Monday, November 1, 2010

Boise St. 10/26/10

The week we have been anticipating is finally here except they gave us a 10 day week! When you play a top 10 nationally ranked team it is always good to have a few extra days to put in the right game plan. I know all of the Tech coaches will have great game plans called and cannot wait to see it all played out on the field! I was hoping to go to this game since La Tech will not be going back to Boise anytime soon, but when you are trying to start a new business those special trips will have to remain on hold! After 2 straight wins I am pretty excited about going into Boise. I always try to uncover some dirt on the team we are playing and the only thing I could come up with was this stupid Blue turf! Why would you want to do this? Boise AD Gene Blaymeier thought they needed some notoriety and in 1986 the Smurf Turf was introduced to the world. Chris Berman of ESPN calls it the "Blue Plastic Tundra" There are 3 colleges with colored turf. Besides Boise St. University of New Haven has a blue field and Eastern Washington has a red field. There are also 3 high schools that have colored fields as well. There is this crazy myth that, mistaking the blue field for a large body of water, birds have flown into the blue turf and to their deaths. Although Broncos coach Chris Peterson claimed to have found a dead duck on the field in 2009, the origin of the duck on the field has never been confirmed. Now that is funny right there! I talked to Matt many times during the 10 day gap between games. They had a couple of days off and then it was back to practice and meetings as usual. Matt went over with me a few pieces of the special team’s game plan that CT wanted to put in place for Boise St. I was really not sure what to think about it, but all I knew was I would need a few more boxes of red wine this week than my normal allotment and a few extra pairs of drawers on standby. Matt said that when they introduced the new game plan during live practice that everyone was blown away. Matt was super stoked about it and I was still trying to understand why! Matt said that all of the practices were intense and the team was really fired up and could not wait to get to Boise. They were confident with their game plans for the offense, defense and special teams and they had nothing but defeating Boise on their minds! If you have not read it, Patrick Walsh (Louisiana Tech Media Relations) wrote an awesome article on Chris Boniol. Check it out when you have a few minutes. Having a Saturday free of La Tech football gave Janet (wife) and I the opportunity to drive down to Huntsville, TX to watch my nephew (Parker Johnson) play football. He plays on the Vikings which is a senior league team (5th grade) out of The Woodlands, TX. He is a stud football player and plays tight end, fullback, defensive end and defensive back! You got it; he plays on both sides of the ball and plays every play. We left Saturday around noon and made it in time to watch him warm up and then it was game time. Parker played awesome with several tackles and a fumble recovery. I witnessed something at the game that I have never seen before. My brother-n-law (Wes) was on the chain gang and he was keeping up and doing a real good job. Then I see a referee huddle on the sidelines and he got kicked off of the chains in the 2nd quarter for telling the ref that a player on the other team was holding. The ref booted him from the chains! It was quite humorous! The Vikings won the game in the last seconds with touchdown to defeat Huntsville 19 - 18. Parker, you played a great game! I talked to Matt for a few minutes Monday morning after he finished his class. He was packing up and heading to the field house. Then it was off to the airport. They touched down in Boise right around 4:00. I thought they might have done a walk through on the blue turf, but they went directly to the hotel. They had a team dinner and then broke out to position meetings. Tuesday was a work day and I needed to be working, but I could not think about anything except the game. I thought about setting one of the tents up and sit under it for a while, but that would not work since I no longer have a yard. I am not waiting any longer! I open a beer and turn on ESPNU! This is much better. Now I am getting my mind right! After a few adult beverages I need to get the game food rolling. Our menu was quite simple with queso, tacos, margaritas and box wine. Sort of a private tailgate since it was just going to be Janet (wife) and me. I logged on to the live chat with Patrick Walsh so I could follow what was going on during pre-game. If you ever have the chance to do this there are quite a few folks who like to chat while watching the game live on TV. It was really very cool. Thanks Patrick for sending me the link. You do an awesome job keeping us informed through social media! My glass is in hand, clock shows 7:00, the TV is tuned to ESPN2 and it is game time. It looks like Tech is going to kick off. Matt on the Smurf Turf, oh my! The kick is away with good hang time down to the 5 yard line. That was great special team’s coverage. It looks like there is some wind, but I can’t tell for sure without really being there. Boise St. stalls on their first possession with a missed field goal and La Tech takes over. That is the first time this year the Boise St. has not scored on their opening possession. Great job defense! Our first possession we go 4 and out. Boise St. gets the ball back and in 6 plays they score. Tech gets the ball back and after a series of rush and pass plays we hit pay dirt and tie the score 7 - 7 at the 3:39 mark in the first quarter. I think I know what is coming next, but I don't truly know and yes it is the on-sides kick right and we recover. Oh know there is a flag for offsides. What a great kick and recovery! CD got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called and we are kicking off from the 12. CD, I am all for giving the refs crap! Especially these sorry WAC refs! Props to you for taking a stance! To be honest I have never seen a kickoff from the 12. Can you see the other goal post from there? The kick is away and the next thing I know Boise St. has run it back 54 yards. Janet (wife) hollers, where was Matt? Next thing she says is he must have got hit. I was watching the run and not the left side of the TV. Since I am on the live chat I got to see Patrick's comment that Nelson was limping off of the field on the live chat! Note to self: Dumb-ass, you do have a DVR and you are recording the game! Have you ever heard of the rewind button? Good now I feel much better! Janet (wife) sent a text message to Dan "The Equipment Man" and he confirmed that Matt got attacked by a Boise St. head hunter and he smoked Matt from his backside. I know football is a very tough hard hitting sport, but a cheap shot like that is uncalled for no matter whom it is! Dan did say that Matt was limping pretty well, but he was kicking into the net on the sidelines. Boise St. would score 3 times to make the score 28 - 7 at halftime! I am concerned about Matt! I am concerned about all of the non holding calls that these awesome WAC refs are making! Benson should not be allowed to require refs to wear blinders when Boise St. is playing. It is so obvious that this is the case. Dan shoots Janet (wife) a message that they are going to give Matt a couple of shots in his left hip to help with the pain. Matt is tough, I just hope he does not do further damage if there is real damage. I really don't know! We receive the kick opening the 3rd quarter and run 14 plays with an awesome pass from Ross to Phillip! Matt is in for the PAT and it is no good! I knew when there was no skip through on his finish that is was going to be pushed right. It was almost like his plant leg froze as he was kicking through the ball! I wonder if the pain shots have caused numbness in the left hip. I really don’t know, but it was not the normal Matt follow through. I know his critics are going to rub salt in his wounds on this one. That is just the way it is in sports. You have fans who are liker’s and you have fans who are haters! I knew what most of the kickoffs were supposed to be, but was not sure of the sequence. The kick is away and it is the sky left! It is muffed by Boise St. and La Tech recovers. Woo Hoo! Let's put this baby in the end zone! We run 7 plays and the ball goes back to Boise St. This was our chance to stick the knife in a little. The 3rd quarter comes to an end with Boise St. up 42 - 13! On our next 2 possessions in the 4th quarter we get inside the 5 and give the ball back to Boise St. We had no choice but to go for these 4th downs. I just wish we could have put the ball in the end-zone! We score at the 1:21 mark and I hope Matt can plant through the pain. PAT is good! Matt makes a good spike right and we almost come up with the ball. Boise St. runs the clock out and wins the game 49 - 20! Oh the non holding calls, the missed PAT, the pass coverage and the red zone execution, why did you do us that way? We had them back peddling in so many ways! Matt called and talked to his mom (Janet) before they boarded the buses to the airport. He was pretty sore and his head was a little foggy! He said #5 blew him up out of nowhere! He tried to get up and he said to himself, I might not be getting up real soon, but I am not letting the trainers help me off the field! Matt said the missed PAT was solely on him and the pain that shot down his plant leg at the time his left foot hit the ground caused him to open his right hip up. This pushed the ball to more to the right than he expected! He did not say a whole lot about the game overall except they had a great game plan across the board and things just did not go their way. I hope the wind blows downhill so they get back to Ruston faster! Way too many emotional highs and lows for me. I never have liked roller coasters! I hate to lose, but I love the direction this team is going! My hand goes out to this team and the coaching staff! The effort and the heart you showed tonight are going to take this program to the next level in many ways. Most of the family and friends have watched the video of the cheap hit on Matt applied by #5 of Boise St! I hope our AD gets a copy to Benson. I don't know if it will happen or not, but I can tell if we did something like that we would have players suspended before we arrived back in to Ruston! #5 circled back around the kickoff coverage and was on one mission and that was to take out La Tech's kicker! Coach Peterson you should be real proud! Go to ESPN3 and watch the kickoff from the 12 yard line at the 3:40 mark in the 1st quarter. Then you will see how this pre calculated ambush took place! Talked to Matt on Wednesday AM and he had to report to the trainers at 2:30. Keith told him he most likely had a hip pointer and a possible concussion. The team did not practice on Thursday and they would resume practice on Friday. As I stated before I hate all roller coasters, especially the emotional ones! I guess that is what makes college football the ultimate sport. We get do all of these crazy things as fans to support our team and at the end of the day we still love everyone of those players! Take one game at a time! We have 4 games left and all 4 games are possible wins! A good game plan and execution on the field will have us bowling! I want to give a shout out to Adam McGuirt the Director of LTAC and Zach Williams and Marshall Loeffler at the ticket office. These guys (other staff as well) do so much behind the scenes to make everything so easy for all of us! Thanks so much for everything that you do! The Battle of the Bone is staring us in the face. Fresno St. ventures into Ruston on Saturday, November 6th. What that dog doesn't know is that there is only one dog allowed in Ruston! Fresno St. comes in with a 5 - 2 record with losses to Mississippi and Hawaii. This is going to be a tough game, but with our fans and the way we play at home I feel very confident that our coaching staff will have this team very prepared and on point! Fresno St. has some offensive weapons and one those is junior kicker Kevin Goessling. He is 11 – 13 on FG’s and 29 – 29 on PAT’s for the year. On kickoffs he is averaging 63 yards with 5 touch backs and 4 kicks out of bounds. He is also a Lou Groza semi-finalist. Field position is going to be the key for this game along with play execution! Our kickoffs, punts and coverages are going to help set the tone for the game and might be one of the determining factors. Halloween is in the air, so please be safe out on the streets and I hope you get every candy flavor you ever wanted! I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. On a side note I want to congratulate the Texas Rangers for making it to the World Series! They might be down in the series, but there is still a lot of baseball to be played! Go Rangers! It is such a blast to follow Matt through his eyes and the Bulldog team! I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that moment. I don’t intend to ruffle any feathers or hurt anyone, but I am very passionate about La Tech Football! Everything I say comes from beneath my feathers! I am just a College Football Fan! Some of the photos are courtesy of La Tech Sports Pix and were taken by the world famous photographer Tom Morris. Other photos were courtesy of Dan “The Equipment Man” Matthiesen and Gantt Graham. Thanks for sharing! Don’t forget to listen to my friends at Tech Nation Radio every week. May your Football Season be filled with many Football Victories, Sunny Smiles, Sandy Dreams and Travel Your Way! If you know anyone who needs help with their travel plans just let me know. Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!