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Powderpuff Scouting Notebook: Week 2

(09/19/12 7:00pm)

Jones vs. Will Rice (19-0) - Jones' running game looked impressive and absolutely lit up Will Rice. They were able to score three touchdowns. The defense also looked strong, holding Will Rice's offense in check throughout the game. Will Rice went 2-5 last year, scoring just 31 points during the season, and looks to be in trouble this season after their struggles last week. Jones seems much improved after an 0-7 record last season. Jones' freshman class looks strong offensively, and the 19 points from Week 1 were more than they scored in any game last season.  Sid Richardson vs. Brown (20-12) - Brown held Sid to 13-12 for most of the game.  Sid was able to put together long drives for most of the game, while Brown scored on two big plays. Maybe Brown is just extremely explosive, but it's more likely that they should have lost by more than eight points. Sid's defense looked out of sorts in the first half and allowed 12 points but tightened up for a scoreless second half. Sid will be tested this week against a Baker team that has come out firing on all cylinders.  Wiess  vs. Martel (20-0) - Wiess again looked markedly improved from last season, showing a vastly more potent offense. Despite a respectable defense last season, Wiess still had a -86 point differential, mostly due to an offense that struggled to get on the board most games. All of that seems to have changed this season, with the defense looking as strong as ever and the offense appearing to have found much-needed help in the freshman class. It should be noted, however, that Martel was missing its starting quarterback. After coming into the game as 9.5-point underdogs, Wiess has put the rest of the league on notice that they're going to be much more of a threat this year. The South continues to look absolutely loaded, with Baker, Sid, Lovett, Wiess and Hanszen all projecting to be at least respectable.  Lovett vs. McMurtry (7-6)  - This game was paused after three quarters on Sunday night to be completed Monday. Lovett got ahead early but was unable to extend the lead, with McMurtry scoring in the third quarter but unable to convert the extra point. Lovett's defense made critical stops throughout the game but seems to have lost some of its explosiveness offensively. Teams also should not discount McMurtry this year, as the team looks significantly better through two weeks after its sub-par performance last season. With a spread of 13.5 points, this game was much closer than anticipated. Either Lovett is not as good as expected or McMurtry is much better than originally thought. My guess is that the truth lies somewhere in between.  Baker  vs. Duncan (7-0 at halftime) -  The two will continue the game this week, though it has yet to have been rescheduled. Through the first two quarters, Baker's run game still looks as solid as ever. Baker also has an interesting match coming up this week against Sid. 





Houston Hideaways: Julia's is chic and caliente

(09/13/12 7:00pm)

Julia's Bistro serves high-end Latin American cuisine with a focus on quality food and service. The restaurant's sophisticated atmosphere and location off the METRORail's McGowen stop make it an easily accessible place to splurge on an evening of fine dining. Julia's is one of those places that we always pass and think, "Oh, that looks good, we have to try it sometime." We finally made the short trip to Midtown to try out this restaurant on the corner of Main and West Alabama streets.Behind the chic black-and-white exterior is a Latin American restaurant that touts quality, high-end cuisine. The tablecloths and glassware differentiate Julia's from its Breakfast Klub and Tacos a Gogo neighbors. With a business casual dress code, it is no surprise the meals range from $15 to $30, but the food is well worth the price. The wait staff was very friendly, although the food did take a while to reach our table. The first dish we ordered was the pollo poblano, Julia's version of a chicken roulade, a bacon-wrapped chicken stuffed with portabella mushrooms and panela cheese and topped with a poblano pepper sauce. We choose chipotle mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans for our side dishes. We ordered the pollo poblano on the assumption that trendy restaurants often innovate on simple ingredients to create sophisticated yet unpalatable dishes. However, the plate dispelled any fears of leaving the restaurant still hungry. The light flavors of the chicken and cheese complemented the robust flavor of the portabella mushrooms. All of this was wrapped tightly in crispy bacon strips which went well with the creamy and tangy poblano pepper sauce.The mashed potatoes were creamy and had a bite of spice, thanks to the little bits of pepper dispersed throughout. The potatoes struck a perfect balance between too rich and not rich enough and provided a smooth texture opposite the crunch of the bacon. The grilled green beans introduced a smoky flavored element to the dish which paired perfectly with the rich potatoes. The sides of green beans and mashed potatoes were on par with the main dish. The second dish was the filet de cerdo: churassco cut pork tenderloin topped with red chimichurri sauce, which we substituted for the pineapple-chile pequin chutney. The warm, spiced chutney with chunks of pineapple added a touch of sweet to the bland pork. We were impressed with the portion of pork we were served and how accommodating the cook was in altering the dish. Dinner at Julia's was definitely a success and the food was worth donning a dress and spending a little extra cash.Houston Hideaways is a column written by Sasha Schoch and Allie Schaich that explores Houston restaurants beyond the usual Rice student haunts.












Nick Williams sets Rice hammer throw record

(04/19/12 7:00pm)

Amidst the 30-to-40 mile-per-hour winds in the high desert of El Paso, an unlikely hero arose for the men's track team at The University of Texas-El Paso Invitational. While his track career is far from set in stone, thrower sophomore Nick Williams has had a lot to live up to so far during his tenure as an Owl, as most expect him to be the star thrower that senior Alex Zinchenko has largely been during his near-finished career with Rice. While he has shown promise at times, Williams created his best memory as an Owl on Saturday as he stepped into the throwing ring for the hammer throw. Williams has scored well in the event, but not highly enough to be considered to be a threat for the Conference USA crown. However, all that changed with his throw of 49.63 meters, which now stands as the all-time record for the event in men's track history, beating Clay Baker's (Brown '10) throw of 48.54 meters three years ago. Williams' throw was good enough for sixth place overall, and the sophomore now has the confidence to believe that he can challenge for the podium at the C-USA Championship in two weeks in New Orleans. Head Coach Jon Warren (Jones '88) commented on Williams' seminal performance.