Nine-man Spurs stunned, Cardiff relegated

first_imgThird bottom Cardiff are four points behind fourth bottom Brighton with only one game remaining, ensuring they will join already relegated Huddersfield and Fulham in the second tier next season.The Bluebirds will make an immediate return to the Championship after last season’s promotion, their fate sealed by a dismal run of nine defeats in their last 11 league games.It won’t be a season fondly remembered by Cardiff, with their relegation coming after the tragic death of striker Emiliano Sala, who died in a plane crash en route to Wales before he had even played a game for the club.“They’ve tried hard. We’ve shown limitations today and that’s why we are where we are,” said Cardiff boss Neil Warnock.In their first season back in the top-flight, Wolves moved a step closer to sealing an impressive seventh place finish as Leander Dendoncker clinched a 1-0 win over relegated Fulham.Belgian midfielder Dendoncker netted in the 75th minute at Molineux to give Wolves a third successive win.Nuno Espirito Santo’s team are four points clear of eighth placed Everton, who only have one game left, and six ahead of ninth placed Leicester, who have two matches remaining.If Manchester City win the FA Cup final against Watford later on May 18, the team which finishes seventh will go into the Europa League qualifying rounds next season.In the 88th minute, Fulham provided an historic footnote as Harvey Elliott was sent on to become the Premier League’s youngest ever player at 16 years and 30 days.English midfielder Elliott, born in April 2003, surpassed the previous record set by former Fulham player Matthew Briggs, aged just 16 years and 65 days in 2007.Marko Arnautovic ended his 11-game goal drought with a brace in West Ham’s 3-0 win against Southampton at the London Stadium.Share on: WhatsApp Spurs stunned. PHOTO via @premierleagueLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Mauricio Pochettino insisted on Saturday that nine-man Tottenham won’t let a “cruel” 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth ruin their bid to finish in the top four and reach the Champions League final, while Cardiff were relegated after their 3-2 defeat against Crystal Palace.Tottenham’s South Korea forward Son Heung-min was sent off for a needless push in the closing moments of the first half and Argentine defender Juan Foyth saw red for a studs-up lunge soon after the interval.Pochettino’s side looked like they would hold on for a point as the match entered stoppage-time, but Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake ended third-placed Tottenham’s stubborn resistence to delay their attempt to guarantee a place in the top four.A win at Dean Court would have achieved that aim, but fourth-placed Chelsea will now go above Spurs if they defeat Watford and Arsenal, currently fifth, will move to within one point of their north London rivals if they beat Brighton on Sunday.“Of course it is difficult to get something positive. We made a massive effort,” Pochettino said.“We need to move on. We have ahead two finals. It is in our hands. If it does not happen we will be proud because nobody expected Tottenham to be in the position they are today.”Tottenham’s ninth defeat in their last 15 games in all competitions means they need to wait for Sunday’s results to see if they need to win their final Premier League game of the season at home to Everton on May 12.It was the worst possible preparation for their bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the Champions League semi-final second leg at Ajax on Wednesday.“We are fighting six teams. It’s impossible for all six to get the top four, whatever happens I will feel proud and whatever happens in the semi-final I will be proud,” Pochettino said.Cardiff needed a win to have a realistic chance of beating the drop on the last day of the season, but they were out-classed by Palace in south Wales.Wilfried Zaha put Palace ahead in the 28th minute before Martin Kelly’s own goal three minutes later gave Cardiff hope.– Elliott makes history –Michy Batshuayi restored Palace’s lead in the 40th minute and Andros Townsend made it three after 70 minutes, with Bobby Reid’s 90th minute goal little consolation for Cardiff.last_img read more

Selling calls

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The markets didn’t move much this week. Harvest pressure continues to limit corn upside potential. Beans at first looked like they may take off as harvest slowed, but on Friday, Brazil’s currency fell against the dollar. This meant a price boost for Brazilian farmers who sold some beans, putting pressure on futures prices. The 30-day forecast for South America looks good for growing beans. The market continues to search for a reason to swing either way right now.Even though I’m hoping corn prices go up, I still think corn prices are going nowhere for a while. That’s why I sold more calls, so I can presumably collect some premium in the meantime while I wait for other opportunities down the road to sell the grain and/or more options. 3 – New Trades – Selling CallsOn 10/24/17 when Dec corn was near $3.50 I sold the following calls for 10% of my production each:Jan $3.60 call for 10 cents – expires Dec 22May $3.70 call for 19 cents – expires Apr 20July $3.80 call for 19 cents – expires June 22What does this mean?If corn is trading below the strike price (the price listed on each line) when these options expire I keep the premium and add it to another trade down the road.If corn is trading above the strike price (the price listed on each line) when these options expire I have to sell corn for the strike price PLUS the premium.Should corn rally above each of these prices I would receive an average price of $3.86 ($3.70 average + 16 cents of options premium). I’ll need to move some grain during these time periods to keep my stored grain in good condition so this won’t be the worst thing if it happens.While I don’t really want to sell for $3.86, it means prices rallied, which is a good thing because I can then sell more of my unpriced corn at higher levels. I’m actually more concerned if corn prices DON’T rally. Like many farmers, I still have a substantial amount of unpriced grain that needs higher prices. So, until a rally comes, I need to “manufacture” prices that get me to profitable levels, and in this case, if prices remain low I can add to a later trade. This helps me push closer to breakeven points and possibly to profitable levels. Why I dislike minimum price contractsRight now some farmers are selling grain and then BUYING the calls I just sold in the above trades. Their guaranteed average price on all of these contracts would be $3.54. That comes from the average cost of the three calls at 16 cents, which will then need to be subtracted from the average sale price of the three contract prices above or $3.70 to establish where their true minimum price starts. One benefit of this type of trade is unlimited upside potential, if the market rallies. But if the market doesn’t rally, like this previous year, the farmer is behind.If we compare my sold call trades above to the farmers buying those calls, the farmers buying calls would need corn to go higher than $4.02 to beat my $3.86 trade because they still need to recoup the 16 cent cost of buying the calls. Rebuttal 1I’m sure some will argue that the calls could still have some time value left if there was a rally to $4, meaning the calls would be worth more than the 16-cent average. While that is a possibility, last year’s futures struggled to keep the nearby futures price above $3.80 for any length of time, so I would argue $4 might be difficult this year. That argument also assumes that a farmer would sell the call before it expires when this time value is still in place. That is usually not something I see most farmers having the discipline to do. I know I would find it extremely hard to sell the call into a rally well before it expires. Rebuttal 2Farmers buying a minimum priced contract will protect their downside, while my downside is open. Looking at the numbers though, corn prices would have to stay below $3.38, which is the minimum price contract floor of $3.54 less the 16 cent call premium I will collect, for me to be in worst shape than the farmer buying the call as part of the minimum price contract. While this could happen, I don’t think $3.38 for a prolonged time period is all that likely, especially during the January to June time frame which is historically usually the higher priced months of the marketing year. Plus, I can still sell additional calls in the future as these expire to add more premium to these trades, should this scenario happen. Generally speaking, after running the numbers for the various market scenarios that could happen, or are likely to happen, there just aren’t a lot of advantages for me to sell grain and buy calls, and in most cases a farmer doing so will end up behind because those types of trades are often long shots. That being said, there are many different ways to look at the market. A lot of farmers want unlimited upside potential, especially with downside protection, but there is a cost to get that chance. It may mean selling at levels below today’s already disappointing prices. The market has been range-bound for over a year now and could be in one for another year, so I try to structure some of my trades to be most profitable knowing this. I don’t want to be chasing long shots. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]last_img read more

China vows to counter US midrange arms deployment in Asia

first_imgBeijing: China said Tuesday that it “will not stand idly by” and will take countermeasures if the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region, which Washington has said it plans to do within months. The statement from the director of the foreign ministry’s Arms Control Department, Fu Cong, follows the U.S.’s withdrawal last week from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a move Fu said would have a “direct negative impact on the global strategic stability” as well as security in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhFu said China was particularly concerned about announced plans to develop and test a land-based intermediate-range missile in the Asia-Pacific “sooner rather than later,” in the words of one US official. “China will not stand idly by and be forced to take countermeasures should the U.S. deploy intermediate-range ground-based missiles this part of the world,” Fu told reporters at a specially called briefing. He also advised other nations, particularly South Korea, Japan and Australia, to “exercise prudence” and not allow the U.S. to deploy such weapons on their territory, saying that would “not serve the national security interests of these countries.” Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterU.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in Asia over the weekend that he wanted to deploy midrange conventional missiles in the Asia-Pacific within months. Australian officials said Monday that the locations for the bases were not yet known but their country would not be one of them. Fu also said China had no intention of joining nuclear weapons reduction talks with the US and Russia, pointing to the huge gap in the size of China’s arsenal compared to those of the other two.last_img read more

Markets Right Now Stocks close higher led by technology

first_imgThe latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):4 p.m.Stocks are capping a solid opening week of the year with big gains for technology, materials and energy companies.Tech stocks, which were the biggest stars of the market last year, continued in that role in the opening week of 2018. Cisco Systems rose 1.4 per cent Friday and Apple gained 1.1 per cent.For the week, tech stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index are up 4.2 per cent.The four-day winning streak for the S&P 500 index this week marked the longest string of consecutives gains to start a year since 2010.On Friday the S&P 500 index rose 19 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 2,743.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 220 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 25,295. The Nasdaq composite climbed 58 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 7,136.___11:45 a.m.Technology companies are climbing as U.S. stocks rise for the fourth day in a row to start 2018.Cisco Systems rose 1.1 per cent in midday trading Friday, and Google’s parent company Alphabet rose 1.4 per cent.Stocks are continuing to push through record highs.The Dow Jones industrials closed above 25,000 points for the first time Thursday and the Nasdaq breached 7,000 points earlier in the week.The Dow increased 83 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 25,158.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 9 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,733.The Nasdaq composite climbed 49 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 7,122.Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.47 per cent.___9:35 a.m.Stocks are opening slightly higher on Wall Street, carrying on momentum a day after the Dow Jones industrial average broke through 25,000 points.Technology and industrial companies were leading the way higher early Friday. Railroad operator Union Pacific gained 2.1 per cent and Cisco Systems rose 1.4 per cent.The Dow increased 49 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 25,122.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,728.The Nasdaq composite climbed 22 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7,100.last_img read more

Volkswagen sets new fullyear sales record in race for No 1

first_imgFRANKFURT — German automaker Volkswagen has posted another annual sales record by selling 10.83 million cars in 2018 as new SUV models boosted deliveries.The Wolfsburg-based maker of Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda and other brand name cars beat its 2017 record of 10.74 million cars. Sales rose in the U.S., China, Europe and South America.In 2017, Volkswagen contested the title of world’s biggest carmaker with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which claimed the title with 10.6 million and said Volkswagen should not have counted trucks. The alliance announces 2018 figures later this monthMarketing head Christian Dahlheim said the company overcame troubles getting cars certified under new emission rules in Europe.He called it “a great result” even though the company no longer sets unit sales records as a primary business goal.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Peace Gallery Norths opening night of Harvest Moon Exhibition

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Peace Gallery North has its opening night of their Harvest Moon Exhibition, tonight, Friday, September 6th, 2019 from 7 pm – 9 pm.The exhibition is a preview of original art to be auctioned at the 36th Annual Art Auction held October 5th, 2019.This evening will include entertainment by Intermezzo, as well as refreshments and appetizers by the Cultured Cafe. The Peace Gallery North is located at the North Peace Cultural CentreTo view the FB Event Page; CLICK HERElast_img read more

Australia political leaders use Chinese app to chase votes

first_imgCanberra: Australia’s prime minister and his political rival said on Wednesday they were not tailoring their political messages to suit Chinese censors as the politicians increasingly use Chinese social media to woo Chinese-speaking voters. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Bill Shorten each have accounts with China’s largest social media platform, WeChat, which they use to target the Chinese diaspora ahead of federal elections on May 18. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USCritics argue that the Australian political leaders risk being kicked off the platform if they don’t comply with Chinese censorship rules. Morrison said his account has not been subjected to Chinese censorship used on social media. “We haven’t experienced any such censorship,” Morrison told reporters. Bill Shorten, who leads the center-left Labor Party, was similarly unconcerned by the type of censorship that the Chinese Communist Party routinely exercises on Chinese social media. “I’m not fussed at all,” Shorten told reporters. “I do not feel censored by the Chinese government.” WeChat was launched by Chinese giant Tencent in 2011 and the app, known in China as Weixin, has become essential for daily life in China. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsMorrison’s account was registered in January under the name of a Chinese citizen in Fujian province, and Shorten’s account was registered to a Chinese citizen in Shandong province, Australian Broadcasting Corp reported. Morrison said his conservative Liberal Party was trying to transfer his account to Australia. “The way you set up a WeChat account, because of where it’s run, is you have to work through these overseas structures and we’ve been in the process now over the last week or so of seeking to repatriate how that’s done,” Morrison said. Shorten said he left his Labor Party to set up his account. The party said it was set up in early 2017 by an Australian resident who is employed by the party. It is jointly operated by Shorten’s office and the party. “Labor has never experienced any censorship of our communications on any social media platforms,” a party statement said. “We do not tolerate any outside interference that seeks to undermine our free and fair society.” Fergus Hanson, head of the International Cyber Policy Center at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said politicians’ use of Chinese social media in the Australian political debate created the possibility of censorship and self-censorship on subjects sensitive to China. “It’s pretty outrageous that you’re in a situation where an Australian politician in a full-blown democracy is being censored in what they can say by the Chinese government trying to speak to other Australians within Australia,” Hanson said. “It’s absolutely preposterous.” Hanson’s own research estimated that there were 1.5 million active WeChat users in Australia including Chinese-speaking Australians, tourists and international students. Australia has a population of 25 million.last_img read more

Oppn leaders set to meet today also to move EC over VVPATs

first_imgNew Delhi: Two days ahead of the Lok Sabha poll results, top opposition leaders will meet in the national capital on Tuesday to discuss the political situation and possibilities of a non-NDA alliance to stake claim for government formation.As part of his efforts to unite the opposition, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting with his West Bengal counterpart, Mamata Banerjee, at her Kolkata residence on forming a non-BJP government at the Centre in case of a hung verdict. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadNaidu had a 45-minute meeting with Banerjee on the future strategies of the “Mahagathbandhan” (Grand Alliance), during which he also discussed the possibilities of forming a non-BJP government, including regional parties, with the support of the Congress. “It was decided at the meeting that a detailed discussion will be held with other players of the Mahagathbandhan in the event of a hung verdict after the poll results are declared on May 23,” a source said. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka GandhiThe decision on Banerjee going to New Delhi would also be taken after May 23, the source added. Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav also telephoned Banerjee during the day and discussed the strategy of the “Mahagathbandhan”, sources said. Naidu has been moving around across the country and has held several rounds of discussions with top opposition leaders in a bid to unite them and form an alliance to stake claim to form the next government in case the NDA falls short of the majority mark. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief met Banerjee again on Monday evening to discuss the political scenario in the wake of the exit poll predictions. On Sunday, Naidu met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi separately in New Delhi, besides NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. The TDP leader has already met other top opposition leaders such as Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal, Left leaders and Sharad Yadav in Delhi. Meanwhile, Akhilesh and Mayawati also held a meeting and discussed their strategy going forward. However, in view of the exit polls, most of which have predicted a majority for the BJP-led NDA, the opposition has turned a bit cautious and decided not to hold any formal meetings. Top Congress leaders also held a meeting under the guidance of Sonia Gandhi on Saturday, where the current political situation was discussed. Sources said the opposition strategy was to procure letters of support from various parties and in case of a hung verdict, to present the same before the president to stake claim to form the government. They added that the opposition did not want to leave anything to chance and did not wish to waste any time in staking claim for government formation and thus, was putting its house in order. Notwithstanding the exit poll predictions, the opposition is going ahead with its strategy as most parties have trashed the forecast and claimed that the NDA would not get a majority in the Lok Sabha. Opposition leaders are citing previous examples when exit polls were proved wrong, as also elsewhere in the world like the surprise result in Australia. Opposition leaders will also meet the Election Commission (EC) and raise the issue of tallying the paper trail of votes (VVPATs) with the electronic voting machine (EVM) figures as directed by the Supreme Court. The opposition parties are demanding tallying of VVPAT slips with EVM figures in an entire Assembly constituency in case a discrepancy is found in any polling booth.last_img read more

Goodbye Dead Puck Era

It could be that the ongoing analytics boom in hockey has affected a change in the old “get the puck to the net however possible” evangelism that once was pre-eminent. It’s true that the puck won’t go into the net unless it’s guided toward the net, but not all shots are created equal: An unimpeded shot from between the dots has a much better chance of hitting the twine than a shot taken from the blue line and directed toward a bunch of traffic in front of the net, for example. If expected goals are any indication, players are taking smarter shots — not more shots — than they did in the past, and that’s leading to more goals.We might expect that slumping goaltending could also provide part of the answer. The average save percentage (.908) across the NHL is the lowest it’s been in a decade. But if we isolate goaltenders who were roughly in their prime (between the ages 25 and 31) in both 2015-16 and 2018-19 — presumably a group whose inherent skills haven’t changed very much even as the NHL’s goals-per-game average has — their average save percentage has dipped by an astounding 12 points over that span.By comparison, the overall league average in save percentage is down by only 7 points, which indicates that goaltenders who were not in the goalie population in 2015-16 are having a better time adjusting to the league than goalies who were already around — even ones still in their primes. It’s fair to conclude, then, that goaltending has gotten demonstrably more difficult in a short period of time, and veteran goalies appear to have had a hard time adapting to shooters who have figured out how to take smarter and more dangerous shots.This is all in sharp contrast to the amount of scoring that occurred in the past decade-plus. In the past, changes to the NHL rulebook have had a bubble effect: Scoring increases immediately but regresses within a season or two. That was certainly the case in 2005-06, which was defined by a spate of rule changes and a cadre of whistle-happy referees. That season, the size of goaltender equipment was reduced; the two-line offsides rule was abolished; the neutral zone was reduced by 4 feet, expanding the space each team had to mount an offensive zone attack; and goaltenders were no longer allowed to play the puck anywhere they wanted behind the goal line, instead restricted to a trapezoid behind their own net. Power-play opportunities skyrocketed to 5.85 per team per game, up by 1.61 from 2003-04.This all meant that scoring jumped from 5.14 goals per game in 2003-04 to 6.16 goals per game in 2005-06. The boost was short-lived, however. Scoring dipped beneath 6 goals per game the following season, and as the decade post-lockout progressed, scoring continued to suffer. Power-play opportunities declined drastically, goaltenders got better, and the average goals scored per game stayed below 6 for a dozen seasons. Until this season.Whether the scoring uptick can be attributed to a culmination of rule changes, smarter shot selection, worse goaltending or evolved tactics — or some combination of all of that — one thing is certain: The NHL is a scorer’s league again, and the 2018-19 iteration is the most entertaining in nearly three decades. Players in the NHL are scoring at a prodigious pace. Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov is on pace to score 125 points, which would be tied for the highest point tally of the new millennium. If they keep up their current clip, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid would score 122 points, Chicago’s Patrick Kane 119 points and Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen 117 points. All of these point totals would smash each player’s previous career high. This makes sense given the climate of the NHL this season — it’s the highest-scoring season since the one that took place immediately after the lockout of 2004-05. There are currently 40 players scoring at least a point per game.1Among players who have played in at least half of their team’s games. If the season ended today, it would be the highest number since 1995-96, when 42 finished the season with a point per game or better. This is excellent news for a league that’s constantly tinkering with its rulebook to increase scoring.For the first time in more than a decade, the average goals scored per NHL game has surpassed 6. But unlike previous spikes in scoring, there weren’t any sweeping changes made to the rulebook before the season,2The league did reduce the size of goaltending equipment again, but whether that meaningfully affects scoring numbers is up for debate. so what exactly is going on?An obvious stat to look at is the average number of power-play opportunities teams are getting each game. More man advantages, it would seem, might lead to more quality scoring opportunities. But power-play opportunities per game have actually decreased steadily since 2005-06, the season after the lockout, and are static when compared with last season, when the average goals scored per game was below 6.Shooters do appear to be taking better shots in five-on-five scenarios. The average for the league in expected goals per 60 minutes per team3Expected goals functions as a proxy for shot quality. is 2.38, according to data from Corsica Hockey — up from 2.19 in 2015-16. And shooters are actually performing better than the expected goals model suggests they should be: The league average goals per 60 minutes per team is 2.49. A 10th of a goal may not seem like a lot, but it translates to about 254 more goals scored per season. Shots against per game have remained fairly stable since the lockout of 2004-05, which makes it somewhat difficult to explain the sudden glut. read more

Column JT Barretts best might not be enough versus Penn State

Senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) throws to sophomore wide receiver Binjimen Victor (9) during the Ohio State game against Maryland on Oct. 7 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes beat Maryland 62-14. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterGames against Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Penn State, Clemson and Oklahoma are quarterback J.T. Barrett’s only blemishes on a historic career at Ohio State. But all of that won’t matter Saturday against the No. 2 Nittany Lions.This game largely defines Barrett’s career. A win and Ohio State remains in the playoff picture; a loss puts the Buckeyes out of the race.Barrett is arguably playing better than he ever has in an Ohio State uniform heading into possibly the biggest game of his career. However, even if Barrett performs at his best, that still might not be enough for a victory against Penn State, which would be the first loss in his career he has played well enough to win.When looking back at Barrett’s complex, yet fruitful, five-year journey at Ohio State his play in losses sticks out like a sore thumb. Inaccuracy and a stationary offense, coupled with a poor offensive line and lack of skill at wide receiver, catalyzed the distrust in the offense and the call for changes at the quarterback position and the coaching staff. In his losses, he simply has never been good enough to win the game.Here are Barrett’s passing numbers in losses:Virginia Tech in 2014 – 9-for-29, 219 yards, one touchdown, three interceptionsMichigan State in 2015 – 9-for-16, 46 yards, one touchdownPenn State in 2016 – 28-for-43, 245 yards, one touchdownClemson in 2016 – 19-for-33, 127 yards, two interceptionsOklahoma in 2017 – 19-of-35, 183 yards, one interceptionThose statistics speak for themselves, but Barrett can win big games. His best game of his career is arguably at Michigan State in 2014, which is a game that draws a lot of similarities to Saturday’s showdown against Penn State. Michigan State was the reigning Big Ten champion with playmakers at the quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions. Barrett threw for 300 yards and scored five total touchdowns on the biggest stage he had played to date. He won in 2016 at No. 8 Wisconsin, home against No. 3 Michigan and he can win Saturday. However, the defense is the outlier that can decide the game.Penn State’s offense is cooking just as Ohio State’s offense is at the moment. Coming into Columbus off a 42-13 beatdown of then-No. 19 Michigan is a loud statement proclaiming the Nittany Lions as the team to beat in the conference, which will only be validated with a win against the Buckeyes. Even if Barrett plays the best game of his career, is the defense good enough to stop the Nittany Lions?It’s difficult to ask any defense to slow down Penn State running back Saquon Barkley; just ask head coach Urban Meyer.“He’s the best all-purpose guy we’ve probably faced in probably, maybe my career,” he said.Even if that defense manages to slow Barkley, there’s quarterback Trace McSorley, tight end Mike Gesicki and wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton to contain. For an Ohio State defense that has surrendered 33 passing plays of 15-plus yards and 10 plays of 25-plus yards, that task is almost asking the unthinkable.Especially when considering Penn State had 11 plays of 15-plus yards and six plays of 25-plus yards against a Michigan defense that is ranked near the top of nearly every defensive metric.“Sometimes when you play an offense like this, you feel like you don’t have enough players to do it,” defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said. “That’s definitely the challenge.”Barrett will certainly have his work cut out for him as well. He will face a Penn State defense that ranks first in opponents’ scoring, ninth in total defense and has several future NFL players on its roster. Yet, as mentioned before, Barrett is at the top of his game right now and can give Ohio State the performance it needs to knock off the Nittany Lions.But will Barrett receive the needed help?When Barrett wasn’t great in games last season, the defense saved him and the offense. This time around, he must be great. He must make as many crucial plays as possible. Even then, it might not be enough to keep Penn State from appearing a second time on Barrett’s list of losses. read more