Dallas Colleges: Elisha Olabode

Big 12 media days live: Day 2

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
9:40
AM CT
The Big 12 media days continue on Tuesday in Dallas, as Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and new Texas coach Charlie Strong each take the stage. Keep this page open throughout the day's proceedings as we bring you the latest from our reporters, who will cover all 10 teams at the event.

Big 12 unsung heroes: Week 8

October, 21, 2013
10/21/13
2:00
PM CT
Here are the unsung heroes in the Big 12 for Week 8:

Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman: The Bears defense was outstanding in Baylor’s 71-7 win over Iowa State, and the sophomore played a key role with five tackles including two for loss, one quarterback hurry and one sack. He has recorded a sack in two of three Big 12 games and provides an athletic presence on the perimeter of BU’s defensive line. Frankly, the entire Bears defense should get the unsung hero label for the entire season. After all, BU’s offense wouldn’t be averaging 64.7 points per game if the defense didn’t keep giving them the ball back.

Iowa State safety Jacques Washington: The senior has been performing at an All-Big 12 level for the majority of the season. He had 12 tackles including 11 solo stops, one tackle for loss and one pass breakup in the Cyclones 71-7 loss. Washington has recorded double-digit tackles in three of ISU’s six games this season. It’s never a good omen to have a safety with a bunch of tackles each week but imagine where the Cyclones would be without him.

[+] EnlargeRoy Finch
AP Photo/Orlin WagnerOklahoma RB Roy Finch made the most of his touches against Kansas on Saturday.
Kansas cornerback JaCorey Shepherd: The junior finds his way onto this list for the second consecutive week as he keeps making plays for the Jayhawks defense. He was solid in coverage and finished with four tackles, one forced fumble and one interception in KU’s 34-19 loss to Oklahoma. Shepherd is one of the foundations of a much improved KU defense.

Oklahoma running back Roy Finch: The senior provided a spark for the Sooners despite limited touches. He averaged 8 yards per touch from the line of scrimmage and added 29 kick return yards. He finished with a team-high 93 all-purpose yards in OU's 34-19 win. Finch is a game-breaking player whom the Sooners need to get more involved in the offense if they hope to improve their 22.5 points per game average in Big 12 action.

Oklahoma State running back Rennie Childs: The true freshman running back provided a terrific spark for the Cowboys running game. He led OSU with nine carries for 45 yards including a 7-yard touchdown to seal the 24-10 win over TCU. He finished with 79 all-purpose yards after coming in the second half to spark the offense. Childs could be the answer for an OSU running game searching for answers during the heart of Big 12 play.

TCU safety Elisha Olabode: The senior did everything he could to prevent the Horned Frogs' fourth loss of the season. Olabode had seven tackles including six solo stops, one forced fumble and one interception in TCU’s 24-10 loss to Oklahoma State. Olabode is one of the main reasons TCU features one of the Big 12’s top secondaries.

Texas Tech receiver Bradley Marquez: It’s unusual to call a guy who had eight receptions for 112 yards unsung, but that’s what happens when you line up beside Jace Amaro, one of the best tight ends in college football. Seven of Marquez's eight catches resulted in a Red Raiders first down in TTU's 37-27 win over WVU. Marquez has been a quiet, yet consistent, threat for the Red Raiders offense throughout the season and took it up another notch with playmaker Jakeem Grant sidelined.

West Virginia running back Dreamius Smith: The Mountaineers’ offense showed signs it could be finding a rhythm, and Smith is part of the reason. The junior finished with 16 carries for 89 yards and two touchdowns in WVU's 37-27 loss to Texas Tech. Fellow running back Charles Sims has been a playmaker for the Mountaineers' offense for the majority of the season so if Smith can emerge as a consistent threat it will provide a solid 1-2 punch and make getting the passing game going a lot easier.

TCU Horned Frogs spring wrap

May, 1, 2013
5/01/13
10:15
AM CT
2012 record: 7-6
2012 Big 12 record: 4-5
Returning starters: Offense: 6; defense: 9; kicker/punter: 2

Top returners: DE Devonte Fields, CB Jason Verrett, WR Brandon Carter, S Sam Carter, S Elisha Olabode, RB Waymon James, K Jaden Oberkrom, RB B.J. Catalon

Key losses: WR Josh Boyce, LB Kenny Cain, DE Stansly Maponga, C James Fry, OG Blaize Foltz, RB Matthew Tucker, WR Skye Dawson

2012 statistical leaders (*returners)

Passing: Trevone Boykin* (2,054 yards)
Rushing: B.J. Catalon* (584 yards)
Receiving: Josh Boyce (891 yards)
Tackles: Kenny Cain (86)
Sacks: Devonte Fields* (10)
Interceptions: Jason Verrett* (6)

Spring answers

1. Offensive line getting straightened out. James Fry and Blaize Foltz were big losses on the interior of the offensive line, and replacing them was a big concern for the Frogs' quiet spring. The spring ended with senior Eric Tausch atop the depth chart at center and sophomore Jamelle Naff winning the right guard job to replace Foltz. Tausch started at left guard last season and moved over, but sophomore Joey Hunt slid up to replace him. Neither Naff nor Hunt have much experience (Hunt earned his lone career start in a loss to Iowa State), but they'll be leaned on this season.

2. New targets acquired. Josh Boyce and Skye Dawson took their talents to the next level, leaving the Frogs in search of a pair of new starters. LaDarius Brown and Brandon Carter were sure things, but strong springs helped fellow juniors Cam White and David Porter win starting jobs at receiver. There aren't many open gigs for a team returning 15 starters, but that's one that will have a big impact.

3. Mallet dropping the hammer. Junior Marcus Mallet emerged late last season and finished with five tackles for loss and a forced fumble among his 18 stops. Now, he looks like the likely candidate to replace departed Kenny Cain and a possible breakout talent on a loaded TCU defense. The 6-foot-1, 216-pounder finished atop the depth chart after a good spring.

Fall questions

1. Is Casey Pachall back to his old self? It's probably safe to operate under the assumption that Pachall will win his job back in fall camp, but beating out Trevone Boykin isn't the same as leading the Big 12 in passing efficiency, like he was last year before his DUI arrest that ended his season. You don't win a Big 12 title with average quarterback play, which brings me to my next question.

2. Can TCU really handle a Big 12 schedule? TCU was competitive last year, sure, and only had one game that it wasn't competitive in. But TCU's not trying to be competitive. It didn't come to the Big 12 to do that. It came to win, and it's proven exactly nothing in that realm just yet. Managing a difficult week-to-week schedule is one thing. Winning just about every week is another. Ask K-State's 2012 team and Oklahoma State's 2011 squad how easy that is.

3. Is the defense for real? On paper, this unit should be absolutely dominant after finishing No. 1 in the Big 12 in total defense and returning nine starters, including Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Devonte Fields at defensive end. That sounds like Texas' defense from last year, who fell off the map and allowed more rushing yards than any team in school history. Sometimes, you just never really know. This is a new season and last year means nothing. Prove it again.

Weak and Strong: TCU Horned Frogs

March, 20, 2013
3/20/13
3:00
PM CT
Turnover is an annual tradition in college football, but with that, teams' strengths and weaknesses constantly shift, too. Today, we'll continue our look at the biggest strengths and weaknesses for each Big 12 team.

Next up: TCU.

Strongest position: Secondary

Allow me to apologize to the Frogs' running backs, who were narrowly edged out by this solid unit that helped TCU navigate a rocky first season in the Big 12 but emerge with the league's No. 1 defense and seven wins. TCU's secondary was the best in the Big 12 last season and returns all five starters in the 4-2-5 scheme under Gary Patterson. Chad Glasgow returned to coach safeties and had three great ones in Sam Carter, Elisha Olabode and Chris Hackett. TCU gave up just 32 passes longer than 20 yards last season, tied with Kansas State and Texas Tech for the fewest in the Big 12. Those three are a big reason why, and though all three are solid players, it was clear that TCU's best overall player in the secondary was a corner.

Jason Verrett was the Big 12's best shutdown corner a season ago, breaking up 16 passes and intercepting six more, both the most in the Big 12. Kevin White, Deante Gray and Keivon Gamble offer solid depth at the position, too. TCU defended (PBUs or interceptions) 86 passes last season, which was 15 more than any team in the Big 12. The secondary is the biggest strength of what should be the Big 12's best defense yet again in 2013, and if the Frogs win a Big 12 title in just their second year in the league, the secondary will be a huge reason why.

Weakest position: Offensive line

Let me preface this by saying TCU doesn't have a glaring weakness next season if Casey Pachall returns and is anything close to his form from 2011 and early 2012. Still, I'm going with a rebuilt offensive line ahead of an average set of defensive tackles for the Frogs. Guard Blaize Foltz and center James Fry exhausted their eligibility (and opposing defensive lines), but the Frogs will have to find replacements for a line that was just OK last year, and had to deal with losing the team's top three running backs for some period of time after the season. Trevone Boykin's youth and sometimes frustrating indecision was a factor, but the Frogs gave up 29 sacks last season, four more than any team in the Big 12. It also averaged just 3.86 yards per carry, the lowest number in the Big 12. Like I mentioned before, injuries had something to do with it, but the offensive line has a lot to prove in 2013.

More Weak and Strong.

TCU keys in Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

December, 29, 2012
12/29/12
12:30
PM CT
Let's take a look at three keys for TCU in today's Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

1. Be patient, young ones. TCU's offense hasn't been real effective after losing Casey Pachall, with a couple exceptions. However, they love to run the ball with B.J. Catalon and Matthew Tucker. Trevone Boykin provides another weapon with his legs at quarterback. The Frogs have had a lot of effectiveness working that scheme and then beating teams over the top. They may have to do that with Michigan State, who should be one of the better rush defenses (rank eighth nationally) TCU sees this year. Finding the right time for that big play and hitting it could be the difference in what should be a low-scoring game.

2. Wrap up, wrap up, wrap up. If you didn't already know, the first five minutes of tonight's game will make it very, very obvious: They simply do not make backs like Le'Veon Bell in the Big 12. The 250-pounder runs hard and leads the nation in yards after contact. He can also hurdle you with little hesitation. You cannot arm tackle this man, no matter how hard you try or how much you believe you can. TCU's got to be disciplined tacklers and swarm to him when he's got the ball, otherwise he's going for 200 and TCU's not winning this game.

3. Keep making big plays defensively. TCU kept itself in the game with a pair of defensive plays in the loss to OU, and the offense is likely going to have a tough night against the Spartans. Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell has multiple interceptions in his last two games after throwing two picks in his previous nine games. TCU, meanwhile, are fourth nationally with 21 interceptions this season. MSU won't chuck it around like Big 12 teams, but the Frogs' Jason Verrett, Sam Carter and Elisha Olabode have combined for 14 picks and could do some more thieving. I can't emphasize it enough: This game very likely will turn on a big play. TCU's defense may be just as likely to make it as the offense.

Big 12 weekend rewind: Week 9

October, 29, 2012
10/29/12
9:32
AM CT
Here's what I saw on a Saturday full of surprises across the Big 12 in Week 9:

Best offensive performance: Steele Jantz, QB, Iowa State. Cry about Baylor's defense all you want, but Jantz had to complete the passes. He had a huge career day, completing 36 of 53 passes for 381 yards and five touchdowns with an interception in ISU's 35-21 win over Baylor. He also ran for 54 yards on 10 carries.

[+] EnlargeSteele Jantz
AP Photo/Charlie NeibergallSteele Jantz threw five touchdown passes in the Cyclones' 35-21 victory over Baylor.
Best defensive performance: Elisha Olabode, S, TCU. The Frogs safety had a huge day with 10 tackles and a forced fumble. His biggest play, though, was an 11-yard interception return for a touchdown that put TCU up 7-0 early.

Best team performance: Kansas State. Another top-15 team, another dominant performance from the Wildcats, who rode a huge second-half surge to a head-turning 55-24 win over Texas Tech. K-State made it look easy in the second half.

Best game: Texas 21, Kansas 17. This one was unwatchable for the first three-and-a-half quarters, but you've got to love some late drama. No other Big 12 game this week had it. KU kicked a go-ahead field goal with 2:28 to play, but Case McCoy entered in relief and rallied the Longhorns to a dramatic comeback, highlighted by a fourth-down conversion to Jaxon Shipley. More on that later.

Best quote: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma. "I hate this. I hate this feeling." Sometimes, a few words says all you need to know. Simple, but poignant from the Sooners' star after a frustrating 30-13 loss to Notre Dame at home.

Worst play: Kansas State's latest red zone disaster. Facing a third-and-goal and the game tied at 10, Kansas State handed the ball off to Angelo Pease, who stopped short of the line of scrimmage and attempted a jump pass. The only problem? He was hit as he threw it, and it was some sort of weird two-handed, overhead toss that fell incomplete. Ugly stuff, and this is the second time this year K-State has earned this nod for a play in the red zone. Earlier this year, Collin Klein attempted a behind-the-back jump pass for a huge loss. At least K-State made the field goal this time. It missed it after the disaster against Miami.

Dirtiest play: Cyril Richardson, OL, Baylor. There are plenty of ways to get a player off you. Kicking them in the groin should be nowhere on that list. Richardson kicked upward and connected with the groin of Iowa State's Brandon Jensen, earning himself an ejection and helping prevent the Bears from scoring on the early fourth-quarter drive.

Best play: Case McCoy x 2. The first ignited a game-winning drive that hardly even started. McCoy found Shipley over the middle for an 18-yard gain to keep the Horns alive. Later in the drive, he found Mike Davis over the top for a 39-yard gain to set up Joe Bergeron's game-winning touchdown in the Horns' 21-17 win over Kansas.

Best special-teams performance: Quinn Sharp, P/K, Oklahoma State. Sharp made five field goals and pinned TCU inside its 20-yard line on two of his five punts. Nice day.

Worst team performance: Texas. Even with the win, I can't let the Horns off the hook here. Kansas has lost 17 consecutive Big 12 games now, but outplayed the Horns and held them to just seven points over the first 3 1/2 quarters on Saturday. Texas had 60 more penalty yards and needed a dramatic rally, despite winning the turnover battle 3-1. It also made an inexplicable switch to McCoy after David Ash struggled early. Once McCoy was in the game, Texas ran seven consecutive running plays on a touchdown drive, and now may have a quarterback controversy on its hands. That said, it should just play Ash.

With win over TCU, OSU controls Big 12 fate

October, 27, 2012
10/27/12
6:45
PM CT
TCU won the first quarter, Oklahoma State won the game.

As a result, the Cowboys control their own destiny in the Big 12 title race.

OSU defeated TCU, 36-14, at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday, scoring 36 unanswered points after facing a two-touchdown deficit in the first quarter. At 3-1 in Big 12 play, OSU joins in-state rival Oklahoma as the lone Big 12 squads with one loss and fingers crossed hoping for a Kansas State loss. The Cowboys will play both teams in their final five games and would take the Big title if they win out.

OSU’s win sets up a key Big 12 matchup between the Cowboys and Wildcats in Manhattan, Kan., next Saturday. Unlike the Sooners, OSU doesn’t have to hope for a K-State loss -- it can knock the Cats from the ranks of the unbeaten in their head-to-head matchup. OSU also travels to Norman, Okla., for Bedlam on Nov. 24. Thus, Saturday's victory combines with Texas Tech's 55-24 loss to KSU to put OSU in position to control its fate.

Cowboys quarterback Wes Lunt was shaky early in his return from injury, throwing a interception for a touchdown to TCU safety Elisha Olabode on OSU’s second possession. Lunt, a true freshman, played in his first game since injuring his knee against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 15.

When Lunt finally found his groove in the second half, the Cowboys began to pull away. Lunt seemed to regain confidence after sitting out for over a month -- an encouraging development for coach Mike Gundy's team.

In the first half, OSU had three red zone opportunities and settled for three field goals as Lunt searched for his rhythm. In the second half, the Cowboys scored on five of their six possessions, including three touchdowns before running the clock out on their final drive.

The OSU defense was stellar in the victory, allowing one touchdown to a TCU squad that had scored 53 points in a triple-overtime loss to Texas Tech last weekend. The Cowboys allowed 344 total yards -- 4.8 yards per play -- and were particularly stout on third down, allowing the Horned Frogs to convert just 2 of 14. The Cowboys will need to continue to play defense at that level if they hope to win their second consecutive Big 12 championship.

The loss dropped TCU below .500 in the Big 12 (2-3) with West Virginia, Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma remaining on its schedule.

Yikes.

To make matters worse for the Horned Frogs, quarterback Trevone Boykin went down with 1:26 left in the game with an left knee injury and was replaced by Matt Brown on their final drive. So TCU could be looking at the roughest stretch of its conference schedule with its third different starting quarterback.

Welcome to the Big 12.

TCU, Texas Tech roll to easy wins

September, 8, 2012
9/08/12
10:17
PM CT
TCU 56, Grambling State 0: TCU wasn’t just looking to win, the Horned Frogs were looking to dominate.

And they didn’t waste time in their easy victory, scoring touchdowns on their first six possessions. TCU scored on a 70-yard punt return by Deante' Gray, a 1-yard run by Waymon James and an 28-yard interception return by Elisha Olabode to take a 21-0 lead just minutes into the game.

Those three touchdowns by three different phases (offense, defense, special teams) served as a signal that the Horned Frogs were ready for their first game as a member of the Big 12 and wanted to send a message to the rest of the conference by dominating an inferior opponent in every phase of football.

Quarterback Casey Pachall and receiver Josh Boyce showed signs of being a quarterback-receiver duo to be reckoned with as TCU put the game away by halftime. Pachall finished 9 of 9 pass attempts for 201 yards and three touchdowns while Boyce had four receptions for 102 yards and two scores. Boyce’s 66-yard touchdown catch was the highlight of the night as he waved through a couple of Grambling State defenders before outracing the rest to the end zone.

Meanwhile, the Tigers gained 70 total yards as TCU's defense overwhelmed their offensive attack.

Message sent.

Texas Tech 58, Texas State 10: Saturday's game had danger written all over it for the Red Raiders, who must not have been paying attention to all those red flags.

An amped crowd awaiting Texas State's first-ever game as an FBS member? A team coming off a shocking, 17-point win a week earlier as a 36-point underdog?

All Texas Tech saw was a four-touchdown lead less than a minute into the second quarter. It never got any closer. Texas Tech rolled in front of a packed crowd in San Marcos, Texas.

Darrin Moore's first two catches of the season went for touchdowns and Seth Doege threw five on the night before taking a seat in the third quarter. He completed 25 of 32 passes for 319 yards in the blowout.

Another solid performance for the Texas Tech defense, too, which held Northwestern State to less than 100 yards of offense last week. Texas State was forced to bench quarterback Shaun Rutherford early, and gained a little momentum with Tyler Arndt, but this one was all Red Raiders.

Texas Tech has to feel confident after leaving no doubt in this game, and hosts New Mexico next week. The Lobos won just one game a year ago.

Opening camp: TCU Horned Frogs

August, 9, 2012
8/09/12
3:15
PM CT
Camp is open up over in Fort Worth. Before we get too deep in sweltering hot practices, I'll offer up a quick preview of what you need to know heading into the season.

See more fall camp previews.

Next up: TCU.

Media's predicted finish: Fourth (received one first-place vote).

Biggest story line: TCU always wanted to be in the Big 12, and now, the Horned Frogs legitimately won their way into rejoining their former Southwest Conference rivals in Texas. But after a steady diet of schedules with only a few featured opponents, can TCU handle a tougher week-to-week schedule in the Big 12? Depth could be an issue, but so could preparing for a brutal line of great opponents in the Big 12.

Biggest question mark: Linebacker. Depth questions were going to come all season long, but the Horned Frogs are now razor thin in the middle of the defense. Tanner Brock was kicked off the team before spring after being arrested in a campus drug sting, and promising linebacker Deryck Gildon is off the team because of academic issues. Kenny Cain is back in the middle of TCU's 4-2-5 defense, but look for Joel Hasley to grab the other spot. It was a disappointing offseason for the Frogs.

Who needs to step up: The safeties. Sam Carter, Elisha Olabode and Jonathan Anderson will likely start the season as the three safeties, but this unit struggled last season in spots. Safeties coach Chad Glasgow is back in Fort Worth after a disastrous season coordinating the defense for Texas Tech, but we'll see if he's able to step right back into his old gig.

Possible distractions: None were bigger than the recent news that quarterback Casey Pachall failed a Feb. 1 drug test and admitted to police he had used cocaine and ecstasy. Gary Patterson earned some criticism for not coming down harder on Pachall considering the recent drug issues on TCU's team, but he did what was required of him in the school's student handbook. Pachall apologized and pledged he'd do better. We'll find out if that's the case.

Don't forget about: DE Stansly Maponga. Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor get all the accolades down in Austin, but don't be too surprised if Maponga blows up in his first year in the Big 12 and outshines either one of them or both. He's got plenty of experience and made nine sacks while also forcing five fumbles. That earned him first-team All-Mountain West honors, but he's a preseason All-Big 12 honoree, too. Expect him to validate it.

Breaking out: WR LaDarius Brown. You know about the trio of Josh Boyce, Brandon Carter and Skye Dawson. They're outstanding. Brown might end up being better than all of them. Maybe not this year, but expect the freshman to show flashes. He's 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and coming off a redshirt year. Beware.
Time to continue our series breaking down each team's best and worst positions entering the 2012 season. TCU is up next.

More spring superlatives:
Strongest position: Running back

Simply put, this position is pretty absurd for TCU. The Horned Frogs have by far the deepest set of running backs in the league. Ed Wesley, Waymon James and Matthew Tucker all topped 700 yards rushing but each got at least 120 carries and not more than 123. That's crazy balance.

The Horned Frogs may not have a gamebreaker in the unit, and they put those numbers up in the Mountain West, but it's still impressive. Casey Pachall spearheads a great passing attack, but the Horned Frogs are more than capable of getting physical on the ground. Balance has been a benchmark of Gary Patterson's program, and it'll be especially true this year. Nobody in the Big 12 can boast anything close to three 700-yard rushers coming back, and TCU will use them all liberally.

Weakest position: Safety

TCU's safeties outpace the linebackers here, but after Tanner Brock got mixed up in the campus drug sting, there's a big question mark at both positions. Tank Carder was a stalwart at the position for the past three seasons, including the Rose Bowl win in 2010, but he's gone now. Brock missed 2011 with an injury, but the former All-American was expected back. He almost certainly will not return.

Safeties Tekerrein Cuba and Johnny Fobbs are both gone, and the position was already a trouble spot last year. You saw plenty of it in the loss to Baylor that opened the season. Devin Johnson, a likely starter this season, was also arrested in the drug sting and barring a stunning turn of events, won't be with the team this year. Now, it's up to sophomores Sam Carter, Jonathan Anderson and juniors Elisha Olabode and Trent Thomas to fill the void.

The good news? Coach Chad Glasgow is back to coach them after a year coordinating the defense at Texas Tech. The Horned Frogs were the nation's leader in total defense in 2008, 2009 and 2010 with Glasgow. That'll change in their new home in the Big 12, but hopes are still high.

Offseason spotlight: TCU Horned Frogs

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
3:19
PM CT
As we welcome nearby TCU to the league, the offseason spotlight Thursday shines on the Horned Frogs:

Spotlight: A rotating group of safeties that need a big offseason.

2011 summary: Tekerrein Cuba and Johnny Fobbs combined for 135 tackles and were two of the team's top four tacklers. Cuba broke up three passes and forced two fumbles and Fobbs intercepted one pass with six breakups and forced three fumbles. Both are gone and must be replaced.

The skinny: I'm guessing most of you saw TCU just once last season, and it wasn't a great impression. The first night of the season was an ugly one for TCU full of deep balls and a painful loss, courtesy of future Heisman winner Robert Griffin III. Some of those five touchdowns came in single coverage, but the safeties at TCU left a lot to be desired, especially after losing Tejay Johnson after the 2010 season, a Thorpe Award finalist.

This year, Jonathan Anderson and Elisha Olabode slide into the new safety spots. Offenses like Baylor's are pretty common in the Big 12. Not so much in the Mountain West. That duo has to step into new roles and be effective for the Horned Frogs to succeed in their new league.

Anderson is a promising sophomore who made 17 tackles in a win over BYU at Cowboys Stadium this past season, including 11 solo tackles. Olabode didn't quite have that kind of impact, but both players' development this spring and in fall camp will be enormous.

For so much focus on the offense in this league, you can't forget about the defense, which last year was below what's been expected at TCU.

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