 250 on Saturday, Sept. 7 and the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line on Sunday, Sept. 8 are encouraged to steer clear of the Yard of Bricks start-finish line for their celebratory burnout to support childhood cancer awareness and research, as September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

IMS and Riley will execute a #BurnoutChildhoodCancer promotion and text-to-give campaign. IMS will provide a $2,500 total donation upon completion of burnouts away from the Yard of Bricks, with $1,000 after the Indiana 250 and $1,500 after the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard. Fans can text BURNOUT to 52182 to donate the amount of their choice in support of pediatric cancer research.

“We’re proud to partner with Riley Children’s Foundation to fight this terrible disease and raise more funding to find a cure during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “A burnout by winning drivers away from the Yard of Bricks helps to draw more attention to this vital cause and also helps to keep the sweetest victory kiss in racing nice and clean for the driver and their team.”

Boles also will host Riley kids and their families in Victory Circle after the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line.

Riley Children’s Foundation is the fundraising arm of Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and the founding organization that opened Riley Hospital in 1924. Comprehensive children’s hospitals like Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health lead the way for pediatric research innovation. Because of donors’ gifts, Riley is now among the top 10 pediatric research hospitals in the nation. Riley Children’s Foundation also supports Camp Riley and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home.

Tickets for the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line, Indiana 250 and FGL Fest are available at




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