Saturday, October 15, 2011

Idaho 10/8/11

Where do I begin? This is 2 years in a row that we have been lei-ed by a bunch of guys wearing hula skirts. This like a bad black and white movie. We were ready, we were prepared and we let them color us green on our red out! You know you are going to win some and you are going to lose some, but I would much rather have a big ole smiling W pasted on my forehead that a lonely L. I am very proud of our effort on the field don't get me wrong. We need our play makers to come to the forefront and let's kick some booty. This is a good team and we have had a few breaks go the wrong way. It's time to go forward. As Matt always tells me, you only have one day to dwell on the past as the next day your next opponent is staring you in the face! Sometimes I get stuck in these left hand turns and keep going in a circle! Sorry about that! Let's pickup the pieces and go peel some potatoes!
Moscow, Idaho here we come! Anyway you like it we will be prepared to slice it, dice it, bake it and serve these potato heads on a silver plate. I bet our coaching staff has one heck of a game plan and our players are very hungry! Before I move forward I have to comment on this so called football stadium that we are going to play in. It sort of looks like an airplane hanger except only a remote control airplane would fit in it. It is named after a brand of dog food (Kibble & Bits), the stands are setup like a high school gymnasium and the goal posts are attached to the wall. It is one of the weirdest stadiums I have ever seen. Matt seemed in good spirits most of the week. He was a little down from the Hawaii game and I understand! I think everyone was. He said he blew out his kicking cleat and was going to go old school and go back to his cleats from his freshman year.
He had a score to settle in Idaho and he was going with his all Black cleats. Even though he has a couple of other sets of cleats already fitted that these black cleats just felt like the right pair to wear. He said they are still kicking a lot as they practice on timing. In my opinion only, there has got to be a set amount of kicks a week someone can kick otherwise you are going to have a dead leg before the season is up. Who knows! I am just an observer, but I think it would be true! He said his kicks with the team and with CT have been pretty much money. CL and TB have been doing awesome on snaps and the holds. He said the team is ready for the road trip and the game plan is solid. I know he is licking his chops for an opportunity to put a dagger in the Vandals! One thing about Matt is if he misses a kick in a game, (ie, the 56 yard FG in the 2009 game against Idaho with no time on the clock) he will keep the distance,
stadium and hash locked in his head until he has mastered that spot. My brother (Donnie), his wife (Annie) and my nephew (Brycen) will making the journey over to the Kibble & Bits Dome from Portland. This will be the 2nd time Donnie & Annie have seen Matt play and it will be the first time for Brycen. They are going to stay at the team hotel in Lewiston. They will have a small window to visit with Matt on Friday evening and then again on Saturday morning. I know Matt will excited to have some family to visit with and help occupy the time. I have been in Richmond, VA all week and returned to North Dallas late Friday evening. I was not exactly how my game day Saturday would go, but I know I will be ready for anything and everything. Saturday morning comes early for me. I should be setting up tents and cranking up the grill in Ruston. It sort of feels weird to be honest.
This weekend in Dallas is the Texas/OU game and Janet informs me we are going to find a sports bar to go watch the game. I am in, no problem! We made are way to Dodie's Place in Allen around 10:45AM. This place was hoppin and the beer was flowing. This just like having the tailgate spot except the wrong colors were all around me and it was so loud! $2.00 pints, $2.50 glasses of wine and some good tailgate grub (appetizers) and we were set. Is it ok to drink this early in the morning at a bar? I guess so, everyone else is doing it! We were wearing our La Tech gear sitting in a sea of burnt orange and red! This is going to be fun! The game has started and this place is loud! I cannot even hear my self think. After a back and forth 1st quarter we had a FG fest and OU leads the Horn 6 - 3. Between quarters a couple of young ladies in black leather hot pants came by offering samples of Fire Fly Sweet Tea Vodka
served skinny style. We said ok and they were not too bad! Opps! I mean it was not too bad! It sort of had a sweet tea taste. You know I am all about the skinny drinks! HaHa! The 2nd quarter was not a pretty site as OU rolls of 4 TD's to the Horn's 1 TD and this game for the most part is over! We decided to pack it up and start our own tailgate at home. We had ordered the game via the Idaho website which I think is a crock! Just put it on ESPN 3 and everyone will be happy. We hooked up the computer to the wide screen and we were set. With an IPA in hand and the game getting ready to start I was primed in my big brown chair and plenty of extra drawers by my side! Oh my gosh! These Idaho broadcasters are not real smart and they leave the mike on when they go to a break! This is going to be comical! I knew this was going to happen when Matt got to Idaho. We saw a tweet by PW that after Matt warmed up he went to the exact spot
where he missed the 56 yard FG in 2009 and nailed it down the middle with plenty to spare. I just knew he would not forget. Now if he can get an opportunity like that in a game! The 1st quarter is underway and Matt kicks off with good hang time down to the 3 yard line. Back and forth we go and RA is on point so far. Some amazing punts pinning Idaho back deep. Tech mounts a 15 play attack down to the 4 yard line and the 1st quarter comes to an end. It is time for me to take my usual at when Matt kicks position behind the couch where I can just barely see the TV. It is 4th down and 2 at the Idaho 4 and Matt comes in and boots the 23 yard FG down the middle. I can breath now! Matt kicks off and we hold Idaho to a punt except they pin us down at the 1 yard line. Both punters are spot on so far! On the 2nd play Idaho tackles LC in the end zone for a safety. This is not good! We have a baseball score.
Matt kicks off to Idaho again and we hold them to a punt. Tech takes back over and drives down to the Idaho 34 where it is 3 and 10 and we take a sack back to the Idaho 39. We were in perfect position for a 51 yard FG if we did nothing but run or throw the ball away while the pressure was on. One of these days this young man will get to pop the 50 yard plus FG. The leg is there, you just have to be given the opportunity. Tech punts the ball and pins Idaho at the 7 yard line. RA, you are the man! Idaho takes over at their 7 yard line and after 7 plays JD intercepts the ball and takes it to the house! Matt boots the PAT and Tech is up on the spuds 10 - 2. Happy dance! Matt kicks off and it is a boomer! I will take a touch back every time! Idaho marches down the field and Tech holds Idaho to a 43 yard FG. Tech still leads 10 - 5. We trade a few punts and the 1st half comes to an end with Tech still up 10 - 5.
I am not sure what to think of this score. Some of our play calling is ok and some is very questionable. Our defense is playing tight! The 3rd quarter starts off with a punt fest and no one is going anywhere. High Octane Offense? JJ intercepts the ball and the HL show is just beginning as NI hits DG for a TD and after the PAT is nailed Tech now leads 17 - 5. More punts are exchanged and Tech scores with a NI 1 yard run while taking the snap under center. Did I just say he took the snap from under center? the PAT is good and Tech is rolling with a 24 -5 lead. We need to finish and keep our foot on their throats. The 3rd quarter comes to an end. The 4th quarter continues with more punt exchanges. I think both punters have punted to ball 10 times. Idaho has the ball and QG intercepts the ball at the Idaho 35. Let's take this game to the house! We get down to the Idaho 28 and go for it on 4th down and we do not convert.
What? Can you tell me why you do this except if you make it you can run more time off of the clock? You are well within MN's range and you don't take the points. Are we afraid to run up the score? You have to be kidding me. You are up by 19 and you don't try to get to 22 points ahead? Just a joke on the play calling! When we win on a consistent basis then we can attempt to play the stall game! The punt fest continues and with 4:38 left in the game Idaho takes the punt return back 81 yards for a TD. The 2 point conversion is no good! What are we doing? This team should not be able to run the ball back on us with a scent of a W in the air. Tech takes the ball and HL continues his show as the game comes to an end with Tech winning 24 - 11. A win is a win and I will take a W at anytime. We just need some more leaded fuel in our so called high octane offense. Our play calling has got to improve in my opinion. Congrats to RA for a heck of a punting performance, HL for one heck of a game and the defense was lights out. Our offense is hungry and our coaches need to take the leash off! Where is my red wine? I need someone to talk to. My dogs already think I am crazy standing behind the couch every time that Matt kicks the ball.  My brother called after the game and said it was so loud in the Kibble & Bits dome.
He said Matt was kicking the ball with so much power during warm ups and at half. The last time he had seen Matt play was his first game a Auburn and he was very impressed with his leg strength and accuracy. He sat next the the HL family and had good conversation with them. He said they were pleased with HL's decision to come to Tech! I talked to Matt before he boarded the bus. I asked him about going back to the spot from 2009 and he said it was very true. He said he nailed it with plenty of extra room! If I miss anywhere I am going to master that kick anytime I return to that stadium. He said the ref who handed him the ball for the kickoff that they moved up because of the personal foul penalty asked him if he was going to kick it through the uprights. Matt said no even though I would like to! I have to kick it slightly left because that is what my coach called and if I miss my mark I get points deducted when we watch film and go over the game. He said the ref told him that you have to be kidding me. Matt said nope it is true!
I know better than to ask Matt why they did not attempt the FG in the 4th quarter. His answer to me would of been the following: "Dad, my goal is to be ready at anytime the coaches call upon me and execute what they present me" All I can say is the he is very mentally sound! By the way, keep the old school Black Cleats going! They preformed well! Time for me to move on to the BYE WEEK! I am proud of the guys and as I stated earlier a W is a W no matter how we achieve it. We had a lot of injuries this week and the bye week will hopefully help us recover for our 2 week showdown with the Blue Aggies. I think they are confused with their name as the real Aggies are in College Station! Maybe they are like the blue santa! They have a true freshman QB just as Tech does and the games I have seen him play in he has been pretty darn good. It will be a tough test for us, but if we can somehow come away with a win I think we will be well on our way to a possible bowl game. I need to have positive thoughts. I hope everyone has a good "bye week" weekend and can catch up on whatever you are behind on! All I can say is let's get some rest this week, get our injured healed and go kick some blue aggie butt!
It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and the Bulldog team! I might not say the right things, but I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are during the week and during the game. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I am very passionate about La Tech Football. My opinions about the coaches and their decisions are only mine and no one else's. Many thanks to Donnie, Annie and Brycen for making their way over from Portland to root the Dawgs on! Thanks to Mr. Morris for letting me use a few of his photos. You can order prints of your favorite Bulldog a La Tech Sports Pix. Don't forget to listen to J Ford with Bleed Tech Blue on ESPN 97.7 FM every Tuesday night at 6:00PM. May your Football Season be filled with many Football Victories, Sunny Smiles, Sandy Dreams and Travel Your Way! Until our paths cross again, have a blessed week! College Football Dad!