Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nevada 11/19/11

What a great feeling! We have a golden ticket in our hand. We are bowl eligible baby! I will feel more comfortable with the 7th win for sure! There is no telling where this team is going to take us. Right now I am loving this journey. Nevada is next on our list! I want to beat this team so bad. It is time someone puts these punks in their place and I think it is our time. I am not saying it is going to be easy, but I have a good feeling. They have a great home record and the early forecast looks like it could snow on game day. I always look at the opposing teams athletic website the week of the game. There is always interesting tidbits and weirdness to find. The Nevada Wolf Pack, one of only two teams nationally to use the designation (North Carolina State is the other though they use Woflpack as one word while Nevada uses to words with a capital "P"), has been using the Wolf Pack designation since the early 1920s. In the early 1900s they were called the Sagebrush's. How would like to play a team with a Sagebrush on their helmet? They have two mascots! One named Wolfie Jr and the other is named Alphie. Wolfie Sr must of quit. Don't they know that two is a couple, not a Pack. They really have no clue who are what they want to be. Every time I spoke to Matt he was like a kid in the candy store. He was so excited to go to Reno. Not only was there a pep in his step there was a pep in his conversations with me. I eve have extra pep!
I guess it is contagious. He was concerned about the wind and would deal with the cold temperature. He said he was making good contact with the ball. The snaps and holds have been great all week. He said the team has been jacked all week. All of the practices have been intense and they are only focused on Nevada! Take care of one game at a time and the rewards will come later. He said CD told them that no hand warmers would be allowed on the field. They would have heaters on the sidelines. I remember in 2009 that DD unplugged all of the heaters. Looking at the news Thursday it looks like Reno has wild fires and heavy wind forecast'ed Thursday & Friday. I hope everyone is safe and they get the fires under control before the team arrives! Game Day is here! What am I going to do for 9 hours? Maybe I should of slept in some. I am already nervous about watching the game on the computer. I have not told Matt this yet, but since my trip back from New Orleans during the Utah State game that I have wore the same shirt for all road games. It is just a plain old plaid button down and I wear m La Tech shirt underneath. I said what the heck after the Utah State game and now my lucky road shirt carried me through the road victories and I will be wearing it during the Nevada game. I guess it is my good luck charm. I know I can be a little weird! Janet and I are setup in separate rooms with our own computer. She has already warned me that I cannot use her closet when Matt kicks.
That will be ok! I have other options. As I wait for the game to start I poured a Shiner Cheer. You never know about seasonal beers, but this was actually pretty good. It is time for the kickoff and Nevada is kicking off to us. We run 3 plays and punt! Don't do this to me! Nevada runs 12 plays and we force them to punt. Way to go defense! We run 5 plays and punt again. Nevada takes the ball and rattles off 10 plays and scores on a 20 yard pass play. The PAT is good and Tech is down 7 - 0. This is not the start I thought we would have. Tech starts the 2nd quarter and we punt again. Offense we need you today! Nevada takes the ball and after 3 plays CF fumbles the ball and JC recovers. I hope this is the spark that this team needs. We run 3 plays and punt again. Please don't let this happen! Back and forth a punting we go and the half comes to an end with Nevada up 7 - 0. Thank you defense for keeping us in this game. The score could of been much worse. I need to slow down on the adult beverages. This day has a long ways to go. Matt will kickoff as the 3rd quarter begins. The kickoff goes to the 3 yard line and the return goes to the 31. We cannot allow this type of return. With the height on the ball our coverage should be able to stop them inside the 20. Nevada runs off 11 plays and kicks a 19 yard FG. That puts Nevada up 10 -0. Tech takes the kickoff and we run off 11 plays and Matt comes in for a 29 yard FG. I make my way around to the kitchen and Janet hollers it is good! I hope this jump starts our offense. Nevada is up 10 -3. Nevada takes the kickoff and runs 6 plays and kicks a 24 yard FG. This is not good! Come on Dawgs! Let's kick this thing in gear! We run 3 plays and punt as the 3th quarter comes to an end. Nevada takes the ball at the start of the 4th quarter and Nevada runs 9 plays and scores on a 4 yard scamper.
The PAT is good and Nevada is up 20 -3. I am not feeling good about this. I still have faith, but 3 scores in one quarter will be tough. Tech takes the ball and runs 11 plays and CC hits QP on a 9 yard TD and Matt sends the PAT through and Nevada is up 20 - 10. Let's go defense! Let's take one series at a time! The kickoff is away and the defense holds Nevada to 3 plays and they punt. That is what I am talking about! Tech takes over and after 6 plays CC hit MW with a 14 yard strike and scores. Are you kidding me? The PAT is up and Nevada is only up 20 -17. Matt kicks off and Nevada takes the ball at the 5:50 mark. Let's go defense! Nevada runs 7 plays and we force them to punt. I have a feeling! Tech takes over at the 2:29 mark on our own 8 yard line. Oh lord please be with this team! CC throws a couple of quick passes and we are faced with a 3rd & 12 and CC throws an out pass to HL and he scampers for 23 yards and we move the chains! CC then hits QP for 35 yards and then hits JJ for 25 yards. Oh please let this happen! HL for 3 yards and then it is a 8 and strike to TI and we score The PAT is good. The PAT was so important as that meant they have to score a TD. I am on my knees in the kitchen. I am in shock and I am afraid to watch the last 51 seconds. The kickoff is away and down to the 3. The coverage team comes up big and JC makes the tackle at the 21. Oh defense it is your time to shine! Nevada runs 6 plays and AC comes up with a huge sack with a 10 yard loss and the gun goes off. We won! We won! What a comeback by this team. I get off of the floor and get my computer. The team is going nuts on the field! This is so incredible! I am speechless! Janet and I stand in the kitchen and we have to pinch each other. Is this real? We have the real golden ticket and the WAC Championship is in our control! I am numb, excited and need a drawer change! The dogs are barking and think we are crazy! Oh my gosh! I need a glass of red wine! Congratulations text are coming in! The phones are ringing! Facebook and Twitter are smoking! I think we need to go outside and spray champagne on each other! Stay excited but calm down! We still have more business at hand. Let's enjoy this very special moment and then go do what we do!
Matt called Janet and the tears of joy were flowing! He was overwhelmed with excitement. He said the first person he hugged was HL, then MB, then TB and finally his mental mentor TG. He could not believe it! He said all week that the were so focused and then everything started clicking. He said he burnt the leg hairs off of his left leg. Standing to close to the heater was not a good thing. He also said his left big toe was numb or frozen most of the game. He said that some of the Nevada fans that were still left lined up where they had to walk to the locker room and dropped so many "F" bombs at the team. He thought to himself that yes indeed we are #1. He said he kicked the ball so pure and his placements on kickoffs were placed where CT wanted them. We hugged through the phone and said our goodbyes. What a special moment! We called and talked to our oldest son Tyler. He was so proud of Matt! We talked to family most of the evening and even though it was long distance we discussed the game like we were all there. I am so proud of this team and I am sitting in the back of the plane waiting to see where their next journey will take me. Everybody did their part and rose to the occasion when they were called upon! Oh I do not want to lose this feeling and I need to find a bottle to put it in! Great win guys! Let's get home safely and enjoy this win! The next day it is time to focus on the fake Aggies! There is only one true Aggie team and they are from Texas! New Mexico State has been a roller coaster team this year. I am not sure what they will bring to Ruston. They have nothing to lose and that can be very scary! I feel certain that our coaching staff will have them grounded during the week and then turn them lose on Saturday.
Winning is contagious and that is something that you do not want to stop feeling! I will leave my Nevada journey here! What a ride it was! I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels wherever you may be going! Make sure you get enough to eat, take a nap and eat some more! We will be spending Thanksgiving in Ruston with Matt and many family member traveling from all over the states. This is the first time we have done this in Ruston and we are looking forward to spending time with Matt and all of the family. Best of luck with New Mexico State Dawgs! Stay focused and your reward will be waiting for you! Best of luck to RA as he is one of the 3 finalist for the Ray Guy Award! Bring it home RA! For all of those traveling to Ruston please be safe in your travels. 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 on the coaches and their coaching abilities are only mine and no one else's. Thank you so much to Mr. Tom Morris with La Tech Sports Pix for allowing me to use some of his photos for this blog. Don't forget to listen to J Ford and Chris Keagle with Bleed Tech Blue on ESPN 97.7 FM every Tuesday night at 6:00 PM. 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!