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South Africa’s job-friendly growth path

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first_img13 September 2010 Shift to ‘green economy’ “If economic growth and job creation are priorities, then attracting foreign direct investment into labour-absorbing ventures in South Africa must be high on the agenda.” “We must leverage the lessons we learnt on ‘walking the talk’ more effectively in planning, decision-making and implementation for the benefit of all South Africans, especially relating to the provisioning of infrastructure,” Mtoba said. Speaking at the 15th National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) annual summit in Johannesburg last week, Motlanthe said there would be intense engagement to find an implementable strategy that would have the full backing of the government’s social partners. Social partnership South Africa is busy finalising a new policy framework for labour-intensive growth, as well as identifying the policy tools available to support job creation across the economy, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. Source: BuaNews Leveraging World Cup sentiment Also speaking at last week’s the summit, Business Unity South Africa President Futhi Mtoba said the positive energy shown during the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ had to be channelled into economic growth, employment and transformation. “[It] will define the nature of the South African jobs and equity challenge, and address labour-intensive growth.”center_img It also aims to promote broader-based industrialisation characterised by greater participation of historically disadvantaged people and marginalised regions in the mainstream of the industrial economy. At the time, Patel said the new growth path would recognise the crucial role of the private sector in creating new jobs. In March, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said the government had embarked on a shift to a more labour-absorptive economy, and that the new growth path would include a focus on manufacturing, infrastructure development, rural development and agro-processing, and the “green” economy. “An obvious but necessary starting point will not only be to acknowledge the importance of finding solutions, but also being prepared to rise above partial interests in constructing shared solutions that are in the public interest,” he said. “As government, we hope that the new growth path will provide another stepping stone towards the shared vision that we will require to address the structural constraints of the South African economy,” Motlanthe said. Motlanthe said there were a number of challenges in achieving a more labour-intensive growth path in the country, suggesting that organised labour and business could do more to contribute towards a higher participation rate and better utilisation of labour. Industrial Policy Action Plan The government earlier this year launched the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2 (IPAP), which seeks to respond to various economic and industrial imperatives and to address weaknesses in South Africa’s economy. The plan’s vision is to have an industrialisation trajectory that promotes labour-absorbing industrial sectors, with an emphasis on tradable labour-absorbing goods and services, and economic linkages that promote job creation, said Motlanthe.last_img read more

How South Africa can create a less power-hungry economy

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first_imgShifting South Africa’s economy from energy intensive sectors to those with lower energy consumption will take more time, and even more funding. But the impact will be more permanent and sustainable.South Africa’s abundance of coal will make changing the energy supply mix less easy. State-owned power utility Eskom’s power stations, for example, run mostly on coal. (Image: Brand South Africa) • Solar car races around southern Africa • Make saving the planet a habit • Businesses urged to team up for innovation • New technologies stand to benefit poorer countries • Khi Solar One: renewable energy for the agesRoula Inglesi-Lotz, University of PretoriaSouth Africa’s energy sector has faced a crisis since 2008, marked by power cuts, high tariffs and a general inability to match supply and demand. This has led to a dismal picture being painted about the future of the country’s energy supply and its impact on economic growth. It is imperative that a solution is found to the current difficult situation. This is because energy plays a vital role in the growth and development of a country.A priority for policymakers since the end of apartheid in 1994 has been to provide energy to everyone. Since this target has nearly been achieved, the attention is shifting to the intensity of electricity use in South Africa.What will it take to achieve greater efficiency?There are three key areas that can lead South Africa towards greater energy efficiency, as well as reductions in carbon emissions. These are:technological innovations for energy efficiencychanging the energy supply mixpromoting structural changes in the economyAll these can be combined in national energy policies and strategies, but they differ in two points: the time horizon of the results and the risk of outcomes.The introduction of technological innovations that can achieve higher energy efficiency levels depends heavily on the availability and cost of the innovations. It also depends on the receptiveness in sectors where they will be adopted.South Africa’s abundance of coal will make changing the energy supply mix less easy. State-owned power utility Eskom’s power stations, for example, run mostly on coal.When energy was plentiful and cheap, South Africa pumped huge incentives towards energy-heavy sectors such as manufacturing. (Image: Brand South Africa)Equally, the sectors that drive the economy are energy intensive. They are also important sources of employment, investment and income. Historically the country promoted capital-intensive mega industries that used a lot of energy. Until 2008-09, South Africa’s comparatively low industrial electricity tariffs attracted significant investments in traditionally energy-intensive sectors such as mining and manufacturing.These industries are inflexible and slow to change. Once a major investment has been made in the construction of a smelter, for example, opportunities to change to more energy-efficient technology or production process are limited.The government appreciates the need to reduce the energy intensity of the economy over the long term. This year’s budget made specific mention of the need to promote growth in tradeable and services sectors that consume less electricity per unit of output.But it will take more to bring about any meaningful change. To achieve the shift in the economy without affecting output and production, economic and industrial policies should be combined with efforts from energy policymakers.The South African government has suggested the need for promoting growth in tradable and services sectors that consume less electricity per unit of output. (Image: Brand South Africa)It would be helpful to adjust the incentives and tariffs that attract energy-intensive investments. Incentives should be directed to low-emission and low-intensity sectors. By lowering the cost of energy, input costs would come down and South African exports could achieve greater competitiveness.Admittedly, the trade-off and eventual balance is difficult and requires financial and political support from different stakeholders. Of critical importance is the coordination of various policies. A concerted effort should be made by all government departments involved with South Africa’s economic sectors. This can only be achieved by all-inclusive debate and design over time.The transition from a resource-based economy to a knowledge and service economy based on the quality of human capital requires information, education, and research and development. Any new strategy therefore must include investment in research activities that will show the way to innovative solutions. Areas to be explored could include structural changes in the economy as well as more efficient ways to consume energy.In this transition, South Africa should also investigate alternative fuels that would make even highly energy-intensive sectors’ consumption cleaner and more environment-friendly. For this, a properly planned, organised, managed and monitored market for renewable energies must be established. This needs to be combined with a comprehensive policy to provide consumers with alternatives to “dirty” fossil fuel-based energy.Instead of penalising heavy users of electricity such as mines, the government should offer them incentives to become energy efficient. (Image: Brand South Africa)Finally, how else can this transition be promoted? There is one thing that all sectors, industries and firms are interested in – economic gain and profits. Instead of penalising intensive users with mechanisms such as the carbon tax, they should be offered incentives. These could include a reward programme such as an emissions trading system or, even more suitable to South Africa, an energy-intensity trading scheme. By trading credits of energy-intensive use, the sectoral users would work to reduce their energy consumption as well as trade their credits for additional profits.South Africa is a unique case with a number of inherited socioeconomic challenges and difficulties. But its energy policymakers have started aiming at more fundamental changes rather than the recent short-term solutions.Structural economic changes and an effort to shift the economy to sectors with lower energy consumption and a smaller footprint will certainly take more time, and even more funding, to bear positive results. But the impact will be more permanent and sustainable.Roula Inglesi-Lotz is Associate Professor of Economics at University of Pretoria.This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

Stuck On A Sudoku? Google Goggles Will Solve It For You [Video]

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first_imgGoogle Goggles, our favorite mobile app that lets you visually search the Web simply by taking a picture with your smartphone, has learned a couple of new tricks. In addition to speeding up its barcode scanning feature, Google Goggles now recognizes a variety of print ads and…solves that Sudoku puzzle you just can’t solve! Last November, Google announced and experiment using Google Goggles to bring users extra content when they scanned certain ads. Though similar, that experiment returned users to a specific link, whereas this new feature brings related search results, recognizing that you scanned a print ad. The app will recognize print ads in major U.S. magazines from August 2010 onwards.As for the Sudoku, Google Goggles will now solve any Sudoku puzzle that you just can’t solve. According to Google, “if you ever get stuck, take a clear picture of the entire puzzle with Goggles and we’ll tell you the correct solution.” Take a look at the video for a quick demo: mike melanson Tags:#Google#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts What do you think of Google Goggles? Is it simply a fun parlor trick type app (at least for the moment) or do you actually visually search for anything, ever? Obviously visual search is something new that we’ll see more and more of in the future, but we’re wondering when it will become more of an integrated feature. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

IPL spot-fixing: CSK and Gurunath Meiyappan may face wrath of Mudgal committee

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first_imgIt was on February 10 that the Mudgal committee -comprising Justice Mukul Mudgal, N. Nageswara Rao and Nilay Dutta -opened a Pandora’s Box by stating that former Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan’s involvement in betting during Indian Premier League matches was proved.And if sources close to the panel are to be believed, both Meiyappan and two-time Indian Premier League champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are in deep trouble. CSK could even be barred from competing in the next edition of the cash-rich league. It is believed that the sealed envelope that the committee submitted to the SC on Friday not only has complete details on the progress made so far, but also contains charges levied against Meiyappan and CSK.”After May 16, the panel has more powers and they could get deeply involved and carry out further inquiry, something that wasn’t possible in the earlier investigation. And they have worked overtime to get to the bottom of the whole mess. Meiyappan and CSK are definitely in trouble. The panel has mentioned the former’s wrongdoings in its report,” a source close to the panel told Mail Today.After being appointed for the first time on October 7, Mudgal had sounded a warning bell. He had said that the BCCI wouldn’t have been too keen on having him in charge of the investigation. And that was once again the case when the SC asked Mudgal and his new panel – consisting of Mudgal, Rao, Dutta, former IPS officer B.B. Mishra and Sourav Ganguly – to investigate the contents of the sealed envelope submitted by them after primary investigation. BCCI cried foul saying that the panel would be biased, but the apex court didn’t budge.advertisementSo if Mudgal stands by his word of the probe not being ‘eyewash’, the signs aren’t too auspicious for CSK and its former team principal.Panel files interim reportThe Justice Mukul Mudgal committee, conducting the probe into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal, on Friday filed its interim report in a sealed cover before the Supreme Court.The apex court is likely to go through the report on September 1 when the committee is also expected to plead for more time to complete the probe.The court had on May 16 given the task to conduct a probe against sidelined BCCI president N. Srinivasan and 12 other names in a sealed envelope that the Justice Mudgal panel had submitted, and asked it to file its report by the end of August.It had rejected BCCI’s proposal to conduct the probe through its own panel. The Mudgal committee had earlier investigated the scandal and submitted a report in which names of Srinivasan and 12 other cricket figures were mentioned.”We are of the considered opinion that the allegations against the 13 persons, including N Srinivasan, mentioned in the report submitted in the sealed cover should be investigated into by the Justice Mudgal Committee and the team of investigators because if a new probe committee is entrusted to inquire into the allegations, there is likelihood of the allegations being leaked to the public and` media and such leakage will damage the reputation of the 13 persons beyond repair,” the Bench had said.Besides Justice Mudgal, the panel has additional solicitor general L. Nageshwar Rao and advocate Nilay Dutta as members. A group of investigators headed by senior IPS officer B.B. Mishra assisted the Mudgal committee, which was given the power to probe, search and seize relevant documents and record evidence.- Mail Today BureauCricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma, also a petitioner in the case, has said every effort by BCCI’s sidelined president N. Srinivasan to delay the Board’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), expected to be held by September 30, will be thwarted.”It is very obvious that Srinivasan and a few members from his camp are trying their best to delay the AGM this year. But trust me, I will not let that happen. In the last 86 years, never have we seen the AGM being postponed and it shouldn’t happen this time,” Verma told Mail Today.He further said that he was waiting for his earlier application to be heard by the court in which he has questioned the decision of BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel and acting president Shivlal Yadav to propose Srinivasan’s name for the ICC chairman’s post.”They didn’t even bother to call a Special General Meeting before taking the call, and that was a clear violation of rules. I want the court to look into the matter,” Verma said.advertisement- By Baidurjo Bhoselast_img

25 days ago​Proposed Liverpool kit deal with Nike worth less than current sponsors New Balance

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first_img​Proposed Liverpool kit deal with Nike worth less than current sponsors New Balanceby Ian Ferris25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool’s proposed new kit deal with US sportswear giant Nike is only worth a guaranteed UK£30 million (US$37 million) per year, according to High Court papers seen by the Times, reports, www.sportspromedia.com/.The figure is in stark contrast to the previously reported UK£70 million (US$86 million) per year figure for the Nike deal. Instead, this reported base figure is less than Liverpool’s existing UK£45 million (US$55 million) annual deal with New Balance, which is taking the club to court claiming a contract clause means it can match Nike’s terms.It is also less than the minimum UK£50 million (US$61 million) per year deals Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have with Nike, as well as the UK£71 million per year agreement the brand struck with French champions PSG in June.However, Liverpool apparently believe Nike can deliver far greater total revenue for the club than has been generated by their deal with New Balance. This is reflected by a commitment from Nike in the proposed deal to pay the club a 20 per cent royalty on net sales of Liverpool products. It would also promote the club through other influential athletes, such as Serena Williams and LeBron James, and popular musicians associated with the company, including rapper Drake.In addition, the report says Nike will distribute a new kit through ‘6,000 global doors’, compared to New Balance’s 3,000.In response, New Balance believes it can meet demand for Liverpool kit, having delivered tow of the biggest selling home kits for fans. A three-day trial to settle the legal dispute has been listed from 18th October. TagsPremiership NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Rally planned in Saskatchewan ahead of court date of man accused of

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first_imgAPTN National NewsNORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. – Family and friends of Colten Boushie have been busy preparing signs and placards for people to carry outside a Saskatchewan courthouse Thursday where a farmer accused of fatally shooting a First Nations man is to make an appearance.APTN will be at the rally and have a full report.Gerald Stanley will be in a North Battleford courtroom to face a charge of second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.A Facebook group called “Justice for Colten” said the rally, about showing respect and support for Boushie’s family, is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. CST.Boushie was killed Aug. 9 after the vehicle he was in drove onto a farm in the rural municipality of Glenside, west of Saskatoon.A cousin, who was also in the car, said they were heading home to the Red Pheasant First Nation after an afternoon of swimming when they got a flat tire and turned onto the farm for help.Robert Innes, a University of Saskatchewan Indigenous studies professor, said the rally will give people a chance to express their concerns about the racial discourse that is unfolding after the shooting.“It helps to highlight the issue of racism on one hand, but also support for the family on the other,” said Innes, who plans to attend another rally for Boushie outside a Saskatoon court.Another rally is planned in Regina. The Facebook page also urges people across the country to make a sign “Justice for Colten” and stand with it somewhere public at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.Racial tensions have flared since Boushie was killed.First Nations leaders said the first RCMP news release about the shooting was biased. It said that people in the car had been taken into custody as part of a theft investigation. They were released without charges.Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said the RCMP statement “provided just enough prejudicial information” for people to draw the conclusion that the shooting was somehow justified.RCMP Supt. Rob Cameron said police handled the investigation fairly and competently. He also said he welcomed the opportunity to discuss the FSIN’s concerns.On Monday, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall took to Facebook to condemn what he called “racist and hate-filled” comments after the shooting.“This must stop” Saskatchewan Premier steps in as racists posts explode after Indigenous man shot on farmSome of the comments on social media sites were anti-First Nation, while others supported vigilante justice against the suspect in the case.One widely-circulated screen grab from a Saskatchewan farmers group on Facebook said: “His only mistake was leaving three witnesses.” That group has since been closed.The National Farmers Union put out a statement Wednesday expressing sadness over Boushie’s death and the comments that have followed.“As farmers, we condemn the rampant racist remarks that have circulated since the death of Colten Boushie, including comments made on the ‘Saskatchewan Farmers’ Facebook group. We also commit ourselves to building relationships of solidarity, mutual respect, and friendship with our Indigenous neighbours, and to honouring our obligations as treaty people,” said the union.Innes said the racial divide isn’t going to be solved any time soon.“When people are celebrating the death of an Indigenous man and calling for the killing of more Indigenous men, we have to acknowledge that there is racism in this province.”— with files from The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Ohio State mens basketball loses 2nd straight 8274 to Louisiana Tech

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OSU frehsman JaQuan Lyle (13) surveys the court during a game against UT Arlington on Nov. 20 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. OSU lost 73-68. Credit: Hannah Roth |Lantern PhotographerFor the second straight game, the Ohio State men’s basketball team (2-2) was drubbed by a mid-major program.After falling to Louisiana Tech (4-0) 82-74 at the Schottenstein Center on Tuesday night, coach Thad Matta’s squad is left searching for answers.“I think this team has to find itself,” Matta said. “I think that we have to look at our weaknesses, admit that we have them and find ways to correct them.”Those weaknesses, unmasked within minutes of the tipoff, have hindered this unripe, youthful team.Its first few offensive possessions, predictably, ended in a turnover and a missed free throw.“We’ve got to stop trying to make the big play and just make the right play,” sophomore forward Jae’Sean Tate said. “That’s where a lot of turnovers come from. We’ve just got to play a smarter game. Free throws are all mental. We’ve got to get up there and think we’re going to make it, and we’ll make it. We work too hard on our free throws to miss like that.”Meanwhile, Louisiana Tech went on a 7-0 run to open the game and never looked back. It never trailed throughout the course of 40 minutes.The Bulldogs, led by senior guard Alex Hamilton — who scored a team-high 24 points — found their stroke from behind the arc, and it started early on.Spacing the floor, knocking down threes and beating the Buckeyes to loose balls, Louisiana Tech outpaced OSU.This time around, a lack of energy or toughness wasn’t the issue; offensive consistency was.“We can’t relax,” Tate, who registered a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, said. “It felt like we relaxed when we tied it up. We just have to learn for the remainder of the year to keep the foot on the pedal. We have to keep those runs going and at the defensive end dig even deeper.”Newly minted starting center, freshman Daniel Giddens, contributed eight rebounds and four blocks, while freshman guard Austin Grandstaff added nine points, shooting 60 percent from the 3-point line. The duo helped the Buckeyes surge right before the half to cut Louisiana Tech’s lead to 42-38.“I thought Daniel was pretty good tonight,” Matta said. “He’s one guy that you can look out there on the floor and you know who he’s playing for. You know how important (the game is to him) — the passion.”The game’s defining moment came with 11:26 left in the second half.Down 55-54, Marc Loving – who scored a game-high 25 points – went to the free throw line with a chance to give OSU its first lead of the night. The junior forward missed one, then Louisiana Tech pushed the ball, hit a corner three and took the energy right out of the area.It was a common occurrence.Every time OSU gained momentum, the Bulldogs killed it with a timely three or galvanizing slam dunk.“It definitely gets us down when we try to work on it,” sophomore forward Keita Bates-Diop said. “We’ve got to get down on turnovers and make more free throws.”As a team, OSU missed 10 free throws, turned the ball over 14 times and a seasoned, well-balanced and aggressive Louisiana Tech team made it pay for every mental mistake it made. Following the loss, OSU is scheduled to face Memphis on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Miami. Matta, however, is not looking ahead to the Tigers. “I need to worry about us,” he said, “more than I need to worry about them.” read more

Mens hockey ready to drop puck for 2014 season

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Loose pucksOSU junior defenseman Craig Dalrymple is injured and will not play this weekend, Rohlik said.OSU is 2-1-0 all-time vs. ProvidenceThis weekend’s games are part of the Hockey East/Big Ten challenge that awards a trophy to the conference with the most points in inter-conference play. OSU players are introduced into a game against Guelph on Oct. 4 at Value City Arena. OSU won, 7-1.Credit: Melissa Prax / Lantern photographerWhen the puck drops in Columbus this weekend, the Ohio State men’s hockey team’s coming-out party will be officially over. The Buckeyes won’t be surprising anyone this year, including themselves.OSU’s regular-season opener against No. 4 Providence will mark the beginning of a season where expectations are clearer than they’ve been in the past, Buckeye junior defenseman Sam Jardine said.Goals to win the Big Ten title and reach the NCAA tournament are built upon the OSU’s loss in the conference championship last year, Jardine said.“It’s been fresh in our memory all summer,” he said. “(We are) very bitter about it, but very motivated, very empowered to get back to that spot where we were last year.”The Buckeyes return 19 players after going 18-14-5 last season. Back for another run at the postseason, a roster that lost Max McCormick and Ryan Dzingel to the NHL is eager to show it can compete without its high-profile forwards.“I think we’ve got a group that wants to prove to people that we have what it takes,” OSU coach Steve Rohlik said.That group is one making an offensive transition. This season, the Buckeyes will become a four-line team that relies less upon its top-six forwards, Rohlik said.OSU’s balance was exemplified last weekend when 13 players registered at least one point in the team’s 7-1 exhibition win against the University of Guelph. Forwards Matt Weis and Luke Stork earned points for the Buckeyes’ freshman class.In their first week of official practice, OSU’s eight newcomers have quickly adjusted to practice and game-speed, senior forward Tanner Fritz said.For Fritz, the loss of former linemates Alex Szczechura and McCormick has forced him to make an adjustment of his own. OSU’s top returning scorer has been paired with junior forward Anthony Greco and senior forward Darik Angeli in practice.“Those are guys that bring a ton of speed to the game, so it’s just kind of me keeping up with them,” Fritz said.But while the Buckeyes’ offense is changing, its goaltending is not. Sophomore goalies Matt Tomkins and Christian Frey, who combined for a 2.53 goals against average last season, will each play this season, Rohlik said.Rohlik did not reveal this weekend’s starter, but said he was comfortable with either player between the pipes.In front of the goalies, the defensive keys will be to avoid odd-man rushes and keep the Friars to the perimeter of the offensive zone, Jardine said.“We know with the guys that we have behind us that if we give outside shots they’re going to take care of those,” Jardine said.This weekend against Providence might prove to be a goaltending showdown.The Friars’ junior goalie Jon Gillies has a career 2.12 GAA and .931 save percentage, while his backup, sophomore Nick Ellis, posted a 2.35 GAA and .904 save percentage last season.Gillies and Ellis propelled the Friars to a 22-11-6 record and NCAA tournament berth last season. The Friars, like the Buckeyes, also have high expectations with 19 returnees.“If there’s a year for Providence, this is probably their year,” Rohlik said. “We’re playing a very good hockey team and we have to be ready.”OSU’s preparations for Providence were made easier by the teams’ agreement to trade game film. Rohlik said the Friars initiated the offer to swap tape from last season, an exchange the OSU coach had not made in the past.Despite having film to analyze, Rohlik said he understands his team won’t be mistake-free on Friday. He said his hope is for his team’s effort and accountability to compensate for its mistakes.For a team eager to start the season, it’s just the first of many expectations.The Buckeyes are set to open their season on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Football JK Dobbins shines in first game as starter at running back

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Freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) watches as teammate J.T. Barrett runs the ball for a touchdown during the season opener vs Indiana. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorBLOOMINGTON, Ind — From the first play in Ohio State’s 49-21 win over Indiana, the Buckeyes’ offense was carried by running back J.K. Dobbins — a true freshman.Two plays later, he caught a pass on a wheel route for 18 yards. And for the rest of the game, it was more of the same as he continued to demonstrate both his ability to shake defenders loose with his elusiveness in the open field, as well as the physicality needed to plow through the defensive line.For coach Urban Meyer, Dobbins’ big performance Thursday was less of a shock and more of a reflection of what the coaches have seen since he arrived in Columbus.“I kind of tempered my emotions with [the media] early on, because we have seen that since spring practice. He has had a hell of a camp,” Meyer said.OSU freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) carries the ball during the Spring Game on April 15. Scarlet beat Gray 38-31. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Former Photo EditorBy the end of the game, Dobbins had set a record for the most rushing yards by an Ohio State first-year running back in the first game of the season with 182 yards on 29 carries.He did not enter the week as the starter, however.In the team’s depth chart, Dobbins was listed as an ‘Or’ alongside Mike Weber, last season’s starter. Meyer noted Thursday night that Weber was still only at 80 percent and that while Weber could have gone, the preference was to not play him.The chance to start came at a time when Dobbins had southeast Texas on his mind. The native of La Grange, Texas, which is a 101-mile drive west of Houston, said his family has been safe from the effects of Hurricane Harvey that has ravaged the Houston area since last weekend, but he still has friends in the city who have dealt with the storm’s destruction.“[I] kind of thought of it as motivation for me because I’m probably the only positive thing going on in my town right now,” Dobbins said. “I just thought of it as bringing my city up. So, that’s why I came out here and played as hard as I could.”Then, a couple days before the game, Dobbins learned he would be starting in his first game with the Buckeyes, and would get that chance to provide a light for what has been a dark time in his hometown. “I thought I was going to start midway through the week whenever Weber was — he’s having a hamstring problem so, I just, when I heard that I just thought of it as an open opportunity for me,” Dobbins said.Nearly two weeks ago, running backs coach Tony Alford, said he believed the freshman would have a substantial impact this season. After his performance against the Hoosiers, wide receiver Johnnie Dixon, who worked out with Dobbins during the summer, said the 18-year-old’s dedication to the work and ability to make challenging tasks look effortless has really caught his eye.Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins prepares for practice at fall camp on Aug. 5. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor.“A lot of kids come in and they don’t really have it from Day One. [Dobbins] had it from Day One,” Dixon said. “Even watching him in spring, I’m like, this kid is amazing. And I knew that he would get out here and do the same thing we see in practice all the time. It was just, nobody else really know because they don’t see it. But the kid — the sky’s the limit for that kid for sure.”Judging from the Texan’s performance on the big stage, Meyer said he seems some of the same characteristics in Dobbins that he saw in another former running back.“He’s close [to Ezekiel Elliott]. Yeah, he’s very similar to Zeke,” Meyer said. “Very similar about the way he works. He handles his business like a pro. I mean he walked in like a grown man.”Though the players and coaches see a potential breakout talent in Dobbins, Meyer said he is expecting Weber to return next week and for him to slide right back into the mix for playing time.Meyer would not go so far as to say who would be out there taking the opening snaps in the against Oklahoma on Sept. 9, but he said he knows he can expect more of the same from Dobbins in the weeks to come.“J.K. Weber,” Meyer said jokingly, when asked who would start next week. “We get Mike back next week, and that is going to be a nice one-two punch. J.K. has even more in the tank.” read more