Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hawaii 10/2/10

The time is here! The time is now. It is Hawaii 5 0 week. I mean Hawaii at 5:30 Island time week! Hawaii? Are you kidding me? I want to go! What an experience for those who have not been to Hawaii. I don't know much about the Hawaii team except that they are the #1 passing offense in the nation. I think what they do is get teams to travel 10's of hours, get them leied, cook them a whole pig and then perform some sort of hula voodoo on them before the game. Is that even fair? No wonder their passing game is #1, they hypnotize you before the game! HaHa! Hawaii is an awesome place to visit on vacation, but it is a long ways to travel from Ruston to Honolulu, especially when you have a game the week before and the week after. What scheduling genius did this, Benson and his monkeys? Come on CUSA please call our name! We are ready! Even though I am in the travel business, Matt has not ventured away from home too much until he started playing football for La Tech. This will be an awesome experience for him if he can sit still for the 8 hour plane ride from Dallas to Honolulu. Matt, it is time to chill, read a book, watch a movie and before you know it you will be getting leied in Hawaii. I have made the flight from Dallas to Honolulu and it always seems like it takes forever. I am not an upright sleeper, so I have to find something else to occupy my time. Looking at the Hawaii team from the outside they have some horses at wide receiver. Salas #1 and Pilares #21 look like to go to guys for Moniz. Both receivers are good size and they have amazing stats so far this year. It is going to be tough to win in Hawaii, but I hope our coaching staff has our team prepared for this all pass team. Here is a little history on Hawaii football. In 1909 The College of Hawaii “Fighting Deans” played and won its first game against McKinley High School 6 - 5. Because of limited travel opportunities, Hawaii only played local high schools, military and club teams for its first eight seasons. In 1920 The College of Hawaii becomes the University of Hawaii and the football team plays its first intercollegiate game against Nevada. They won 14 - 0. In 1923 a rainbow appears over the football field after UH upset Oregon State, 7-0, at Moiliili Field. Reporters begin calling UH teams the “Rainbows.” In 1946 after taking a four-year hiatus due to World War II, UH returns to the gridiron as a member institution of the NCAA. Hawaii played in the "TERMITE PALACE" Nicknamed for its deteriorating facade, Honolulu Stadium was home to Hawaii football from 1926-74. In 1975 Aloha Stadium made its debut and all Hawaii games are still played here. Currently UH has 19 players playing in the NFL. That is an amazing stat by its self. This is enough of Hawaiian Haka football lore. Matt said it was going to be a tough week for him. He had to get all of his school work taken care of in advance and get himself mentally prepared before they took off on Thursday to Hawaii. He said practice had gone well. The ball is still popping off of his foot well. His FG's with team and by himself have been pretty spot on. His kickoffs are getting deeper and his hang times have been all over 4.0. He said he had a few over 4.3 seconds. I would think our coverage team should be able to get down field and pin them within the 20 yard line with 4 plus hang time. One thing that Matt has done this year is limit the amount of kicks he is doing during the week. I feel like this will keep him from getting dead leg at the end of the season along with keeping him fresher for game time. Matt said the team looked good and the intensity on the field was high. Matt has his daily special teams meetings he attends and has been attending the offensive team meetings as well. He feels like this gives him a better grasp of the total offensive scheme. Thursday they have an early light practice before they bus to Shreveport to catch flight #1 to Dallas. The team arrived in Honolulu on flight #2 around 4:30 PM Hawaiian time. They checked into the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort and they had free time the rest of the evening. Matt, Ryan Allen & Chandler Spence went to PF Chang's on the beach and had dinner. Matt said eating with a view of Waikiki Beach was awesome. They got to walk around the beach some Thursday evening as well. Friday morning the team went to Aloha Stadium and did a walk through. He kicked few kickoffs and field goals. He said the wind was weird because of the stadium configuration. Next they were off to Pearl Harbor. I think this is awesome that the team gets to do this. I hope Matt enjoys the experience. Going to Pearl Harbor is one of those things in life that you need to do. Friday night they have a team dinner and Saturday is meetings, mental walk thru and then it is game time. This will be my first game to not see Matt play in person this year. It is a little sad and all will be ok. My weekend would start off by sampling a few beers from my Pumpkin Pack! I know it is pretty stupid, but I made my own six-pack from Oktoberfest, autumn and Pumpkin themed beers. Some were good and some were not so good. Pumpkin Pie with a fizz is a little strange. My favorite was Sierra Nevada Tumbler Brown Ale and my least favorite was Shiner Oktoberfest. Our lunch on Saturday consisted of Sushi in honor of playing Hawaii. I am good with real sushi, but Janet (wife) is not a fan. I convinced her that she could get some rolls with cooked stuff inside and she trusted me. HaHa! It is true; you can rolls for the non adventurous people. We found 3 rolls that she committed to order and she was surprised how good they were. If you run into her in the tailgate area ask her about her sushi experience. I know she would love to share! We watched the LSU - Tennessee game and I about fell out on the floor when the announcers made the comment when Tennessee did not send out their replacement (Palardy) true freshman kicker to kick a 46 yard FG. Lincoln had a sore hamstring so he was not playing. They said Dooley would not send out a true freshman to make that long of a kick. History tells me that they sent Matt out for a 58 yard FG against Hawaii last year. CBS needs to do their homework! Janet's parents (Meggie & Papaw) were in town and came over in the early evening. We pigged out on wings from the Wing Stop and consumed just enough Red Wine to be roasty toasty before the 10:30 PM CST kickoff. I sure am glad we have to watch only one game this late this year. We ordered the video stream from the UH athletic site. Janet (wife) had a cable that went from her computer to the TV so we could watch it on a larger screen. This was really cool. Last year I did not know what to expect watching games on TV. I wore multiple pairs of drawers and stood in the kitchen and watched. It will be interesting to see how I handle myself, but I am going to start out with only one pair of drawers this year. Well it is game time, my cheeks are rosy (red wine kickin' in), the radio is on in one room and the game is on in the bedroom. Well it is late and Janet (wife) needs to lie down to watch the game. As she gets older it is harder for her to stay up past midnight! HaHa! La Tech kicks off and Matt kicks it 5 yards deep for a touch back. Great kick Matt! Hawaii pulls off a FG after 14 plays and I am numb, but ok with them only getting 3 points. La Tech gets the ball and on no, it is 3 and out on our first series. CF is this how it was designed in the first series? We hold Hawaii to a punt and here we go again with another 3 and out. WTH is going on? Hawaii gets the ball back and continues to pick our safeties apart. I just don't understand! We are now down 24 - 0 and I do not have enough red wine in the house. I am watching in one room and listening in the other. Nothing I am doing is helping the team. With a little more than 6 minutes left in the 2nd quarter we make another QB change. If I were a QB, I would be afraid to start! You know you are going to get pulled! This is the craziest offensive scheme I have ever seen. Instead of High Octane we are watching the Sound of Music! This Musical Chair's game is not a football process. We have made full circle with our QB's and Ross is now in the game! About time we get some senior leadership in for this team. Before I go any further I need a definition of Musical Chairs! Musical chairs is a popular adult’s game throughout the world. Whether you play the traditional version or one of its variations, adults of all ages will have good time trying to impress the coaches and grab a spot at quarterback in this game of speed, hitting the receiver’s hands and agility. Ok, I feel better! We are playing the game correctly! Ross leads the team down the field in 10 plays and we score a touchdown. Where has this been? The play calling looks awesome and the execution looked awesome. Even though we are still down in the game I liked what I just witnessed. The first half would end at 24 -7. We take the opening kickoff in the 3rd quarter, cruise down the field and Ray Holley punches the ball in for a score. Maybe we have found our pieces to the puzzle! We would score one more TD and Hawaii would score 2 more TD's and a FG. Hawaii would defeat La Tech 41 -21. I hate to lose and even though Matt made all 3 of his PAT's and Ross came in and led the team to 3 scores I still question the coaching in this game. We have to get everyone on the same page. Coaches need to call plays that work with our current players and the players need to execute the plays that are called. This is D1 football. It is time to step up and finish this season strong. We need to protect our house and go get the road games we are supposed to win. Ross I am proud of what you came in and did. I saw a leader emerge and the team embraced you. I would love to see the same thing happen on the defensive side of the ball. I hope the CF & CD have a little more patience at the QB position. Putting in a new QB every other set of downs is not working. On the defensive side we have to quit giving up so much open space to the receivers. We should not get picked apart like that. If we can win the game at the line of scrimmage we will finish the season strong! We have to protect our QB and we must get penetration on their QB. With all of this being said, I did see some positives come from the game. I love this team and university and want to win as much as everyone else does. I say things that might upset people, but I say what I feel. I want to give a shout out to Richie Casey, Tim Molton & Ray Holley. Great touchdowns! I also want to give a shout out to the equipment staff and the training staff. Jeff Springer and Keith Bunch do not get enough credit for what they have to pull off at these away games. A special thanks to one of the hardest behind the scenes guys goes to Dan "The Equipment Man" Matthiesen! Thanks for all you do Dan! Utah St., are you ready for us? I don't think so. You are going to see a team that you never expected to see. We play three Aggie teams this year. That is just crazy! What is a Blue Aggie? Do you have an all male cheer leading squad as well? What the heck is your Beno Club? I know what Beno is at the drug store! The definition given by the Blue Aggie web site is stupid. The term Beno came from some Salt Lake City students, while still in high school, had approached their principal at West High about starting a club. The principal's response was that there would "be no" clubs. The experience stayed with the young men, and when they came north to attend Utah St. the name stuck with them.Today one can become a "Beno Club Member" by receiving a kiss on the "A" (statue) under a full moon at midnight by somebody who already is a "Beno Club Member," or on Homecoming or A-Day by somebody who is not. This True Blue Aggie tradition is run by the Student Alumni Association and Beno Club members. I will end my Hawaii experience here! Bring it on Blue Aggies! You are going to get your ears thumped in Ruston! Go kick some butt on Saturday Dawgs! I will be there cheering as hard as I can! If you are out and about before are after the game stop by tailgate spot 52. We have cold beverages and something to nibble on. Matt will be there after the game as well! I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. It is such a blast to follow Matt and this awesome group of young men! 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. I was not there to take any pictures and I want to thank Woody Rust, Hawaii Sports, Dan Matthiesen and Gantt Graham for letting me use their awesome photography in my blog. 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!