Depth highlighting position battles for Ohio State football

OSU freshmen offensive linemen Brady Taylor (79) and Marcelys Jones (64) get set for a drill as other members of the OSU football team look on during fall camp Aug. 6 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus.Credit: Tim Moody / Lantern sports editorLike many before it, the Ohio State football team’s 2014 fall camp has been highlighted by key position battles three days in.One thing that may be different for this team, especially in position battles along the offensive line, is depth. OSU co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Ed Warinner said he is looking for a set starting lineup, but has more options to look at than in years past.“We’re looking for five starters first, but we have a lot of choices,” Warinner said after the Buckeyes completed their third day of fall camp Wednesday. “There’s probably 10 (or) 11 guys to choose from for that.”Of those five starting spots, Warinner said one is locked up and another is close to being decided.“I think for sure, (junior offensive lineman Taylor Decker) will start,” he said. “He’s moved over to left tackle.”Warinner went on to say that redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Pat Elflein is a good bet to start at right guard –– leaving center, right tackle and left guard up for grabs.The third-year OSU assistant said there are a few names in each of those battles, and only gave the edge to one player at center. He said junior Jacoby Boren is in the lead now, but didn’t count out redshirt-senior Chad Lindsay, who is a transfer from Alabama, or redshirt-freshman Billy Price.“Right now Jacoby is a little bit ahead, but the other two guys will push him,” Warinner said.Warinner named off redshirt-junior Chase Farris, redshirt-senior Darryl Baldwin and redshirt-sophomore Evan Lisle as contenders at right tackle. When it comes to the final spot along the line, left guard, he named redshirt-junior Antonio Underwood, senior defensive-line transplant Joel Hale and freshman Marcelys Jones.After Monday’s practice, OSU coach Urban Meyer said that left guard spot is the key position battle for the team this fall.With very little set in stone for his offensive line thus far, Warinner said they can benefit greatly from the group of guys they go up against everyday in practice.“They’re as good as I’ve seen in my career, so they’re pretty good,” Warinner said of the OSU defensive line. “To go against them everyday, we either have to step up to the plate and compete at that level, or we’re going to look bad at practice.”Even with high praise from both Warinner and Meyer for the defensive line so far this fall, there is one spot along that front four up for grabs –– at least for two games.Junior defensive end Noah Spence will spend the first two games of the season out of the lineup due to a suspension, which means co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell could be keeping his eye out for the next man up this fall.“It’s a travesty that Noah’s going to miss (the first two games), but the reality is it gives some other guys some light,” Fickell said Wednesday. “It’s going to make us and force us to create some depth and get some guys some real good roles.”Fickell said senior Steve Miller and redshirt-senior Rashad Frazier are the next two up for Spence’s spot.Spence is expected to slot back into a starting role once he returns, alongside senior Michael Bennett, junior Adolphus Washington and sophomore Joey Bosa. Beyond that core four, Fickell said there are numerous players who could leave their mark for OSU.“There’s a lot of guys on that defensive front that are battling to get themselves, maybe not a starting spot, but a lot of time,” he said. “So there’s some depth and some rotation there.”Outside of the defensive line, Fickell said the 2014 Buckeyes will feature depth across the defense, especially at linebacker. He said that position has lacked depth for the past two seasons, but is ready for that to change this year, but he wouldn’t say they will immediately be the best linebacker core around.“I’m not saying that they’re going to be the best in the nation right now when they walk on the field on Saturday,” Fickell said. “But I can assure you that there’s not a tighter-nit group of a bunch of guys that are battling for each other.”While left guard is the key spot for Meyer on offense, Fickell said the second corner spot could be that key for the defense. Outside of senior Doran Grant and junior Armani Reeves, none of the OSU cornerbacks saw extensive playing time last season.Regardless of who wins the battles this fall, Fickell said every player has to be ready to step up when they step on the field.“This is the greatest sport known to man because it’s a team sport,” the former Buckeye defensive lineman said. “You can put 10 great ones out there, and if you’ve got one bad one somebody is going to find it.”OSU is scheduled to start its season Aug. 30 against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

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Examining Chinas draft coal quality regulations

first_imgThere is no evidence to suggest that Australian coal exports to China would be significantly affected by the proposed regulations of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, according to the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA). The draft laws seek to regulate overall quality standards of coal and do not specifically target imports. There is also scope for local regulations to continue to use coal not meeting the standards where power generation or industrial plants have appropriate pollution controls. There are three levels of regulation:Standards applying to brown and black coal used in China whether imported or mined domesticallyStandards applying to coal transported inland more than 600 km from either a mine or portSpecific regulations related to coal used primarily in smaller boilers, domestic heating, small commercial heaters in the populous northern cities.The MCA is “confident that the Australian industry can meet the proposed specifications and therefore the MCA sees no impact from these regulations.”Almost all Australian black thermal coal will be well within the thresholds for ash, sulphur and energy applying to imported coal or coal transported more than 600 km. That is, ash content under 30%, sulphur content under 2% and energy greater than 18 MJ/kg. In the unusual circumstance an Australian coal product might have higher ash or sulphur content it can be blended with other (Australian) coal to meet the target.The thresholds for the northern cities (Beijing, Tianjin etc.) are lower still: less than 16% ash and 1% S. The MCA is advised that these regulations refer to what is colloquially known as ‘San Coal’ – coal used for small boilers, domestic heating, some hotel/restaurants coal use, not large scale power plants, nor other industrial users. This is to address smog concerns within these cities.These antiquated boilers and generators are being replaced with larger newer power stations, with advanced pollution controls, away from the urban areas. The MCA is not aware that Australian coal is supplied in these markets.China is not moving away from coal; its evolving environmental policies are being confused with a policy shift away from coal, the MCA points out.Coal currently accounts for 80% of China’s electricity output and all leading energy forecasting agencies analysts agree that ongoing industrialisation and urbanisation will drive robust coal demand for decades to come.The International Energy Agency expects that coal will continue to dominate China’s energy mix to 2035, and that “China continues to import substantial amounts of coal, remaining a strong force in global coal markets.”In a report on September 10, Wood Mackenzie argued that far from sounding the death knell for coal, China’s suite of new and proposed environmental measures are a “positive” development for coal that will safeguard its future.This suite of measures, including the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (APPCAP) and the transfer of coal-fired electricity generation further out of Beijing, will guarantee that coal remains the dominant fuel in China’s energy mix and reinforce Wood Mackenzie’s assumption of higher quality coal imports.Wood Mackenzie points out that: “What is surprising about the evolution of APPCAP policies is that the focus is not on penalising coal. As it became clear that gas supply could not meet policy targets, APPCAP shifted to focus on emissions control rather than fuel switching. This now provides coal with a guaranteed future, but one in which it will be used more cleanly. As a result our view remains unchanged that coal will remain the dominant fuel in China’s energy mix.”Wood Mackenzie also states that the impact of China’s emissions-reduction policies “will be more pronounced in the type of coal consumed by coastal power plants rather than the absolute demand volumes.”Wood Mackenzie’s analysis is consistent with the International Energy Agency’s projection that coal will continue to dominate China’s energy mix to 2035 and that “The growth in coal demand in China through to 2020 exceeds the growth in the rest of the world combined.”Wood Mackenzie’s analysis also accords with the projection by the Australian Government’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics that Australian thermal coal exports will grow strongly at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1% between 2012-13 and 2018-19, rising from 182 Mt to 244 Mt during this period.Australian coal is compatible with a low emissions future. Fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – will be required for a long time yet to meet rapidly growing world energy demand. Renewables may have a growing role, but they will continue to account for a relatively modest proportion of the global energy mix for the foreseeable future.In the International Energy Agency’s core scenario, renewables meet 18% of world energy demand in 2035, while fossil fuels meet 76%. Coal is expected to account for 25% of world energy consumption in 2035.Moreover, continued consumption of coal and lower greenhouse gas emissions are not mutually exclusive goals. With the construction of new more efficient generation capacity, average emissions from coal-fired plants are falling. According to the International Energy Agency: “A current state-of-the-art coal-fired plant operating with a high efficiency ultra-critical steam cycle will be more efficient, more reliable and have a longer life expectancy than its older subcritical counterparts. Most significantly, it would emit almost 20% less carbon dioxide compared to a subcritical unit operating under similar duty.”Further, imminent developments in high-efficiency, low-emissions coal technology “promise to continue this trend, and a plant operating at 48% efficiency would emit up to 28% less carbon dioxide than a subcritical plant, and up to 10 per cent less than a corresponding ultra-supercritical plant.”Wood Mackenzie observes that in China: “So far, eight coal-fired units have been retrofitted with ultra-low emissions technology in Guangzhou, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Hebei. Emissions performance is 70-90% lower than the toughest coal-fired power standards in China; close to emissions from gas plants.”Significant progress is also being made in the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) around the world. CCS offers both a near-zero emissions solution as well as the promise of keeping energy costs competitive.According to the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, there are 22 large-scale CCS projects in various stages of planning, of which 12 are in China. China also has a further eight smaller-scale CCS projects in operation.last_img read more

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