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Archive for January, 2019

Fiesta Bowl matchup 12-0 Central Florida up against #11 LSU

State Farm Stadium in Arizona 2006 photo By Taken by en Flickr user MCSixth, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Ohio State transfer QB Joe Burrow got a chance to play and showed he is good. 2018 by Tammy Anthony Baker, Photographer via wikipedia commons

For the second straight year, the Central Florida Knights are undefeated going into the bowl season.

Today, #7 UCF will take on another SEC opponent in #11 LSU.

The Knights, who lost head coach Scott Frost to Nebraska after last season, was taken over by Josh Heupel and never lost a beat. Central Florida has a had a beef with the College Football Playoff committee for not including them into the final four the past two years with undefeated records. But you can see it both ways. Yes, the Knights are undefeated. But their opponents: UConn, South Carolina State, Florida Atlantic, SMU, East Carolina, Navy are not of the caliber of the Power Five Conference schools. Plus, the American Athletic Conference is a good conference, but is not really noticed by the people in charge of the voting. It is looked upon as an offensive, no defense league.

The fact that UCF (12-0) and the AAF champion, was able to remain undefeated is a story in itself. Their regular QB McKenzie Milton, went down with an injury for the year and backup Darriel Mack Jr. has stepped in and played adequately. In that AAF championship game, Mack rallied the Knights from a 24-7 hole to win 56-41 over Memphis.

LSU at 9-3, are led on offense by Ohio State transfer QB Joe Burrow. Who came in after finishing Spring Football with the Buckeyes and won the Tigers job. His stats of 12 touchdowns and 57 percent passing won’t wow you but he showed he can play at a major level in tough games. But the Tigers offense has struggled in other areas and can be ripe for an upset. UCF has a top-notch defense.

The Tigers have played UCF’s type of offense before in SEC games: Florida, Mississippi State, Alabama and Texas A&M. That style of offense gives the bulky LSU defensive front fits.

#15 Kentucky Wildcats in a New Year’s Bowl playing #12 Penn State in the Citrus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penn State is used to playing regularly on New Year’s Day. But the Kentucky Wildcats, one of college football’s surprise teams during the 2018 season are not used to it. The well-known basketball school from Lexington, Kentucky, will be playing on January 1 for the first time in two decades after surging to a 9-3 record with several key wins in the tough and rugged SEC.

These two teams will be competing in the Citrus Bowl this afternoon at 1 pm on ABC-TV at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. One of the stadiums that gets used often during the bowl season. It is also used for the Cure Bowl and Camping World Bowl.

#15 Wildcats (9-3), have several of the SEC’s dominating players with LB Josh Allen, who leads their swarming defense, which is ranked eighth in the country. On offense, they have Westerville, Ohio native Benny Snell, Jr., one of the nation’s top running backs. He is a graduate of Westerville Central High School. Kentucky’s QB is sophomore Terry Wilson, who is athletic and exiting but has only 11 TD’s and an alarming 8 interceptions. Not a good ratio.

Westerville, Ohio native Benny Snell Jr. leads Kentucky's offense

#12 Penn State, the Big Ten Conference representative, is 9-3, had some disappointing losses during the season to fellow East Division rivals Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan. But this team is dangerous and tough to stop.

They are led offensively by QB Trace McSorley, who is elusive, exciting, athletic and a good passer. He teams in the backfield with RB Miles Sanders and they have combined for 1,946 yards this season.

The Nittany Lions also can counter with a top-notch defensive unit. Their pass rush is one of the best in the country, ranking second in sacks per game at (3.58).

Penn State QB Trace McSorley running ball 2017 photo By Chris Spon - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

NHL 2018 Year in Review

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

A total of 7,748 goals were scored across 1,282 regular-season NHL games during the 2018 calendar year (including 86 shootout-deciding goals), for an average of 6.04 per game. The 7,748 goals in 2018 were the most-ever scored in one calendar year in NHL history, shattering the previous mark of 7,410 set in 2006.

Connor McDavid (48-73—121 in 81 GP) led the League in points this year, edging Mikko Rantanen (34-79—113 in 83 GP) – two of seven players to reach the 100-point mark (also Nathan MacKinnonNikita Kucherov, Evgeni MalkinClaude Giroux and Sidney Crosby). The past 12 months marked the first calendar year to feature seven or more players each with at least 100 regular-season points since 1996, when eight skaters reached the plateau (Mario LemieuxJaromir JagrJoe SakicWayne GretzkySergei FedorovPetr NedvedTeemu Selanne and Peter Forsberg).

* Twenty-four double-digit point streaks took place entirely in the 2018 calendar year (10 to close 2017-18 and 14 to start 2018-19). The last calendar year with more such runs was 1993 (37).

Alex Ovechkin (54-37—91 in 80 GP) paced the NHL with 54 regular-season goals in 2018, four more than Patrik Laine (50-19—69 in 81 GP). Ovechkin also led the League in regular-season goals in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2015; only Maurice Richard (7x) and Phil Esposito (6x) have accomplished the feat in as many calendar years.

* Ovechkin (33 years, 106 days as of Jan. 1, 2019) became the fourth player in NHL history to lead the League in regular-season goals during a calendar year at age 33 or older. The only other players to do so: Nels Stewart in 1937 (35 years, 3 days), Richard in 1954 (33 years, 150 days) and longtime Capitals forward Peter Bondra in 2001 (33 years, 328 days).
^Ages as of Jan. 1, 1938Jan. 1, 1955 and Jan. 1, 2002, respectively

* Regular season and postseason combined, Kucherov led the League with 126 points (40-86—126 in 101 GP), while Ovechkin paced the NHL with 69 goals (69-49—118 in 104 GP) – including 15 in the playoffs to help the Capitals capture their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

* The 2018 calendar year featured five instances of a rookie recording five points in a regular-season game, achieved by three different skaters:Mathew Barzal (2-3—5 on Jan. 13, 0-5—5 on Feb. 9), Elias Pettersson (2-3—5 on Nov. 2, 1-4—5 on Dec. 9) and Ryan Pulock (1-4—5 on Jan. 20). Only three calendar years in NHL history have featured six instances of a rookie recording five or more points in a regular-season game: 1918,1981 and 1982.

* Pettersson (19-20—39 in 36 GP) is the only rookie to lead his team in points, while 11 players age 23 or younger are their team’s leading scorer in 2018-19. Sixteen of the League’s top 30 point-getters this season are age 25 or younger.

Marc-Andre Fleury led all goaltenders with 44 regular-season wins since Jan. 1 (44-22-7 in 73 GP), marking the third calendar year in which he has recorded 40 or more victories (also 46 in 2009 and 45 in 2013). The wins leader in 2017 was Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who had 49 (49-13-2 in 66 GP).

Brent Burns paced NHL defensemen with 82 regular-season points in 2018 (12-70—82 in 87 GP), while Matt Dumba led all blueliners with 19 goals (19-32—51 in 75 GP).

* The Lightning led the League in wins (57), points (119) and goals for (313) in regular-season games in 2018. Tampa Bay (31-7-2, 64 points) occupies first place in the NHL standings this season, 10 points ahead of Toronto (26-11-2, 54 points).

* There were 557 comeback wins, 216 third-period comeback wins, 143 multi-goal comeback wins and 21 three-goal comeback wins during the regular season in the 2018 calendar year.

* The 2018 calendar year began with the Golden Knights in the midst of win and point streaks that extended to eight and 13 games (12-0-1), respectively – the longest such runs by an NHL team in its inaugural season. The final month of 2018 saw the NHL welcome a 32nd franchise to the League when it granted an expansion franchise to Seattle, which will begin play in 2021-22.

 

5 Bowl Games on New Year’s starts at 12 noon with Outback Bowl, Iowa taking on #18 Mississippi State

 

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida 2007 photo By Bernard Gagnon - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

The Outback Bowl at the home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raymond James Stadium, will have a familiar team as one of the 2019 participants.

The Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big Ten know the bowl and stadium well as this will be their sixth appearance in 14 years in the West Florida city. Furthermore, Iowa is also familiar with Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead, in his first year, because he used to be the offensive coordinator of the Penn State Nittany Lions.

This game will feature two solid quarterbacks in Nate Stanley of Iowa and Nick Fitzgerald of the Bulldogs.

Both team also feature stout defenses.

The Bulldogs, 18th ranked and 8-4, have held opponents to single digit scoring five times. In the final four games, they gave up 36 points, but 24 of those was in the Alabama loss. But the best and unheard of statistic is they have given up 12 touchdowns in 12 games. Simply outstanding!

The Hawkeyes, also 8-4 on the season, comes into the game as the number 11 scoring defense in the country.

This looks like a game that will be low scoring a key turnover or big play will determine its outcome.

 

Happy New Year! Daily Almanac for Tuesday, January 1, 2019

DAILY ALMANAC WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF www.almanac.com

 

(courtesy http 321happynewyear.com)

 

NEW YEAR’S DAY

Happy New Year’s Day! January was named for the Roman god Janus, the two-faced god of beginnings. Janus looks simultaneously to the future and the past, a fitting symbol for this first day of the year. It’s natural for us to reflect on the past year and also look forward to the new. The weather of the first 12 days of the year is said to be indicative of the following 12 months. Also, Janus was known as the protector of gates and doorways, bridges, and passageways, which also symbolize beginnings and ends. Interesting, January was originally the 11th month, not the 1st, until at least 153 B.C. In Rome, this month was often a time of peace when the gates of the temple were closed. Only when the gates were open was Rome at war. Janus am I; oldest of potentates! Forward I look and backward. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

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