2020 Ag Forecast

first_imgJeffrey Dorfman, the state fiscal economist for Georgia and a professor at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), will serve as the keynote speaker for four of the five locations during the 2020 Georgia Ag Forecast seminar series set for Jan. 21 through Jan. 31.Dorfman will speak in Macon, Lyons, Bainbridge and Tifton, Georgia. Todd Southerland, a senior vice president and food and agribusiness industry manager at SunTrust Bank, will be the keynote speaker and provide a more in-depth poultry outlook in Gainesville, Georgia.The meetings allow UGA agricultural economists to speak with Georgia farmers, lenders and agribusiness leaders and provide an assessment of the economic outlook for Georgia’s No. 1 industry, agriculture.“Right now, economic data is mixed with good and bad news for the future of Georgia’s economy. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding regulations and how they will impact farmers, agribusinesses, rural communities and Georgia’s overall economy,” Dorfman said. “It’s important to cut through the noise and focus on the fundamentals.”Dorfman is a nationally known economist and author, having written three books, most recently, “Economics and Management of the Food Industry.” He’s authored more than 90 academic journal articles and a variety of other articles that have been published in trade publications and popular press. He was elected as a fellow by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in 2013.Southerland provides commercial banking solutions to organizations in the food and agribusiness sector.Economists from the CAES Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics will forecast the 2020 growing season for Georgia producers with an emphasis on Georgia’s major commodities, such as cotton, peanuts and corn.“Ag Forecast is an important opportunity that the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences uses to provide the ag industry with an idea of what it can expect for the upcoming growing season,” CAES Dean Sam Pardue said. “The decisions producers make now will benefit them next year and that’s why these meetings are important every year.”Adam Rabinowitz, an agricultural economist in the CAES Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, will also be a guest speaker. While predicting markets and providing an accurate account of the future is not an exact science, Rabinowitz said he and other economists will provide information that will position stakeholders statewide to make the best possible decisions.“We are in a period of great uncertainty in agriculture, with lasting depressed commodity prices, ongoing trade disputes and a continued recovery from natural disasters,” Rabinowitz said. “As a result of these challenges, it is of great importance that agricultural producers and agribusinesses plan for the upcoming growing season.”The 2020 Georgia Ag Forecast registration fee is $25 per person and includes a meal. The series will be held on the following dates at the locations below:Tuesday, Jan. 21: Macon — Georgia Farm Bureau BuildingThursday, Jan. 23: Gainesville — Jaemor FarmsTuesday, Jan. 28: Lyons — Toombs County Agri-CenterThursday, Jan. 30: Bainbridge — Decatur County Agricultural CenterFriday, Jan. 31: Tifton — UGA Tifton Campus Conference CenterThe Georgia Ag Forecast seminar series is presented annually by UGA CAES. For more information on the 2020 Georgia Ag Forecast series and to register, visit georgiaagforecast.com.last_img read more

EIA: Renewables likely to top coal generation in U.S. this year

first_imgEIA: Renewables likely to top coal generation in U.S. this year FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The New York Times:The United States is on track to produce more electricity this year from renewable power than from coal for the first time on record, new government projections show, a transformation partly driven by the coronavirus pandemic, with profound implications in the fight against climate change.It is a milestone that seemed all but unthinkable a decade ago, when coal was so dominant that it provided nearly half the nation’s electricity. And it comes despite the Trump administration’s three-year push to try to revive the ailing industry by weakening pollution rules on coal-burning power plants.Those efforts, however, failed to halt the powerful economic forces that have led electric utilities to retire hundreds of aging coal plants since 2010 and run their remaining plants less frequently. The cost of building large wind farms has declined more than 40 percent in that time, while solar costs have dropped more than 80 percent. And the price of natural gas, a cleaner-burning alternative to coal, has fallen to historic lows as a result of the fracking boom.Now the coronavirus outbreak is pushing coal producers into their deepest crisis yet. As factories, retailers, restaurants and office buildings have shut down nationwide to slow the spread of the coronavirus, demand for electricity has fallen sharply. And, because coal plants often cost more to operate than gas plants or renewables, many utilities are cutting back on coal power first in response.In just the first four and a half months of this year, America’s fleet of wind turbines, solar panels and hydroelectric dams have produced more electricity than coal on 90 separate days — shattering last year’s record of 38 days for the entire year. On May 1 in Texas, wind power alone supplied nearly three times as much electricity as coal did.The latest report from the Energy Information Administration estimates that America’s total coal consumption will fall by nearly one-quarter this year, and coal plants are expected to provide just 19 percent of the nation’s electricity, dropping for the first time below both nuclear power and renewable power, a category that includes wind, solar, hydroelectric dams, geothermal and biomass. Natural gas plants, which supply 38 percent of the nation’s power, are expected to hold their output steady thanks to low fuel prices.[Brad Plumer]More: In a first, renewable energy is poised to eclipse coal in U.S.last_img read more

THE BEST WINTER GEAR OF 2019

first_imgHillsound Flex Steps Down Care Kit $899; skidahu.com Jack Wolfskin The brand of choice in Germany, Jack Wolfskin has just begun to make big inroads here in the U.S.—for good reason. Built with 100% recycled materials, this cozy combination of women’s jacket and pants can withstand a winter of hard use and weather but won’t feel out of place when you are sipping a toddy on the deck. $250 (pant), $400 (jacket); jack-wolfskin.com $750; nordica.com Helmet Dahu Écorce  Spikes $80; leki.com Snowshoe $650; jonessnowboards.com With a Boa closure system that dials in the fit and an aggressive crampon on the bottom, this snowshoe will not only tromp through deep, untracked snow, it will also get you to the top of steep, burly terrain. Leki Helicon Lite Meet your new do-it-all ski. With a wood core and snappy turning power, this beast can dampen the chatter of hard, nasty snow, and absolutely rails when the conditions are right. Comfortable at speed, it’s the perfect choice for a season at the local hills, while also ready for big mountains when you travel. Sweet Protection Ascender MIPS $230; blackyak.com Atlas APEX MTN 25 Quantum Pro Jacket and Chemical Pant Jones Women’s Flagship $420 (jacket), $360 (pant); flylowgear.com Calvana Hoody $299; atlassnowshoe.com $55; hillsound.com It’s time to restock your closet with skis, boards, snowshoes, shells, and extras that will improve your game, uplevel your look, and keep you cozy on the slopes and in the backcountry this winter. Down is a pain to wash and dry, which means we tend to avoid washing and drying it. No bueno. But this simple kit gives you a wash treatment that cleans and revitalizes your down as well as dryer balls that keep it from clumping up. $23; grangers.co.uk 230 Merino Competition The right baselayer feels dreamy against your skin, wicks away sweat and stink, and keeps you warm without overheating. That’s a lot of demands on a fabric, but merino wool is up to the task, especially in this body-mapped layer that fits like a second skin. This warm insulator can serve as your primary shell on balmy days. Tested on expeditions in Tibet, its permeable Cordura material outer layer and warm, light Climashield insulation keep it breathing even when you are huffing and puffing. Poles Grangers Drawing on Swiss design and tapping a braintrust of former Black Diamond and Burton execs, this innovative ski boot promises snowboard-boot comfort thanks to a plastic shell with a series of strategic cutouts, a hinged entry system, and a swanky Italian-made liner that takes the pain out of ski boots. Flylow upped the performance on our favorite winter kit with Omnibloq, a new eco-friendly DWR that beads water off the shell and pant without messing with the membrane, and doesn’t use the earth-degrading chemicals that go into the usual DWR. Plus, you still get the same three-layer, no-nonsense protection and breathability we have come to expect in these standbys. Flylow  BlackYak $100; hestragloves.com Snowboard Ergo Grip Active Big White Jacket and Pant Snowshoes are the ticket for off-trail exploration but when you are just out to hike winter trails with some ice and hard-packed snow, microspikes get the job done with far less bulk and fanfare. The flex system in these easy-to-slip-on spikes means they follow the roll of your gait with each step on the trail—or an icy sidewalk. Ski Boot Protect Our Winters (POW) and Jones founder Jeremy Jones made sure this smooth, responsive board had a Forest Stewardship Council-certified core to be more eco-sensitive. It rides like a dream (the women’s version is slightly more supple than the men’s), thanks to a tapered shape that floats in soft snow and Flax/Basalt Power Stringers that hold a serious edge. While many gloves warm your fingers, you have to remove them to fiddle with gear. Not so here: Articulated fingers and a perfect fit mean you can adjust your bindings with them on, while goat leather and GoreTex Windstopper Breeze keep your hands warm and protected. Ortovox Nordica Enforcer 88 $110; ortovox.com  $200; sweetprotection.com Hestra Alpine Ski Tipping the scales at just 9.4 ounces per pole and adjustable from 110-145cm, these sturdy poles work for everything from resort skiing to snowshoeing. Plus, you can use the binding basket system to adjust ski touring bindings and boot buckles while you stand. Well ventilated with 105 air-flow vents and light enough that you almost forget you are wearing it, this helmet—which is certiified for both skiing and climbing—does not sacrifice protection for light weight. The MIPS system lessens the chance of a concussion via an internal layer that rotates with the skull upon impact. last_img read more

Disaster Planning: Two easy steps and a small table

first_img continue reading » As hurricane season approaches, we’re reminded of a fact we enjoy not thinking about: that we’re seeing increased frequency in extreme weather events. When is the last time you asked yourself if your credit union is effectively and engagingly planning for the unthinkable? If it’s been a while, now is the time to take stock of your plans.Don’t have a formal incident response plan, and relying instead on department-centric processes that are already in place? While that may seem like a fine start to disaster planning, it’s important to note that these distributed, department-centric processes frequently lack coordination—and can bring great risk in times of crisis.Imagine a departmental process of backing up data to a shared drive that is executing at the same time the network folks are conducting reroutes or moving processing to a hot site. Each process might work seamlessly in a vacuum, but when competing for shared resources such as servers, networks, storage or apps, they may fail. The best time to discover such issues is not when the water is rising in the data center. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Wolf Administration Receives $5.1 Million in Funding to Combat the Opioid Crisis

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter September 17, 2018 Human Services,  National Issues,  Press Release,  Public Health,  Substance Use Disorder Philadelphia, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the state has received $5.1 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of a cooperative agreement for emergency response to continue to fight the opioid crisis.“This funding will assist the Opioid Operational Command Center in ensuring the entire commonwealth is working to address this crisis,” Gov. Wolf said. “Much of this funding will be used to strengthen the state’s data collection and analysis, which will help us as we engage with local municipalities to address the opioid crisis.”The funding will assist in numerous areas, including:Pharmacy outreach and education;Public information campaigns conducted by local health departments;Hiring epidemiologists and data staff to continue to assist in data collection;Enhancing data collection with with additional data sources;Working to collect fatal overdose data with coroners;Increasing syndromic surveillance to monitor and track opioid overdoses;Training for first responders and physicians; andOutreach regarding Hepatitis and HIV.Since Gov. Wolf signed the first 90-day Heroin and Opioid Disaster Declaration in January, numerous initiatives have been put in place:Expanded access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to other commonwealth departments for clinical decision-making purposes. Numerous local and state departments have already gained access to the database, and 17 states are now connected to Pennsylvania’s PDMP.Prescribing guidelines for workers’ compensation, bringing the total number of guidelines to eleven.Waived fees for birth certificates for individuals with opioid use disorders, allowing them faster access to treatment and benefits. To date, 348 birth certificates have been expedited through this process to help get people into treatment faster.Added non-fatal overdoses and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) as reportable conditions. More than 80 percent of hospitals and birthing centers in the state are now reporting more with 1,083 NAS cases reported to date. Note that some may be not be reporting because they have no cases, which is the preferred circumstance.Waived annual licensing requirements for high-performing drug and alcohol treatment facilities and have already seen 229 eligible facilities apply for and receive two-year licenses, ensuring continued, high-quality treatment for OUD sufferers.The Opioid Data Dashboard was created to help the public gain access to information about what resources are available locally, and where those resources need to be deployed. The dashboard can be viewed here.Implemented EpiCenter alerts to communicate unusually high numbers of emergency room visits for overdoses to state and local partners, including first responders, hospitals, county drug and alcohol staff, etc.“This funding will continue to assist us as we work to keep our focus on prevention, rescue and treatment. We must ensure that those suffering from substance use disorder get into treatment and on the path to recovery,” Dr. Levine said.More information on the Wolf Administration’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and how people suffering from this disease can get help is found here.MEDIA CONTACT: J.J. Abbott, 717-783-1116Nate Wardle, Health, 717-787-1783center_img Wolf Administration Receives $5.1 Million in Funding to Combat the Opioid Crisislast_img read more

Cuba claims US legislator trying to sabotage access to oil reserves

first_img Tweet Share NewsRegional Cuba claims US legislator trying to sabotage access to oil reserves by: – June 17, 2011 9 Views   no discussions US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) – US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives, is promoting a bill that seeks to impose sanctions on individuals or entities assisting Cuba in the development of its oil industry.This claim was made during the Round Table Cuban radio and television program on Tuesday, when panelists said that, with the pretext of protecting the coral reefs of the Caribbean, the US legislator is trying to block the drilling of oil wells in the area and the Cuban socio-economic development in general.The bill (HR 2047) is called the Caribbean Coral Reef Protection Act and it would deny US entry visas to any foreign officer, principal or controlling shareholder of a company that invests $1 million in Cuba’s oil industry.The sanction would apply to any investments made on or after January 10, 2005. It would also direct the president of the United States to impose sanctions on people who invest in Cuba’s petroleum sector, and make it illegal for any US national to help Cuba develop its offshore oil resources.Cuba’s area in the Gulf of Mexico is divided in 59 blocks. Several of them have been contracted for exploration by companies such as Repsol, PDVSA, and PetroVietnam.Caribbean News Nowcenter_img Share Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

Argentina’s ’86 World Cup coach does not have COVID: brother

first_img Promoted ContentThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?8 Fascinating Facts About Coffee8 Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?10 Amazing Characters We Wish Were Official Disney PrincessesThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeThe Best Geek Movies Of All TimeBeautiful Mutations: 15 Staggering Photos Of HeterochromiaWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth? Read Also: Video: Bruce tried to tap up De Bruyne during post-match interview More than 90 percent of the infections are clustered in and around the capital city. President Alberto Fernandez announced on Friday a toughening of lockdown measures in the capital Buenos Aires and its surrounding area with cases on the rise. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Bilardo was admitted to intensive care in July 2019 with Hakim-Adams syndrome. He managed the national side from 1982 to 1990, winning the World Cup in Mexico with Diego Maradona and then guiding the defending champions to the 1990 final in Italy. He is also a doctor. Geriatric hospitals have been major hotspots for contagion since the start of the pandemic. Argentina has so far recorded 1,233 deaths out of 59,920 cases of infection. Loading… Argentina’s 1986 World Cup winning coach Carlos Bilardo was diagnosed with COVID-19 by mistake, his brother said Sunday. Argentinian World Cup coach Carlos Bilardo (L, pictured 1986) was hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus, despite being asymptomatic — his brother says the diagnosis was wrong “My brother has nothing, the very famous lab was wrong, it’s to kill them, almost certainly he’s going back to the same place,” Jorge Bilardo wrote on Twitter. The 82-year-old had been hospitalized Saturday after testing positive for the coronavirus the day before, despite being asymptomatic. Bilardo suffers from a brain disorder and lives in a nursing home where 10 other occupants have tested positive for COVID-19. According to his brother, once he is discharged, he will likely return to the same facility, in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Almagro. Bilardo was hospitalized earlier Sunday at the private Argentina Institute of Diagnosis, which did not release a report on his health status. He had already undergone a COVID-19 test a few weeks ago that came back negative.last_img read more

Keys to Badgers’ football success

first_imgSpring is in the air. The brutal Wisconsin winter hassubsided, the ice on Lake Mendota has begun to melt, March Madness has come toan end, and outdoor football season is now underway.Yup, I said football. That wasn’t a typo.America’s pastime is now just over two weeks old as well,but here in Madison — where we have no baseball team to get excited about —it’s the gridiron gang that dominates the spring, post-basketball season.Saturday, the Badgers practiced on the Camp Randall field forthe first time since the 2007 campaign. It was loud, and the players wereexcited to be back in their holy place; there was energy in the stadium despitethe thousands of empty seats. And as I lay back on an empty bench behind me inthe stands, sunglasses on in 60-plus degrees of pure paradise, my mind began towander, and I began to ponder: What needs to happen for this football team tosucceed next season?Here’s what I came up with (in no particular order):?Evridge must minimize mistakesIt goes without saying that to win football games, allquarterbacks must take care of the ball and limit turnovers. But because theWisconsin offense has a run-first mentality (and rightfully so), a lack ofturnovers becomes even more crucial.In back-to-back road losses against Illinois and Penn Statelast season, quarterback Tyler Donovan threw for a combined four interceptions(two and two). That was no coincidence. Turnovers, especially on the road inthe Big Ten, will be lethal for this team because they don’t have enoughfirepower on offense to overcome such blunders.Evridge must take care of the football.?New kickers must step upThe kicking game is often an overlooked aspect of football.But a good punter (like Ken DeBauche) and a clutch kicker (like TaylorMehlhaff) are essential to success on the football field. Field position canprovide a huge advantage throughout the course of a game; a poor punter puts aton of pressure on a team’s defense. Kickoffs — Mehlhaff’s specialty — are alsopivotal in the field position game, and obviously late-game field goals canmake or break a season.After the loss of both Mehlhaff and DeBauche, the sense ofnostalgia can be subdued if the newcomers successfully fill their shoes. Eitherincoming freshman Bradley Nortman or Ken’s little brother Brad should take overthe punting duties. Freshman Phillip Welch, who is listed as a kicker, can alsodo some punting, which was evident Saturday when he booted a gorgeous55-yarder. Welch is also the top candidate to succeed Mehlhaff with the kickingduties.?Linebackers need to improveThe biggest disappointment on the defensive side of the balllast season may have been UW’s linebackers. Elijah Hodge and DeAndre Levylooked lost at times, especially against Illinois’ spread offense. As those twostruggled, Jonathan Casillas looked like he was trying to do too much, whichonly made matters worse. With Michigan implementing the spread this seasonunder new coach Rich Rodriguez, the Badgers will be forced to contain thetriple option, or they will be in serious trouble.Good thing they practice it on a regular basis now.?Secondary also must improveAt times, the UW secondary got torched for big plays andsome serious yard totals (i.e., Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota). WithEvridge at the helm, the Badgers do not want to get involved in Pac-10,shootout-type games, meaning they must be able to stop the pass.The loss of Jack Ikegwuonu to the NFL will hurt, but it maynot be fatal for Wisconsin, assuming corners Aaron Henry and Allen Langfordfully recover from their respective ACL tears from last season.Jay Valai is making a case to take over for Aubrey Pleasant— who looked like a deer in the headlights more often than not last season — atstrong safety and Shane Carter provides some experience at the free safetyspot.If this corps can force some turnovers and reduce opponents’big plays, it will take a ton of pressure off Evridge, and the Badgers will beable to compete with anyone in Big Ten play.?Paul Chryst needs to be consistentAt times last season, Paul Chryst’s playcalling seemedsuspect (a third-and-short end-around to Travis Beckum in Columbus and afourth-and-two Donovan bootleg in the Outback Bowl come to mind). With fourweapons in the backfield (P.J. Hill, Lance Smith, Zach Brown and John Clay),Wisconsin needs to run, run, and run some more. Cute, gimmicky plays areunnecessary when a team’s run game — thanks in large part to a massive,talented, experienced offensive line — is so strong.That said, a solid running attack will open up the playaction for Evridge to players like Beckum, Kyle Jefferson and David Gilreath(watch out for Gilreath in the fall; I saw a little of the Panthers’ SteveSmith in him Saturday).Chryst needs to utilize Beckum — UW’s best overall player onoffense — more, unlike in Tampa on New Year’s Day, when the Badger tight endwas MIA for the better part of four quarters. Also, Chryst needs to find waysto get Smith the ball (via screen passes, perhaps?) because he showed glimpsesof greatness last season and can only improve by playing in every game asopposed to just home games last fall.Also, don’t be surprised if you see a little spread offensefrom Evridge and Co. He has experience running it at Kansas State, and when Iasked him about it last week, he smiled and said, “We’ll see.”?The injury bug cannot hit too hardIn football, injuries are inevitable. Should Wisconsin beplagued with injuries (like they are currently) come fall, it will be tough forthem to compete for a conference title. Evridge must stay healthy, becauseafter him, there’s zero experience at the quarterback position.?Let-down games cannot happenFortunately, the Badgers’ schedule is a favorable one nextseason. They have Ohio State, Penn State and Illinois at home, and Michigan inSeptember — remember Michigan last September? Now imagine them with a newcoach.That said, if they want to compete for the Big Ten crown,they can’t lose the easy ones. If they take care of business against theMinnesotas and Akrons of the world, things could fall into placeever-so-nicely.?Derek is a sophomore majoring in economics. Have any keysto the Badgers’ upcoming season of your own? Shoot him an e-mail at dzetlin@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

PCP: What determines ‘MVP?’

first_imgZetlin:For years, debates have surrounded the true meaning of the MVP award in all sports. Should it be given to the best player statistically? Should numbers be thrown out the window entirely? Should it belong to the best player on the best team? Is a player deserving of the honor even if his team fails to make the playoffs?Of course Albert Pujols’ new hardware raised similar questions Monday, since his Cardinals failed to make the postseason last month.See, the term “valuable” is far too vague. It truly is impossible to measure one’s “value” to his team, seeing that most of the candidates’ teams would be far worse without them. In basketball, the Lakers would be nothing without Kobe, the Cavs would be a joke without LeBron, and the Hornets would be helpless without Chris Paul, making each of them equally “valuable” to his team.But baseball is a much more individualized sport. It’s much more difficult for Pujols to make his teammates better than it is for Paul or Peyton Manning to do so. That said, the baseball MVP awards should be given to the player who has the best all-around individual season, regardless of his team’s standings (Notice I left out statistics because I think defense, clutch performances and leadership matter, too).Alex Rodriguez won the AL MVP on a last-place Rangers team in 2003, and deservedly so. Why should he be punished because John Hart didn’t realize that in order to win baseball games, you need pitching to complement good hitting? He shouldn’t.Pujols had the better season than Ryan Howard with less talent around him; therefore, he deserves to be MVP.So stop whining, Phillies fans; you got your World Series. Playoff-less Pujols is plenty worthy.Mason:So you don’t think a player’s team needs to make the postseason for him to garner a postseason award, huh Zet?Do you really think your homeboy Dustin Pedroia would have claimed this year’s MVP if he put on the same numbers on the lowly Baltimore Orioles, who finished 68-93?I don’t think so.Obviously, a good player on a good team is going to get more recognition than a good player on a mediocre or bad one. And for Pedroia, it helps that he plays in Boston, the city ESPN has a strange obsession with — even more publicity for the 5-foot-9-inch second baseman.Pedroia beat out my boy Justin Morneau — a former MVP himself — by a decent margin. When you compare their stats, however, it probably should have been closer than it was: 23 home runs and 129 runs batted in for Morneau compared to 17 and 83 for Pedroia. But the little guy had the big Canadian beat in hits (213 to 187) and average (.326 to .300).Oh, and he came on top in one more category: playoff appearances — 1-0. Morneau and the Twins just barely missed out on the postseason, while Pedroia and the Sox comfortably won the AL Wild Card.When you’re looking at two guys with pretty comparable stats, it’s tough to cast your vote for the one player who’s sitting at home, watching the other one play in the playoffs.True, Albert Pujols had a monster year: 37 homers, 116 RBIs and, most impressively, a .357 average. But if he was truly the most valuable player, shouldn’t the Cards have been playing in October?Albert was very good, but the Cardinals weren’t quite good enough. Sorry Al, you’re not that valuable.last_img read more

Roundtable: Beat writers analyze offensive line concerns, newcomers and continued success

first_img Published on August 29, 2019 at 4:15 am Facebook Twitter Google+ No. 22 Syracuse kicks off its season at Liberty on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in Lynchburg, Virginia. The Daily Orange polled its three beat writers on the most pressing questions surrounding the program before the Orange begins its quest to repeat last year’s success.1. How big of a concern is the turn over and injuries on the offensive line? Eric Black: It’s SU’s top concern heading into the start of the season. Not only do the Orange have as talented a running back group as they’ve had in recent memory, but their brand new, shiny quarterback of the future is finally here and is less mobile than the previous. Tommy DeVito has the ability to scramble, but how he takes over the reins of the offense this year is largely dependent on the success of his offensive line. Having Airon Servais protecting his blind sight at left tackle is huge, but it’s the right side of the offensive line that poses somewhat of a concern. Right guard Dakota Davis has never started in college. Right tackle Carlos Vettorello has only played 25 college snaps. This unit has the potential to be great, but if the newcomers are slow to adjust or the injury bug bites them again, it’ll be a problem. Andrew Graham: The biggest. They maybe never got the credit they deserved, but SU’s offensive line was great last year. The Orange rushed for nearly 3,000 yards as a team, averaged more than 40 points a game and won 10 games in large part because the offensive line was so good. The Orange’s sack total didn’t go down in 2018, though, and it’s curious to see if that number can feasibly climb higher than the 37 surrendered last year, even if the line regresses. Right now, it’s a work in progress. Dino Babers said on Monday the five starters listed likely won’t be the ones to play the entire game, namely Carlos Vettorello getting subbed for Ryan Alexander. Whatever ends up happening, getting the offensive line sorted out should be priority No. 1 for the Orange. Josh Schafer: If you can’t block you can’t win, plain and simple. Now, Syracuse still returns three starters from last year, who when healthy, are very good. Add in Dakota Davis at guard and a combination of Carlos Vettorello and graduate transfer Ryan Alexander, and the offensive line could be more than fine. It’s really like any position group with turnover, we’ll have to wait and see. Two weeks into the season we should have a better idea of how new faces are fitting into the mix and if injuries from the offseason are still lingering. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text2. Transfers Abdul Adams and Trishton Jackson had impactful games in the Camping World Bowl. What can we expect from those two playmakers? E.B.: I think Syracuse fans can expect significant production from both Adams and Jackson this season. DeVito and Jackson have already shown they have a strong connection in training camp and scrimmages, and the former will need Jackson to assume the No. 1 wide receiver role that SU players have thrived in of late. Adams, on the other hand, is more of a wild card. The Oklahoma transfer may be the most skilled running back on the team, but he’s never really had the opportunity to showcase that talent. For now, he’ll likely start the game on the bench and split carries with starter Moe Neal. But I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of the year, Adams is taking the majority of carries for the Orange. A.G.: It’s hard to say how much Adams and/or Jackson impact the offense early on. So much of what they do is dependent others — Adams needs good blocks, Jackson needs targets — and the chance of another player at their respective positions getting hot is always there. I think Jackson has a better chance to make a splash. DeVito and Jackson were together all summer and have developed a good bond. SU’s staff is high on Jackson and he might finally emerge as the Orange’s top guy. Adams biggest challenge is senior running back Moe Neal, who has been entrenched as the starter since Dontae Strickland graduated. Adams will definitely get his looks, but for right now he’s squarely behind Neal on the depth chart.J.S.: All signs point to Jackson being this year’s Amba Etta-Tawo or Steve Ishmael. At 6-foot-1, 191 pounds, he has some size and flaunts rare athletic ability, which he’s shown throughout training camp with numerous jump-ball catches. As long as he isn’t wrapped in double team situations, Jackson should be a break out player this season. In the backfield, Adams ran for 542 yards in Oklahoma for 9.2 yards per carry. If he can run like that in the Big 12 there’s no reason to think he can’t do it for Syracuse as well. The backfield is pretty loaded this year with senior Moe Neal and sophomore Jarveon Howard already having established themselves in the offense, but Syracuse used three running backs last year and there’s no reason not to expect the same season. 3. SU caused the second-most turnovers in the country last year (31). Is it fair to expect a regression in that category? E.B.: When asked about all the takeaways his defense was able to produce last year, SU head coach Dino Babers said, “Those numbers aren’t supposed to happen again. But we’ve got a chance.” Indeed, the talent is there for the Orange to put up a total close to the 31 they had last year. Andre Cisco is a ballhawk in the defensive backfield and quite possibly one of the best defensive backs in the country, and up front SU brings back the only pair of 10-plus sack returners in the country in Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman. Thirty-one turnovers is a lot, though. I wouldn’t be completely shocked if the takeaways come in bunches again this year, but I definitely expect a regression.A.G.: I would say so. And an important distinction: More important than total turnovers, SU finished fifth in the nation in turnover margin in 2018 — plus-13. That’s an extra possession every game. While it’s likely SU’s total turnovers go down, it’s margin could be even better. But that’s only if interceptions and fumbles are limited. The Orange coughed up six fumbles and threw twice as many interceptions last year. Cutting down on those totals could be just as important for maintaining the edge in turnovers as generating them in the first place — especially when the latter requires a little bit of luck. J.S.: It’s hard to expect any defense to finish second in the country in turnovers in consecutive years simply because of how much of those plays are predicated on luck and mishaps by the opposition. But Syracuse did emphasize turnovers more in the offseason leading into 2018, and players thought that directly led to the uptick. Last year, Syracuse had two players with 10 sacks, as Kendall Coleman and Alton Robinson finished tied for 12th in the nation. Freshman safety Andre Cisco tied for first across the league with seven interceptions. Those are related. Quarterback pressure does lead to interceptions and Syracuse should have plenty of hits on the opposing signal caller this year. Will the Orange steal the ball back 31 times? Probably not. But will they have enough turnovers to warrant their own chain? Probably. 4. Who’s one player to watch for that’s flown under the radar through the summer?E.B.: I’ll take Taj Harris. With seemingly all the hype this offseason surrounding DeVito, Jackson and the running backs, Harris is quietly one of the most important players on offense for the Orange. Last season, Harris set the Syracuse rookie records for catches (40) and receiving yards (565) and started seven games. Despite only being a sophomore, he’s already one of the most experienced players on the offense, and has just as much ability to break off a big play as any other player on the team. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Harris, not Jackson, who leads SU in receiving this year. A.G.: I’m not a betting man, but put me down for Kenneth Ruff Jr. having a strong start in the middle of SU’s defensive line. The Orange are tasked with the unenviable job of replacing current NFL nose tackle Chris Slayton in the middle, and are likely to do so by rotating pieces like Ruff, Brandon Berry and Josh Black. Ruff is among SU’s more athletic players, using his wide frame to fill holes in the middle and quickness off the line to be effective in the pass rush. He finished with two sacks and 2.5 more tackles for loss in limited action last year. A bigger share of the minutes and Ruff could become a force in the middle for Syracuse.J.S.: Antwan Cordy is back for a sixth season and assuming he’s healthy, can be a contributor for the Orange on defense as well as in special teams. Cordy returns this year after being granted a medical hardship year for the 2016-17 season. He wasn’t around in the spring and hasn’t spoken to the media this summer. Currently listed as a backup free safety behind Andre Cisco, Cordy’s been around for so many years it’s hard to believe the redshirt can’t find a place to contribute. In 36 games played, he’s amassed 114 tackles and three interceptions. Last year, he averaged more than 10 yards per carry on punt returns. After spending time at slot receiver in spring 2018, it’s clear Cordy’s the type of athlete Dino Babers wants to use. It’s just a matter of when and where. Commentslast_img read more