Monday, October 26, 2009

Utah St. 10/24/09

Well it is Aggie week Part 2! We are on the back side of our back to back with the Aggie's. This means I have to post another Aggie joke. Why did the Aggie get rid of his freezer? He got tired of cutting the ice into little squares to fit into the trays. That is way too funny! Sorry Jake it’s all in fun! How many Aggie teams are there in ALL of college football? I did some research and there are actually 8 teams with the Aggie nickname. So I said what the heck, let’s check out the world famous Bulldogs nickname. I fell on the floor! There are 39 schools with the Bulldog nickname. I don't care that this includes all divisions that is a lot of Bulldog merchandise. Wow! The travel business had a little spark of interest this week. Maybe that is a good sign. With the holidays coming up who knows what could be in your stocking this year! I talked to Matt several times during the week. He said the practices and the breakdown of the film had gone well. His mid-term tests and classes had also gone well. He has been trying to determine his major and how to get his masters in 4 years. I hope he declares this spring. They started the week off with one kicking approach and soon moved to another later in the week. I am not totally sure I understand all of this, but I guess you have to prepare for changes that might present themselves during the game. I know that Coach Dooley is a firm believer of teaching the power of being prepared for the unexpected. Matt was still pretty stoked about the win against New Mexico State, but knew that game was history and Utah St was on his mind. He said the team really came together this week during practices. The glue was starting to harden! I did not get any head coach speeches from Matt this week, but I am sure he will give me one before the season is over. Friday is upon us and I cannot wait for game time to get here on Saturday. Matt sent me a text message a little after 9:00AM and they were headed to the Monroe Airport. They landed about 2:10PM CST in Logan, UT. The buses were waiting for them and they headed directly to Romney Stadium for a team walk through. I guess you would call it marking your territory with a little sprinkling of your blood, sweat and tears. I just hope our markings don't get covered up and we sprinkled the whole field. I talked to Matt later that evening and he said that after college life and any other life that was presented to him before he settles down that he would live somewhere in the mountains. He hates cold weather, but loves the scenery of the snow in the mountains. I am not sure how he is going to combine the two, but I am sure Matt will figure it out. I would live in the south and have pictures on the wall of mountains. HaHa! My Saturday had arrived. I would be home alone watching the game as Janet (Wife) is working full time in Dallas and I am in San Antonio trying to sell our house. Since we had not won on the road yet this year I decided to do a few things different. I get a little wild when I am home alone. No not that kind of wild! I just get a little crazy with food, football and adult beverages. My hair is short anyway, but I decided to shave my head. Maybe this was going to be the luck we needed. I have worn the same shirt for every game except the Red Out. What the heck! If you are going to shave your head, then wear a different shirt? So I did! I was going to watch the game on ESPN360 and I had everything ready for the kickoff. I started off with a Shiner Blonde as Matt was set to start the game off. The kick was good and about 3 yards deep in the end zone. The first quarter was back in forth with no points. I had moved on to a Shiner Bock by this point and we went down 7 - 0. Then we were down 10 - 0 and my hair and shirt changes had not helped at all. Ok it has to be my adult beverage, so I poured a glass of wine and Phillip ran the kickoff back 105 yards. This is it! I had finally done something right today. I see Matt come out for the extra point and when I see the snap I about utilized my spare set of drawers. The snap was low, the ball was on its side and Cade still had both hands on the ball when Matt kicked it. It went thru, but I am not sure how. Holy Shoot! Ok, I still like my choice on changing the adult beverage. The half is over and we are down 20 to 7. Now what am I going to do? I switched to water and Utah St kicks a field goal. I am really trying hard not to bite my tongue, but what in the heck are we doing? This is like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I know our guys are the same or do we play on the road with imposter's? Are these the same teachers of the game? Do we carry multiple play books? I will never bad mouth anyone on the team or related to the team, but sometimes my super fan emotions come out. If I offended anyone, please accept my apologies. It's the 4th quarter and I knew the wine would work, but was my computer in the right position. I decided to put my computer on the floor and make the picture smaller and see it that would help any. Oh my, we scored and made the 2 point conversion. The wine is staying with me and the computer is staying on the floor. Matt, Tyler (Matt's Brother) and I have a very special number that we seem to see quite often either forwards or backwards. Our number is 619 and when it was 6:19 left in the quarter, 3rd down from our 20 I knew that something good was going to happen. Sure as “shoot” we scored. Even though we were down by 2 we had the momentum and still had a chance. Tyler called me shortly after they scored and said "You know why they scored?" It was the number! I know I am crazy, but that number appears more times than not. The kickoff was good and they call off sides. They have not been off sides all year and we just had pinned them at the 12. Are you kidding me? The kickoff goes to the same spot and they run the ball past the 40 yard line. We were able to hold them, but should have had a much shorter field than we got. I just knew we were going to march down the field and Matt was going to get an attempt at a game winner. I am not sure I could of watched though. Our efforts came up a little short. Utah St would win 23 to 21. I was not pissed that Matt did not get an attempt or the team did not score, but was pissed that to become bowl eligible our mountain became a whole lot higher. Our team showed a lot of character and this was the first time we had come back from adversity all year. I think this will help us in the upcoming games. I turned off the computer and poured myself another glass of wine. I had to think about what had just happened. I was not sure if Matt would call or not and I had no clue what he would even say. About 20 minutes later he called and he was pretty disappointed. He said they had a good game plan and thought they had a shot at the end to win. They just did not execute when they had to. I asked him about the PAT and he said the ball was lying sideways, but that they made it and that is all that matters. They would look at film and get it fixed. He said the fans were absolutely horrid behind the bench and he wanted so much for them to score and win so bad. He just thought the Nevada fans were bad. I got a message from Matt at 6:30PM and they were on a 2 hour delay on the flight back and they were going back to the hotel. They watched film at the hotel and the call on the off sides on the kickoff was not a good call. The ref said that 3 people were off sides and the film showed not one person was off sides. It looks like the refs blew that call and that sure did affect our field position. I got a call from Matt a little later and they were not projected to leave Logan until after midnight Logan time. They could not start the plane and were flying in another one from Birmingham, AL. Wow! I am glad they made that decision instead of trying to get a jump start! They went to a steak restaurant where they set up a banquet room and some TV’s so they could watch some football. I got a text from Matt at 1:10AM and they were finally leaving. That really sucks after a loss to have a delay like that, plus it screws up the next day with practice. Matt called Sunday afternoon right before practice and said he got back to the apartment about 5:30AM. That is pretty tough in my book. The weekend is over and life goes on. I am confident that Coach Dooley will use these lessons and have this team ready for Idaho. Idaho has a good team this year, but so do we. It is time for us to step up to the plate and show what this team is made of. I am not going to the game and do not know what I am going to do different on my part, but it will be something new. I just know that I will find the right piece of the puzzle to help us win. I know the weather will not be a factor for this game since it is played indoors. I know Matt will be ready to kick some Spudly butt in Idaho! I want to give a special thanks to Tom Morris for letting me use some of his photos. If you ever need any pictures of your favorite kicker please visit LaTechSportsPix. I can't wait to hear my friends at BleedTechBlue on Tuesday. Maybe they can get Coach Dooley on the show one Tuesday. Good luck this coming Saturday at Idaho. Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Mexico St. 10/17/09

It's Aggie week. Actually it will be the beginning of the back to back with the Aggies. It's our first day game, home game sort of thing. You would think I would know the answer to this living in the state of Texas, but what the heck is an Aggie? What is the true definition? The only thing I can come up with is an Aggie is a term for someone who attends an agricultural college and is the topic for many "I am Stupid jokes" If you want the long definition click here! One quick Aggie Joke! Q: Why did the Aggies run out of ice on the sidelines? A: The trainer lost the recipe. Now that is stupid funny right there! My week started off good with a few bookings in the travel world. Hoo Ya! Matt was still pissed about the loss at Nevada when we spoke on Sunday. He and Coach Dooley had just finished breaking down film and were going to work on a few different things for the upcoming week. I personally hope they do not change anything, but maybe some work on his R to L kickoffs from an R to R approach. Matt kept telling me that this team is better than that. “We have to get past individual concerns and start playing for the person next to you! We have to take one game at a time and focus on our strengths. If we want to go to a bowl game, this is where it starts. There is no looking backwards and no looking forwards. Just deal with the game at hand, execute and good things will happen.” After I hung up the phone with Matt I was floored! I just got a motivational speech from the Head Coach! Does he not know that he is just a freshman? Wow! Monday morning started off on the wrong foot for Matt. Sometime during the night he got bit by a spider and had a nice little golf ball size swollen area on his left arm. After his first class he went to the trainers and got some medicine. They would evaluate it with the doctors after practice and determine if they needed to lance and drain the affected area. The doctors gave him a shot and prescribed some medicine and off he went. He felt better the next day and the swelling had started to come down. I believe I would be exterminating the apartment. Matt stated several times during the week that practice had gone really well on kickoffs and field goals. He continues to work on the 5 different kicking situations as he knows to always expect the unexpected. As Friday approached, Matt was super excited about the upcoming game. His older brother (Tyler) was coming and his best friend from high school was going to make the journey with his parents (Joe & Julie) from College Station to see the game. Jake & Matt have a very unique football relationship. Not only was Jake one of the top quarterbacks in Central Texas, he was Matt's ONLY holder on every one of his field goals and PAT's during high school. He knows Matt's game better than anyone. Jake is attending Texas A&M and has been accepted in their engineering program. I was going to stay in Dallas Friday night and head to Ruston at 5:30AM Saturday morning. As I was rolling into Dallas early Friday afternoon I got a call from Matt. “Dad, guess who I just got off of the phone with? Josh Scobee! He called me to wish me good luck in the game and we discussed the season so far. He told me not to worry about my weight and he was impressed with my technique and accuracy. Don't worry about your critics and just keep doing what you do! He also told me that he wanted me to call him at anytime and he would check in with me from time to time.” “Matt Stover was there for me while I was at Tech and it is my turn to pay the favor back.” Of course Matt said this in like 5 seconds. Earlier in the week Matt Stover and Chris Boniol had texted him good luck. All I can say is wow and what a mental high! Are NFL players really talking to Matt? Wow! Since the game was a 3:00PM the team eating schedule was a little different. Breakfast was optional at 8:30AM, chapel was at 10:40AM and the team dinner was at 11:30AM. This would leave Matt a little window at the hotel to visit with Jake, Joe and Julie. They were staying in Monroe and had driven up the night before. We hit Ruston around 9:45AM and would hook up with rest of the family who was attending the game. We had 12 in all and our small tailgate would start at 11:30AM in the C lot. Our tailgate would consist of Muffaletta’s from Johnny's Pizza, jalapeno/cheese deer sausage, potato salad, brownies and all of the beer, wine and water you could drink! I know it is simple and my cookin' buddies are going to wear me out again on this one. Special Bulletin! Thanks to Adam at LTAC, I was able to get a game day tailgate spot for the Boise St game. Tailgating spot 52 was calling my name. See, I just kicked the tailgating scene up a notch, so be kind to me for this week. It is about 15 minutes before the team is due to arrive and Mama (Janet) has to check his eyes out. She seems to be able to figure out what frame of mind he is in. Matt knows where we normally stand when he gets off the bus and so far we he has not looked our way. He just looks forward. This time was different. I think he did a quick no look and when he saw Jake and the rest of the family we finally got a grin and a smile. Mama knew it was going to be all right. Now back to the suburban for more adult beverages. Janet always goes in the stadium 30 minutes after the team arrives so she can see Matt's warm-ups. This time I am going to grab a few beers and go watch his warm-ups through the fence at the north end zone. So far all looks good. It's game time and the show is about to begin. I really think that we are going to do well this game. Matt said the team practiced well and with a lot of intensity and I think it will carry over in the field of play. Matt will start the game off and kick to NMS towards the south end zone. It did not take long and we would drive down and Matt would kick a 26 yard field goal to put the first points on the board. We would go on and score 6 straight touchdowns for a very punishing victory of 45 - 7 over NMS. This is Tech football! Only this year it has only been at home. How do we get them to play like this on the road? I am certain that Coach Dooley will use this win and carry over the momentum as they head to Utah St. My observations on Matt were his field goal’s were back on track, his PAT's were perfect and his kickoffs were good with good hang time. The pooch R to L had almost a 5 second hang time and we almost got there before the ball did. The last kickoff was R to L from the R to R approach. It did not fare too well as it ended up out of bounds. I am ok with this as it is still a learning process of directional kicking from a perceived approach. I am sure Coach Dooley and Matt will break things down, correct it and keep us all guessing as to which number Matt is going to kick to. Our whole group heads up to the locker room area to see Matt and as always take a few pictures with family. Matt took off his pads to show Jake. Man those things are small. It was pretty cool as he let his cousin put on his jesery. I finally got to meet Dawgpix after the game. Mr Morris it was my pleasure and thanks for all that you do. Traditionally we go to Chili's after the game, but this time we went to the Log Cabin. With a 90 minute wait, this gave us time to move our tailgate to the Log Cabin parking lot. When you have 14 people it takes a while to get a table set up and with it being homecoming weekend the place was hoppin'! The waitress (Stacie) was very accommodating to our group and what an awesome meal with family and friends. I have to give a special shout out to our waitress. Stacie from Corpus Christi, you rock. She was one of the best waitresses I have ever had anywhere and make sure you ask for her area next time you are at the Log Cabin. Sunday morning rolls around and Janet & I head over to take Matt a few things. Doak's parents also came in with a few things for Doak. The kitchen was sort of a mess, so Janet and Doak's mom took care of cleaning the kitchen up and picking a few other things up for them. Must be nice to still have your mom pickup after you! HaHa! What a fun filled weekend it has been. Great family, great friends and a Tech victory! We are not going to the Utah St game. It will have to be an ESPN 360 game for me. I hope the weather is not too bad and Matt can find some thin heat warmers for his cleats! HaHa! The adrenaline will keep you warm enough. I just want to thank again all of the family and especially Jake, Joe and Julie for making their first trip to Ruston. We know it takes time and money to make these trips and it is greatly appreciated. Let’s get ready to kick some more Aggie butt! Good luck this coming Saturday at Utah St. Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nevada 10/9/11

Another nationally televised game with the spotlight to ourselves. This is pretty awesome! It's a Friday night lights in the "Biggest Little City in the World." ESPN game against the Wolf Pack. Hoo Ya! I am not going to make the trip to Reno. This will be the first game that we will not have a presence in the stands. I guess I need to figure out a few things about the Wolf Pack. They have two Wolf Mascots. One is named Alphie and the other is Wolfie Jr. I am not sure what happened to Wolfie Sr., but I guess this is their version of a wolf pack. I did find out that they have a kicking record for the school. Nevada's Pat Brady holds the record for the longest punt in college football history with his 99-yard punt against Loyola Marymount on October 28th, 1950. It had to be wind aided, but that still is a long ways. Enough of this Wolf Pack crap. The team is coming off of a huge win against Hawaii and I feel like this game is a must win for us. I had several conversations with Matt during the week. His field goal practice was going well and they had a few things they were working on with his kick offs. His hang times and distance were pretty consistent. I still like the right to right kick, but when you have five different kicks you practice every week you never know what will be called during the game. The team hit Reno around 3:15 CST. They were going to check into the hotel first and then head out to do their walk thru. They ended up going to a high school stadium. I thought this was sort of odd since I thought all walkthrough’s are done at the field you were going to play at. I guess when you are just going through your substitution packages it really does not matter. Matt was impressed with the dryness of the air and the snow on the mountain tops. It would be dinner, a movie and lights out. I am so glad Friday is here! Matt said he had a team breakfast at 9:30, position meeting at 10:30, chapel at 1:40, team lunch/dinner at 2:30 and hit's the bus at 3:50 for a 4:00 arrival at Mackay Stadium. It sounds like their day is pretty organized, but with some gaps. Matt did mention to me that the hotel had a driving range that had floating greens out in a fake lake. It has been a crazy week with the business. Next week is what we call in the travel business the World's Largest Cruise Event. I have great deals and chance to win free cruises. It should be a fun week. I am ready for some football. I have been wondering about this game all week. How will we react? With both teams coming off of huge wins the week before, will we be focused? We have to multi task as an offense. We cannot have too many eggs in one basket! Time will tell very soon. I will go at this one by my lonesome. My wife is in Dallas and I am in San Antonio. I say by myself, but my two dogs will be watching with me. It's pretty funny though. When I tell them Matt is on the TV, they go look out the window by the front door. I have decided that my meal of choice will be my infamous Whine & Wangs. The drums will start marinating around noon and they will hit the steamer around six. I know it sounds weird and there is more to the process, but you can check out my madness at the Whine & Wangs link. As the game approaches I start my pacing. I am a horrible TV watcher if it has to do with someone I know. I need a few more glasses of whine. I see a glimpse of Matt as Nevada gets set to kick off. Matt always wants the first kick! The kick goes to Livas and the race is on. We score in the next couple of plays. As Matt gets ready to kick his PAT I have to go stand in the kitchen and watch. Don't ask me what difference it makes, but I have a real bad habit! I am super excited right now. As half time approaches I am very concerned. We go into half down 17 - 7. I hope the team gets refocused. I take my intermission to partake in the Wang portion of my meal. They have nice heat and my whine choice is paired nicely. It does not look very pretty when you get wang sauce on your whine glass. I have to tell a funny! Matt said that he and Cade came out about 10 minutes after half was over so they could warm up and the whole stadium booed them for several minutes! As he was kicking during his warm-ups before the team came out they would blow air horns every time he would kick the ball. Sounds like a concentration test to me. Matt would be short sleeve in the first half and long sleeve in the second half. I did not notice, but it was true. Nevada scores early and it is not looking good. La Tech answers with a score and we have some hope so I thought. Nevada scores right at the end of the 3rd quarter and early in the 4th Midway through the 4th we get down to the 21 and it is 4th down. We need touchdowns and out comes Matt for a 38 yd field goal. NOOOOO! Sure I want to see Matt kick the ball, but I want the team to win also. We need touchdowns. Matt would miss his first real makeable field goal of his college career. La Tech would go on and lose 37 - 14. This is not what I expected. Matt called me right before he would board the bus to the airport. All I can say is he was pissed that they lost and he was pissed that he missed a chip shot. I asked him what happened and he said "Dad, I did not pay attention to one small detail. I did not line up properly. It will not happen again!" "Yes the wind was blowing and the field goal posts where only high school height, but college width and I missed." I know Matt will learn from this. He is way to mentally sound. He watched film with Coach Dooley on the way back to Ruston. His last kick had a 4.26 hang time and Coach Dooley was stoked. They just need to work on the coverage. This is a quote from Matt after he returned to his apartment Saturday morning at 7:00AM "I'll walk through the fire if this is what it takes to take me even higher. Then I’ll come through like I do when the world keeps testing me." I am not sure where he got his mental toughness, but it did not come from me. Matt will be fine and loves learning life’s lessons. I am a firm believer of failing at something every day. This is how we improve in life. I have to admit that I did have two pair of drawers on during the game, but all was good. I can use them for another game. I will be attending the New Mexico State and cannot wait to say hey to Matt. There will be many family and friends at the game and I cannot wait to visit with you all. We were in this same position last year and we went 8 - 5 and went bowling. I have confidence that we will be knocking down pins again. The pictures that are in this blog were taken by Mr. Tom Morris. He has allowed me to use them in my blog. If anyone wants any photos of your favorite kicker please visit La Tech Sports Pix. Thanks again Tom! I just wanted to thank all of the family and friends for all of the support. We truly appreciate it. Let’s get ready to kick some Aggie butt! Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hawaii 9/30/09

Holy Hawaiian Haka! It is a middle of the week ESPN2 game. It is a Wednesday night all by your lonesome for the nation to see game. 10 days until the game and a couple of days off should help. I can't wait for this one. What the heck is a Haka anyway? They say it is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment. It sounds like to me that it is a wide variety of vigorous body actions such as slapping the hands against the body and stamping of the feet. Now that is funny right there! My week started out better with the business, but with a middle of the week game and travel on the bookends it will still take me several days to catch-up. I am trying to get ready for October 14th. In the travel business it is considered the World's Largest Cruise Night. Actually October is National Cruise Vacation Month. Enough of that! This is College Football Dad, not the travel wizard! I talked to Matt several times over the weekend. Since they have a Wednesday night game their Monday practice routine would start on Wednesday and they would duplicate Thursday twice. There must be a method to the madness. Matt's practice week went well. He went back to his normal steps and angle. They still worked on the 5 kick package. There are 5 kicks that can be used at any given time and being prepared for the unexpected is expected. The kickoff distance will fluctuate as they continue working on hang time. Yes we need the hang time, but we have to get our coverage down the field for it to be successful. I head to Dallas on Sunday to spend a few days with my wife (works in Big D full time) before I head over to Ruston on Tuesday. My Tuesday starts dark and early as I head out at 5:40AM. I don't sleep much the few days before the game. My brain tries to coach and run through possible play combinations. No I am not a coach, but my mind thinks it is. My parents (John & Carol) and their neighbors Pat & Gerri Piscitelli drove up the day before all the way from The Villages, FL. I think it was 13 hours. That is a long way to see a La Tech game. My parents (John & Carol) have not been to Ruston before and they were super excited. Matt met them for breakfast on Tuesday morning. He took them out on the field, showed the guys the locker room and took a few pictures out on the middle of the field with them. They could not believe how narrow the goal post were from the on the field view. They got to spend some time in the La Tech Hall of Fame and were amazed at how many athletes they knew had played at La Tech. I hit Ruston about 9:45AM and hooked up with Matt for a little while before they had to be at the field house. Looks like Matt had a few care packages brought to him from Carol and Gerri. There was food and more food. They brought tons of cookies, homemade biscotti, homemade cinnamon streusel, gum, peanut butter filled pretzels, peanut butter crackers, granola bars, peanut butter, jelly, pop tarts and a case of sun chips. I guess everyone wants Matt to gain a couple of pounds this year. With three other roommates I am sure that it will go quick once they get wind of more food in the apartment. Since this was a Red Out game we had to go to Mitchells Pharmacy to check out the gear from the Tech Team Shop. We bought a few things there and then off to the bookstore for more stuff. I think the local economy was supported on this trip. A quick lunch at the Dawg House and Matt was off to grab his suit and head to the field house. We headed to the TAC at 6:15PM for a pep rally before the team headed out for the team hotel for the night. Coach Dooley was intense and to the point. Since the game was being televised on ESPN2, there is always a possibility that the announcing crew could be staying at the same hotel and sure enough, Lou Holtz, Mark May and Reese Davis were all staying at the Fairfield Inn. It was pretty cool to be in the same vicinity as these guys. Reese and Lou even sat next to us at the Log Cabin during dinner. Reese had a huge steak and Lou had a burger and wine. We did introduce ourselves and let them enjoy their dinner. After a few night caps, game day had arrived. My stomach was churning. I don't think I was hungry so it must have been my pregame nerves. We headed to Monroe around 10AM to visit with Matt for about an hour. He was very calm in my book. I could not sit still. Maybe it was still the nerves or it could have been the adult beverages calling my name. He even had a button come off of his suit and had his grandmother sew on a new button. I don't think his ice water ever melts. I wished him luck and back to Ruston we go. My wife and her Uncle (David) would meet us at the hotel. The red is on and at 2:00 we head to the stadium. I am still trying to figure out the lay of the land so our tailgating would remain out the back of my suburban. The cooler was loaded with beer, wine and water. We had a few wine and cheese party like appetizers. My friends back in Dallas and San Antonio are going give me hell again. I am a grill/smoker/meat man and I will figure out where I can cook before the next home game. After a few beers my stomach had calmed down some, but it was still rolling. I don't think the whole ESPN; only game on the tube thing has sunk in yet. About 4:45PM we head over to the field house so we can see the team get off the bus. They must be coached how to get off the bus and walk. Their eyes are looking forward and their game face is on. It is very cool to see your son before the big game. I know Matt to well. Before I can walk back to the suburban, drink another beer and get into the stadium, he will already be on the field. His work ethic just amazes me. During his pregame workout he looked pretty good. I have about got this all figured out. After Matt goes through his routine Coach Tommerdahl will check with Matt to get his range. They chat for about three minutes and Coach Tommerdahl takes torn pieces of paper, throws them in the air and charts the wind direction. I am sure the information is given to Coach Dooley. After watching Matt's warm-ups I had figured his range to be 49 towards the Bulldog and 51 towards the Jumbotron. I would find out later I was pretty close. Game time is here! The crowd is incredible. There is red everywhere. I am very impressed with how many fans and students have come out on a Wednesday night. If you have not been to a game at Joe Aillet Stadium you are in for a treat. They even have guards guarding the Bulldog! This is great! Are you ready for some football? Hawaii kicks off and the game is on. Hawaii marched down the field and threw up a quick field goal. We came back with a running game and a touchdown. Where had that been? Matt would kick a 28 yard field goal in the second quarter. We are looking good. It was almost half time and as I got up to head upstairs to the men's room I see them sending Matt out for a 58 yard field goal. Are you kidding me? Nooooo! Good, they call time out and they were just trying to play with Hawaii. Wrong! They were playing with me. All they wanted to do was remind everyone that there was a return guy in the end zone! They sent him back out there. Why? What are we doing? By the way I no longer need the men's room. That is why I wear two pairs of drawers. The ball is snapped, the kick is on the way and it ended up a tad short. I could not figure out the reasoning behind this. The half ended and my mind is coaching again. The kick was not that bad as it would end up about 3 yards short. I was very proud of Matt's efforts, but still very confused. I guess I will have to wait until after the game to find out. My oldest son called me at the half and said that after Matt kicked, the camera was on Coach Dooley and he had a grin on his face. I guess it could of been a look at what we have for the next four years fist pump grin. I know Matt too well. If the band would not of been on the field, he would of gone back to the same spot and kicked that 58 yarder again during half. La Tech would come out and dominate Hawaii on both sides of the ball. Matt would kick another short field goal of 26 yards and the offense would rack up 2 more touchdowns for a 27 - 6 victory over Hawaii. What a game! This was just the jump start that we needed as we head into conference play. We got to go over by the locker room and talk to Matt for a little bit. He was ok with everything and the 58 yarder did not faze him. I told him that it fazed me and he just laughed. He said he had good contact and height on the ball. He was disappointed that he missed, but if you have to miss, it is better for it to be a 58 yarder. We snapped a few family photos and head over to Chili's for our after game meal. I don't think Chili's was prepared for all of the people wanting to eat after the game. The manager was accommodating and asked us to be patient and they would get everyone fed. They did and good football conversation was had by all. When Matt was asked why Coach Dooley would kick a 58 yard field goal, he said that the time was right. Did Matt expect it to happen right then? I am not sure. My explanation is that Coach Dooley not only wants to teach these guys how to play football, but he also wants to teach them about life. I call it always be ready for the unexpected in life. He wanted to push Matt into something he was not expecting and see how he would react. Was Matt ready? No! I call that lesson learned. Matt will grow from that experience. I asked Matt what his range was for the game and I hit the 49 yards toward the Bulldog on the nose, but his range to the Jumbotron was 53. I was off by 2 yards in that direction. What a game and victory for La Tech. Our goodbyes are said and our lives head in different directions for another week. As I am driving back to Dallas for a couple of days before I head back to San Antonio, I reflect on how lucky I am to get to live college football with his eyes. I talked to Matt around noon on Thursday and he was in Coach Dooley’s office watching film. It never stops! Nevada is up next. I am not making this trip so I will be stuck to the TV. I feel like this is also a must win game. If we play the same way on both sides of the ball like we did against Hawaii, we will win this game. I just wanted to thank all of the family and friends for making the trip to Ruston along with all of the supporters watching the game on the tube. We truly appreciate all of the support. Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!