Game Preview: Buffalo vs. Rutgers

Staff & Wire Reports

Struggling Rutgers returns home to face undefeated Buffalo


Associated Press

Friday, September 21

PISCATWAY, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers coach Chris Ash started the season with hopes of finding a way to get to a bowl game.

Three games into the season, Ash is trying to win some games with a program that seemingly faces a longer-than-expected rebuilding process.

Lopsided losses to No. 4 Ohio State and Kansas have the Scarlet Knights (1-2) returning home Saturday to face Buffalo (3-0), a team many thought a likely check in the win column before the season.

The Bulls are off to their best start since 1983, scoring nearly 40 points a game with an offense that features quarterback Tyree Jackson and wide receivers Anthony Johnson and K.J. Osborn. With their sights set on a spot in the MAC Championship games, Buffalo is looking forward to facing a Power Five Conference.

“There is some excitement,” Osborn said. “We’re playing a Big Ten team and we are coming in with a chip on our shoulder.”

While Buffalo is 0-8 against Big Ten teams, MAC rival Eastern Michigan beat Rutgers last year for its first Big Ten win in school history. The Bulls had a win against the Scarlet Knights before they joined the Big Ten.

Rutgers had set goals to win all its nonconference games and head to a bowl game for the first time since 2014. Heading into Saturday’s game, Ash has a 7-20 record and his team is an underdog against Buffalo.

“I believe this is still a football team that can play really good football and win a lot of games,” Ash said. “We have to play better on Saturday. We have to coach better, we have to play better, and we have got to make sure we put our players in position to have success. If we can do that, and we put all those things together here soon, then we still have a chance to reach our goals.”

Things to watch on Saturday:


Rutgers has a penchant for turnovers and Buffalo takes the ball away. The Scarlet Knights have given the ball away 12 times (four fumbles lost, eight interceptions), while the Bulls have caused eight turnovers (five fumbles, three interceptions).


Ash didn’t give his true freshman quarterback Art Sitkowski a ringing endorsement this week. Through three games, Sitkowski has seven interceptions, three returned for touchdowns. Due to injury or benching, he only played about a half at No. 4 Ohio State and Kansas.

“The guy has played less than three college games. He played half a high school season last year at IMG, he split time and all that,” offensive coordinator John McNulty said. “I think it’s just being in those spots, and unfortunately it’s under fire in games. We try to recreate it as much as we can in practice, but we don’t see 10 turnovers in a practice either.”


After two straight road games, Rutgers is home for the next three games and six of the next eight.


Buffalo can rewrite a few sections of the history book with a win, including the first 4-0 start since 1981.


One of the few bright spots in last Saturday’s loss? Special teams for Rutgers can block kicks. With two blocked field goals against Kansas, Rutgers has 52 blocks since 2009, which leads the nation by 10 in that span.

More AP college football: and

The Conversation

Before the fall: How oldsters can avoid one of old age’s most dangerous events

September 21, 2018


Matthew Lee Smith

Co-Director of Texas A&M Center for Population Health and Aging, Texas A&M University

Ellen Schneider

Research Scientist, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Marcia G. Ory

Regents and Distinguished Professor, Associate Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives, Texas A&M University

Tiffany Shubert

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Disclosure statement

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


Texas A&M University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

Baby boomers, who once viewed themselves as the coolest generation in history, are now turning their thoughts away from such things as partying and touring alongside rock bands to how to they can stay healthy as they age. And, one of the most important parts of healthy aging is avoiding a fall, the number one cause of accidental death among people 65 and older.

The issue is growing more pressing each day. More adults than ever – 46 million – are 65 and older, and their numbers are increasing rapidly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in four older adults will fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of injury and injury deaths among older adults. And, they are costly. Falls are responsible for an estimated US$31 billion in annual Medicare costs. This estimate does not account for non-direct medical or societal costs.

People who fall can lose their physical mobility for life, go into a hospital never to be discharged, require skilled nursing or other caregiver support, or become so fearful about falling again that they dramatically limit their daily activities.

The good news is that most falls are preventable, research has identified many modifiable risk factors for falls, and older adults can empower themselves to reduce their falls risks. This means there are opportunities to intervene in clinical and community settings to promote protective behaviors and improve safety.

A life-changing event

Falls can cause fractures, traumatic brain injuries and other conditions that require an emergency room visit or hospitalization. An older adult dies from a fall every 19 minutes, and every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall-related injury. About one in four falls results in needed medical attention, and falls are responsible for about 95 percent of all hip fractures. In addition to the physical and mental trauma associated with the fall itself, falls often result in fear of falling, reduced quality of life, loss of independence and social isolation.

There is no single cause for falling. Falls can result from issues related to biological aging, such as balance problems, loss of muscle strength, changes in vision, arthritis or diabetes. Taking a combination of several prescription drugs can also contribute to falls. Lifestyle behaviors such as physical inactivity, poor nutrition and poor sleep quality can also increase the risk for falling. Environmental hazards inside the home, such as poor lighting and throw rugs, and outside, such as bad weather, standing water and uneven sidewalks, can create situations where falls are more likely to occur.

It takes a careful village

Because falls can be caused by many things, the solutions must also include a diverse set of systems, organizations and professionals. Toward that end, 42 active or developing state fall prevention coalitions, which coordinate initiatives and serve as advocates for policy development and community action, are in place. Their activities foster collaboration across the aging services network, public health and health care system. They do such things as host health fairs and fall risk screening events, fall prevention programs, and awareness-raising events to inform decision-makers and legislators about ways to make communities safer for older adults.

Here are some of the key objectives that the coalitions are working on to reduce hazards from falling:

Enhance clinical-community collaboration for programming.

There are many fall prevention programs offered in communities to promote healthful behaviors and to reinforce positive mental perspectives about falls being preventable.

People concerned about falling should contact their local Area Agency on Aging to find out where these programs are offered and which can be most beneficial. Also, seniors should ask their doctors about fall-related risk factors and what they can do to reduce risk. Communicate your concerns about falls with your health care team and social network, tell them about what you learn during your fall prevention programs, and report back about how they are making a difference in your life.

Manage chronic conditions.

About 70 percent of older adults have one or more chronic conditions, many of which can increase the risk for falling. For example, people with diabetes may have vision problems and problems with sensation in their feet. Also, the medications used to treat these conditions can increase fall risk. And, taking five or more medications has been identified with increased frailty and higher risk for falling.

While health care access and utilization are important for chronic disease diagnosis and management, 90 percent of health care happens outside the health care setting. Therefore, older adults need to manage their diseases better. To do this, however, they often need help. For starters, they should discuss the side effects of all medications with their doctors and also how best to adhere to prescribed treatment regimens, such as when to take medications, whether to take with food and whether there are possible interactions of one medication with another. Seniors also can consider enrolling in evidence-based disease self-management programs to improve their knowledge and confidence to manage their conditions as well as enhance lasting skills for goal setting and action planning, such as being physically active for 30 minutes a day for five days a week.

Alter the physical environment.

About 44 percent of falls occur inside the home. In-home risk factors for falls can include dim lighting, clutter on floors, throw rugs and ottomans, missing railings, uncovered wires and extension cords, children and pets underfoot and unsafe bathrooms. A unsafe bathroom is one with an inappropriate toilet height, high shower or bathtub walls and no grab rails.

To identify possible risks in the home, the CDC created a user-friendly safety checklist that can safeguard older adults by eliminating environmental hazards.

Maintain healthful behaviors.

Daily lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity, nutrition and sleep quality can influence fall risk, and these are never too late to change. Interventions can be successful for people of all ages. Among the most important is physical activity, namely safely performing lower-body exercises to increase strength, balance and flexibility. Additionally, seniors should work with their health care team to have medications reviewed and eyes checked regularly. Also, they should ask about their vitamin D levels and possible nutritional supplementation.

Comment: Andrew Shead

Good advice! What goes on four legs at dawn, two at noon, and three at evening?

A few years ago, I missed my footing on the top step of a short flight of stairs down which there are no handrails. In the instant I overbalanced, knew there was nothing I could do; I felt my upper body relax as I went head first down the stairs, keeping my arms at my side and my chin up. I got up and walked away with scraped and bruised lower legs, and, luckily, I didn’t fall on the woman lower down. Since then, I pay a lot more attention to balance and hand-holds. I have hiking staves and walking sticks available when I need them.

The Conversation

Caught on camera: The fossa, Madagascar’s elusive top predator

September 21, 2018


Asia Murphy

PhD candidate, Pennsylvania State University

Disclosure statement

The research discussed in this article was funded by: the NSF GRFP, National Geographic Society, Sigma Xi, WCS Madagascar, Virginia Tech, PTES, IdeaWild, and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.


Pennsylvania State University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.

Mention wildlife on Madagascar and the first thing listeners probably picture is the island’s famed lemurs. As many people know, these unique primates are found nowhere else, and are the most endangered group of mammals in the world. But few people realize that lemurs’ fate is directly bound up with that of Madagascar’s largest predator, the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox), which is threatened by some of the same pressures.

Fossa are terrier-sized, cat-like relatives of mongoose with tails as long as their bodies. Like other top predators such as lions and wolves, they play a critical ecological role regulating the populations of their prey.

Like much of Madagascar’s wildlife, fossa are found nowhere else in the world. But scientists know little else about them, including how many fossa there are. They are rare, difficult to see in the wild, and lack unique coat patterns that would make it easy to distinguish individual animals.

I worked on a team of researchers from the United States and Madagascar that spent seven years surveying Madagascar’s largest protected area – a zone the size of Connecticut – with trail cameras to see if we could determine how many fossa were there. We found that this area holds a significant portion of the global fossa population, and is likely the last stronghold for this unique species. Our research provides key information that can help correctly assess fossas’ threatened status and lay the basis for appropriate conservation action.

Madagascar’s top carnivore

Fossa weigh about 20 pounds and can prey on most of Madagascar’s other species. They are capable hunters on land and in the trees, using their tails for balance and killing by biting through their prey’s skulls. One study found that fossa were largely responsible for two lemur family groups disappearing from forests over a two-year period. Fossa, like other top predators, help keep prey populations at a level that their habitat can support, and rid the population of diseased and weak individuals.

Fossa also exhibit some very interesting behaviors. They are one of nine mammalian species whose sexually immature females go through a period of transient masculinization. During this phase, their clitorises enlarge and grow spines to look like an adult male fossa’s penis. Researchers think this helps sexually immature females avoid the aggressive attentions of males looking for females with which to mate.

In the deciduous forests of western Madagascar, scientists have discovered that male and female fossa will gather together at the same spot year after year to mate. Otherwise, however, fossa were thought to be solitary until 2010, when researchers observed three male fossa working together to kill a lemur. Since then, some male fossa have been seen to team up with another male or two to hunt prey and protect a larger territory than solitary males. And in 2015, our study captured photos suggesting that male fossa in the eastern rainforests will also associate.

Lack of funding and political instability has made it hard for Madagascar’s government and conservation organizations to study the fossa. Because of their elusive nature, it is particularly hard to figure out basic things, such as how many fossa there are in an area. And without good numbers, scientists can’t assess whether a species is threatened or develop plans for protecting it.

Tracking fossa with cameras

Automatic cameras, known as camera traps, are a standard tool for collecting information on elusive wildlife in remote areas. The only thing “trapped” is the animal’s digital image.

Our images showed what type of habitat fossa used, when they were active, and how they co-existed with other carnivores such as dogs. Variations among individual animals, such as scars, tail width and kinkiness, and the presence and number of ear nicks, made it possible to start picking out certain fossa from the population and “follow” them from one camera to another.

One of our top goals was assessing how many fossa were present in the reserve and how close together they were. Determining density is key for conserving species. Once we knew know how many fossa there were, on average, in a unit of area such as square kilometer, we could estimate how many there were in the entire region and compare between different protected areas.

The value of a number

Over a seven-year period we ran 15 surveys across seven study sites in the reserve. For months on end, we set up cameras, checked them, downloaded data and then moved cameras to survey as much area as possible. In all of this time, I never personally saw a fossa, but two local field assistants saw fossa in the trees once or twice.

Next came three years of analyzing photos, recording which animals had identifying marks and how far those marked fossa moved during their daily activities. Finally, nearly a decade after the very first survey in Masoala-Makira, we had a population estimate.

We calculated the fossa population in Masoala-Makira at 1,061, give or take around 500 animals. This worked out to about 20 fossa per 100 square kilometers. In other words, we had a small town of lemur-eating carnivores living in an area the size of Connecticut.

Why is this important? Because our colleague Brian Gerber did a similar study in southeastern Madagascar, with one important difference: He applied his estimate to the area of all of Madagascar’s protected forests. He estimated there to be 8,626 fossa in the entire world.

Only two protected areas were large enough to hold enough fossa that the population could stay stable, at the very least, despite individuals dying or being killed. We showed that Masoala-Makira is one of them. And as the largest protected area in Madagascar, it will be home to fossa long after they disappear elsewhere due to hunting and habitat loss.

The next priority is to survey Madagascar’s other protected area large enough to hold a self-sustaining population, the Zahamena-Mantadia-Vohidrazana complex, to better estimate the global fossa population. And local governments need to attempt to curb hunting within protected areas and control feral dogs and cats, which can kill native species and spread diseases.

Rare and charismatic species typically get the most conservation attention, especially through events like National Geographic’s Big Cat Week. In fact, however, there are four times more lions than fossa in the entire world. Maybe it’s time for Fossa Friday.

Delaware dentist receives Rising Star Award

As a new dentist, Dr. Kyle Bogan is committed to organized dentistry and has had several leadership roles at the local and state levels. In recognition of his efforts, he received the Ohio Dental Association N. Wayne Hiatt Rising Star Award on Friday, Sept. 14 at the Callahan Celebration of Excellence, held in conjunction with the 152nd ODA Annual Session.

“Although relatively new to practicing dentistry, Dr. Bogan has worked in several practices and with the Knox County Health Department,” wrote Dr. Fred Alger, chair of the Honors and Awards Committee with the Columbus Dental Society, in his nomination letter. “He has been a strong supporter of the Ohio Dental Association as well as the CDS and OSU and has served in numerous leadership positions. His commitment to dentistry is exemplary.”

He studied chemistry at The Ohio State University and earned his DDS from OSU in 2008. In 2013, he opened his own practice in Delaware.

His office holds a Give Kids A Smile event every year to provide dental care to children in need, and last year they hosted a Freedom Day USA event to provide care to veterans and active military. He also has created a scholarship that’s in its second year for a graduating senior in Delaware who is entering a health related field. Bogan also has served as the race director for the Miles for Smiles 5K benefiting the Free to Smile Foundation for the past several years.

He serves on Columbus Dental Society Board of Directors and has chaired its Membership Committee since 2015. He also serves on the Ohio Dental Association Council on Membership Services and chaired the council in 2015-16. He also serves on the ODA Annual Session Committee and has served as a delegate to the ODA.

The Rising Star Award recognizes a young leader in dentistry with outstanding leadership and initiative and a strong commitment to volunteerism within the community and the profession. This person must demonstrate promise for continued and future accomplishments within the dental profession, and must have been in practice for 10 years or less.

The Ohio Dental Association represents more than 5,000 member dentists, nearly 75 percent of the state’s licensed dentists. ODA member dentists provide more than $40 million in donated care and services annually, and they are bound by the highest ethical standards and have access to superior ongoing education, training and resources.

Staff & Wire Reports