Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Southern Miss 9/25/10

Yellow Buzzard, Yellow Buzzard where art thou? I have watched Southern Miss play on TV twice this year already. Against South Carolina they looked like the got the mustard squeezed out of them and against Kansas they looked like they just came out of the car wash all sparkled up. Now they are headed to Ruston sporting their new doo! Which team will we get? I will take either one of them. Bring your best buzzards and I think you will leave town a loser after the Bulldawgs have hiked their legs and rained on your new doo! All funny business aside, I am looking forward to playing Southern Miss. They are where we want to be in the CUSA and what a great chance for us to fill some butts in the seats and show the CUSA we have it going on! Very similar to Navy, Southern Miss has been to a bowl game for the last 8 straight years. I think this is a tradition that we would like to start here at La Tech. We are not playing the powder puff team. We are playing a very good football team! When I look at Southern Miss football and school traditions they are all over the map. Every student gets a handbook called the Drawl. What kind of name is a Drawl? History says that the school name has Southern in it and what do Southerners talk with? Really? Is this a joke? The next thing I found was the Yellow Buzzard Code of honor! If you are a Yellow Buzzard this is the oath you must abide by: A Yellow Buzzard always does the right thing, is punctual and respectful (gets there on time and stays to the end), is always a lady or a gentleman and is true to the Black and Gold (Yellow). Do you have to sign a document to buy a ticket? I think they are just making things up! The Nasty Bunch is the name of the football team’s defense, and it is also the team’s defensive cheer. “Nasty Bunch! Nasty Bunch! Nasty! Bunch!” It is used each time Southern Miss holds an opposing offense on third down or when the Nasty Bunch makes a significant defensive play, which is not often! The song “Are You from Dixie?” is played after every extra point scored during a Southern Miss football game. Enough of this Yellow Buzzard BS! We have a football game to get ready for. I spoke to Matt several times during the week and he said practice has gone well. Staying mentally focused and going through his check list in his head before each kick. The ball seems to be popping off of his foot better than anytime so far this year. I keep telling him to practice his golf swing and your ball will always land on the green! Josh Scobee contacted Matt early in the week to see how things went. Matt told him things went well during the Navy game and then he told Josh thanks for getting him 8 points for his fantasy football team. Josh thought that was pretty cool! Chris Boniol checked on Matt as well. I think it is great that these guys take the time out of their busy schedules and take a deep interest not only in Matt, but the school as well. Matt's plant leg is getting stronger and he feels like he is about 108%. He worked on a few more kickoffs during the week with the team and was getting good distance and 4.2 plus hang time on his kicks. His legs still feel fresh and is ready for Southern Miss. Matt said the team has had a good week of practice and is pumped and ready. Before they head to the team hotel Friday evening they are going to go see the movie Wall Street "Money never Sleeps". Good luck Dawgs! Let's kick some Yellow Buzzard butt Saturday evening! My trip to Ruston for the game will not be a typical trip. My wife informed me early in the week that this was going to be a "Visitation Tailgate" What? I am not going to a funeral! She said get your beer, wine, chair and set your tent up. Then sit your butt in the middle of it and visit! Are you kidding me? No cooking? No way! Do you know what this makes me look like? After many rounds back and forth I decided to give in and say "Yes Dear" if this will make you happy! It damm sure does not make me happy, but I agreed to do it this time and only this time! Does she not know I am surrounded by professional chefs at tailgate spot 47 and 48 (Dusty, Bryan and Bradley) tailgate spot 53 ( Chef Bobby Cockrell) and tailgate spot 56 (Master Chef Ross, AKA Marketdawg)? These guys are going to want to know if I am wearing a skirt this weekend! I will take my medicine this time only! It worked out ok because we could not drop the dogs off in North Dallas until 8:00 Saturday AM. We swung by Johnny's and picked up some muffaletta's and hit the tailgate spot at 12:15. It makes no difference how many times you stop it is a solid 4 hour trip. The tent is setup, my chair is in the middle of the tent and my butt is drinking an Abita Turbo Dog! Let the visiting begin! HaHa! My tailgate neighbor Chef Bobby Cockrell had 15 slabs of ribs going, Master Chef Ross had his shrimp boil going and Dusty, Bryan and Bradley had the wings going. What did I have going? My tail between my legs! This is not looking good! Since the team arrives at 4:00 (Janet likes to go watch Matt warm up! It calms her down supposedly!) I would of only had 3 hours and 30 minutes to get things setup anyway, so it worked out Ok! Don't tell Janet (wife) that I said this worked out ok! I told her I was still not happy! During my Visitation Tailgate I got to visit with Jonathan Ford and Mr. Ross Harper. Thanks for the beer, water and sodas Mr. Harper. You are an awesome ambassador for the school! After I served my visitation time in the chair Mr. Harper & I walked around and he introduced me to many of the Bulldawg family. We even walked up the hill and visited with the BBB group. I saw Adam, John and got to meet Dwayne. I was hoping to see Dawgmatic and introduce myself to HD, but they were not there. That was my first time to go that direction during a game day! I was surprised how many people were tailgating up there! Very cool! We made our way back to the visitation tent and Meggie & Papaw (Janet's mom & dad) along with David & Barbara (Janet's aunt & uncle) had made it in for the game. While I was walking around with Mr. Harper, Dusty and Bradley brought over some wings to sample. They were awesome guys! I had been watching most of the afternoon Chef Bobby (tailgate spot 53) cook these ribs. Yes my tail was still between my legs. He had this awesome charcoal technique that turned his Weber grill into a rib cookin' machine. He was cookin' 15 slabs with his chef coat on! That is what I would love to do! Bobby is an awesome cook/person and I have a lot to learn from him this fall! Oh and the ribs were to die for and you need to come ask him about his cookin' technique and his rib recipe! Thanks to everyone for the food samples! I owe you big time! Mr. Woody Rust came by and we shared some football stories and drank a few beers. It is always good to talk to him about the defense. That is a part of the game that I do not know too much about. He has a very good knowledge of the defensive game and explains it so that am learning some! I had a very special visitor come visit right before we were headed to the stadium. I had heard awesome things about him from Matt and I finally got to meet Matt Graham! Wow! What an amazing visit. Thomas Graham has taken Matt (#33) under his wings since he arrived at La Tech and we as a family are so grateful for Thomas & Matt Graham. They are just awesome! Thanks for being someone Matt (#33) can lean on! It's game time and with a beer (Abita IPA) in hand I head to the stadium. We sit in the general admission area and try to get as close to the tuba players as possible. I love the band and we get into the "Move the Chains" after a first down! I only got to see Matt kick a few kicks before game time. When Southern Miss came through the tunnel they looked pretty big to me! We take the opening kickoff and start on our own 26 yard line. 3 passes to the feet and we have to punt! This is not starting off very good! I would think our first possession would be scripted rock solid! Southern Miss starts out on their 36 and goes 3 and out! Ok, everything is equal now. High Octane Offence you can kick in now! Oh no! Southern Miss just intercepted and is on our 16! This is not good! It is 3rd down on our 4 yard line and a pass to the corner of the end zone is intercepted by Josh Victorian. Great pick Josh, but you have to take a knee there. A new QB is in already? It looks like Coach Franklin has no patience for any mistakes made on the field tonight. The first play out of the shoot and it is a pass play good for 38 yards. Woo Ho! It was only woo ho for a moment as we had to punt again. Southern Miss drives down and kicks a FG. Tech gets the ball back and we drive down and kick a FG! Score tied 3 - 3. Way to go Matt! It looks like your golf game is spot on! Back and forth we go for the 2nd quarter and the score is still tied a 3 -3. Southern Miss starts the 3rd quarter with the ball on our 40 yard line and in 6 plays they score a TD and lead 10 - 3. Southern Miss would kick another FG while we were kicking punts! The 3rd quarter would come to an end with Southern Miss leading 13 - 3. It has been an awesome night weather wise for me until the rain came pouring down, but that is ok with me. This was going to be fun! We are still in the game! Our first possession of the 4th quarter starts by throwing an interception. Our next possession we score, the PAT is good and the score is 13 - 10. The next thing I know I see Matt going in to kickoff. Ok, maybe they have a special play called. Nope, it is a normal kickoff, but we are offside’s. We backup 5 yards and kick again. The Southern Miss kick returner makes his way through a huge hole and Matt gets an assisted tackle. It was a good tackle, but it did not matter and they had an illegal block in the back. They run 3 plays and our defense holds them, they go to punt and Rufus Porter blocks the punt. We had several chances to get the ball in the end zone, but the punter knocked the ball out of the end zone for a safety. Wat to go Rufus! Tech is within one point and the rain is still coming down. The fans that stayed were getting loud and we still have a chance to do this. I am waving my towel, yelling until I lose my voice and jumping up and down trying not to injure my plant foot on the slippery aluminum seats. Whatever I was doing it did not work! Things would not go so well for us as we fumbled, punted and threw an interception in the last 10 minutes of the game and Southern Miss would win 13 - 12. We had so many chances, but had WAY TOO MANY 3rd and shorts that we could not accomplish. I know a FG would of been difficult with this rain, but at least give a chance to win the game. Throwing 40 yard passes in the rain is not going to cut it. Where is our running game? I think we need some super unleaded for our high octane offense! Using regular is not cutting it! This is a very tough loss for us. With conference play starting next week we have no room for error the rest of the season. The rest of the family made their way to the tent and Janet, Kasie (Matt's girlfriend) and I made our way in the pouring rain to the locker room area. The rain sure felt good to me, but the loss was very painful. Matt made his way out a little later and we visited for a few minutes before he went and took his shower. As we all do, Matt hates to lose and was pretty quiet! The only comment he made to me was that he was mentally/physically ready for a game winning FG if the game presented that scenario. Matt said he will be ready when called upon! I made my way past the Southern Miss locker room wondering what if! I kept playing these what ifs in my head. I made it to the tent and everyone was under it. It was really pouring down. I had loaded some things before the game, but not everything. Matt drove over and helped us get some things loaded and we would leave the rest to pick up on Sunday. Matt & Janet went to pickup pizza at Johnny's and would meet the rest of us at the Fairfield Inn. It would be Johnny’s pizza and ESPN until early in the morning on our agenda. I cannot get these what ifs out of my head! My personal shout outs go to the defense for playing 4 quarters, the punting game, Rufus Porter, the remaining fans who stuck it out until the bitter end in the rain, the amazing band and our fantastic student section! I am not sure what to say about the offense. I hope Coach Franklin gets this side of the ball moving in the right direction. I feel like we have the right players on the team, but the players need to execute the plays that are called. We are very young at the skill positions and they need more game experience! When we miss blocks, throw interceptions, fumble balls it makes the coaches look like the bad guys. I think the best is still to come from this team and coaching staff! I have said enough about the Southern Miss game. I have lost my voice and I have not gotten over this loss yet, but it is time to move on. Early Sunday AM we make our way over to the tailgate area and load up the rest of our gear and start our journey back to Dallas. It is time to get my mind right for Hawaii! WAC play is here now and we have to get focused! I am ready for this team to go to Honolulu and kick the Haka out of their Hawaiian butts! Haka? Is this a type of food? Is that what you do when you have a hair ball? The Haka is a posture dance that involves the entire body in vigorous rhythmic movements, which may include swaying, hip gyrations, slapping of the chest, butt and thighs, stamping, and gestures of stylized violence. It is accompanied by a chant and, in some cases, by fierce facial expressions meant to intimidate, such as bulging eyes and the sticking out of the tongue. What in the world is this? Do we need to bring our guns? What does the term Rainbow Warriors represent? I know what it means if you have a rainbow sticker on your bumper! I guess I will never understand these huge guys wearing diapers either! Who helps them pin things back up when Mother Nature calls? HaHa! I will end my Southern Miss experience here. Good luck Bulldogs as we take on the Haka Queens from Hawaii! It will be a 10:30 PM CST game, so get your nap in before the game! HaHa! I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. It is such a blast to follow Matt and the Bulldawgs! I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that moment. I don’t intend to upset or hurt anyone, but I am very passionate about La Tech Football! Don’t forget to listen to my friends at La Tech Nation Radio every Tuesday night from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. It should be a great show as always. If you want a picture of your favorite player make sure and visit Tom Morris at La Tech Sports Pix! Mr. Rust I hope you have a blast in Hawaii! May your Football Season be filled with many Football Victories, Sunny Smiles, Sandy Dreams and Travel Your Way! If you need help with your Travel Plans just let me know! Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!