Powderpuff Scouting Notebook: Week 3
Brown vs. Duncan (12-7) -
The two teams traded scores, but Brown moved the ball more explosively. Duncan put together several consistent, prolonged drives but was unable to finish on all except one. Duncan's receiving corps played well, sustaining the offense and making plays. Duncan was driving late in the fourth quarter but was unable to score, as Brown's defense seemed to take a bend-notbreak approach. Brown is 1-2 with the thirdworst point differential in the league, so while we do not have enough data to make conclusive decisions about Duncan (the team has only played one game), the loss does not inspire confidence. Duncan was favored to win this game by the Thresher but did not justify that projection with its play.
Baker vs. Sid Richardson (6-0, quadruple overtime) -
This game was a defensive clinic. Both of these teams have looked sharp and dangerous in the past weeks, and Baker continued to impress by grinding out a victory. Baker also showed some versatility, as the team had previously won with a dominant rushing attack but this time relied on a shutdown defense to beat Sid. These two teams have looked strong early, and Baker might be the championship favorite at the moment. The team is hard-nosed and powerful and has been rolling all year. Baker was favored by 5.5 entering the game, so the game was just as close as expected, albeit with less scoring overall. Sid has a huge game against the Graduate Student Association next week that could provide a lot of information about where both teams stand.
Wiess vs. Will Rice (26-0) -
Wiess has been the best team this season. It is just another reminder that football leagues reorder themselves each year. Any team can move from one end of the spectrum to the other with the right additions. While Wiess is only 2-1, the team has a +34 point differential, easily leading the league. However, Will Rice has also been by far the worst team this year, having been outscored by 45 total points in two games, so it's hard to determine what fraction of this outcome was Wiess excelling and what was Will Rice struggling. It's pretty clear that this Wiess team is not the one from last year, though. The defense is dominant, and the offense is rolling. Wiess belongs with Baker as the two most impressive teams in the league so far. Wiess has been destroying the spread this season and did so again this week after coming into this game favored by just 6.5 points but winning by 26.
Lovett vs. Hanszen (12-7)
Hanszen scored on its first drive on a long catchand-run by junior Priyanka Duvvuru to go up 7-0. After a dominant performance in Hanszen's first-round playoff loss last year, she appears primed to retain her title as the best player in powderpuff. The Lovett defense looks as good as ever. The most controversial call of the game was Hanszen going for it on fourth down late in the second half while backed up in its own territory and failing to convert. Aggressive play calling is usually for the better, but Hanszen had not shown an ability to gain yards consistently and the decision was a poor one. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. This was actually the first time Lovett trailed in a game since 2010 in the championship game against the GSA. This is a team that has been consistently good for multiple years amd should not be slept on. Do not be surprised if it emerges on top again after this year. The South remains loaded, with Wiess, Baker, Sid Richardson and Lovett looking like legit contenders. Hanszen always seems to be on the verge of breaking out but has yet to do so.
WHAT IS A LINE?
The spread, or "line," of a game refers to the expected point differential between the two competing teams. In any matchup the favorite is the team giving, or "laying," points, signified by a negative number indicating the margin by which they are projected to win. Picking a favorite means betting that their total points, less the spread, will be more than the points scored by the underdog. The same applies for the underdog, only with points added instead of subtracted.
Week 3 Powderpuff lines
McMurtry (-12.5) vs. Will Rice
Baker (-13.5) vs. Brown GSA (-6.5) vs. Sid Rich
Hanszen (-5.5) vs. Martel Wiess (-5.5) vs. Jones
Lovett (-11.5) vs. Duncan
More from The Rice Thresher
On Thursday, sophomore distance runner Grace Forbes proved to the rest of the country what her Conference USA opponents and Rice teammates have known for years – she’s one of the fastest runners in the country. Competing at the NCAA championships in Eugene, Ore. for the second consecutive year, Forbes, took second place in the 10,000-meter, the best finish by an Owl at the NCAAs in over a decade. According to Forbes, who missed the indoor season and the first month of the outdoor season due to extreme fatigue later diagnosed as an autoimmune disorder, the result was a testament to the work she’s put in to overcome an incredibly challenging year.
Five Owls will be heading to next week’s NCAA outdoor track and field championships, after qualifying at the NCAA West Preliminaries which ran May 25 through 28. Headlining the meet for Rice was sophomore distance-runner Grace Forbes, who took first place in the 10,000 meters for the second consecutive year. Forbes will be joined in Eugene, Ore., by sophomore thrower Tara Simpson-Sullivan, junior thrower Erna Gunnarsdottir, senior thrower James McNaney and sophomore vaulter Alex Slinkman. Jon Warren, head coach of the men’s track and field program, said that he was impressed not only by the five qualifiers, but by all 13 Owls who participated over the course of the week in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Conference USA outdoor track and field championships saw Rice’s men’s team place third with 121 points — their best conference championship performance since 2005 — and the women’s team place fifth with 88 points. According to men’s head coach Jon Warren, he was proud to see the work his team put in all season be on full display at the meet.