Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ole Miss 11/12/11

Oh my! Where do I begin? Where has this team been? 4 wins in a row is such a breath of fresh air. I will be on a high all week. Those dumb dogs in Fresno need to put their own bone in the graveyard. You need to man up and replace our bone with yours. your graveyard is for losers, not winners! All kidding aside I am very proud of this team. They believe in each other and they do not give up. Great win in Fresno guys! Onward we go to the Grove. Our time to shine against and SEC opponent is staring us in the face.
With the Ole Miss coach being relieved of his duties at the end of the season their team should be in a funk. I am not sure what to think about Ole Miss. They used to have a flag as a mascot and now they have a black bear as a mascot. Are there black bears in Oxford? They don't know what to call their school. University of Mississippi or Ole Miss? I understand that Ole Miss stands for mood, emotion and personality and U of M stands for buildings, trees and people.
Why? I am sticking with U of M! They also have a crazy fight song called Hotty Toddy. I thought that was warm adult beverage after a day on the slopes or maybe they are singing about some dude named Todd. I just don't get it! I think we are going to ruin their homecoming festivities. What do you think? I hope this week goes by fast. We are going to have about 18 family members attend the game.
Janet's (wife) 2nd cousin Elizabeth attends U of M so this game was chosen as the family gathering. It is cool that the game will bring family together that does not normally all get together at the same time except for funerals. I am pretty excited! Let me see if I can get all of the names straight who will be attending.
(John, Janet, Meggie, Papaw, David, Mike, Melynda, Mikayla, Betty Sue, Donna, Marilyn, Kim, Nick, Elizabeth, Whitney, Austin, Nick's brother & wife. I knew I would screw it up. I thought I knew all of the names. Matt called a couple of times. Every time we spoke you could feel the excitement in his voice. He said he was kicking the ball well in warm ups and with team. They worked on some on-sides and sky kicks.
I understand the on-sides but not the sky kicks. Overall his back had been looser most of the week. The team felt pretty confident about wining the game and the possibility of becoming bowl eligible. Let's just say that excitement is in the air! He said they were staying in the same hotel that they stayed in when they played Mississippi State. The same place where you have to pull the chain to start the AC!
Now that is funny right there! Now I sound like a Mississippi Redneck. Our Journey started out Friday by the way of Little Rock and Memphis. Our hotel was just on the Mississippi side, but within shouting distance of Memphis. We went to the Peabody Hotel to see the ducks make their way form the fountain to the elevator on the red carpet. I wonder who cleans up the duck poop on the red carpet? The place was packed full of duck watchers.
We walked around Beale Street for awhile. There was not much action yet as the night had just started. Then it was time to make our way to Rendevous for some ribs. The ribs with the spicy BBQ sauce were awesome! Janet had the brisket and for a restaurant it was pretty darn good. When you have a brother-n-law (Mike) who is a pit-master, it is hard to find a brisket or ribs that even come close to his!
I like to ask the question "Would you order it again?" and if the answer is yes, then it was pretty good! After a few beers and some good grub I needed to scoot my chair back and put my feet up. I was a stuffed puppy! Graceland was our next stop. It would be a drive by viewing. We did stop for a few photos and the lights at the mansion looked pretty cool. We were all beat from our long drive so we called it a night. Saturday morning arrived and after a big boy breakfast at the Cracker Barrel we headed to Oxford.
I not sure I understand this adult beverage thing in Oxford, but we got beer at Walmart and wine at a liquor store that did not sell beer. We drove through the Grove which was pretty cool. Tailgate tents were everywhere, but no one had showed up yet and it was 10:30 AM.  We checked out downtown a bit where we ran into more family. We visited for a bit and then drove back over by the stadium. We found parking almost in between the stadium and the Alumni Association tailgate tent.
It was right next to a grassy hill so we set up operations (blankets, coolers and chairs) and partied like rock stars. The porta potties were close so we were golden! Besides the gale force winds it was perfect football weather for me. Overcast and chilly! About 3:00 we went to the Alumni Association tailgate that was being catered by Taylor Grocery. All I can say is WOW! The fried catfish and fried chicken were out of this world. They had their rig set up with fryers and were going to town.
The deep fried brownie bites were so good that they should have been illegal! Where was the blue Bell when I needed it. I over ate again! Now I need to walk some of this off. The Alumni Association and LTAC should be applauded for that choice. Adam McGuirt with LTAC was kind enough to give us updates on the teams arrival. When they got close Janet, Meggie, Melynda and Mikayla all made their way over to the stadium to see the team arrive.
Janet has to see his eyes! After a few more adult beverages it was time to make our way over to the stadium. We made it in time to see Matt warm-up. It looks like the wind is going to play havoc with the kicking game tonight. Some flags are blowing one direction and some the other direction. This will not be fun! The stadium is kind of cool. It does not look like it holds 60K though. Game time is here so lets get this thing started!
Matt kicks off down to the 5 and U of M takes it to the 25. They run 3 plays and punt and we run 3 plays and punt. I guess both teams are feeling each other out! U of M takes possession and runs 8 plays and scores on a 34 yard pass play. This is not the start I was looking for! Tech takes the ball and we fumble. U of M runs 5 plays and they attempt a 34 yard FG and it is no good. BR would of set a SEC consecutive FG's made record with that kick! Wow!
Tech takes the ball and runs 14 plays and in comes Matt for a 40 yard FG. It is up and away and it is no good. Really? Janet said it looked like the wind pushed it right. I always watch Matt through my camera lens and I can tell by his reaction if it is good or not. Now I feel like I need to puke! We exchange a few more punts and U of M fumbles the ball and Tech takes over. We run 3 plays and Matt comes in for a 35 yard FG and it is no good. Janet said this one missed on the left side. I am really feeling sick now. I guess I was not being very positive as Janet left to go sit somewhere else.
We don't normally sit very close during the games and she needed some positive reinforcement. We exchange a few more punts and Tech takes the ball and CC hits TI for a 21 Yard TD. Matt puts the PAT through the uprights. Now we are talking! The kickoff is away and in to the end zone for a touch-back. If I have my numbers right that was Matt's 10th touch-back of the season and I am sure he was a little hot under the collar after the first 2 kicks. U of M takes the ball at the 3:31 mark and runs 2:56 off of the clock and punts.
Tech has 35 seconds and 95 yards to go. Do you believe? I do! HL scampers 48 yards. CC makes to quick passes to TI & QP and with no time left Matt comes in for a 43 yard FG into the same wind. I am watching Matt through the lens and he is leaning and then all of a sudden the Tech fans are cheering and it was good! Oh my gosh! What a momentum changer for this game. Tech leads at half 10 - 7. This kid is so determined and I am so proud of him for his mental toughness.
Just watching this team go to the locker room with everyone throwing high fives got me a little choked up. Our fans were going nuts and our band was jamming out. What a great feeling! I know we have another whole half, but what a moment! The 3rd quarter starts off with exchanging of punts and then U of M drives down and attempts a 52 yard FG with the wind and it is no good. Tech takes over and runs 3 plays and Matt comes in to kick a 35 yard FG into the wind again and based on Matt's and TB's reaction it was good. Tech is now up 13 - 7. That young man amazes me how he can overcome the first 2 misses and then drain the next 2. I would of been deflated if I would of missed the first 2.
Thank goodness he has his mom's mental toughness! Matt kicks off and on the first play U of M fumbles and CB takes it to the house! Are you kidding me? The PAT is good and Tech leads 20 -7. Hoo Ya! We exchange more punts and then JC picks off the U of M QB and takes it to the house for another score. The PAT is good and Tech is up 27 - 7. I am doing the happy dance and I do believe this team is very special and is destined to win this game! After a huge stop on 4th down and few more punts the game comes to an end with Tech winning 27 - 7. The La Tech fans are going nuts, the players and coaches are going nuts, the band is going nuts. This is so cool! We just became bowl eligible  Really? For real? We finally have a golden ticket! We made our way down to the team buses and waited for the team to come out. It was so cool as all of the fans formed a line and as the band went to their bus and we high five'ed everyone of them. The cheerleaders came out and we did the same thing. Matt made his way out and I gave him a big hug and told him how proud of him I was.
You know me, I am going to ask about the kicks. He said he hit the first 2 kicks pure. The first one started out down the middle and the wind pushed it dead right. The 2nd kick started down the middle and the wind pushed it left. He said the wind was crazy and never blew the same way. He said the kick right before half time that he hit it well and when it took off he said "Are you kidding me?" and then when it hit the upright and went in that he was ecstatic! He said the team went nuts on the field and the locker room was nuts as well. They could not wait to get back out on the field. As each player came out they got a round of applause. It was very cool. I tried to tell each one congratulations and great game. I am sure I missed a few and I apologize to those who I missed. These guys were so thankful that the fans were there and each one I spoke to said thank you and thanks for coming! That is just awesome! We said our goodbyes and the team was on their way back to Ruston.
I bet none of them would sleep on the bus ride home. I am not sure if I will even sleep tonight. I am pretty jacked. I do need to check my drawers though. With all of this excitement I forgot! We made our way back to the hotel and celebrated with popcorn and adult beverages! What a night! I am so proud of this team! When you believe in each other you can accomplish great things! Now we have to get ready for the pesky Wolf Pack. It is going to be a tough game no doubt. They play good at home and it will most likely be cold. I just hope it is not windy on game day. I think the front should push through Thursday & Friday leaving Saturday with decent weather. I feel good about this team going into Reno. I think these guys know that they can win! I will be a nervous wreck watching the game on my computer and running off to the closet during PAT's & FG's. I guess I just need to learn to deal with it. What a weekend this has been! I want to thank all of the family members for all gathering in Oxford to watch Matt and the Dawgs play. It was a blast to get to spend time with everyone.
All of the support means so much to our family. We are truly blessed as Matt and the Dawgs take us on this journey in life. Best of luck Saturday night Dawgs as we move one step closer to the WAC Championship! Make us proud! It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson 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! Don’t forget to listen to my friends at Bleed Tech Blue on ESPN 97.7 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!