Tyler Gaffney, Oregon at Stanford

The high-flying Oregon Ducks landed with a thud in Palo Alto as they faced off against their PAC-12 rival, the Stanford Cardinal. Just as it did last year, Stanford used tough defense and a grind-it-out offense to ground the Ducks and ruin their chances of a National Championship. For Oregon, it was a heartbreaking loss — the Ducks only had the ball for 17:26 while the Cardinal bled the play clock on every snap playing “keep away” to the tune of 42:34 minutes of possession. Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota was unsettled for the entire game and Stanford took a 26-0 lead, then held on as Oregon made a comeback, but fell short and lost 26-20.

At the nexus of the Cardinal offense was senior tailback Tyler Gaffney, who toted the rock an incredible 45 times for 157 yards and a touchdown. As a team, Stanford had 66 rushing plays for 266 yards. And when the offense got into trouble, QB Kevin Hogan bailed them out with timely completions on third down or quick scrambles to keep drives alive. Oregon could not generate any rhythm or momentum during the brief times they had the ball and now will have to wait another year to try and make it to college football’s ultimate contest.

Pencil on Strathmore 400 Series 140lb Multimedia Board. Click on the image for a larger version.

ZZ Top Ottawa 2013

The Little Ol’ Band From Texas rocked the Canadian Tire Centre Monday night as Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard put on a show featuring a healthy dose of ZZ Top classics mixed with some newer material from their current album, “La Futura”. Gibbons is a master and one of the best blues guitar players in history — he creates sounds out his instrument with the ease of someone dailing a phone…effortlessly. His command of artificial harmonics was in full display as he squawked out the solos on “Gimme All Your Lovin’”, “Legs”, “Pincushion” and others that feature this difficult technique.

The crowd was older and more subdued than normal — and sparse. Even though the band played in the smaller “bowl” configuration of the arena, it was clearly too large a venue and this seemed to take some of the energy out of the performance. However, the “Eliminator” anthems and a cover of Gibbons’ pal Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxey Lady” were the highlights of the evening, ending with the raunchy slide guitar on “Tush”.

Set

Got Me Under Pressure
Waitin’ for the Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Gimme All Your Lovin’
Pincushion
I Gotsta Get Paid
Flyin’ High
Certified Blues
Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix cover)
My Head’s in Mississippi
Chartreuse
Sharp Dressed Man
Legs

Encore:
La Grange / Sloppy Drunk Jam
Tush

Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions watercolor

The Dallas Cowboys visited the Detroit Lions and the two teams put on quite a show with the big star being Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson. As the teams went back and forth, Matthew Stafford of the Lions kept looking for and finding his favorite receiver to the tune of 14 catches for a near-record 329 yards. Only Flipper Anderson’s 336 yards in a 1989 Rams-Saints game eclipsed what Johnson accomplished on this afternoon. The Lions eventually prevailed as Stafford executed a trick QB sneak with seconds left for a 31-30 win.

Johnson proved to be too much receiver for the Cowboys to handle. He muscled his way past defenders and outraced them after catching the ball, showing his great speed. He scored one touchdown and set up the game winning score with a 22-yard reception. The Lions are a different team when “Megatron” is in the lineup and could contend for the NFC North if Green Bay stumbles.

Pencils and Watercolor on Strathmore Watercolor paper. Click on the images for a larger version.

Calvin Johnson pencils

Kanata, ON — The OFL season eventually staged its third game as the powerful Irish Stout hosted the Underdogs at legendary Entrust Cryptography Field. Both teams were a little shorthanded as the Stout lined up All-OFL QB Paul “The Mad Bomber” McRae, tight end James “Smooth” Muir, slotback Kirk “Flash” Ireland, and wide receiver Louis “Le Genou” Aubin. The Underdogs countered with Brad “Big Play” O’Brien, Chris “Stickum” Yagi, Bevan “Blues Brothers” Watkiss, and newly signed rookie free agent, Brian “The Big Pole” Niebrzydowski. The cool, overcast day did not portend the fireworks to come.

Starting with the ball, the Underdogs went right to work, with O’Brien hitting Watkiss with a long pass for a TD over a startled Ireland. “I thought he would drop it, it wasn’t aimed at his head,” said a confused Ireland, “Normally, he only grabs those kinds of passes when it means self-preservation.” Nevertheless, for the first time this season, the Stout trailed, 6-0.

Unfazed, McRae led the Stout back with TD toss to Aubin, followed by a PAT conversion to Ireland to take the lead 7-6. The Underdogs were not intimidated, coming right back at the Stout with another TD to Watkiss from O’Brien. Again, the Stout trailed, 12-7 and again, the Stout responded, this time with a TD from McRae to Aubin using their hurry-up “Tiger” package. Another PAT to Ireland made the score 14-12, Stout. “I thought maybe we were in for a long day, so I dialed up the ‘Blur’ to catch ‘em off guard,” analyzed McRae after the game, “We haven’t unleashed the ‘Tiger’ in quite a while.” “I’ll unleash a forearm shiver if he ever does that again,” threatened O’Brien, “Maybe HE won’t be ready for THAT, either.”

Perhaps the Stout thought this might break the spirit of the Underdogs, but the Dawgs once again showed their fortitude as O’Brien drove them down the field, the payoff this time coming with a pass to Niebrzydowski. The Stout now trailed for the third time in the game, 18-14. “What the hell is going on out there?” screamed Coach McRae, “Just grabbing, no tackling!!! Grab, grab, grab!” Reminded that it was a game of touch football, McRae calmed down and returned to the sideline, then to the huddle as he remembered he is also his team’s QB.

The Stout scored on an Aubin TD with a Muir PAT to take a 21-18 lead and then, like breaking an opponent’s serve in tennis, the game’s complexion changed on a terrific defensive play by Ireland, who intercepted O’Brien, giving the ball back to the Stout. An avalanche of points ensued as the Stout outscored the Underdogs 27-0 the rest of the way, including a nifty reverse flea-flicker PAT from Aubin to McRae on the game’s last play.

“I think the important thing to take away from this game is that I intercepted McRae for the first time this season,” said O’Brien in the strangely jubilant Underdog locker room, “We’ve come a long way this season and we are going to get those arrogant bastards if it’s the last thing I do. I don’t care how many 6’5″ behemoths I have to recruit, I will prevail!”

BOX SCORE
October 25, 2013
Irish Stout 48, Underdogs 18

Passing
-------
McRae         7 TD, 5 PAT, 1 INT
O'Brien       3 TD, 1 INT 
Aubin         1 PAT
Watkiss       1 INT

Receiving
---------
Ireland       3 TD, 2 PAT
Aubin         3 TD
Watkiss       2 TD
Muir          1 TD, 3 PAT
Niebrzydowski 1 TD
McRae         1 PAT

Defense
-------
Aubin         1 INT
Ireland       1 INT 
O'Brien       1 INT

Jameis Winston, FSU watercolor
Saturday night featured a big ACC showdown with National Championship implications as the #5 ranked Florida State Seminoles visited Death Valley to take on the #3 ranked Clemson Tigers. The Tigers entered the stadium touching Howard’s Rock to a roaring crowd, a crowd that was quickly silenced by the ruthlessly efficient Seminoles, who took at 17-0 lead before the end of the 1st quarter.

The Tigers could not counter as the both the Nole offense and defense performed at an elite level in the 51-14 FSU victory.

At the controls of this scoring machine was freshmen Jameis Winston, who certainly did not shy away from the big spotlight in a primetime, nationally televised game. He played as he has all season, completing 22 of 34 passes for a whopping 444 yards and 3 TD’s. His name must be considered for the Heisman and, if the Oregon Ducks or Alabama Crimson Tide slip up, the Seminoles could easily be playing for the BCS Championship in January.

Pencils and watercolor on Canson cold-pressed watercolor block. Click on the images for a larger version.

Jameis Winston, FSU

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