Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rutgers 41, Maryland 38

I spent the afternoon watching football and rooting for my Rutgers Scarlet Knights against Maryland. Have to admit they really ticked me off early in the game. They fell behind 35-10 in the second quarter and it didn't look like the defense could stop a Pop Warner team--if the Pop Warner team did nothing but run the ball.

But with a few minutes left in the first half something strange happened. Rutgers scored a TD to make it 35-17. They got the ball to start the second half and after a 71-yard kickoff return, scored another TD to make it 35-24. Then another to make it 35-31. Maryland got a 50-yard field goal to make it 38-31. Then, early in the fourth quarter, RU got yet another TD to tie it 38 all and followed that up with a field goal with 6:14 left in the game to go ahead 41-38.

Meanwhile the defense had decided to show up. They had bent but never broke in the second half but the best was yet to come. After RU had gone ahead, they stopped the Terrapins an d forced a long field goal attempt which was ever so close but inches to the outside of the left goal post. It was the kicker's first miss of the season but that miss would affect decisions later on as well.

RU took over but on the second play form scrimmage there was a fumble and and Maryland recovered. The RU defense was back on the field and Maryland was again RU territory. But the New and Improved defense stopped the Terrapin attack three times and it was fourth and a yard. Rather than try to tie the game on a long field goal, Maryland went for it--and RU held.

RU ran the ball three times without getting a first down. On fourth and something, with six seconds left, they had wide receiver Leonte Carroo take shotgun snap and run around a bit before stepping out of the endzone for a safety as time ran out. Several yellow hankies littered the field and replay showed three or four offensive lineman literally tackling the Maryland rushers as Carroo ran around. Ten yard penalty on Rutgers. One more untimed play to be run by Rutgers. Two points come off the board. Gary Nova took the snap and knelt down for the win.

The 25-point comeback is the biggest in RU history; the second greatest in all of FBS football this season--so far; and the biggest in the Big Ten since 2009. Nova finished the day with 347 passing yards after going 28 of 42 with no INTs and four TDs. Three RU receivers had more than 100 yards: Janarion Grant 8 catches for 105 yards, Andre Patton 8 catches for 101 yards and two TDs, Leonte Carroo 6 catches for 104 yards and two TDs.

The win was Rutgers' seventh of the season and their third Big Ten victory. Maryland finished the year in third place in the Big Ten East with a 4-4 in Conference record and 7-5 over all. Rutgers ended up right behind them in fourth place with a 3-5 Conference record and also 7-5 over all. (If not for the second half collapse against Penn State, a 13-10 loss....)


Terry and I enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving weekend with our nephew Brian and his wife, Vicky. They flew in from Milwaukee on Thursday morning as I was clearing the driveway of the 6-8 inches of snow we got Wednesday night. (They also brought their dog, Sadie--part chihuahua and part rat terrier, all energy--much to the consternation of our four cats!)

In the past, they would either go into NJ and pick up Grandma or Terry would go get her and we'd all meet here at the Aerie for Thanksgiving dinner. Not long after the pies were served, Grandma would have her coat on and be heading out the door dragging Brian and Vicky off to Atlantic City so they could hit the casinos on Friday. This year, with Mom gone, we had them to ourselves for three days.

Thursday was, of course, dominated by The Feast. Roast turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed butternut squash topped with cranberries and walnuts, some asparagus and kernel corn rounded out the main meal. That was followed by pecan pie, pumpkin pie and apple pie. Oh, and there was wine.

Later we had hours of conversation and more wine as we relaxed in the living room. Dinner was left over turkey sandwiches, pie and, yeah, more wine.

Friday we piled into the Jeep Compass and went off to Corning to visit the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. Brian and Vicky had never been to either and really enjoyed it. The Glass museum had a wonderful demonstration of glass blowing and several new displays s well as the history portion. And, in the spirit of Black Friday, the gift shop was having a huge sale. The kids picked up some gifts for Christmas and Terry and I ordered a Frank Loyd Wright/Craftsman style floor 75% off ($300 instead of $1200).

The Rockwell has undergone quite a few updates since the last time we were there. They redid the Lodge and renamed it the Remington and Russell Lodge. There were works by both artists. One side room was converted to a display of Mr. Rockwell's antique firearms, some of which predated the Revolutionary War. The special show at this time was of works by Charles M. Russell. Unlike the works on display in the Lodge,the works in the special display were of wildlife and wilderness.

Between museums we had lunch at Anna's just down the block. Great pastrami sandwiches!

After the museums we headed home to let Sadie (the dog) out and relax with a glass Our evening meal was left over turkey, stuffing, and what ever else we had remaining...and pie.

More conversation after dinner with wine and bourbon and cheese.

Today the cats woke Terry and I at 4 AM and the six of us (four cats, remember) enjoyed some dog free hours before Brian, Vicky and Sadie got up and joined us. When they did, two cats disappeared into the basement to avoid that vile creature--Dog. We had some conversation over coffee and then had an early lunch before Brian and Vicky (and Sadie) headed out to catch their flight back home.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

College Football: Preweek 14 Polls
and Week 14 Opponents

With no big upsets last week, we have little movement in the polls. A few teams move up a few slots and a few moved down based upon the way they played last week.
We’re also down to the final (almost) week of the season and this week will have some interesting knock-down, drag-‘em-out rivalry games that could change everything.

Ranks on the left are those of the Selection Committee/AP/Coaches Top 25/CBSSPORTS.COM 128 Polls as reported by NR = Not Ranked.

1/2/2/2 Alabama (10-1) The Tide host the #15 Auburn Tigers (8-3). I don’t think anyone on Auburn will run a missed field goal back for a TD this time. Still, this will be a very close game that may be decided BY a field goal. Alabama edges the Tigers.

2/3/3/3 Oregon (10-1) The Ducks are on the road to play the Oregon State Beavers (5-6). The Ducks just keep on winning.

3/1/2/2 Florida State (11-0) The Seminoles host the Florida Gators (6-4). The Seminoles have been playing with fire. If they do it again this week, it may cost them. Florida will be playing with a lot of emotion as it's the last game for their fired coach.

4/4/4/4 Mississippi State (10-1) The Bulldogs hit the road to play #19 Ole Miss Rebels (8-3). The Rebels have been slipping and Bulldogs won’t let up.

5/6/5/5 TCU (9-1) The Horned Frogs play on the road against the Texas Longhorns (6-5) in a game to be played Thursday night. TCU will prevail in a big way.

6/7/7/7 Ohio State (10-1) The Buckeyes host the  ichigan Wolverines (5-6). Tough year for the Wolverines. It won’t get better in this game.

7/5/6/6 Baylor (9-1) The Bears will be on the road against the Red Raiders of Texas Tech (4-7). How high will Baylor push the score is the only question in this game.

8/9/10/10 UCLA (9-2) The Bruins will host the Stanford Cardinal (6-5) on Friday afternoon. The Bruins win easily.

9/8/9/8 Georgia (9-2) The Bulldogs host the #16 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-2). The Bulldogs win a close one.

10/10/8/9 Michigan State (9-2) The Spartans will be on the road to State College, PA to face the Penn State Nittany Lions (6-5). Spartans win.

11/12/12/14 Arizona (9-2) The Wildcats host the #13 Arizona State Sun Devils (9-2) on Friday afternoon. This one could be decided by less than a field goal.

12/11/11/12 Kansas State (8-2) The Wildcats host the Kansas Jayhawks (3-8). The Wildcats win going away.

13/13/13/13 Arizona State (9-2) The Sun Devils are on the road to play the #11 Arizona Wildcats (9-2). Close one. Pick-‘em.

14/14/14/11 Wisconsin (9-2) The Badgers will host the #18 Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-3). Badgers win but Minnesota doesn’t go down without a fight.

15/15/16/15 Auburn (8-3) The Tigers are on the road to play #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1). Close, but the Tide wins.

16/16/15/16 Georgia Tech (9-2) The Yellow Jackets are “on the road” to play the #9 Georgia Bulldogs (9-2). Bulldogs run away with this one.

17/17/17/18 Missouri (9-2) The Tigers will host the Arkansas Razorbacks (6-5) on Friday afternoon. Arkansas has been playing well, but the Tigers win this one.

18/22/22/23 Minnesota (8-3) The Golden Gophers are on the road playing the #14 Wisconsin Badgers (9-2). Wisconsin wins.

19/18/19/19 Ole Miss (8-3) The Rebels will host the #4 Mississippi State Bulldogs (10-1). Bulldogs.

20/20/18/20 Oklahoma (8-3) The Sooners have this weekend off.

21/23/24/24 Clemson (8-3) The Tigers will host the South Carolina Gamecocks (6-5). Tigers get the birds.

22/24/23/21 Louisville (8-3) The Cardinals will play host to the Kentucky Wildcats (5-6). Cardinals.

23/25/25/25 Boise State (9-2) The Broncos host the Utah State Aggies (9-3). Boise on the Blue.

24/19/20/17 Marshall (11-0) The Thundering Herd host the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (6-5) in yet another game being played on Friday. Marshall remains undefeated.

25/NR/NR/NR Utah (7-4) The Utes are on the road to play the Colorado Rams (2-9). Utes win.

NR/21/21/22 Colorado State (10-1) The Rams play on the road to play the Air Force Falcons (8-3) on Friday afternoon. Should be a good game with the Rams edging the Falcons.

In a game featuring the two newcomers to the Big 10 (which made it 12 teams in the Big 10), my Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-5) will travel to Maryland to face the Terrapins (7-4). Rutgers was picked to be last in the Big 10 East. They won’t be. (Thank you Indiana!) RU should have beaten Penn State and had, arguably one of the toughest in conference schedules having to face not only Ohio State and Michigan State (same division) but Wisconsin and Nebraska as well. It would be nice to finish up the regular season with a victory. I’m rooting for them even though they are 8 point underdogs—a position they’ve had in almost every conference game this season.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Firewood Finished

I got the rest of the wood split and stacked this morning with out Terry's help. She had an eye doctor's appointment as well as other errands to run.

Doesn't mean I didn't have help. The log splitter showed up for work today...and behaved itself.

Together we chewed through the remainder of the woodpile in a little over an hour. I then took another forty-five minutes to properly stack the split wood.

There's a wide variety of wood types in there: ash, cherry, red and sugar maple, gray birch, paper birch. Two rows of wood about 16 feet long and stacked up to 4.5 feet high. As you can see, the front row is not complete.

With the wood already in the garage, I figure the total volume to be approximately 1.5 cords. If we depended upon firewood to heat the house, we'd be up the creek. But we only use the fireplace if/when the temperature stays around 25 degrees in order to supplement the propane fired furnace. I've had to light the fire--for two days--last week. There's a chance of snow on Wednesday (1-3 inches) but the temperatures through mid-December will be above freezing and even into the 40s and 50s so the woodpile is likely to go untouched for a couple of weeks at least.

After stacking the wood and covering it with a tarp weighted down with stones, I burned the scraps from splitting and the few pieces of punky wood that had been left in the pile too long. Most of that was paper birch cut two-three years ago. The birch bark burned readily do to the oils it contained the inner portions of the logs--not so much. And the bark that fell off the logs I split was damp and burned with a huge amount of smoke.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Log Splitting

After lunch today, Terry and I went out to fire up the log splitter and do some work on the log pile. half of the wood I had stacked there needed to be split.

I pulled the tarp off the splitter and moved it to a place that would give me room to work. Then I poured some gasoline into the tank and watched as it started to drip from the fuel line--in large amounts. I immediately sent Terry to get me a pair of pliers and my socket wrench set so  I could:
  1. disconnect the line,
  2. drain the gas from the tank,
  3. pull the entire line (after removing the air filter), and 
  4. go get a replacement.

Luckily the Auto Zone store had the right size hose and I was able to get the new line in place in a little over an hour counting the time to drive down and back.

Once the new line was in place, I refilled the gas tank and gave the starter cord a pull. And then a second pull...and the Briggs & Stratton engine kicked over as though I had had it running just last week and not like it was sitting idly since Spring 2013.

Terry and I then went to work on the logs. She would feed me logs and I would feed the splitter. She would then stack the split logs--a job she did quite well after I gave her a few pointers.

We worked together for about two hours before she begged off because:
  1. her back was hurting,
  2. her feet were hurting, and 
  3. she had housework to do. 
I continued to work for another forty-five minutes or so before calling it quits.

There's still more to be split but I can do that tomorrow morning in about two hours. When it's all done we'll be ready for winter.

Good thing too, the forecast is for snow Wednesday evening and the amounts being bandied about are anywhere from a dusting to more than three inches.

Speaking of the weather. Last week it was 6 degrees when we woke up on Monday morning. Today it was 54 degrees after the warm front moved through and dumped some pretty good rain on us Sunday night. It's been a real roller coaster of a month so far.

More Books to Go

Terry and I took over 200 used books (hardcovers and paperbacks) to the Green Free Library in Wellsboro on Wednesday and donated them to the library's book store. Then we spent Sunday sorting through and packing up even more (nearly 280 more) for the Mansfield library.

Getting rid of nearly 500 books put a big dent in our own library but we still have thousands (!) of titles on the shelves and in boxes down stairs. There's one box of Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time) books that Jess wants (they were hers to start with) and Rick has asked for the Grey Mouser books (already mailed to him) as well as anything I've still got from the Dungeons and Dragons collection.

Slowly but steadily we are decluttering by donating to the libraries and My Neighbors Closet (second hand store). Plenty of that left to do!

College Football: Week 13 Results

Only one HUGE upset this week as #8 Ole Miss got shutout by Arkansas. Other than that’ there were only a couple of “upsets” further down in the rankings. We’ll have to wait and see how this week’s play is perceived by the powers that be, but I don’t foresee much movement in the top 7 at least.

Rankings on the left are those of the Selection Committee/AP/Coaches Top 25/CBSSPORTS.COM 128 Polls as reported by NR = Not Ranked.

1/2/2/2 Alabama (10-1) The Crimson Tide routed the Western Carolina Catamounts (7-5) 48-14. The Tide started off slowly but exploded in the second quarter for 28 points. Blake Sims threw for two TDs and his backup threw for a third. Derrick Henry caught one of those scoring passes and rushed for two more scores. Lots of backups got playing time in the second half and some, like Henry, started the game as regulars were kept off the field due to injury. (Running back T.J. Yelton and wide receiver DeAndrew White did not play. Even Henry and Sims did not play in the second half.)

2/3/3/3 Oregon (10-1) The Ducks routed the Colorado Rams (2-9) 44-10. Marcus Mariota threw for 323 yards and three TDs and ran for 73 yards and a fourth TD. And he didn’t play the fourth quarter.

3/1/1/1 Florida State (11-0) The Seminoles squeaked past the Boston College Eagles (6-5) 20-17. Once again the Seminoles played with fire and didn’t get burned. Jameis Winston threw for 281 yards and a TD. Tyler Murphy threw for one TD and ran for another for the Eagles. Robert Aguayo hit a 26 yard field goal with three seconds left to give the Seminoles the win.

4/4/4/5 Mississippi State (10-1) The Bulldogs shutout the Vanderbilt Commodores (3-8) 51-0. Dak Prescott threw three TD passes and ran for a fourth. Christian Holmes returned a fumble 51 yards for a score.

5/5/5/4 TCU (9-1) The Horned Frogs were idle.

6/7/7/7 Ohio State (10-1) The Buckeyes broke out of the first half doldrums—it was 14-13 at the half--to beat the Indiana Hoosiers (3-8) 42-27. After the Buckeyes fell behind 20-14 on a 90-yard run by Tevin Coleman, Jalin Marshall returned a punt 54 yards for an OSU score and then caught three J.T. Barrett passes for insurance TDs before Coleman ran 53 yards for the final Indiana score. Coleman finished the day with 228 yards rushing for Indiana. Barrett threw for 302 yards and those three Marshall TDs. Oh, and Ezekiel Elliot rushed for 107 yards including a 65-yard TD run for OSU.

7/6/6/6 Baylor (9-1) The Bears beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-6) 49-28. Baylor’s Devin Chafin rushed for 106 yards and scored three TDs and Bryce Petty threw for 262 yards and two TDs while rushing for another. He did, however, throw two INTs—just to keep it interesting.

8/8/8/8 Ole Miss (8-3) The Rebels got shutout by the Arkansas Razorbacks (6-5) 30-0. Arkansas shutout LSU 17-0 last week. Maybe it’s time to break up the Razorbacks! Ole Miss turned the ball over six times (three INTs and three lost fumbles). Rohan Gaines, who sat out the first half because of a targeting call last week, returned an interception 100 yards for a TD in the third quarter.

9/11/12/13 UCLA (9-2) The Bruins beat the #19 Southern California Trojans (7-4) 38-20. Brett Hundley threw and early pick-six to USC’s Anthony Sarao (17 yards) but then was able to find the guys in the powder blue jerseys. He finished the day with 326 yards passing and three TD passes. The Bruins held USC to a mere 62 yards rushing.

10/9/10/9/ Georgia (9-2) The Bulldogs beat the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (8-4), an FCS team, 55-9. Georgia scored two TDs on its first three snaps: a 35 yard pass from Hutson Mason to Chris Conley and an 83-yard run by Nick Chubb. Mason would throw two more TD passes and Chubb would add another TD run before the Buccaneers would get on the board late in the first half. Both would sit out the rest of the game as Georgia gets ready for Georgia Tech next.

11/10/9/10 Michigan State (9-2) The Spartans whipped my Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-5) 45-3. Jeremy Langford rushed for 126 yards and scored two TDs to lead MSU on offense. The Spartan defense held RU to just 234 yards net offense.

12/12/11/12 Kansas State (8-2) The Wildcats beat the West Virginia Mountaineers (6-5) 26-20. Jake Waters threw for 400 yards and one TD. Good thing he did, as the WVU defense DID limit KSU to just one (1) yard rushing. Tyler Lockett (in addition to catching 10 passes for 196 yards) returned a punt 43 yards to lead the Wildcats. Skyler Howard threw two TD passes for WVU, but the Mountaineers turned the ball over four times as compared to KSU’s two turnovers.

13/13/14/14 Arizona State (9-2) The Sun Devils defeated the Washington State Cougars (3-8) 52-31. Taylor Kelly threw four TD passes for the Sun Devils. Luke Falk threw for 601 (!!!) yards and three TD passes while running for a fifth for the Cougars who ran 100 (!) plays for 622 net yards on offense, but four interceptions and a lost fumble cost them dearly.

14/16/17/17 Auburn (8-3) The Tigers routed the Samford Bulldogs (7-4) (an FCS team) 31-7. Neither team scored in the first quarter which must trouble Auburn just a little with Alabama next on the schedule. In fact, Samford’s Tony Philpot scored the first points on a pass from Michael Eubank early in the second period. But then…. Auburn rolled over the Bulldogs scoring the final 31 points. Cameron Artis-Payne rushed for 129 yards and scored one TD. Nick Marshall completed 11 of 18 passes for 171 yards and a TD.

15/15/13/16 Arizona (9-2) The Wildcats beat up on the #17 Utah Utes (7-4) 42-10 on a sloppy, rainy afternoon. Freshman Nick Wilson ran for 218 yards and three TDs including one of 75 yards. Tra’Mayne Bondurant returned an interception 39 yards for the final Arizona score. Devontae Booker rushed for 142 yards for the Utes who turned the ball over four times (three INTs and a lost fumble—out of five).

16/14/15/11 Wisconsin (9-2) The Badgers edged the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4) 26-24. Melvin Gordon’s rushing record lasted one week, but he’s still running with the ball. Held to just 39 yards in the first half, he exploded in the second half, finishing the day with 200 yards and two TDs. (He had a personal best 88 yard run but was caught from behind before he reached the goal line.) Gordon also had four catches for 64 yards. Jake Rudock threw for 311 yards and two TDs and ran for a third for Iowa.

17/20/21/25 Utah (7-4) The Utes fell to the #15 Arizona Wildcats (9-2) 42-10. See above for more.

18/17/16/19 Georgia Tech (9-2) The Yellow Jackets had the weekend off.

19/24/24/24 Southern California (7-4) The Trojans got whipped by the #9 UCLA Bruins (9-2) 38-20. More above.

20/19/20/20 Missouri (9-2) The Tigers held off the Tennessee Volunteers (5-6) 29-21. Marcus Murphy rushed for two TDs and Maty Mauk threw two TDs passes for the Bulldogs.

21/23/22/22 Oklahoma (8-3) The Sooners easily beat the Kansas Jayhawks (3-8) 44-7. For the second consecutive week, the single game rushing record was set. This time, true freshman Samaje Perine carried the ball 34 times for 427 yards and five TDs before leaving the game. He needed to be that good because Oklahoma’s QB Trevor Knight sat out the game with a neck injury. The Jayhawks’ only score came on a 63-yard fumble return by Cassius Sendish.

22/NR/NR/NR Clemson (8-3) The Tigers shutout the Georgia State Panthers (1-10) 28-0. (Clemson was favored by 41 points.) Tyshon Dye rushed for 124 yards and two TDs for the Tigers who scored all their points in the first half. The Clemson defense held the Panthers to just 40 yards rushing and 115 passing while making three interceptions.

23/21/19/21 Nebraska (8-3) The Cornhuskers were edged by the #25 Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-3) 28-24. Minnesota fell behind 21-7 at the half, but ralleyed to take the lead with minutes left in the game despite losing David Cobb (15 carries for 80 yards) to injury. QB Mitch Leidner scored two TDs on the ground (but none with his passing) for the Gophers. Leidner had 22 rushes for 111 yards. Tommy Armstrong threw for 223 yards and one TD to De’Morney Peirson-El, but Peirson-El fumbled the ball as Nebraska was driving in the final minute and Minnesota’s recovery sealed the game. Nate Gerry returned a blocked field goal 85 yards for a Nebraska TD.

24/NR/NR/NR Louisville (8-3) The Cardinals held off the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (7-4) 31-28 when Kyle Brindza missed a 32-yard field goal as time expired. Brandon Radcliff had 17 rushes for 136 yards and a TD and Reggie Bonnafon ran for two TDs and threw for a third for the Cardinals. Tarean Folston rushed for 134 yards and a TD and Everett Golson threw for 236 yards and two TDs for the Irish.
25/NR/NR/NR Minnesota (8-3) The Golden Gophers upset the #23 Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-3) 28-24. More above.

NR/18/18/15 Marshall (11-0) The Thundering Herd remained undefeated with a 23-18 victory over the UAB Blazers (5-6). The Herd got the go ahead score when defensive lineman Ra'shawde Myers recovered a fumble in the end zone with 8:20 left in the game. Rakeem Cato had thrown for two Marshall TDs earlier and Devin Johnson had 171 yards on the ground. Jordan Howard rushed for 168 yards and two TD for the Blazers.

NR/22/23/23 Colorado State (10-1) The Rams roughed up the New Mexico Lobos (3-8) 58-20. Dee Hart rushed for 230 yards and five TDs and caught a pass for a sixth for the Rams. Garrett Grayson went 23 of 29 for 389 yards and three TDs. 
NR/25/25/18 Duke (8-3) The Blue Devils were routed by the North Carolina Tarheels (6-5) 45-20.  And it wasn’t as close as the final score indicates. The Tarheels jumped out to a 28-7 halftime lead and just never looked back. Tim Scott had a 10 yard return with a fumble for one score. Marquise Williams threw for 276 yards and two TDs and ran for 98 yards and two more scores. T.J. Logan ran for 116 yards and a TD.