South Africa’s national women’s football team, Banyana Banyana. (Image: Safa) The pride of South African football, Noko Matlou of Banyana Banyana. (Image: Safa) The victorious Banyana celebrate after beating Namibia in the final of the 2006 Cosafa Cup women’s tournament. (Image: Cosafa) Zukiswa Sapepa, new commander of the Ngcobo traffic station in the Eastern Cape. (Image: Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport)Janine ErasmusTwo exceptional South African women have made the headlines in recent months. Noko Alice Matlou, striker for the national women’s team Banyana Banyana, is Africa’s woman footballer of the year for 2008, while Zukiswa Sapepa has become the country’s first female traffic station commander.The two are the latest in a long line of South African women whose achievements have captured the interest of the world. The likes of Judge Navanethem Pillay, Olympic and Paralympic swimmer Natalie du Toit, and scientists Tebello Nyokong and Samantha Petersen have all been lauded internationally – and they represent just the tip of the iceberg.The Beautiful GameThe Beautiful Game has a new shining star. Banyana Banyana striker Noko Alice Matlou has walked off with the continent’s top prize for women – the African Woman Footballer of the Year trophy for 2008 – at the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) annual awards ceremony, held in Lagos, Nigeria, in February.Matlou saw off fierce competition from fellow nominees Genevova Anonma of Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon’s Ngo Ndoumbouk Marlyse.Not only is she now the continent’s outstanding woman footballer, but she also becomes the first South African to win an individual CAF accolade. Only two others before her have made the shortlist for the honour – current team-mate Portia Modise and former Banyana captain Desiree Ellis.“The award has been dominated by players from North Africa,” commented the triumphant Matlou. “I am excited at winning the award. Credit should go to my team-mates for their support.”Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor, from Togo, took the men’s African Footballer of the Year award.Top scorerWith 23 goals in 20 games for Banyana under her belt, 2008 was a prolific year for the 23-year-old Matlou, who plays for the Limpopo-based Brazilian FC team when at home.Matlou helped her national side to their first ever African Women’s Championship final in November 2008. Together with Equatorial Guinea’s Anonma, she scored six goals in the tournament, including a hat-trick in the semi-final and a goal in the final, and shared the Golden Boot award with her Central African rival. South Africa lost 2-1 to Equatorial Guinea in the final.Playing for the South African under-20 team, Basetsana, in the Women’s Championship of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations, Matlou again stole the show. Another hat-trick in the final saw hosts Angola brought to their knees, and Matlou’s tally rise to an impressive 12 goals in five games. She was the tournament’s top scorer and also took the Player of the Match award three times.South African Football Association (Safa) president Dr Molefi Olifant said that Matlou’s achievement will inspire thousands of women footballers in the country. The elated Olifant said, “Noko Matlou has made Safa and the country proud. This important milestone comes on the eve of major developments in the South African women football arena – her accomplishment is not an accident.”Olifant, who is also chair of CAF’s women football subcommittee, was referring to the newly launched Absa Women’s League, backed by major banking group Absa in partnership with Safa. The tournament is intended to be a breeding ground for the future stars of South African, African and world football.Safa CEO Raymond Hack said that Matlou’s “historic achievement” is cause for great optimism about the future of football in South Africa. Banyana team manager Fran Hilton-Smith added that Matlou’s victory is a proud moment to be cherished for many years to come.Matlou is tipped to lead the national team in their next challenge, the Eight Nations Tournament in Cyprus in March, where they will be the only African representative. Banyana will clash with England, Canada, Holland, Japan, Scotland, Russia, and hosts Cyprus. Participation in the tournament is by invitation only.The team is currently ranked 58 out of 116 teams with official rankings, with only two other African countries – Ghana (43) and Nigeria (29) – ranked above them.Lady bossMeanwhile, at home there is a new commander at the Ngcobo traffic station in the Chris Hani District Municipality of the Eastern Cape province. Zukiswa Sapepa has made history by becoming the first female top cop ever in the Eastern Cape’s Department of Roads and Transport. With 23 officials under her command, she stepped into the driver’s seat towards the end of 2008.The 37-year-old Sapepa started her distinguished career with the department as a traffic officer in 2002 and has risen swiftly through the ranks. Although a career as a traffic officer had been a goal from her teenage years, her work took a roundabout route before she finally joined the department.After school Sapepa trained as a teacher, and then became a shop assistant in the retail sector before resuming her studies and obtaining her Senior Primary Teachers Diploma in 1996.A shortage of teaching posts forced her to join insurance giant Old Mutual Group Schemes in Mthatha in 1997 as a client care adviser. Four years later she joined the Standard Bank of South Africa as a consultant working in Butterworth, and the very next year finally realised her long-standing goal by joining the then Eastern Cape Department of Transport as a traffic officer. She reported for duty in December 2003 after completing her basic training.Childhood ambition“This was always my ambition from childhood,” said Sapepa. “Although this was a lesser package, I felt that this is what I always wanted to be in life, to be in a position to secure a safer road environment for our road users.”Sapepa excelled in her new job. Out of 27 candidates enrolled at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Traffic Training College for the six-month basic traffic officers and municipal police officers course, she was the only one to obtain her qualification cum laude, with 75% or more in all subjects.Her leadership abilities were noticed when she worked in the elite Traffic Special Operations Unit, a roving unit that covered the whole of the Eastern Cape. In 2006, she took the position of principal provincial inspector in Queenstown. Later in the same year she was appointed as a budget officer for Traffic Control in Chris Hani District and for a short while she was the acting station commander at Queenstown station.Shortly thereafter she sat on the committee of the Performance Management and Development System, as well as the interviewing panel in the Chris Hani and Ukhahlamba Districts.Sapepa has vowed to instil pride for the profession in her colleagues – most of whom are men – and to work closely with the community to raise awareness of good driving practices. Ngcobo has a history of high accident rates, caused to a large extent by stray animals.“I love my job and therefore I will motivate those I work with, but I will not tolerate corruption,” said Sapepa adamantly. “Every time I get an opportunity to talk against corruption I will, as this has tarnished the image of the profession.”Member of the Executive Council for Roads and Transport in the Eastern Cape, Gloria Barry, congratulated Sapepa, claiming that her achievement was a victory for women’s equity. “It marks the realisation of our objective of promoting gender equality, equal access to opportunities and most importantly, the emancipation of women from all forms of oppression.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected] storiesFootball in South AfricaSA’s women power aheadSouth Africa’s provincesUseful linksConfederation of African FootballSouth African Football AssociationFifa – women’s footballFifa – women’s football in South AfricaWomen’s football in South Africagsport for girlsMTN footballKickoff – South AfricaEastern Cape Department of Roads and TransportEastern Cape provincial governmentChris Hani district municipality
Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola.(Image: Nicky Rehbock)South Africa moved up one spot to 36th out of 50 countries measured in the latest release of the prestigious Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brand Index, confirming the steady improvement in the country’s brand reputation.The index is based on an annual online survey conducted among respondents from 20 “panel” countries in which the 50 competing nations are ranked along six dimensions: tourism, culture, people, exports, governance, and investment/immigration.‘Sign of sustainability’“A nation’s overall reputation rank tends to be stable over time,” Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola commented on Wednesday. “Thus, the last four nation brand index studies – with 200 measurements each – only produced two year-on-year changes greater than five.”Both these changes, Matola noted, were the result of “defining moments” for the countries concerned: Barack Obama’s election as the first African-American president in US history moved the country up six positions in 2009, while post-revolution volatility brought Egypt down six positions in 2011.“Moving up gradually in the rankings is a sign of sustainability, and to do this while the world is in turmoil is a positive sign,” Matola said.Shift towards emerging powersThere was also a subtle shift in this year’s index which boded well for the future, Matola added: a generational analysis showed traditional leaders and Western powers faring worse among the younger generation than their peers.There was a corresponding shift in favourability towards the new emerging powers among the younger generation of survey respondents – representing future tourists, investors and consumers.South Africa, too, showed a marginally higher positivity among the younger generation. Simon Anholt, the man behind the nation brand index, said that this “can only be good news for South Africa, suggesting that it now has somewhat more in common with the ‘rising stars’ of the developing world than with the fading heroes of the post-industrial economies.”Matola also noted that while South Africa did not progress beyond the quarterfinals of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, its reputation for sporting excellence had helped lift its culture ranking to 16th position.Focusing on SA’s ‘key differentiators’While expressing satisfaction with South Africa’s ranking, Matola pointed out that different branding indices tended to come to different conclusions. What mattered most for a nation brand was its “key differentiators”.For Brand South Africa, this meant continuing to focus on positioning the country more as a business destination and an attractive emerging market on the African continent.In this regard, productivity played a vital role, Matola said, as it was a core factor in driving economic growth.Thus, while the Anholt index showed a drop of two places in South Africa’s governance ranking, due to of a perceived “cooling” towards this aspect among South Africans themselves, the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, also published this week, showed South Africa holding steady at fifth place out of 53 countries.“The lesson is that nation brand building takes time, and holding steady or possibly gradually edging upwards in an index is the sustainable way forward,” Matola said.Fieldwork for the 2011 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brand Index was conducted in July.SAinfo reporter
27 February 2013 A project to pilot and test the feasibility of electric vehicles and associated supporting infrastructure in South African conditions was launched by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa in Pretoria on Tuesday. It is a multi-stakeholder partnership between primary partners Nissan South Africa and the Environmental Affairs Department, with support from the Departments of Trade and Industry, Transport, Energy, Science and Technology, Eskom and the South African Revenue Services. “The fundamental motivation for embarking on this project is the urgent need for South Africa to transition to a job creating, sustainable, low-carbon and green economy as clearly outlined in the National Development Plan,” Molewa said. The automotive sector is one of South Africa’s most carbon-intensive, currently accounting for approximately 20% of emissions; it is also the third-largest contributor to air pollution in the country. South Africa is a major player in the industry and is the 18th largest manufacturer of vehicles in the world, representing 80% of Africa’s vehicle output, according to Molewa. The need to move towards a more energy-efficient economy presents opportunities for the country, Molewa said.‘Becoming an engine of development’ “The transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy can create large numbers of green jobs across many sectors of the economy and indeed can become an engine of development,” she said. “To this end the government has already put in place policies to enable this transition that is pro-development, pro-poor and pro-job creation.” These include the national climate change response policy, the Public Enterprise Department’s guidelines for state-owned enterprises, and the electric vehicle industry strategy by the Department of Trade and Industry. “This electric vehicle industry strategy prepares for the future transition into design and production of alternative propulsion systems in order to maintain or increase South Africa’s global market share in the automotive sector while still responding to its commitment to decrease its carbon footprint,” she said. The green car partnership will be informed by the strategy. The initial phase of the project involves four Nissan Leaf test cars being dispatched to the Environmental Affairs Department for three years. “The Leaf is the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicle, which will be launched later this year in South Africa by Nissan as the first car manufacturer to introduce a 100% electric vehicle into the country,” Molewa said. The cars are charged at dual-grid connection charging stations. Looking at the viability of the charging stations and other necessary supporting infrastructure is part of the green car project. Charging the cars is done with a solar tracking device, and the department has just completed the installation of a 15-kilowatt device at its green building in Pretoria. “It is envisaged that in future these tracking devices will be installed on the major commuter routes for the direct charging of vehicles in real time,” she said. “An e-transport location analysis will be conducted in partnership with other government agencies, to inform the roll-out of the solar e-cars installation package at key transportation and commuter hubs countrywide, such as key government precincts, Gautrain stations, OR Tambo, key commercial centres and business districts.” SAinfo reporter
Legendary Springbok rugby scrumhalf and captain Joost van der Westhuizen died on Monday 6 February after five years battling motor neuron disease. He was 45.Joost van der Westhuizen was instrumental in the Springboks’ World Cup triumph in 1995. But tragically, the legendary scrumhalf could not triumph over motor neuron disease. (screenshot via Youtube)Former Springbok rugby scrumhalf, captain and legend, Joost van der Westhuizen, has died at age 45 after a long battle with motor neuron disease.The J9 Foundation, which Van der Westhuizen established to fight the incurable disease, confirmed his passing on Monday 6 February. After his vital organs began to fail on Friday 3 February, he was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital on Saturday and placed on life support.The foundation said he passed away on Monday after “putting up an incredible fight” over the weekend.He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neuron disease, in 2011. The disease attacks the body’s neurons, weakening the body’s voluntary muscles. This can result in difficulty in speaking, swallowing, and eventually breathing.Van der Westhuizen played a pivotal role in the Springbok’s first Rugby World Cup title in 1995. In his prime, he was considered the world’s greatest scrumhalf. He is still regarded as one of the legends of the game.Van der Westhuizen spent his entire club career with the Blue Bulls, from 1993 until 2003, with great success. But he will be best remembered for his international playing career.He featured in 89 tests for the Springboks and scored 38 tries, a record only broken by Bryan Habana in 2011, at the Rugby World Cup. He captained South Africa during the 1999 World Cup where they finished third. Van der Westhuizen retired from international rugby in 2003 as South Africa’s record cap holder.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
A Delhi court on Wednesday started hearing arguments in the Unnao rape case in which Uttar Pradesh MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar is one of the accused.Counsel for the CBI submitted before District and Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma that the minor was assaulted by the expelled BJP MLA and his co-accused Shashi Singh helped him in the commission of the crime as she had lured the victim to his residence on the pretext of getting her a job.When the State police did not take any action on the matter for almost a year after the incident, the victim’s then approached a court there, counsel for the probe agency said.Counsel for the accused submitted that the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) was not attracted against his client as the victim was a major at the time of the alleged assault.He further said that the fact that the victim had attained adulthood was proved by the school documents and her medical report.However, victim’s counsel D.K. Mishra claimed that she was a minor as per the school documents as well as the medical report at the time of tha alleged assault on her.No media barEarlier, the court refused to debar media from reporting the proceedings as sought by counsel for the accused and the CBI. It advised the reporters to do balanced reporting without going into the minute details and making an opinion.The court had on August 5 sent Sengar to judicial custody.The Supreme Court had on August 1 transferred the rape case and three other cases related to it to the Delhi court. The apex court had also directed that the trial be wrapped within 45 days .
Mr. Holness was delivering the main address at the Henlin Gibson Henlin’s inaugural ‘Women in Law Jamaica’ conference at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in St. Andrew on Friday (March 8) under the theme ‘Celebrating Trailblazing Women in Law – Be Inspired’. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is pursuing gender equity as a condition for inclusive socio-economic growth and development.As such, he said that many of the policy initiatives coming out of the 2019/20 Budget presentation will have significant impact for women, particularly those in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector.Mr. Holness was delivering the main address at the Henlin Gibson Henlin’s inaugural ‘Women in Law Jamaica’ conference at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in St. Andrew on Friday (March 8) under the theme ‘Celebrating Trailblazing Women in Law – Be Inspired’.The Prime Minister said that gender equality “is not just a fashionable catchphrase but something that is important in tackling poverty… and ensuring the inclusive development of the society”.This, he noted, as most households in Jamaica are headed by single females.Mr. Holness said that gender equity policy must also address violence against women in the home and society.He pointed out that the Sexual Harassment Act, which is to be tabled in Parliament, is designed to address unwanted sexual advances that women face in the professional environment.He noted that even as the Government seeks to address these violations through the legal framework, the family has an important role to play.“It is important that mothers, fathers and older siblings mainstream, when dealing with young men, that they must respect women, the inviolability of the person, because touching in our society is seen as accepted and normal,” the Prime Minister argued.He noted that “once the legal framework is in place, you will find that many young men (may) find themselves in conflict with the court and the law, because of their socialisation”.Head of Henlin Gibson Henlin, M. Georgia Gibson Henlin, chronicled the significant strides made by women in the legal profession.She noted that many qualified female lawyers could not practise law because the male-dominated firms would not hire them.“It was a long and challenging journey. Although women joined the legal profession in 1948, not much advancement was made before or immediately after Independence nor in the 20th century, as attitudes did not keep pace with legislation, Ms. Gibson Henlin said.She noted that even today, it is still not unusual to hear that law is a traditionally male-dominated profession, noting that the island’s first female Chief Justice, Prime Minister and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) “have all only happened within the last 15 years”. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is pursuing gender equity as a condition for inclusive socio-economic growth and development. Story Highlights As such, he said that many of the policy initiatives coming out of the 2019/20 Budget presentation will have significant impact for women, particularly those in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector.
VANCOUVER – The manager of a Vancouver store where wigs intended for kids with cancer were stolen says it’s been heartbreaking to call their families and break the news.Frances Rae, manager of Eva and Company Wigs, says all of the families have been understanding and one six-year-old girl wrote a letter to shop’s staff saying she wasn’t worried about her wig but wanted to make sure the employees were OK.Some of the kids had skipped the first week of school so they could start classes with their new hair, she said. Now they’ll have to wait six weeks to two months for new ones.Police said at least 150 wigs worth about $2,500 each were taken from the store early Friday morning. Among those, about 15 had been prepared for patients at BC Children’s Hospital, including kids with cancer and other medical conditions that involve hair loss like alopecia, Rae said.The wigs for sick children are made with donated virgin hair, which means it hasn’t been dyed.When the kids come in, staff measure their heads and look through pictures with them, so they can choose the colour, density and texture that they like. Then they find donated hair from about a dozen ponytails that fit the bill to construct the wigs.It’s always a good feeling to call a child and say the wig is ready, Rae said.“You know you can just see that look on someone’s face when it goes from sadness, because you know they have a tube out of their neck and a tube up their nose and they’ve got no hair,” Rae said. “And then when you put a wig on their head they just smile.”Rae said the thief or thieves broke in through the business next door, which she said is under renovation.“They broke into that then took a crowbar and just smashed through the wall and came into our place,” she said.Police say they are looking for a man with long curly black hair, who was last seen walking away from the store carrying a large black garbage bag and wearing a denim or blue jacket.Sgt. Jason Robillard said police need people to come forward with information and that it’s possible someone is in possession of one or more of the wigs without knowing they were stolen or intended for sick children.
Celebrities, conservationists, political officials and the media recently gathered for a special premiere screening of “The End of the Wild,” a new documentary that follows basketball legend and committed conservationist Yao Ming on a fact-finding mission into the heart of Africa’s wildlife conservation crisis.Both Yao Ming and Peter Knights of WildAid (who accompanied Yao on his 12-day trip through Kenya and South Africa) addressed the media and were joined by representatives from CCTV, which is airing “The End of the Wild,” and CITIC Publishing Group, which is releasing the film’s companion book, “Journey in Africa.”Yao visited Kenya and South Africa in August of 2012 to learn about the poaching crisis and witness the dramatic toll that poaching is taking not only on Africa’s endangered elephant and rhinoceros populations, but also on the human communities that coexist with them. “End of the Wild” follows Yao as he meets wild elephants and rhinos before encountering the butchered bodies of five poached elephants in Kenya and a poached rhino in South Africa. In Nairobi, Kenya, Yao tours the “ivory room,” an underground vault filled with thousands of confiscated elephant tusks and other wildlife remains. He also visits local school children, whose education is funded by revenue from wildlife tourism, and meets with conservationists and government officials working to protect these endangered species.“The End of the Wild” aired in two parts on CCTV-9 on August 11 at 9:00 p.m. (21:00 CST) and August 17 at 10:00 p.m. (22:00 CST). Part one focuses on elephants and the ivory trade; part two shines a light on the recent explosion of rhino poaching.A BIG STEP IN THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST IVORY AND RHINO HORNIn April 2013, Yao launched the “Say No to Ivory” and the “Say No to Rhino Horn” campaign with WildAid, the African Wildlife Foundation, and Save the Elephants. He has been a leader in the effort to reduce demand for ivory and rhino horn, and has been featured in television ads and billboards. WildAid’s elephant ivory public awareness messages have aired 7,697 times on over 25 television channels in 2013 amounting to US$15 million in-kind broadcast value. This is the amount certified by the media monitoring firm CTR and does not include several major media outlets and could account for only 50% of the actual total broadcast value.In March 2014, Yao delivered a petition during the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) asking China’s government to ban sales of ivory. The “End of the Wild” documentary is yet another big step in Yao Ming and WildAid’s effort to save endangered species by encouraging the public to stop buying wildlife products. In the documentary Yao clearly states his intent, “I believe what people will see in those pictures, [they] will remember it. That’s what we’re here for: film this, bring it back home … and show everybody the reality.”“With this film, Yao is helping to spread the word about the ecological and human costs of the illegal wildlife trade,” explains Peter Knights, Executive Director of WildAid. “We hope that with more public awareness and support, that China will become a true global leader in conservation and help save elephants and rhinos.”Yao previously helped to reduce China’s demand for shark fin through his campaign with WildAid. He appeared in public service messages that have reached hundreds of millions of consumers throughout China on broadcast and satellite television, LCD screens on trains and in subway and railway stations, airports, airline in-flight entertainment, shopping malls, banks, taxis, and universities and hospitals. Yao’s messages helped change public opinion and encouraged President Xi’s administration to ban shark fin from state banquets. A 2013 survey revealed that 85% of respondents in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu had stopped eating shark fin soup within the last three years. Sixty-five percent of those who quit shark fin cited public awareness campaigns as a reason.An estimated 33,000 elephants are killed each year for their tusks, and 95% of the world’s rhinos have been lost over the past 40 years. Growing demand in China and Southeast Asia is driving sharp increases in poaching. In China, ivory is prized as a status symbol by the nation’s growing affluent and middle classes, and the country’s legal market perpetuates demand and provides a laundering mechanism for illegal, poached ivory from Africa. Rhino horn is highly sought after for purported health benefits. In Vietnam, rhino horn has a reputation as a cancer treatment and a hangover cure regardless of the fact that the horn is composed of keratin (the same substance as human hair and fingernails).
Facebook Boat Rocker Media had a hit on its hands. The Next Step, a tween-targeted show about an elite dance troupe, drew the highest ratings the Family Channel had ever seen for a premiere at the time, with 574,500 people tuning in. Over five seasons, the Canadian-made series found an audience – in more than 120 countries, viewers were following the drama of a telegenic squad of teen dancers as they competed to win championships, formed friendships and rivalries, and pursued their dreams. The company drew in viewers to its YouTube channel as well, where it posted dance sequences regularly watched by tens of thousands online.“It built a global juggernaut,” said Jon Rutherford, president of rights at Toronto-based Boat Rocker.But by the sixth season, Boat Rocker’s financing in Canada was no longer enough to get production off the ground. DHX Media Ltd., which now owned the Family Channel, was still paying a fee to license the show, but “their total financial contribution was much lower,” Mr. Rutherford said. So last summer, Boat Rocker turned to U.S. channel Universal Kids, seeing an opportunity to work out the first deal for the show with a major American TV broadcaster. In August, Boat Rocker announced that Universal Kids had acquired the rights to the first five seasons and would be a production partner on the sixth. Advertisement Advertisement It might seem surprising that a hit show would face an investment shortfall in Canada. But it didn’t come as a surprise to Boat Rocker, because they had already noticed the landscape in kids’ TV production start to shift drastically. “In the golden era,” Mr. Rutherford said, “you could get upwards of 80 per cent of your financing in Canada” to get a show off the ground, when taking into account the broadcasters’ investments as well as government-led incentives for Canadian content. (A “semi-scripted” show such as The Next Step – scripted, with improvisational scenes – typically has a budget of roughly $375,000 to $500,000 per episode.)In this new era, Canadian financing often falls short. The Next Step required financing from both the U.S. and Canadian broadcasters, other international partners and funds Boat Rocker itself put up for the show to go on. It was hardly an isolated case. The Family Channel’s ‘The Next Step.’ LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter
Redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller (1) carries the ball while being hit by a Hawaii defender during a game at Ohio Stadium on Sept. 12. OSU won, 38-0. Credit: Muyao Shen / Asst. Photo EditorOhio State football coach Urban Meyer addressed the media on Monday afternoon to discuss the Buckeyes’ victory over Hawaii on Saturday as well as to discuss their upcoming matchup against Northern Illinois. Here are highlights from Meyer’s press conference:Gameday championsAfter each game, Meyer and his staff evaluate the performances of players and name the game’s best performers “champions.”Meyer announced those Buckeyes that obtained those honors against Hawaii.For the defense, which pitched a shutout against the Rainbow Warriors, the champions were rather abundant.Redshirt sophomore cornerbacks Eli Apple and Gareon Conley, as well as redshirt junior safety Tyvis Powell, were evaluated as champions for their performances in the 38-0 win.“Our secondary is playing at very, very high level,” Meyer said.A pair of linebackers, senior Joshua Perry and sophomore Raekwon McMillan, graded out as champions. Redshirt sophomore defensive end Tyquan Lewis also was named, making it six Scarlet and Gray defenders.As for the offense, which Meyer said “didn’t play very well,” there were only two players who graded out as champions: junior tailback Ezekiel Elliott and sophomore H-back Curtis Samuel.He added that Elliott, who rushed for 101 yards and three touchdowns, was the offensive player of the game for the Buckeyes.An update on the quarterback battleMeyer confirmed that redshirt junior Cardale Jones is still the team’s starter, for now.“He’s the starting quarterback. I met with him yesterday,” Meyer said.Redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett, who quarterbacked the final eight minutes of the first half after a shaky start for Jones, continues to get reps in practice.Meyer said Barrett “has not beaten (Jones) out yet” but that he will keep getting opportunities to do that.As for the quarterbacks’ performances against the Rainbow Warriors, Meyer wouldn’t say he was disappointed but he wasn’t overjoyed.“I think we have two excellent quarterbacks, and I expect them to play very well. Neither of them played very well Saturday,” he said.The use of direct snapsSo far in their opening two games, the Buckeyes have run a lot of direct snaps to players who aren’t quarterbacks, especially redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller.Against Hawaii, the two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year had the ball snapped directly to him eight times.Meyer offered some insight as to the decision to run these types of plays with players like Miller, junior H-back Dontre Wilson, redshirt sophomore Jalin Marshall or even Percy Harvin from his time at the University of Florida.“It’s hard to get receivers the ball. If they roll up on you or double you, you can’t get them the ball,” he said. “It’s not real hard — if you want to really give them the ball, put them behind center five yards and snap it to them.”Running those wildcat-like plays works at times, but Meyer said it’s “a little more complicated when people know you’re not going to throw.”However with Miller, a former quarterback, the possibility to throw does exist, but the question was if the shoulder he injured in August 2014 would be healed enough to pass.Meyer all but answered that question on Monday.“The good thing is Braxton can throw and will throw,” he said.Up nextThe Buckeyes are scheduled to be back in action on Saturday, against Northern Illinois. Kick off is set for 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.