Heisman Watch: Marcus Mariota’s opportunity awaits

This weekend is Marcus Mariota’s time to shine.

Stanford has been a thorn in Oregon’s side and Mariota has had just OK games in the past two contests between the teams, which has contributed to the Ducks’ losses. This Stanford team isn’t as good as the past two, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be ready and waiting to make Mariota look average again. It seems like this game is always the one that knocks Mariota out of Heisman contention. If he can shine against the Cardinal the way he has against almost every other opponent this season, he’ll give Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott a run for his money.

Here’s Dr. Saturday’s Heisman Watch for Week 10:

Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State: Not surprisingly, Mississippi State had a little trouble with Kentucky, but the Bulldogs managed to escape. Prescott accounted for 304 total yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw his third interception in the past two games and fumbled twice (though he recovered both). Saturday’s game against Arkansas should be interesting. The Razorbacks haven’t played a lot of defense this season, so Prescott should have the ability to put points on the board, but he’ll also be under pressure to keep up with the sometimes-potent Arkansas offense.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin: Week in and week out, Melvin Gordon doesn’t disappoint. He continues to be the majority of the Badgers’ offense with 1,168 yards and 17 touchdowns, including the three he added against Maryland last weekend. There’s no reason to think Gordon is going to slow down this weekend against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are allowing 178.3 yards per game on the ground, which is 12 yards more than Gordon’s season average.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: Oregon got into a shootout with Cal last Friday, but Mariota had little trouble moving the ball against the Bears’ porous defense. While he had five touchdowns, he did also throw his first interception of the season and it was in the end zone, no less. Things will definitely get more difficult this weekend against Stanford. The Cardinal has been the Ducks’ Achilles’ heel the past couple years and this will be the best defense the Ducks have faced all season. Stanford is second in the country, allowing just 250.6 yards and 12.5 points per game.Ameer Abdullah. (USAT)

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska: It might be time to Fear Ameer. After rushing for 225 yards and three touchdowns against Rutgers last week, it’s clear Abdullah needs consideration for the bronze statue. He leads the country in rushing with 1,249 yards, and like Melvin Gordon, he should be able to continue to pad his stats against a Big Ten that hasn’t figured out how to stop the run. Purdue, this week’s opponent, is allowing 173.8 rushing yards per game and 16 of the team’s 30 offensive touchdowns allowed have been on the ground.

Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU: While Boykin’s seven-touchdown performance against Texas Tech last week certainly piqued the interest of everyone around the country, he’s been putting up stellar numbers all season and he has the Horned Frogs on the cusp of the College Football Playoff top six. Now we’ll see how grounded Boykin and his teammates are. West Virginia shouldn’t be a challenge on defense, but the Mountaineers can score. Boykin will have to be at the top of his game again if he wants to keep up.

BY THE NUMBERS
  Comp. % Pass Yds. Pass TDs INTs Rush Yds. Rush TDs
Dak Prescott
60.3
1,694
15
5
664
10
Marcus Mariota
68.8
2,283
24
1
325
5
Trevone Boykin
58.7
2,306
21
3
374
3
 
Yds./carry
Yds./game
Rush yards
Rush TDs
Rec. Yds.
Rec TDs
Melvin Gordon
7.6
166.8
1,168
16
39
1
Ameer Abdullah
6.9
156.1
1,249
17
169
2

Jeremy Affeldt builds bridge to Madison Bumgarner

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Before MadBum’s triumphant finishing number in the World Series, there was Jeremy Affeldt’s effective warm-up performance that put the San Francisco Giants in a position to win another championship.

When starting pitcher Tim Hudson couldn’t get the Giants all of the way through the second inning of Game 7 on Wednesday night, manager Bruce Bochy called on Affeldt to keep the Kansas City Royals off the scoreboard until Bumgarner could enter and possibly finish. Affeldt responded with 2 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, a beautiful bridge to Bumgarner, who took over in the fifth and didn’t leave Kauffman Stadium without the Series MVP award and a new pickup truck.

Affeldt did some heavy lifting, too, as the middle man, getting two ground balls for double plays that stymied the Royals offense, which had scored twice in the second inning against Hudson. One of the double plays, turned by Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt, was one of the key plays of Game 7.

Affeldt said he figured to be ready for anything considering it was the deciding game, but the quickness of his appearance against the Royals caught him a little by surprise.

“I don’t remember the last time I warmed up in the second inning let alone pitched in it,” Affeldt said.

Affeldt has averaged just under one inning per appearance as a reliever, though he did two-inning stints three times during the regular season, plus another two-inning stint in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. He said he was game for another inning against the Royals, but Bochy went with Bumgarner instead.

Affeldt also pitched with a knee brace in Game 7, something Bochy required because of the planned length of his outing. Affeldt began the season recovering from a right knee sprain, and sometimes he wears a brace when he pitches as a precaution. 

(AP)

The entire experience left Affeldt with a cracking voice and glistening eyes, considering his major league career began with the Royals in 2002. The rest of Affeldt’s career has worked out much better than the K.C. part, though he returns to Kauffman Stadium with no hard feelings about not fully succeeding with the Royals.

The best part of the World Series experience for Affeldt is winning another ring he can give to one of his sons. Two of them have a ring from the 2010 and 2012 seasons.

“I started with the Royals and it was a tough time for me,” Affeldt said. “So to come back here and feel this… all three of my boys have championship rings to wear now. It means a lot to me.”

The official scorer originally gave Bumgarner the victory because he pitched five innings — he also happened to finish, and was in the game when it became official — but that decision was reversed afterward. The rules state that, because Affeldt pitched effectively and was the Giants pitcher when they took the lead on Mike Morse’s RBI single in the fourth, that he should get the decision.

Bumgarner gets a save. Affeldt gets the win. It was not important to him that he did.

“He deserves it,” Affeldt said of Bumgarner. “In that situation, he had to pitch so long into the game. He sealed it up. The longer you pitch into that game, and the less outs there are, the more the pressure increased to make pitches. So he deserves it.”

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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter!

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Bandy

300px-Bandy_playersBandy is a team winter sport played on ice, in which skaters use sticks to direct a ball into the opposing team’s goal.

The sport has common background with association football, ice hockey and field hockey. Like football, the game is normally played in halves of 45 minutes each (however, in the World Championships the halves can be 30 minutes each), there are eleven players on each team, and the bandy field is about the same size as a football pitch. It is played on ice like ice hockey, but like field hockey, players use bowed sticks and a small ball.

If it is very cold or if it is snowing, the match can be broken into thirds of 30 minutes each.

A variant of bandy, rink bandy, is played to the same rules but on a field the size of an ice hockey rink and with fewer people on each team. Bandy is also the predecessor of floorball, which was invented when people started playing with bandy sticks and light balls when running on the floors of indoors gym halls.

Reference: Wikipedia Bandy

Bando

180px-Bando2005Bando (Burmese: , pronounced: [bà?dò]) is a defensive unarmed martial art from Myanmar. Bando is sometimes mistakenly used as a generic word for all Burmese martial arts but it is actually just one system, while Burmese fighting systems collectively are referred to as thaing.

Training

Eagle style

As with most Asian martial arts, all bando schools start off by teaching the basic stances and footwork. This preliminary stage of training traditionally lasts for several months, although many instructors today avoid doing so. In the second stage of training, a series of blocking and parrying techniques is taught. Bando prioritises defense over offense so that the student will be able to protect themselves should the need arise. The defensive approach is also meant to discourage aggression and teach students to apply their skills with care. Offensive moves are taught in the third stage. Most of bando’s techniques are taught through forms or aka. Aka are first practiced solo, before the student progresses to partnered sets performed with two or more partners. The final stage is that of applying the techniques in contests, much like free sparring.

Techniques

Scorpion kick

Bando emphasises defense as the best offense by leaving the initiative to the opponent and relying heavily on counter-maneuvers. Once the threat has been evaluated it is possible to respond with an appropriate counter, so too is destroying the opponent’s weapon. If the adversary’s hand or foot is broken for example, the conflict is effectively ended. Typically, a bando exponent will first withdraw before beginning the counter-strike followed by grappling or locking. The head, shoulder, elbow, knee, and foot are all used for offensive purposes. Close-quarter combat is favoured.

Offensive forms in bando are based on the movements of animals, probably through the influence of animal styles from India and China. The moves and attitude in each pattern are characterised by the animal which they imitate, as shown below. The highest form, as in Indian shastara-vidiya, is the panther which combines all the previous forms.

Reference: Wikipedia Bando

Ballroom Dancing

Michael_Foskett_&_Nika_Vlasenko_2Ballroom dance is a set of partner dances, which are enjoyed both socially and competitively around the world, and growing all the more popular in North America. Because of its performance and entertainment aspects, ballroom dance is also widely enjoyed on stage, film, and television.

Ballroom dance may refer, at its widest definition, to almost any type of partner dancing as recreation. However, with the emergence ofdancesport in modern times, the term has become narrower in scope, and traditionally refers to the five International Standard and five International Latin style dances (see dance categories below). The two styles, while differing in technique, rhythm and costumes, exemplify core elements of ballroom dancing such as control and cohesiveness. Developed in England,[1] the two styles are now regulated by theWorld Dance Council (WDC). In the United States, two additional variations are popular: American Smooth and American Rhythm, which combine elements of both traditional Latin and Ballroom dances.

There are also a number of historical dances, and local or national dances, which may be danced in ballrooms or salons. Sequence dancing, in pairs or other formations, is still a popular style of ballroom dance.

Reference: Wikipedia Ballroom Dance