Pennsylvania Moves Forward with Governor Wolf’s Plan to Control Methane and Other Air Pollution Environment, Press Release Pennsylvania took a step forward to reduce air pollution, including methane, from natural gas wells and pipelines with the approval of changes to the state’s air quality regulations. Guided by Governor Tom Wolf’s Methane Reduction Strategy, today’s action marks another step in the commonwealth’s efforts to address global greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change.“Pennsylvania has seen major reductions in pollution since I came to office and our focus on increased reliance on clean energy, improved energy efficiency, and improved oversight of emissions of potent greenhouse gasses such as methane, have all been critical in helping to move Pennsylvania forward,” said Governor Wolf. “I am proud to announce that we’ve taken another step in implementing my Methane Reduction Strategy. The new regulations will help identify and prevent leaks from existing wells and infrastructure, while protecting the environment, reducing climate change, and helping businesses reduce the waste of a valuable product.”The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB), an independent board responsible for adopting environmental regulations, approved revisions to air quality regulations for existing oil and natural gas wells and pipelines. These regulations will reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from well sites, pipelines, and other infrastructure.A part of the governor’s Methane Reduction Strategy, the updated emissions controls for VOCs will also reduce methane emissions, as the same control practices that prevent VOCs from escaping from natural gas infrastructure also prevent methane from escaping as well. The new regulations are expected to reduce VOC emissions by more than 4,400 tons per year, and methane emissions by more than 75,000 tons per year.“Both methane and VOC are precursors to the formation of ground-level ozone, a public health and hazard that contributes to asthma and other lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis,” said Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “In addition to addressing climate change, the regulation will improve air quality across the state, ensuring that all Pennsylvanians, including particularly young and at-risk residents, are protected from harmful air pollutants.”The new regulations would require oil and gas operators that produce above a certain threshold to use leak detection and repair (LDAR) equipment to identify (and fix) leaks, as well as use other equipment designed to reduce emissions.Methane is a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide and reducing methane emissions is critical to addressing climate change. The Wolf administration has taken several steps to combat climate change and protect Pennsylvania from climate disasters, including joining the U.S. Climate Alliance and directing DEP to draft regulations to take part in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.A public comment period on the proposed regulations will open in 2020. After comments are considered, DEP will draft the final regulation for consideration by the EQB. The comment period will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, and comments will be accepted through DEP’s eComment system. December 17, 2019 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
NFL MOCK DRAFT 2020:Patriots, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants go defense; Bucs, Chargers get in on QBThe first 20 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft were set at the conclusion of the regular season (the Bengals having secured the top overall pick after their 38-35 loss to Miami in Week 16). Pick Nos. 21-24 — the Eagles, Bills, Patriots and Saints, respectively — were set after the wild-card round of the playoffs. Picks 25-28 — Vikings, Dolphins (via Texans), Seahawks and Ravens, respectively — were set after the divisional rounds.The Titans and Packers claimed picks 29 and 30, respectively, after their losses in the conference championship round.Below is the official NFL Draft order for the first 32 picks in 2020, now including results for the entire NFL playoffs.NFL Draft order 2020Pick No.TeamRecord1.Cincinnati Bengals2-142.Washington Redskins3-133.Detroit Lions3-12-14.New York Giants4-125.Miami Dolphins5-116.Los Angeles Chargers5-117.Carolina Panthers5-118.Arizona Cardinals5-10-19.Jacksonville Jaguars6-1010.Cleveland Browns6-1011.New York Jets7-912.Oakland Raiders7-913.Indianapolis Colts7-914.Tampa Bay Buccaneers7-915.Denver Broncos7-916.Atlanta Falcons7-917.Dallas Cowboys8-818.Miami Dolphins(via 8-8 Steelers)19.Oakland Raiders(via 8-8 Bears)20.Jacksonville Jaguars(via 9-7 Rams)21.Philadelphia Eagles9-722.Buffalo Bills10-623.New England Patriots12-424.New Orleans Saints13-325.Minnesota Vikings10-626.Miami Dolphins(via 10-6 Texans)27.Seattle Seahawks11-528.Baltimore Ravens14-229.Tennessee Titans9-730.Green Bay Packers13-331.San Francisco 49ers13-332.Kansas City Chiefs12-4Sporting News’ latest NFL mock draft for 2020 has LSU quarterback Joe Burrow going No. 1 overall to the Bengals, followed by Ohio State edge-rusher Chase Young going to the Redskins. As for the two Super Bowl participants, SN writer Vinnie Iyer mocks the Chiefs bolstering their run game with Georgia running back D’Andre Swift and the 49ers going the defensive route again in Alabama safety Xavier McKinney.”Swift (5-9, 229 pounds) is capable of both getting the tough yards inside and breaking free for big plays in the open field,” Iyer wrote. “He also flashed well as a receiver for the Bulldogs and can excel in the screen game Andy Reid loves.”At 6-1, 197 pounds, McKinney could do it all for San Francisco, handling tight ends in coverage and cleaning up against running backs.” The Chiefs beat the 49ers in Super Bowl 54 on Sunday, bringing the 2019 season to a close and finalizing the NFL 2020 Draft order.The Chiefs, which entered the playoffs as the AFC’s No. 2 seed after a 12-4 season, will take the 32nd overall pick after their 31-20 win. San Francisco, which claimed the top seed in the NFC after a 13-3 season, will get the 31st pick.
0Shares0000Neymar leaves the pitch with an apparent foot injury in PSG’s win over Strasbourg in the French Cup © AFP / FRANCK FIFEPARIS, France, Jan 23 – Holders Paris Saint-Germain advanced to the last 16 of the French Cup with a 2-0 win over Strasbourg on Wednesday, but their evening was marred by the sight of Neymar going off injured.Edinson Cavani and Angel di Maria got the goals on a bitterly cold night at the Parc des Princes, while in between Neymar limped off with an apparent foot injury. The Brazilian covered his eyes as he went off to be replaced by Moussa Diaby just after the hour mark, a worrying sign for the PSG camp with the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester United less than three weeks away.Coach Thomas Tuchel had already chosen to rest Kylian Mbappe for this game, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting handed a rare start in place of the superstar France forward.The Cameroon international set up Cavani for the fourth-minute opener, before Di Maria — who had earlier hit the post — finished into the roof of the net 10 minutes from time as PSG stay on track to win the French Cup for the fifth season running.Before kick-off, fans applauded and chanted the name of Emiliano Sala, the former Nantes striker who is feared dead after the plane he was travelling in disappeared over the Channel Islands on Monday as he was on his way to join his new club Cardiff City.– ‘Deeply affected’ –Edinson Cavani (C) celebrates with after giving Paris Saint-Germain the lead in their French Cup win over Strasbourg © AFP / FRANCK FIFENantes’ own Cup tie away at third-tier Entente Sannois Saint-Gratien has been postponed until Sunday, with their players still in a state of shock over Sala’s disappearance.Elsewhere, Caen ended the run of plucky sixth-tier amateurs Viry-Chatillon in a 6-0 rout, with Yacine Bammou setting the Ligue 1 club on their way.An emotional Bammou raised his hands towards the sky after his early goal, in tribute to Sala, with whom he played at Nantes last season.Caen coach Fabien Mercadal said Bammou had made clear his desire to be involved despite the tragic turn of events.“We talked about it. What happened is not fair. He was a friend to Yacine, he was deeply affected. The worst thing for him would have been to not play,” said Mercadal.A group of Caen supporters, for whom Sala spent the second half of the 2014-15 season on loan, also fastened a banner that read “Emiliano” to a fence surrounding the pitch.Elsewhere, Naim Sliti scored a hat-trick as relegation-threatened Dijon claimed a stunning 6-3 win away at Saint-Etienne for their first victory under new coach Antoine Kombouare, while Rennes overcame fourth-division Saint-Pryve 2-0.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Chelsea dominated possession in the opening 20 minutes of the Capital One Cup quarter-final at the Stadium of Light, where the in-form Andre Schurrle has looked lively.The Blues’ veteran keeper Mark Schwarzer, in for Petr Cech, was a virtual spectator as Jose Mourinho’s side passed the ball around at will and pressed their opponents effectively.Schurrle cut in from the left and fired straight at Black Cats keeper Vito Mannone and Chelsea skipper Frank Lampard sent a long-range effort over.Kevin De Bruyne was one of those brought in to a much-changed Chelsea starting line-up by Mourinho.Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Schwarzer; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Lampard; De Bruyne, Willian, Schurrle; Eto’oSubs: Blackman, Terry, Essien, Oscar, Hazard, Ba, Torres.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Matt Chapman had just executed a Matrix-like side-belly slide, evading White Sox … Oakland Coliseum’s vast foul territory has its pits and perks.Sunday afternoon, the A’s home turf helped deliver the team a 3-2, walk-off win to seal a series sweep of the Chicago White Sox.Here are three takeaways.Unfavorable challenges and redemption inningsThe moment crew chief Larry Vanover took off his headset and pumped his fist out, it looked like the A’s hot streak would trip over a blip.
India opener Gautam Gambhir, who played a pivotal role in helping India secure a draw in the final Test in Cape Town against South Africa, has bagged the highest price so far in the ongoing Indian Premier League season IV auction in Bangalore.Gambhir, who played for the IPL Delhi team till last season, was bought by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s IPL team Kolkata for a whooping Rs 11.04 crores on Saturday – the first day of the two-day auction.Gambhir, who led Delhi Daredevils in the last edition, was surprisingly not bid for by his former team, even as others clamored for the left-hander. New franchises Pune, Kochi as well as Mumbai bid aggressively for him before Kolkata clinched the deal.But, the more surprising was that some big names that did come up for bidding were left unpicked by any teams.Sourav Ganguly, Brian Lara, Mark Boucher, Chris Gayle and South African Herschelle Gibbs were all left unpicked. However, all these players will again come under the hammer again on Sunday.Ten franchises are participating in the two-day bidding, including the Rajasthan IPL team and the Punjab IPL team, who were disqualified by the Indian Premier League following breach of ownership regulations but cleared following a Mumbai High Court decision.Over 350 players are up for grabs for the next three seasons, with the sequence of players coming up for auction decided by drawing of lots.The other major earners on the day were Yusuf Pathan, all-rounder Irfan Pathan, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma and Robin Uthappa and England’s Kevin Pietersen.advertisementYusuf Pathan, who earlier represented the Rajasthan Royals, was bought by Kolkata IPL team for Rs 9.66 crore. His brother Irfan was bought by IPL Delhi team for Rs 8.74 crore.Yuvraj Singh was taken away by Pune IPL team for Rs 8.28 crores. Rohit Sharma, who earlier represented IPL Hyderabad in the last season, was sold to Mumbai IPL team for Rs 9.2 crore.S. Sreesanth, who has been performing well in South Africa, was bought by IPL Kochi for Rs 4.14 crore. Mumbai Indian player till IPL season III, Zaheer Khan was bought by IPL Bangalore for Rs 4.14 crores.Rahul Dravid was taken by IPL Rajasthan Rs 3.2 crores. He earlier played for IPL Bangalore.Meanwhile, former Kolkata IPL player Brendon McCullum, who struck the first ton of the League in IPL season 1, was bought by Kochi for Rs 4.14 crores.IPL Hyderabad skipper in the last season, Adam Gilchrist was sold to Kings XI Punjab for Rs 4.14 crore. His teammate, VVS Laxman was bought by Kochi IPL team for Rs 1.84 crore.Andrew Symonds was bought by IPL Mumbai for Rs 3.91 crore. Now, he and Harbhajan Singh will be in the same team. It will be interesting to see how the two will get along considering that they were involved in a bitter spat of the racist nature when Australia had toured India in September 2008.IPL Kolkata it seems have completely revamped their team. Another good pick from them this season is Kevin Pietersen. They bought him for Rs 9.66 crore.Robin Uthappa, who represented Bangalore IPL team in the last season, was bought by Pune IPL team for Rs 9.66 crore.Twelve players, including India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (IPL Chennai), Sachin Tendulkar (IPL Mumbai) and Shane Warne (IPL Rajasthan) were retained by their original franchises.Teams are allowed a maximum of Rs 40.8 crores to spend, which includes money for those players retained from previous seasons.The 2011 IPL season will be held from April 8-May 22.IPL season 4 table 1PlayerBought byPrice in RsFormer team 2Gautam GambhirIPL Kolkata11.04 crIPL Delhi 3Tillakaratne DilshanIPL Bangalore 2.99 crIPL Delhi 4Zaheer KhanIPL Bangalore 4.14 crIPL Mumbai 5Ross TaylorIPL Rajasthan 4.6 crIPL Bangalore 6Yusuf PathanIPL Kolkata 9.66 crIPL Rajasthan 7Kevin PietersenIPL Kolkata 3.00 crIPL Bangalore 8Mahela JayawardeneIPL Kochi 6.9 crIPL Punjab 9Yuvraj SinghIPL Pune 8.28 crIPL Punjab 10Camroon WhiteIPL Hyderabad 4.99 crIPL Bangalore 11AB de VilliersIPL Bangalore 5 crIPL Delhi 12Kumar SangakkaraIPL Hyderabad 3.22 crIPL Punjab 13Jacques KallisIPL Kolkata 5.06 crIPL Bangalore 14Andrew SymondsIPL Mumbai 3.91 crIPL Hyderabad15Rahul DravidIPL Rajasthan 3.2 crIPL Bangalore 16Rohit SharmaIPL Mumbai 9.2 crIPL Hyderabad 17Adam GilchristIPL Punjab 4.14 crIPL Hyderabad 18Graeme SmithIPL Pune 2.3 crIPL Rajasthan 19Robin UthappaIPL Pune 9.66 crIPL Bangalore 20John BothaIPL Rajasthan 4.37 crIPL Rajasthan 21VVS LaxmanIPL Kochi 1.84 crIPL Hyderabad 22Daniel VettoriIPL Bangalore 2.53 crIPL Delhi 23Brendon McCullumIPL Kochi 2.18 crIPL Kolkata 24S SreesanthIPL Kochi 1.14 crIPL Punjab 25Irfan PathanIPL Delhi 8.74 crIPL Punjab 26R.P. Singh IPL Kochi 2.3 cr IPL Hyderabad 27Michael Hussey IPL Chennai1.95 cr IPL Chennai 28Shaun MarshIPL Punjab 1.85. cr IPL Punjab 29J.P. DuminyIPL Hyderabad1.38 cr IPL Mumbai 30Shikhar Dhawan IPL Hyderabad1.38 cr IPL Mumbai 31Saurabh Tiwary IPL Bangalore 7.36 cr IPL Mumbai 32Parthiv PatelIPL Kochi1.3 crIPL Chennaiadvertisement 33 Dinesh KarthikIPL Punjab 4.1 cr IPL Delhi 34 Naman OjhaIPL Delhi1.24 cr IPL Rajasthan 35Wriddhiman Saha IPL Chennai45.3 lakhs IPL Kolkata 36 Brad HaddinIPL Kolkata1.49 cr IPL Kolkata 37 Tim PaineIPL Pune1.24 cr – 38 Davy JacobsIPL Mumbai87.4 lakhs – 39 James HopesIPL Delhi1.61 cr IPL Punjab 40Ravindra JadejaIPL Kochi 4.37 cr IPL Rajasthan 41Shakib Al HasanIPL Kolkata1.95 cr – 42Stuart Broad IPL Punjab 1.84 cr – 43 Abhishek NayarIPL Punjab 3.68 cr IPL Mumbai 44 Angelo MathewsIPL Pune 4.37 cr IPL Kolkata 45 Dwayne BravoIPL Chennai92 lakhs IPL Mumbai 46 James FranklinIPL Mumbai46 lakhs – 47 Steven SmithIPL Kochi92 lakhs IPL Bangalore 48 Ishant SharmaIPL Hyderabad 2.07 cr IPL Kolkata 49 Praveen KumarIPL Punjab 3.68 cr IPL Bangalore 50 Ashish NehraIPL Pune 3.91 cr IPL Mumbai 51 Brett LeeIPL Kolkata 1.85 cr IPL Punjab 52 Morne MorkelIPL Delhi 2.18 cr IPL Rajasthan 53 Dale SteynIPL Hyderabad 5.52 cr IPL Bangalore 54 Ryan HarrisIPL Punjab 1.49 cr IPL Hyderabad 55 Doug BollingerIPl Chennai 3.22 cr IPL Chennai 56Muttiah MuralitharanIPL Kochi 5.06 cr IPL Chennai 57 Piyush ChawlaIPL Punjab 4.14 cr IPL Punjab 58 R AshwinIPL Chennai 3.91 cr IPL Chennai 59 Pragyan OjhaIPL Hyderabad 3.2 cr IPL Hyderabad 60 Amit MishraIPL Hyderabad 1.38 cr IPL Delhi 61Nathan McCullumIPL Pune 46 lakhs – 62 Ramesh PowarIPL Kochi 82 lakhs IPL Punjab 63 Brad HodgeIPL Kochi 1.95 cr IPL Kolkata 64Callum FergusonIPL Pune 1.38 cr – 65 Manoj TiwaryIPL Kolkata 2.18 cr IPL Kolkata 66Cheteshwar PujaraIPL Bangalore 3.22 cr IPL Kolkata 67 S. BadrinathIPL Chennai 3.68 cr IPL Chennai 68Paul CollingwoodIPL Rajasthan 1.15 cr IPL Delhi
Photo by businessweek.comDennis Rodman, who made waves during a wild CNN interview this week from North Korea, apologized through publicist Jules Feiler in an email to the Associated Press.This came a day after he sang “Happy Birthday” to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at the start of an exhibition basketball game in Pyongyang on Wednesday.Rodman has been slammed for not using his access to Kim and his visits to the country to help free Kenneth Bae, a missionary in poor health who is being confined in North Korea for “anti-state” crimes. In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Rodman implied that Bae was at fault.“I want to apologize,” Rodman said Thursday. “I take full responsibility for my actions. It had been a very stressful day. Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates. My dream of basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It’s not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. It’s not an excuse, it’s just the truth.”Rodman said he wanted to apologize first to Bae’s family. “I’m very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. I’m truly sorry.”In the interview, Rodman was asked whether he would raise the issue of Bae during his visit.“Kenneth Bae did one thing,” Rodman said. “If you understand what Kenneth Bae did — do you understand what he did in this country?”Asked to explain, Rodman declined to respond.Bae, a Korean-American Christian missionary and tour operator based in China, has been detained for more than a year. North Korea sees missionary work as a threat to its authoritarian government.Bae’s sister, Terri Chung, said his family couldn’t believe what Rodman had said.“Here’s somebody who is in a position to do some good for Kenneth and refuses to do so,” Chung told KOMO Radio in Seattle on Wednesday. “And then after the fact, instead, he decides to hurl these unqualified accusations against Kenneth. It’s clear he has no idea what he’s talking about. I’m not sure who he’s talking to, where he’s getting his information, but he’s certainly no authority on Kenneth Bae.”The U.S. State Department distanced itself from Rodman and said it did not want to “dignify” his activities or comments in Pyongyang by commenting on them. But spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the department was open to speaking with Rodman on his return.“We have not reached out to him. We’ve said before, if he wants to reach out to us, we’re happy to hear from him and what he has to say,” she told reporters.Rodman dedicated the game to his “best friend” Kim, who along with his wife and other senior officials and their wives watched from a special seating area. The capacity crowd of about 14,000 at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium clapped loudly as Rodman sang a verse from the birthday song and then bowed deeply to Kim, seated above him in the stands.Rodman said he was honored to be able to play the game in the North Korean capital and called the event “historic.” Some members of the U.S. Congress, the NBA and human rights groups, however, say he has become a public relations tool for North Korea’s government.The government’s poor human rights record and its threats to use nuclear weapons against South Korea and the United States have kept it a pariah state. Kim shocked the world in December by having his uncle, once considered his mentor, executed after being accused of a litany of crimes including corruption, womanizing, drug abuse and attempting to seize power.Rodman has refused to address those concerns while continuing to forge a relationship with Kim.Rodman is the highest-profile American to meet Kim, who inherited power after the death of his father in late 2011. Rodman has said he is not a statesman and instead is seeking only to build cultural connections with the North through basketball that may help improve relations between Pyongyang and Washington.
Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones tweeted “horrible” when Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be drafted in NFL history, and it has cost him an undisclosed amount fine and suspension from the team until he “completes educational training” for his actions, according to the club.Sam, the former Missouri linebacker was selected by the St. Louis Rams, with the next-to-last pick in the draft. His reaction—including tears and a kiss from his male friend—was captured on television, prompting Jones to post on Twitter: “OMG. Horrible.”In the NFL, which is seeking to create a culture of sensitivity, Jones’ reaction was not welcomed, even if it represented many others’ views, too.“I want to apologize to Michael Sam for the inappropriate comments that I made last night on social media,” Jones said in a statement released by the team. “I take full responsibility for them and I regret that these tweets took away from his draft moment. I remember last year when I was drafted in the seventh round and all of the emotions and happiness I felt when I received the call that gave me an opportunity to play for an NFL team, and I wish him all the best in his NFL career. I sincerely apologize to Mr. Ross, my teammates, coaches, staff and fans for these tweets. I am committed to represent the values of the Miami Dolphins organization and appreciate the opportunity I have been given to do so going forward.”“We met with Don today about respect, discrimination and judgment, coach Joe Philbin said. “These comments are not consistent with the values and standards of our program. We will continue to emphasize and educate our players that these statements will not be tolerated.”Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told NFL Network soon after Sam was picked that he didn’t anticipate issues about his sexuality.“I don’t have any concern whatsoever. We drafted a good football player,” Fisher said. “I’m excited to get him on the practice field and get him going so yeah, there’s gonna be a little extra tension for a couple days, but Michael was the SEC co-defensive player of the year.”Sam had 11 1/2 sacks last season for Missouri. Many believe he would have been selected higher had he stayed essentially in the closet. NFL scouts, of course, likely would have learned he was gay after they began evaluating prospects after the season, since Sam was out to his college teammates — and there was a strong chance of him being outed against his will.
201730–6–1.70 Before Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa became a household name in last season’s national title game, the Georgia Bulldogs had a 13-0 lead and were 30 minutes away from the program’s first championship in nearly 40 years. To start the second half, Nick Saban plugged in the freshman quarterback from Hawaii, and Tagovailoa rallied the Crimson Tide to an overtime victory, adding to the team’s already overflowing trophy case.Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs retreated with their tails tucked between their legs.This weekend’s SEC title game, then, represents the rematch. And once again, Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide stand in Georgia’s way.It’s ridiculous to think there’s a blueprint for beating Alabama when they’ve looked so dominant, outscoring opponents 588 to 165 this season. But there are a few areas where Georgia may have an advantage.Of course, Georgia doesn’t want to get baited into a shootout with arguably the nation’s best offense. Of course, limiting possessions and muddying up the game are a more optimal approach. Of course, Tagovailoa should be kept off the field as much as possible.All of this starts with running the ball. 201528–5–1.39 Perhaps the most underappreciated storyline in the SEC can be found in Athens. Running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb were selected in the first two rounds of this year’s NFL draft, and Georgia’s run game improved.This season, the two-headed monster of Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift has run buckshot through the SEC. Each will likely eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. Largely behind the two, the Bulldogs have over their last four games rushed for 1,345 yards, more than nine teams have accumulated all season. Georgia has the conference’s top rushing attack, gashing opposing defenses for 259.8 yards per contest on 6.3 yards per attempt, and leads the conference in total rushes of 10-plus yards (102) and 20-plus yards (35).Now, it seems silly to nitpick an Alabama defense that has allowed only six rushing touchdowns all season and ranks in the top 15 in both rushing yards allowed per contest (114.0) and rushing yards allowed per carry (3.3) … but we’re going to do it anyway. If Alabama’s ultra-young defense has had difficulty with anything, it’s mitigating explosive plays. Over 12 games this season, the Crimson Tide has allowed 13 carries of 20-plus yards, tied with five teams for 35th-fewest in the nation. On top of that, the Tide defense has also allowed 38 carries of 10 or more yards. Both numbers are the most Alabama has allowed through 12 games since 2011: 2017127.22 Source: Espn Stats & Information Group SeasonNat’l RankRush EPA/Game Season10+ yards gained20+ yards gainedYDS. After 1st Contact/Rush Alabama is vulnerable on the groundBig runs given up by the Crimson Tide defense and yards given up after first contact on a running plays each year (through 12 games) since 2011 201330–5–1.64 201633–6–1.36 201121–5–1.39 Yards after contact data is unavailable before 2011.Source: Espn Stats & Information Group Georgia’s expected points added per game on running plays during seasons under Kirby Smart 2018107.85 201433–7–2.13 Number of Opponent Rushing Plays with … 201223–6–1.47 201838–13–2.46 2016681.91 Opponents are running through Alabama tacklers like never before, too. This season, the Tide has allowed 2.46 yards after contact per carry, which is the worst performance for Alabama through the first 12 games of a season since 2011, the earliest year for which data is available. Of note: Only Memphis has gained more yards after first contact this year than Georgia.Of course, Tagovailoa is the closest thing to a cheat code in college football this season and could render these potential advantages for Georgia moot. The sophomore has racked up more passing touchdowns in the first half of games (27) than all but 21 schools1Excluding Alabama. have scored over the entire season. But this is an elite Georgia defense that could be Tagovailoa’s biggest test this season.The ultimate irony would be if a quarterback change by Smart decided the outcome of Saturday’s game. Jake Fromm has capably commanded the Georgia offense this season and has been sensational since his tepid showing during the team’s lone loss, which came against LSU. But Justin Fields, one of the most sought-after recruits from the 2018 class, has an uncanny athleticism that adds another potential threat to an already devastating offense. At receiver — again, the irony — Riley Ridley (brother of former Alabama star Calvin Ridley, who scored a touchdown in last season’s title game) has elevated his game this season. Fromm and Fields will look to Ridley, the team leader in receiving touchdowns, to take the top off the Alabama defense.If the game comes down to the wire, Georgia should be the more confident team. Long the Achilles’ heel of Saban-led teams, special teams could be what holds Alabama back. Kicker Joseph Bulovas has missed four of 16 field-goal attempts and has botched five extra points. And while the Crimson Tide ranks in the top two in offensive and defensive efficiency, it ranks a dismal 87th in special teams efficiency. “It’s not really acceptable,” Saban said earlier this month.Conversely, Rodrigo Blankenship, the bespectacled Georgia sensation, has been among college football’s most accurate kickers, nailing 19 of his 22 attempts and all 58 of his extra points. Georgia’s special teams rank far better than Alabama’s, landing at No. 38 in efficiency.It speaks to the sheer dominance of Alabama that Las Vegas sportsbooks installed the Crimson Tide as double-digit favorites against Georgia. But this is a dangerous underdog with all the trappings of a dominant squad. Some metrics consider the Bulldogs among the two best teams nationally. They won’t be short on motivation, if nothing else, as they seek to avenge last season’s loss when the lights were brightest.Check out our latest college football predictions.
1. Will Terrelle Pryor continue taking care of the ball on the road? Pryor is third in the Big Ten in total offense with 302 yards per game. He is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week after recording six total touchdowns last week against Eastern Michigan. But the key stat for No. 2 is that he has only turned the ball over twice this season. OSU becomes nearly unbeatable if Pryor takes care of the football, but this is the first time the Scarlet and Gray have played away from Ohio Stadium this season. 2. Can “Boom” and “Zoom” get on track? Between them, Dan “Boom” Herron and Brandon “Zoom” Saine have six rushing touchdowns and 361 yards rushing. Even their yards-per-carry average of 4.6 (Herron) and 4.7 (Saine) are solid. But anyone who has watched the first four games would say these two running backs could do better. Saine appears to be having trouble changing direction and finding the right holes. Herron has trouble breaking past the second level of the defense. Right now, Pryor is OSU’s leading rusher. 3. Will the Illini break OSU’s 100-yard individual rusher streak? Illinois running back Mikel LeShoure has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of the Fighting Illini’s three games in 2010. It has been 27 games since the OSU defense allowed a 100-yard rusher. The “Silver Bullets” have only allowed seven 100-yard rushers since the start of the 2005 season, fewest in the nation. Something’s got to give. But consider this: Illinois has played Missouri, Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois to open the season. Chances are LeShoure will have trouble getting to the century mark. 4. Does anyone know what Illibuck is? Whenever OSU and Illinois meet, the Illibuck trophy is at stake. The original Illibuck was a live turtle. But the grind of traveling back and forth between Champaign and Columbus took its toll and Illibuck died in the spring of 1927. His successor, a wooden replica, has been used ever since. Members of two of the schools’ junior honorary societies meet at halftime of the game to award Illibuck to the previous year’s winning school. OSU leads the series 62-30-4 and has a 33-12 advantage in Champaign. 5. Will OSU have another close call in Memorial Stadium? Although Illinois’ last victory over OSU in Champaign was nearly 19 years ago, a 10-7 win on Oct. 12, 1991, the last four times OSU has visited Memorial Stadium, the scores have been close. OSU won 24-21 in 2000, 23-16 in overtime in 2002, 17-10 in 2006 and 30-20 in 2008. However, none of those OSU teams boasted the combination of a high-scoring offense (third in the nation in points) and suffocating defense (No. 19 in points allowed). Coach Jim Tressel said the difference between playing at home and playing on the road is pretty clear-cut in terms of dealing with hardship during the game. “You’re going to have some adversity,” Tressel said. “You’re not going to have that crowd there to help you through it. So you better play as well or better than you’ve ever played this year if you want to be successful.”