In my Day 2 Round Up, I had predicted Thursday to be Separation Thursday, and it seems my prognostication skills have lived up to the hype. Out of the three games played yesterday, two were upsets, and our only favorite to win was Duke, who was a 3.84% favorite. For those who were fortunate to chose the upsets, well done! You have gained a huge advantage on the competition. The games today don’t project to be particularly close, but that just means if you pick the correct upsets, you could pick up even more ground on our leaders.
In Thursday’s first game, Duke demolished Temple in the Walk-On Independence Bowl. The game looked to be close in the first half, with Temple going in to the locker room with a 27-21 lead. Duke Coach David Cutcliffe must have delivered a Kronk-level half-time speech, though, because his Blue Devils proceeded to win the second half 35-0, making the final score 56-27. Duke QB Daniel Jones was the MVP of the game, throwing for 423 yards and totaling 6 touchdowns. With Oregon QB Justin Herbert deciding to stay at the college level next season, Jones may now be in the running for the first QB taken in the NFL Draft in April.
The New Era Pinstripe Bowl was a blowout as well, as Wisconsin beat Miami in a bowl for the second straight year. Last year both teams met in the Orange Bowl, and they both entered 2018 as Top 10 teams. Neither lived up to the hype, however, leading ESPN to dub this bowl the “Disappointment Bowl”. Jonathan Taylor was the bright spot for Wisconsin all season long, and he did not disappoint in this one, running for 208 yards and a touchdown, helping the Badgers to a 35-3 win. Taylor will enter next year as a Heisman favorite. If Taylor keeps his pace from his first two seasons, he will end up with 5,949 rushing yards after next year, placing him 6th on the career rushing yards list, just 456 behind the leader, Donnel Pumphrey, who recently graduated from San Diego State.
The prestigious Academy Sports and Outdoors Texas Bowl pitted a pair of 6-6 teams. Baylor and Vanderbilt provided the best game of the night, with a back and forth battle that included 8 lead changes. The difference ended up being Bears QB Charlie Brewer, who threw for 384 yards, ran for another 109, and had 3 total touchdowns. The 45-38 win should lift the Bears’ (and Rambo’s) spirits after a 1-11 season just a year ago.
Here at the Strong Rock Office, some of us have made up some ground, while others… well, lets just say some of us are still looking for some morale victories.
1st- Sprinkles, Trip, Stride (15-6)
4th- Rambo (13-8)
5th- Scoot (11-10)
6th- Leo (9-12)
The Strong Rock staff are still woefully behind our competitors. Though we only list the top three, several of you sit at 14-7 and 13-8, putting you in good position to climb up the ladder.
1st- Janelle Sanchez (18-3)
2nd- Bubbles (16-5)
3rd- Zachary Godfrey, Brande Grantham, Doug Markott, Caroline Moseley, George Pelekis, Cricket (15-6)
Janelle is continuing to pummel all competitors. She has Purdue, West Virginia, and Iowa State on Friday, so if you are behind and picked against her, you still have a chance!
1. The Strong Rock Family has a 15-6 record, meaning that the majority of people who participated in our Bowl Bonanza picked the correct team 15 out of the first 21 games.
2. The Strong Rock Office has a less than stellar 12-8-1 record. Guess we’re just not as good at picking winners as our friends and family!
3. Four people picked all three winners on Thursday. Congrats to Becky Beasley, Lauren Magnon, William Lupo, and Cricket for a fantastic Thursday!
4. As stated above, our leader, Janelle Sanchez, picked every upset for Friday. There are 12 people who picked every favorite, so we could have a big shake-up at the top if things go as planned.
“I wouldn’t mind if a sink hole opened up in Durham and swallowed Duke whole.” – Dill
I know your Kentucky nature won’t let you pull for Duke, Dill. I feel the same about Texas (Boomer Sooner). Hopefully Dill’s Cats will give him a win so that Duke fans won’t be able to say they have the best team in two sports.