Powderpuff Scouting Notebook: Week 3
McMurtry vs. Will Rice (12-0)
McMurtry had a couple of solid scoring drives, which was enough to put this game away. Will Rice continues to struggle, but did look improved on both sides of the ball. After being outscored in their first two games by an average margin of 22.5 points, Will Rice showed progress in this game. Plus, as Wiess has shown this season, teams can make significant year-to-year leaps, and it will be interesting to see how Will Rice develops over the second half of the year. McMurtry continues to look above-average after struggling last season, another testament to how quickly teams improve. McMurtry is both winning the North Division and second in it in point differential, having outscored their opponents by 18 points so far this season. McMurtry was favored by 14.5 by the Thresher entering the game, and while the final difference was around the projected margin, the game seemed much closer in actuality.
Sid Richardson vs. GSA (13-8)
Sid looked utterly dominant in the first half, putting together two long and extremely impressive scoring drives. GSA was able to make adjustments at halftime and prevent Sid from scoring in the second half. However, GSA's only score came on a freakish tipped pass. Sid looked ready to put the game away and was challenging in the red zone before throwing an interception. GSA was able to return the pick into Sid territory, but the Sid defense stepped up, as it had all day, and prevented the score. If Sid can play this well consistently going forward, especially offensively, they very well could be title favorites. GSA was actually favored by the Thresher in this game, and while Sid looked extremely impressive, the point differential (+1) still raises questions as to whether it is as good as its record would indicate. Sid against Wiess is the early pick for Game of the Week.
Hanszen vs. Martel (20-6)
Hanszen looked undeniably impressive in this outing. Martel has not been great this season, but Hanszen made plays on both sides of the ball and looked much sharper than last week against Lovett. Martel looked good utilizing screens and a power running game in the short-to-intermediate field, but was unable to convert when it got into obvious passing situations. Hanszen compiled two extremely impressive drives, looking methodical on its first touchdown and then executing a 75-yard two-minute drill capped by a touchdown pass to junior Priyanka Duvvuru, who continues to look like an unstoppable force. Last week we said in this space that Hanszen was clearly a step below the elite of Baker, Lovett, Sid and Wiess, but that may need to be revised. The South is now 6-2 against the North this season and is clearly the superior division. It looks like a very deserving team is going to be left out of the playoffs due to this disparity. Hanszen came in favored by 5.5 by the Thresher, so it outperformed expectations by quite a bit.
Lovett vs. Duncan (12-6)
This was just business as usual for Lovett, as it stayed undefeated behind its stifling defense and productive-enough offense. The two teams entered halftime tied at six, and the turning point of the game came on a pick-six by Lovett. This Lovett defense is quick and makes plays, and is going to be difficult to contend with for any team. Lovett came into the game favored by 5.5 points by the Thresher, so the line was just about right in this one. Not much more can be said about this Lovett team. It has won 10 straight games dating back to last season by an average of 10.5 points per game, and has been the best team in Powderpuff for an impressively long stretch of games. The team is well-coached and smart, and it shows in its results.
More from The Rice Thresher
In a year full of achievements, the Rice women’s basketball team finally accomplished the most important one of all. The Owls won the Conference USA Championship Saturday night, defeating Middle Tennessee State University 69-54 to earn the program’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2005.
Rice will have a chance to clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday after a 64-57 comeback win over Western Kentucky University in the Conference USA Tournament semifinal on Friday night.
Rice women’s basketball led wire-to-wire in a 61-43 victory over the University of North Texas in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA basketball tournament. The Owls will take on Western Kentucky University in the semifinals Friday evening.