Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boise St 11/06/09

The Big Game week was upon us. It's going to be a Bronco Bustin,' all by your lonesome for the world to see ESPN2 prime time game. It is amazing to me the exposure that this team has gotten this year. I sure would love to pull off the upset this week. I know a bronco is a horse that has not been broken yet and it sounds like to me that it is time for the breakin' to commence! This will be a tough game to win and we will have to bring our home team out with their A game to pull this one off. Holiday travel and Spring Break travel have been the hot information requests this week. There are still great deals everywhere. I talked to Matt several times this week. He would be moving this week into another apartment with Dan "the equipment man" Matthiesen. I heard the view is pretty nice as it looks into the outfield of the baseball stadium. Practice was going well and some new kicking schemes were being worked on. Oh no! More kicking schemes! I am not really sure I understand why the kicking game has to have its own playbook. I know that every game brings on new challenges as to where you have to place the ball depending on where the speedsters are, but more schemes. I guess our coverage team is banged up and we must be playing some new guys on special teams. Chris Boniol called Matt on Tuesday and told him that he was not going to be able to make the game. They talked for a while and Chris reminded him that you always need to be one for one! Matt understands this and it is his driving force. Matt called Wednesday night and said that Thomas Graham was going to be on Coach Dooley’s show at the Dawghouse and that he wanted both Matt and Cade to be there with him. I thought that was very cool. Matt said he had a blast! Thomas has been a great mentor for Matt and we appreciate him being there for Matt. This would be my first attempt at tailgating with a small smoker and a grill. Some of my friends where my wife works have been giving me a hard time for my pimento cheese tea party tailgates. I have to redeem myself before too many bad rumors get started. I started my trip Thursday morning with an early departure from Dallas. My parents (John and Carol) were visiting my sister in Houston and would meet me in Shreveport for a quick pit stop. I had not met Ross (MarketDawg) yet, but I was heading to Maxwell's Market to pick up some of his famous sausage and a few other, much needed supplies. I must tell you that I was very impressed with his place. I am a foodie and I was super jealous of his place. There are so many options to choose from. If you have not been, you need to check it out. I will be back for sure. Thanks Ross for taking the time to visit with us. We had arrived Ruston around 12:30 and went directly to the field house to meet Matt for about 10 minutes. He was in good spirits and he said the team was pumped and could not wait for Friday night. He said that Josh Scobee had told him to have a good game and tell yourself to stay focused on every kick. I am more impressed with the Bulldog alumni every week. I know this is a very small world, but Johnny Huntsman (Owner of Johnny's Pizza) went to school with my parents in Iowa. He played football and my dad played baseball at Graceland College. Mr. Huntsman even was in my parents wedding. They spent a ton of time at this pizza joint called the Pizza Shack. The original recipes for Johnny’s Pizza came from this place and now look where it has gone. Our Thursday afternoon would consist of meeting Mr. Huntsman and his wife for an awesome pizza spread at his new place in West Monroe. The "Sweep the Kitchen" was incredible. They drove us around Monroe for a while and then we went to his home. It had been almost 40 plus years since they have seen each other. Their home is incredible and his wife served us the most amazing homemade sweet potato pie. I am still waiting for the recipe. Since this was my first attempt at a cooking tailgate, we set the tent up and dropped off the smoker and the grill. Wow, his has been a long day, and my red wine is calling my name. Friday morning arrives before I even knew it. We made a quick breakfast stop at the Waffle House and hit the tailgate spot at 7:45AM. I must be crazy for starting this early, but you might as well take full advantage of this amazing day. I had a lot of people to feed. My wife and her Aunt and Uncle (David & Barbara) were driving over from Dallas. My parents had some friends (Tom and Sherry) driving over from Dallas, my oldest son (Tyler) and his friends (Arnell and Anthony) were driving up from Austin after a Thursday night Third Eye Blind concert. I had the baby backs on the smoker at 8:30 and the tailgate area was all setup awaiting our guests. I cracked my first beer (Abita Pecan Harvest) at 8:45. Is it game time yet? As the morning went along I got to meet Adam McGuirt with LTAC and I spent some time with Mr. Ross Harper (TechsasDawg) from San Benito, TX. He is quite an amazing person and an avid supporter of the Bulldogs. He attends every home game and drives 644 miles each way. Mr. Harper came back later that afternoon and sampled some of the food and is more than welcome any time. We had way too much food. We had baby backs, black oak smoked sausage and andouille sausage from Maxwell's Market, pulled pork and all of these amazing sides and appetizers. The beer and wine was flowing and before we knew it 4:45 had arrived. This was our queue to head to the field house and watch the team get off the bus. Matt looked good and gave his mom a big hug as he headed into the locker room. Janet needs to see Matt before the game. This is how she knows what his state of mind is. After some clean up it is time to head into the stadium and watch warm-ups. This will be the second time that we sit on the lower level, back row right next to the tuba players. The band is so incredible and they keep you rocking during the game. Matt's warm-ups look good, but I think he is kicking too much. I have never seen both kickers warm up in the same direction before. It was like they were having a competition or something. I am pumped and I am ready for this to get started. Boise St will kick off first. After a field goal from Boise we score a TD for a 7 - 3 lead. The first quarter ends with Boise up 13 - 7 and at half we are down 27 -7. I am extremely disappointed, but when you are playing top 5 BCS team should I be? Heck yes! We are better than this. The third quarter shows some promise and we score quickly with an interception for a touchdown. We score again and it is 30 - 21. We are in a long TV time out and I see Matt and Coach Dooley talking. I have a feeling that something is going to happen that is not normal. I watch Matt go through his motions and nothing looks different. I take pictures of all of Matt’s kicks at the games I attend. This one would not be any different as I am focused on the tee and the next thing I know is Matt is lying on the ground with #36 from Boise on top of him. What in the heck just happened? Matt has just pulled off the famous bunt kick and recovered the ball. Are you kidding me? I only wore one pair of drawers and almost had a serious problem. I was numb as to what had just happened. I had people high fiving and hugging all around me. My phone was going off and I forgot I needed to take pictures on the side lines as this could be the turning point we needed. I am still in shock! What a perfectly executed play. This set up the most incredible touchdown catch I have ever seen. Ross threw the ball behind Dennis Morris against the All American Kyle Wilson and he went over him and pulled the ball off of his back and up and we score. I kid you not this catch will be all over the replays for some time to come. Oh my! Can we actually do this? The score is 28 -30. Maybe Matt can redeem himself and kick the winning field goal. Calm down, this game still has a long ways to go. Boise scores 2 TD's and we score at the end and lose 35 - 45 to the #5 team in the nation. Am I upset? You bet I am! We played our 2nd half butts off and showed me that this team has no quit in it and our coaching staff has no quitting in them. We have so many out with injuries. I am very proud of this team and I am very proud to be a Bulldog. We met with Matt for a few minutes after the game. He said he was disappointed with the loss, but was super pumped with the team’s intensity on the sidelines and on the field. I asked him about the bunt kick and he said if it had gone one more yard that he would have been jacked up. He said as he was lying on the ball and then he felt someone tug on his pads trying to lift him up. Matt said he squeezed tight on the ball not knowing who was lifting him up and it was Dustin Mitchell. Dustin said "Matt, it is me, and the play is over, get up." I thought that was funny as heck! We normally go out after the game to get something to eat, but we have won those games and Matt said he did not deserve it unless they won. It had been a long day and I was ok with his decision. I needed a red wind night cap! I awoke early and needed to take care of some travel biz stuff and got to meet Mr. & Mrs. Don Garland (TechDAG) at the Fairfield Inn. It was so cool to get to talk to them and meet some more avid Bulldogs. Matt agreed to meet us at the field house in the morning and show some friends of my parents the field and the hall of fame. Many of the family had brought Matt care packages and needed to take them to his new place. Matt had to be at film at 11:30 and my parents took off back to Florida. We decided to wait for Matt to finish film and go to the Dawghouse for lunch before we headed back to Dallas. Matt arrived around 1:00 and the place was packed. We finally got a table and Matt was ready for a day off. He hated the loss, but they needed to regroup for LSU. He said Coach Dooley graded him pretty tough for his performance Friday night. When you have a number to hit along with a different side on each kick and you miss it by a couple of yards the teacher is going to be pissed. It was pooch kick all night and those things are very tough to execute when you cannot warm-up with them in my opinion. I am very proud of Matt and this team. They could have folded, but came back and made it one heck of a game. I am very proud to be a La Tech Bulldog. LSU is on the horizon. What a journey and game that will be. Even though we are not bowl eligible this year as of yet, I am super excited about our future. LSU will be here before we know it. I hope our home team with an A game shows up for this one. I would love nothing more than to kick a little pussy cat rear end. When you have time, check out some of the photos that Mr. Morris took at the game by visiting LaTechSportsPix. Also don’t forget to listen to BleedTechBlue Radio on Tuesday night. It should be a great show. There are some pretty incredible shots. Good luck Bulldogs as you make your way into kitty cat land. Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!