Friday, December 7, 2012

San Jose State - 11/24/12

I don't know where to start. I just rode this amazing roller coaster and then got to the grand finale where you hold your hands up and the roller coaster stopped! Why? We were at the grand finale! I just went from the thrill of seeing Matt Nelson walk down tailgate alley for the last time to the high of seeing him introduced as a senior as we walked on the field with him. Then we had a big dip in the road as we go down 27 - 3 in the 3rd quarter. Then I get to experience the dogs claw back with 5 seconds on the clock as Matt Nelson comes in to tie the game and send it into overtime. Even though I was in the tunnel during the kick once I heard the fans erupt I knew I had just experienced a College Football Orgasm. I am not sure I can say that word, but I am going to any way. My emotions after that kick were higher than any other play that I can recall while Matt has been playing at La Tech. We had about 10 minutes to enjoy the moment and then the overtime started and before I knew it Utah State was celebrating on the field with an OT win and a share of the WAC Championship. This could not be! We had set ourselves up so perfectly. I just went from a College Football Orgasm to Erectile Dysfunction in a matter of 15 minutes. Is that even possible? I need to see a shrink! I am still excited for the opportunity that Matt and this team had. Our never quit attitude has always been there and it showed even more during this game. I am very proud of these young men and I will never forget the ending in regulation.
Even though we did not win "Thank You" for letting me experience it. Now it is time for me to get my mind right for San Jose State. For us to even have a chance at sharing the WAC Championship we have to win this game on the road and we have to have Idaho beat Utah State. Stranger things have happened but I do not feel good about Idaho beating Utah State. The more games you win the better chance you have a securing a better bowl game. We win the game at San Jose State and let things take care of themselves. I spoken to Matt several times during the week. He has put the emotional loss to Utah State behind him and feels like the rest of the team has as well. He has kicked the ball really well and is confident about the game against San Jose State. He said the team has been very focused and all of the team practices have gone well. He said that they have worked on several specialty kicks and he felt like they would use some of them. He was not looking forward to the long flight, but would most likely watch a couple of movies and sleep. Since we are going to a bowl game Janet and I decided not to go to San Jose for Matt's last college game before the bowl game. With it being Thanksgiving week we decide to drive over early Thanksgiving morning and fix a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for the guys. (Matt, RP, Ray, David, Ty, Vince, Hunter, Darby and anyone else who needed a meal) Earlier in the week my oldest son (Tyler) drove up from Austin on Tuesday evening and hung out with us until we left early Thursday morning.
We had a blast visiting our favorite after hours watering holes and watching his mom tell crazy adult beverage stories. :) We would not be able to spend Thanksgiving with Tyler this year as he had tickets to go see UT play TCU in Austin. It was good to spend time with him while he was there and he will be missed on Thanksgiving. Early Thursday morning we loaded up all of the food along with the dogs and made our way over to Ruston. We hit Matt's house at 10:00 AM and after we got the dogs settled we started to get everything unloaded and set up. The guys had practice and then a team meal at 1:00 PM. We set dinner time at 5:00 PM so this gave us a chance to get things organized and start cooking for these amazing guys. On the menu was 3 fried turkey breasts, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, fresh green beans, dressing, rolls, pecan pie and pumpkin pie. We were able to cook everything somewhat ahead time and put the food in large containers wrapped in foil so we could keep it warm in the oven. The guys wanted 3 different types of fried turkey breast so I injected one with blended up pickled jalapeƱos, olive oil and lemon juice (RP's dads recipe) another with jalapeƱo creole butter and the last one with crystal hot sauce and melted butter. I think experimentation is always good when playing with food. We spent the afternoon watching football as the turkey breast fried and Janet got the rest of the meal put together. I sliced each turkey flavor and sent out a sample for the guys to try.
It was pretty funny as the overall consensus was the crystal hot sauce and melted butted concoction was the winner. I would have to agree. It was pretty amazing! Janet got everything setup in the dining room and told the guys it was ready to go. By the way Janet did one heck of a job getting everything ready to go at the same time. Thank You! I had never seen plates piled up so high. You can go back for 2nd's & 3rd's. :) Once everyone got a plate we headed outside to the big table and Ray the said the blessing as everyone held hands. I think it is so awesome that prayer is involved in these young mens lives. After several trips back for food the guys started to peter out, but promised they would eat more. We still had a ton of food left and the guys would be traveling, but it would be there when they returned. The evening was capped off with pie and watching the UT - TCU game and then it was time for bed for me. It was an awesome day for me and I was so honored and blessed to get to hang out with these guys and play with a little food. The morning came early for me as I had 120 kolaches to make before everyone woke up. I made 2 pans of 60 so it would cook a little easier. Thank you smoke alarm for not going off. A few weekends back some grease had spilled in the oven and at 425 degrees we had a smoked filled house and smoked kolaches. It was all good! I had everything ready to go at 10:30 and it did not take long and the kolaches started to disappear.
Vince came over and made sure that there were not too many left overs. :) Janet and I started cleaning up everything as the guys had to get ready to head to the field house. What an amazing 24 hours! These guys are amazing. We said our goodbyes and wished them all luck and onward to North Dallas we headed. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to cook for the guys and just hangout. Thank You for including us. We took it easy Friday night and looked forward to watching some college football on Saturday as we waited for the 9:30 CST kickoff in San Jose. I might need to go find a parking lot and set up a tent until kickoff. I tried to hold off as long as I could but I was in great need of an adult beverage and I started probably earlier than I should, but I told myself I would pace myself. Yea right! The kickoff had arrived and I was ready to get this party started. The game was on ESPN 2 so this made it really cool. Matt kicks off and SJSU will start on their 29 yard line. SJSU runs 7 plays and kicks a 45 yard FG and leads 3 - 0. La Tech takes the kickoff and will start at our 25 yard line. Tech runs 4 plays and RA comes in to punt. SJSU will start at their 12 yard line and runs 8 plays as they connect on a 42 yard pass play for a TD. SJSU is up 10 - 0. No Way! I know we watched film on these guys. Tech takes the kickoff and will start at our 16 yard line. We run 8 plays and RA comes in to punt. We need you offense! SJSU starts on their 2 yard line and runs 3 plays and they have to punt.
Tech starts on their 49 yard line and runs 6 plays as KD runs it in from 8 yards out. Matt comes in for the PAT and it is no good. This did not really happen did it? I went into the other room like I normally do and I come back and it is missed. The replay looks like the snap was good and it was hard for me to tell on the hold, but the ball was pulled left and bounced off of the left upright. It is time for me to change to a different color of drawers and drink a glass of white wine. I prefer red wine, but I will do whatever it takes to get some good karma. These green things and red wine are not working right now. SJSU is up 10 - 6. Matt kicks off with a sky kick and SJSU calls a fair catch. CT, why are we doing this? SJSU starts the drive on their 26 yard line and runs 5 plays as the 1st quarter comes to an end. I am already nervous and I am not sure I have enough red wine in my box! The 2nd quarter starts with SJSU running 5 plays and they score on an 18 yard pass play. SJSU is now up 17 - 6. No! This is not happening! Tech takes the kickoff as DJB runs 32 yards to the Tech 41 yard line. Tech runs 3 plays and RA comes in to punt. He nails it 55 yards and it is downed on the SJSU 14 yard line. SJSU runs 1 play as LL intercepts the ball and Tech has the ball on the 50 yard line. Tech runs 7 plays as Matt comes in for 32 yard FG and it is a fake. Matt acts like he is kicking and DG pitches the ball to ML for a TD. Are you kidding me? I was not expecting that. Matt comes in and connects on the PAT. SJSU leads 17 - 13. That was cool! Matt kicks another sky kick and SJSU calls a fai catch. Really! Why are we doing this?
SJSU starts on their 24 yard line and runs 8 plays as SJSU scores a TD on a 1 yard run. SJSU is now up 24 - 13. Tech takes the kickoff and starts their drive on the Tech 14 yard line. Tech runs 9 plays as CC hits QP on a 52 yard bomb. Matt connects on the PAT and SJSU is up 24 - 20. Let's do this. Matt kicks off and SJSU fumbles the ball as CN recovers the ball. Hoo Ya! Tech runs 5 plays as CC runs it in from 1 yard out. Matt connects on the PAT and Tech is up 27 - 24. This is what I am talking about! Matt kicks off and the half comes to an end. Wow! Just wow! Red wine where are? I need you now! SJSU kicks off for the start of the 3rd quarter. Tech starts their drive on our 20 yard line. We run 12 plays as Matt Nelson comes in and drills a 29 yard FG. Tech is now up 30 - 24. Good job Nelly! Matt kicks another sky kick and SJSU returns if 37 yards to their 43 yard line. I will never understand why we do these things. SJSU runs 9 plays and runs it in from 4 yards out and is now up 31 - 30. SJSU kicks a sky kick and ML returns it to the Tech 44 yard line. The special teams coaches must have drank out of the same cup. Tech runs 5 plays as CC hits MW on a 33 yard bomb. Matt connects on the PAT and Tech is now up 37 - 31. Come on guys! Let's close this thing out! Matt kicks off and SJSU will start on their 29 yard line. SJSU runs 3 plays and scores on a 32 yard run play and takes the lead 38 - 37. Not good! SJSU kicks off and Tech will start on their 16 yard line. We run 3 plays and RA comes in to punt.
SJSU will start on their 29 yard line and runs 4 plays and has to punt. Tech takes over at our 40 yard line and runs 2 plays as CC throws an interception. SJSU runs 7 plays and the 3rd quarter comes to an end. Oh my! This is going to get the best of me. The 4th quarter starts with SJSU running 3 plays as they score a TD. SJSU is now up 45 - 37. Tech takes the kickoff and will start on their 24 yard line and we run 8 plays as CC hits QP on a 10 yard pass play. CC stays in as they go for 2 points and the pass is incomplete. SJSU is up 45 - 43. Matt kicks off and SJSU will start their drive on their 37 yard line. SJSU runs 8 plays and scores on a 26 yard pass play and is now up 52 - 43. No, No, No! Tech takes the kickoff and and runs 8 plays as CC throws an interception. No! SJSU runs 6 plays and has to punt. Tech takes over at our 23 yard line and runs 3 plays and CC throws another pick. SJSU runs 2 plays and the game is over. SJSU wins 52 - 43. What just happened? Why? This is not the same team that I am used to watching. What has changed? I just don't understand! I am going to go sit in the corner with a glass of red wine and try to figure this thing out. My dogs think I am crazy, but I don't care. Where did I go wrong? I know some of the blame has to go on me. I did not watch Matt's kicks and I did not have the right drawers on. I feel really bad for the guys. They deserve more and I know they gave it their all, but darn! How could we lose our last 2 games? It just does not seem right. Matt called right before they were getting on the bus. You could tell he was very upset with the loss.
He really did not want to talk and I understood. He said it hurts and it sucks! This team is too good for this loss. It will take a while for me to let this game go! He did tell me that they had to bus to Oakland because San Jose had a noise ordnance that went into affect at 11:00 PM so they could not fly out of there. They would have to fly out of Oakland instead. He said they should get back into Ruston around 9:00 AM. Flying back in from the west coast is not fun. Once they got back they had off until Thursday at 6:00 PM and they had to be back for a team meeting. Matt, RP, David and Ray were heading to Austin as soon as they got back in. They were going to stay at RP's dads house and Matt would get to spend some time with Tyler as well. I am still in shock! I would of never thought this would of happened. I know we are going to be playing in a bowl game, but I sure hated to end WAC play like this. I hope with the guys having a few days off that they can get their mind right when they return on Thursday. I will leave the San Jose State game alone. I don't know who we are playing next so I will wait for my next blog when the bowl game is in place. The upcoming week will be interesting as the championship games are played and we see how everything plays out. What a season it has been so far. I am exhausted! More red wine please!
I would like to give a special thanks to Mr. Tom Morris for the use of his photos and video in this blog. He is an amazing photographer. What a blast it is and we are so blessed to have the honor to watch Matt Nelson and this La Tech football team. I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and this Bulldog team. I write for the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that time. I am very passionate about La Tech Football. I am just a College Football Fan and I Love College Football! Until our paths cross again have a blessed week. College Football Dad!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Utah State - 11/17/12

Where do I begin? We go on the road and score 62 points and we are 9 - 1. I knew this team was special and they are taking me places that I did not even know existed. I am so darn proud of this team. I turned over a new leaf last week and I hope I can keep that booger turned over. I thought I did a pretty good job of staying positive and I think my melt down at the UTSA game really helped me get through the Texas State game. I was so proud of Matt Nelson after the Texas State game. Not only did he get his rhythm back he passed Josh Scobee and is now the all time career scorer for a kicker at La Tech. How amazing is that? Matt ended the night with 342 career points and now only needs 3 points to pass Troy Edwards to become La Tech's all time leading scorer. In my book that is one huge accomplishment. Congratulations Matt Nelson! It is time for me to get my mind right, extra drawers packed and my emotions in check for Utah State.
This is our 3rd Aggie team to play this year. I know it has to be another NCAA record. I stumbled across this fight song on the Utah State athletics site. It is called The Scotsman. Show me a Scotsman who doesn't love the thistle, Show me an English man who doesn't love the rose, Show me a true blooded Aggie from Utah who doesn't love the spot where the sagebrush grows! What the heck is that? Sounds like some wacky weed is being passed out in Logan! Now I know for certain that this Blue Aggie team is truly from a different mother. This will be a very tough game and I like our chances at home. With school being out I sure hope we get the fans in the stands. Theses guys need all of the support they can. This will be an emotional game for Janet & I. It will be Senior Day and the last time that we get to watch Matt play football at Joe Aillet Stadium. It is hard for me to believe that 4 years have gone by so fast.
We have made so many new friends and the support of Matt Nelson and our family has been so amazing. I just hope when I walk out on the field with Matt when his name is announced that I don't lose it. I spoke with Matt several times during the week. He said that practices have gone well. He said he was kicking the ball really well. The team has been very focused and the seniors have one thing on their mind and that is to win their last game at home. We have a lot of family (John, Carol, Bob, Margaret, David, Barbara, Cathy, Wes, Parker, Peyton and friends are coming to the game. My buddy and his wife (Jeremy & Lindsey) are coming over from Dothan. Ray Holly's family, RP Stuart's family and Ryan Allen's family, Mr. Harper, Mr. Hamm and his wife and Mr. Rust will all be hanging out at tailgate spot 52 as well. That is a big group! We made our way over to Ruston Friday afternoon. Once we hit Ruston we made our way over to the hotel where we hooked up with my parents and Jeremy & Lindsey. Jeremy and I were in training class together when we bought our Cruise Planners franchise. Jeremy is a huge Auburn fan and Matt had committed to La Tech earlier in the summer.
Since Matt's first game was against Auburn we hit it off right away and we have been friends ever since. Jeremy got to see his first game and now is getting to watch his last home game on senior day. I appreciate all of his support over the years. Matt had called and said he had a few minutes before chapel if we wanted to come to the field house. He wanted to show us something. We made our way over and he handed his mom a program. Matt was on the cover for senior day. How cool is that? That is such an honor and for it to happen on Senior Day. All I can say is Wow! As we were getting ready to leave Dan "The Equipment Man" Matthiesen drove up. It was so good to see him. He has been at Georgia State and there season was over so he had the opportunity to come see the game. Dan is such an awesome young man! We made our way over to Matt's house and loaded up the tailgate stuff for our last tailgate of the year. Onward to the tailgate spot to get the tents setup and then it was time for an adult beverage.
Alaskan Amber was the beer of choice. We got my dad's chair setup so he could supervise. :) All kidding aside my parents have been there almost every Friday night before the home games to help setup the tailgate spot and we are very appreciative of their support and help. After everything is setup and the adult beverages have kicked in we head over to Wow Cafe & Wingery for some wings and a few more beers. It was great just to kick back and visit with my parents and Jeremy and Lindsey. We headed back to the hotel for our last pre night bottle of red wine. After a couple of glasses of red wine we called it a night as Janet and I would head to the tailgate spot super early and Jeremy, Lindsey and my parents would head over a littler later. If you did not get there early then parking was going to be an issue because of graduation. Janet got everything setup the way she wanted and I had everything good to go when it was time to start the chili. Today was a chili fest with chili dogs, frito pies and chili on whatever you wanted it on. Senior day is going to be an awesome day, but an emotional day.
This has gone by way to fast! Mr. Harper showed up as well as Janet's parents. Andrew had his crew in full gear making gumbo and Bobby had his chili heating up. Ray Holley's family showed up and they were ready to party. Ryan Allen's family came by and it was awesome spending time with them. RP Stuart's family showed up along with my sister and her family and then Mr. Hamm and his wife came by. Kasie showed up and Dan and Dave Matthiesen came by as well. This is going to be an awesome day. We have such amazing family and friends. The chili is heating and Papaw has the dogs on the grill, so let's get this chili festival started. Everything is in position and the gun sounds. Let's eat! This might be the first tailgate that we don't have any leftovers. That would be awesome! Jeremy and I were talking and he said no where at Auburn can you tailgate this close to the stadium and he thought it was awesome that La Tech has it setup this way.
I told Jeremy so was I. The party is in full swing and the food looks like it is a huge success. Tailgate spot 52 has been so kind to us over the last 4 years and I hope to continue to keep her for years to come. We hear the sirens and that can only mean one thing. The team is close by. College Football Dad put your big boy pants on and get your emotions in check. It is time to head to tailgate alley and get that last hug from Matt as he enters the stadium for his last home game. Hold back your tears CFD. We make our way over and I give Ms. Toni a big hug. She has been such a big supporter of this football team. First comes Vince Cano and I get a big bear hug. Next it is Ray Holley and I get another bear hug. Then I see Matt and give him a hug, tell him I love him, I am proud of him and go have fun! When I saw him hug his mom I about lost it. We made our way back over the the tailgate spot and visited with everyone before we had to head up to the field house by 2:00. We made our way to the field house with Kasie. They gave us our instructions and then we made our way outside as we waited for Matt to come up the tunnel. You could tell he was ready for this to get over so he could get back to business.
He gave his mom a rose as we walked down the tunnel. I was still holding up ok. Coach Dykes was greeting everyone at the end of the tunnel next to the Bulldog. He said a few words to Matt, gave Janet a hug and shook my hand. Then Matt's name was announced. What a thrill for Matt and these players to be able to do this with their families at their side. I have not lost it yet! After all of the seniors are announced we gave Matt a hug and again told him to go have fun. We made our way up to our seats and joined the rest of the family. It looked like everyone had made it ok through the ceremony. I sat on the same row as Jeremy & Lindsey and we had family above and below us. To be honest I am ready to get this thing started. Come on Dogs! We can do this! UTS will kick off and DJB takes it 45 yards to our 46 yard line. That is a good start. Tech runs 3 plays and RA comes in to punt. UTS takes over at their 14 yard line and runs 1 play as they score on an 86 yard pass and run play.
What just happened? Did we not watch film? Tech takes the kickoff and runs 3 plays and RA comes in to punt. What are we doing. UTS starts on our 43 yard line and runs 3 plays as UTS attempts a 28 yard FG and it is no good. We just dodged a bullet! Tech takes over and runs 5 plays and RA comes in to punt. I am not liking these play calls.UTS takes over at their 14 yard line and runs 16 plays as they score from 1 yard out and UTS is now up 14 - 0. Tech takes the kickoff and starts this drive at our 27 yard line. We run 2 plays as the 1st quarter comes to an end. Wow! I was not expecting this. This is our house! The 2nd quarter starts as Tech runs 8 plays as Matt Nelson comes in to kick a 36 yard FG. It has left his foot and I see the hands up and it is good! Way to go Matt! Let's do this! Matt kicks off to the goal line and UTS takes it out to the 16 yard line. UTS runs 6 plays and has to punt.
Tech starts on their 15 yard line and runs 11 plays as Matt comes in and attempts a 44 yard FG. Through my lens I see Matt kick and the ball immediately goes backwards. It looks like 2 guys got through the right side and the FG is blocked. How does this happen? The protection has been so good in the beginning of the season. UTS takes over at our 42 yard line and runs 5 plays and connects on a 38 yard FG. UTS is now up 17 - 3. Tech takes the kickoff and runs 13 plays starting at our 31 yard line and CC is intercepted. Noooooooo! CC just threw is 1st pick of the season from the UTS 12 yard line. We have to regroup! UTS takes a knee as the half comes to an end. UTS leads 17 - 3. What is going on? I am in shock! Jeremy and I head out to down a couple of adult beverages at the tailgate. Bobby, Ross & Woody are already out there. We are all in disbelief. Where has our team gone?
It is about time for the kickoff so Jeremy and I head back in. Matt kicks off and UTS will start at their 22 yard line. UTS runs 5 plays and scores on a 13 yard rush play. Did our coaches just not talk to our defensive players. UTS is now up 24 - 3. This is getting out of hand! UTS kicks off and KD fumbles the ball and UTS takes over at our 12 yard line. Why is this happening? UTS runs 4 plays and connects on a 30 yard FG and is now up 27 - 3. We have got to turn this thing around now! Tech takes the kickoff and starts on our 22 yard line. We run 11 plays as KD scores from 2 yards out. Matt connects on the PAT and UTS leads 27 - 10. Matt kicks off and UTS starts at their 34 yard line and runs 7 plays as CK runs it in from 25 yards out. UTS now leads 34 - 10. This is not good. I need to go stand at the rail and change some of this ju ju up. Tech starts the next drive at our 25 yard line and we run 4 plays as CC hits MW on a 25 yard pass play.
Matt connects on the PAT and just like that the score is Tech 17 - 34. Come on guys! Matt kicks off and UTS starts at their 23 yard line and runs 9 plays and scores. UTS is now up 41 - 17. I think I am going to be sick. UTS kicks off and DJB takes it 98 yards and scores. Matt connects on the PAT and the score is now 41 - 24. Do you believe in miracles? Matt kicks off and UTS runs 2 plays as the 3rd quarter comes to an end. We can do this guys! Everyone is holding up 2 fingers on each hand for TD. The 4th quarter starts with UTS running 2 plays and they have to punt. We start on our 20 yard line and run 12 plays as KD takes it in from 1 yard out. Matt connects on the PAT and the score is 41 - 31. Here we go! Matt kicks off and UTS starts on their 33 yard line and runs 5 plays and has to punt. Tech takes the ball at our 25 yard line and runs 14 plays and CC throws another pick from the UTS 11 yard line.
This just did not happen. Come on CC we need to get you back on the field. UTS runs 4 plays and has to punt. Tech starts on our 14 yard line and runs 8 plays as HL runs it in from 7 yards out and Matt connects on the PAT and the score is now 41 - 38. We need you defense. I have a feeling my heart rate is pretty high. Matt kicks off and it is a touch back. UTS runs 3 plays and has to punt. Way to step it up defense. Tech starts on our 23 yard line 7 plays and goes for it on 4th down at the UTS 36 yard line and RH runs 21 yards down to the UTS 15 yard line. CC runs 1 play and the pass is incomplete and with 5 seconds on the clock Matt Nelson comes in to kick a 32 yard FG to tie the game and send this baby into OT. I could not watch even through my lens. I went down the tunnel and I heard the irruption. The FG was good! I sprinted back to my seat and hugged everyone I could. Adam McGuirt ran up and gave me a high five.
Then I started doing these hulk movements with my arm just screaming YEA! YEA! YEA! Matt has wanted this opportunity so long! I have never seen so much excitement from our fans. This is so awesome! Janet said DG tried to throw Matt on the ground and then Matt jumped into QP's arms and held up 2 fingers in each hand. Wow! Can we do this. UTS wins the toss for OT and runs 3 plays and scores a TD. Tech takes the ball and runs 4 plays and RH comes up short. UTS wins 48 - 41. I am speechless, I am sick, I am happy that Matt had the opportunity and I am not sure what I am going to do next. We are all sort of numb form the wildest roller coaster ride I have ever been on. I regrouped myself and we all made our way over to the field house. What am I going to say to Matt? Will he even come out? This was my last time to go to the field house to watch Matt come out of the field house. Matt finally comes out. He had already changed and he made his way to each family member and friend and gave us all a hug.
It is one that I will never forget. I told him I loved him and I was very proud of him. You could tell he was excited that he made the FG to send the game into OT, but the loss really did hurt. We visited for a little bit and then headed back to the tailgate area. The walk did me good. I was not ok with how the game ended, but I would survive. When we got back to the tailgate spot Bobby, Woody, Ross and several other were there waiting. I got a hug from each one of them. They had watched the kick from the opposite tunnel and they said when Matt made that kick it was a wild celebration in the parking lot. They all have been so supportive of Matt. Matt came over to the tailgate area along with Ray Holley and his family. We all got to visit with everyone and it did ease the pain some with everyone being together. I did sneak Matt off to the side as I had to know what happened on the blocked FG.
He said before he could even look up they were on top of him. It looked like the right side got gaped. We kick at 7 1/2 to 8 yards back and for someone to get to the ball they have to get through our line. He said he knew the kick at the end of the game was good as soon as he kicked it. He said he hated the loss but stoked that he was able to put the team in a position to win. We will spend time with the family tonight and then get ready for San Jose State. We went ahead and took everything down since we had an extra truck and so many people who could help. That made it really nice. We told all of our tailgate neighbors goodbye and told them we will see them at the bowl game. We made our way over to Matt's house and everyone helped unload the stuff into the garage. Then it was time to kick back with an adult beverage. RP's dad had every kind of meat on the grill and there was all kinds of food to eat.
Ray's family and Ryan;s family was there as well. Jeremy & Lindsey had to get up early for their trip back to Dothan so I took them back to the hotel and then I went back to Matt's for a while. We made our way back to the hotel and called it a night. My parents and Janet and I met Matt for church at the Bridge. It was my first time to go to church with Matt since he has been in Ruston. I was very impressed with the service. After lunch my parents headed back to Florida via Biloxi for the night. We were going to stay in Ruston one more night and spend some time with Matt since this was his last night. We had dinner with Matt & Kasie and Matt ended up staying at the hotel with us Sunday night. We took Matt to breakfast Monday morning and headed back to Dallas to get the dogs and to get ready for the last 2 days of the workweek since Thanksgiving was around the corner.
We will be heading back to Ruston early Thanksgiving morning to fix dinner for the guys before they head out to San Jose. While I am disappointed with the loss I am so proud of the team and how they came back after being down. They have that never give up attitude and it shows out on the field. I am so proud of Matt for hanging in there and trusting himself. That kick with no time on the clock was amazing. Matt scored 11 points and now is the all time leading scorer at La Tech. He now has 353 career points as he just passed Troy Edwards who had 345 career points. That is just incredible and never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought Matt would have done that. Wow! I want to thank all of our family and friends who attended the game. We are so blessed with all of the support of Matt and words can not describe how grateful we are. Thank You! I want to give a special thanks to Jeremy & Lindsey for making the trip over to Ruston. It was such a blast to hang out.
San Jose State is up next. I won's discuss them until my next blog. I want to enjoy this last home game. I will leave Utah State alone. What a blast it is and we are so blessed to have the honor to watch Matt Nelson and this La Tech football team. I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and this Bulldog team. I write for the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that time. I am very passionate about La Tech Football. I am just a College Football Fan and I Love College Football! Until our paths cross again have a blessed week. College Football Dad!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Texas State - 11/10/12

I am not sure I have totally recovered from the UTSA game. I had mixed emotions going into the game and I think I am still mixed up. I pulled the ultimate no no in college football and that was leaving the stands before the game was over and taking my emotions and let them take me away from what was the most important thing and that was to be there to support Matt and the Bulldog football team. I am ashamed of myself and after several sleepless nights I have decided to turn my leaf from the back to the front. I am turning over a new leaf and I will be there for Matt and this team no matter what happens. I did not say the leaf thing would be pretty, but I had to do it. I will stand proud through thick and thin and we will do this together. I know I let Matt Nelson down along with my family and all of our friends.
I promise you will see a new CFD and I apologize to those who my actions affected. Wow! Can you believe we are 8 -1? This is fantastic and I am very proud of the fight, determination and the never give up attitude that this team has. It is now time for me to get my mind right for the want-a-be hill country Bobcats. Texas State is stuck right in the middle of Austin and San Antonio. Matt has kicked in Bobcat stadium before in a high school playoff game. They are one of the biggest party schools in the nation. My understanding is that some of the professors teach class during the keg parties and even help float the keg. That sounds like some great learning material as they earn their degree. :)
We have a lot of family and a lot of new family coming to the game. Since Matt and Kasie's announced engagement we have new family members who live in the San Antonio area who will be joining our tailgate. Matt and Tyler have several friends who have graduated from Texas State who will be joining us as well. I have not tailgated at Texas State before so this will be uncharted waters. It should be a blast. I spoke with Matt several times this week. After several film sessions with CT it looks like they have found a few tweaks that needed to be made. There were just a couple of things that Matt was doing different from the beginning of the season. When you kick as many PAT's and kickoffs that Matt has sometimes you need a tune-up.
Matt said the little adjustments made all the difference in the world. He has kicked the ball well with team and when charting with CT. He sounded pretty excited. He said the team is excited about the Texas State game and knows they have to take one game at a time. Nothing else matters except the game at hand. You take care of business and move on. They did work on some kicks down the middle, but for the most part they were still focused on the left corner. They worked on squib kicks and sky kicks along with a few on-sides kicks. He said you never know what schemes they will show us. Matt said he was pretty excited that Tyler (older brother) was going to bring some Torchy's Taco's for some of the guys at the hotel in Austin on Friday night.
We loaded the suburban and started our journey to San Marcos Friday morning. Janet's brother (Mike) had told us about this Chinese resturant that served awesome hamburgers in Waco that we needed to try. The place is called Kitok and it is a hole in the wall resturant in a rough looking part of town, but we went in anyway. We had the lip locker burger and oriental fries and I was very impressed. I am not saying it is the best burger I have ever had, but it was pretty darn good. We were actually staying in Schertz which is in between San Antonio and New Braunfels. Janet's parents were staying there as well. Once we hit Schertz we had to make a Spec's run to load up the ice chest with a few craft beers.
We unloaded at the hotel and met Janet's parents and then it was red/white wine time. After dinner at Garcia's it was time to wind down with some college football and get ready for Saturday. We all met for breakfast and then headed to my favorite HEB to grab some more groceries before we headed up to San Marcos. We had a meeting time of 10:45 in San Marcos so we could all caravan into the parking lot together. On the way up we stopped at Buc-ee's for Ice and $2.99 gas and we ran into Kasie, Heidi (Kasie's mom), Todd (Kasie's step dad) and Bodean (friend). We got to visit for a few minutes before heading to our meeting spot. Bodean was dressed in a full attire officials uniform. It was pretty cool.
We met at exit 206 off of I-35. Tyler was already there with a couple of his friends. Then Heidi's sister (Cindy & CJ) pulled up. Janet's brother (Mike & Melynda) were next and then it was Todd's mom & dad (Todd & Martha). It looks like all that were meeting for the caravan have arrived and it was time to head to the stadium. Were they had us park we were about a 5 to 10 minute walk to the stadium. The weather was great and it was time to setup. Once everything was setup and unloaded it was time to partake in an adult beverage. Everyone had brought snacks and goodies. We had drunk gummy bears, wings of many flavors, bacon wrapped smokies, Meggie's famous cheese ball, jalapeno cheddar summer sausage, desserts and many other things to nibble on.
We were cooking jambalaya (Ms. Toni's recipe) with the help of Bobby Cockrell in my new 4 gallon jambalaya pot. I was going in naked on this as I have never cooked in this pot nor have I cooked this much. I was game for it though. I am pretty sure we can pull this off. I did have to use a phone a friend card because the amount of liquids were the key to success. I called Bobby who tailgates next to us in Ruston and he was driving back to Shreveport from New Orleans. We talked about it for a bit and then he called one of his son's who was at home and he took a picture of his recipe with the liquid measurements on it a sent the photo to my phone. That was a life saver! Some of Tyler's friends (Ramsey, Dennis, Josh and Whitney) all showed up.
This was going to be awesome. It was a blast getting to visit with everyone and it looks like this family new and old can party with the best of them. I started the fire so we could get the pot hot. Martha was my sous chef and we started off by browning off the chicken, then the sausage and then the veggies. Once that was done we added the other ingredients and threw everything back in the pot with what I hope was the right amount of liquid for 4 pounds of rice. Once we got it to a rolling boil we added the rice. We need the rice to crack or we will have crunchy or mushy rice. Once the rice was added we brought it back to a rolling boil, turned the heat down and prayed that it was all going to work out. After a few more beers it was time to take a peek and I about fainted.
It looked pretty sweet. I tested the rice and it was just perfect. I guess if you follow instructions you can do something correct. The dinner bell wrung, the french bread is sliced and dinner was served. Based on the returns for additional bowls I took it that it must taste pretty good. We had a few more guests show up (Mike Mill's family,  Cade Glasgow and his dad, my sister (Cathy) and her family David & Barbara and Joe & Julie Trevino) and it was good to visit with them before we headed into the stadium. This is the first time that I had been back in the stadium since they made all of the upgrades with the suites and I was very impressed. Wow! La Tech has a lot of people here and the wind is blowing like crazy. Let's get this game started.
Matt kicks off and it is a touch back. Texas State runs 10 plays and scores a TD. Tech takes the ball on our 24 yard line and run 12 plays as CC hits RPS for a TD pass and Matt connects on the PAT. The score is tied 7 - 7. Matt kicks off and we have another touch back. Texas State runs 5 plays and connects on a 55 yard bomb and scores a TD. I am not liking this! Tech takes the ball on our 25 yard line and run 4 plays as RA comes in to punt. Texas State runs 3 plays and punts. Tech takes over at our 44 yard line and runs 9 plays as CC hits KD on a 14 yard pass for a TD. Matt connects on the PAT and we are tied 14 - 14. Matt kicks off to the goal line and Texas State runs it back for 65 yards to our 35 yard line. What just happened? Texas State runs 2 plays and the 1st quarter comes to an end.
Way too close! Texas State runs 2 plays and scores a TD. What are we doing? Tech takes the kick off at our 25 yard line and we run 10 plays as KD takes it in from 4 yards out and Matt connects on the PAT. The score is tied 21 - 21. Texas State starts from their 23 yard line and runs 3 plays and they have to punt. Tech takes the ball on our 45 yard line and runs 7 plays as KD takes it in from 1 yard out. Matt connects on the PAT and Tech is up 28 - 21. Matt kicks off and Texas State starts from their 42 yard line and runs 4 plays and scores on a 47 yard pass play. The PAT is blocked. Tech takes the kick off and runs 10 plays as KD takes it in from 13 yards out for a TD. Matt comes in for the PAT and the snap is way to high to attempt a kick and Matt blocks as David runs.
The 2 point conversion is no good. I don't need this to happen. Matt kicks off and Texas State runs 6 plays and scores a TD. We are tied 34 - 34. This is not supposed to be happening. Tech takes the ball on our 25 yard line and we run 4 plays as CC hits DJB on a 49 yard bomb for a TD. Matt connects on the PAT. Matt kicks off and Texas State runs 3 plays and attempts a 56 yard FG and it is no good. The 1st half comes to an end with Tech up 41 - 34. That is a lot of 1st half points. I think we might need a new defensive scheme for the 2nd half. Tech takes the kickoff as we start on our 25 yard line and we run 14 plays as KD takes it in from 16 yards out for a TD. Matt connects on the PAT and Tech is up 48 - 34. Now that is what I talking about.
Matt kicks off and Texas State runs 11 plays and fails on a 4th down attempt. Tech takes over on our 11 yard line as we run 5 plays and RA comes in to punt. Texas State starts at their 30 yard line and runs 4 plays and scores a TD. Tech is up 48 - 41. There is way too much time left for this to be happening. Tech takes the kick off and runs 3 plays and RA comes in to punt. Texas State runs 5 plays and the 3rd quarter comes to an end. Texas State starts the 4th quarter and runs 1 play and scores a TD. The game is now tied 48 - 48. We can not let the home team back in this game! Tech takes the kickoff and runs 6 plays as RH takes it in from 6 yards out and Matt Nelson connects on the PAT.
Tech is now up 55 - 48. Matt kicks off for another touch back and Texas State will start on their 25 yard line. Texas State runs 3 plays and has to punt. Tech runs 3 plays and RA has to punt. Texas State runs 3 plays and has to punt. Tech takes over on their 15 yard line and runs 11 plays as CC runs it in from 1 yard out. Matt connects on the PAT and Tech is now up 62 - 48. We are now at a combined 110 points. That is crazy! Matt kicks off for another touch back. Texas State runs 12 plays and scores a TD. Tech takes the kickoff and takes a knee on 3 plays and we escape 62 - 55. What a game for our offense, but we need to look at our defensive schemes. Our coaches did not watch film on Texas State prior to us playing them from the looks of the score.
I know a win is a win and that is what goes in the standings. If we keep letting teams run all over us we are going to have problems in future games. We made our way over to the buses and waited for Matt and the team to come out. I gave Matt a hug and told him I was very proud of him. He gave his mom a game ball. Matt just broke Josh Scobee's all time scoring record for kickers at La Tech. Josh's record was 339 points and Matt finished the night off with 8 points in the game and 342 career points. He needs 3 points in the Utah State game to become La Tech's all time leading scorer. Who would of ever thought that would of happened! He had lots of necks to hug as we had over 40 people there to watch the game. We got to talk to RH and VC. They are great guys! I talked to Matt about the failed 2 point conversion and he said he never could of kicked it so he just tried to find someone to block. He said it should go in the stats as a failed 2 point conversion and not a missed PAT since he never attempted a kick. I told him that as stupid as the WAC officials are that you will probably get a missed PAT. He said the wind was blowing so many different directions.
It was very tough to kick out there. He said the student section talked a lot of smack as he kicked that direction. We had a text from Kasie and it looks like our tailgate spot was missing many items. We told Matt goodbye as he had to get on the bus and made our way over to the tailgate spot. As we were walking back we stopped at the porta potty and sitting there on the ground was a nice crisp $100 bill. We inspected it a little closer and sure enough it was real. It was my lucky day! Once we got to the tailgate spot we noticed how many things we were missing. My entire ice chest with beer was missing. Janet's dad's ice chest was missing along with a couple of chairs. Kasie's mom was missing their reclining chairs and the ice chest that was in their truck had everything taken along with several 1/2 gallons of booze.
This is just crazy! I am so used to leaving stuff out in Ruston that I do not even think twice about putting stuff up when we tailgate at other stadiums. It looks like someone drove by with a truck and just loaded up. It is very sad that these things happen, but what are you going to do except smile and look forward to tomorrow. We loaded up the rest of our items and visited with Tyler for a bit before we headed back to the hotel. I was in need of a glass of red wine and I needed to go back through the game in my head. We met Janet's mom for breakfast and then loaded up and headed back to Austin. What a weekend with family and friends and what a game. Yes, it is another W! A tough W, but a W.
I just want to take a moment and thank everyone who came to the game to support this Bulldog team and the awesome support of Matt. Words can not express our gratitude. We are so blessed with amazing family, amazing new family and amazing friends. Thank You! I am so glad that Tyler got to go to the game and that we got to hang out together. It was amazing! I am very proud of this football team and this amazing journey they are taking me. Next week we play Utah State. They are the Blue Aggies from another mother. This will be our 3rd Aggie team to play us this year. That has to be some kind of record. They are a very good football team and we are going to have our hands full with their QB if he runs a lot. It will also be Senior Day. This is a day that will be filled with emotions for sure.
I am not sure I really want this day to come, but these seniors and Matt deserve everything that they have done. It is an amazing group of young men who I will never forget. I am not sure what I am going to do when I know Matt has kicked his last kick at Joe Aillet stadium. I guess I will just have to wait until that moment. I have a good friend of mine Jeremy Lee and his wife coming to the game from Dothan and look forward to spending some time with them. My parents will be coming back in from Florida as well. I will leave the Texas State game alone. I promise that I will not let my emotions get the best of me and I will enjoy this amazing journey. Matt you rock my world! No let's go kick some Blue Aggie rear end! What a blast it is and we are so blessed to have the honor to watch Matt Nelson and this La Tech football team. I appreciate all of those who are following my journey.
I can't wait to share my thoughts with everyone as the season goes on. It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and this Bulldog team. I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that time and sometimes I get a little carried away. I am very passionate about La Tech football. I am just a College Football Fan and I love College Football! Until our paths cross again have a blessed week! College Football Dad!