Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Houston - 9/08/12

Can I say Happy Dance? It is time for the Greatest Game in the world to begin. College Football is right here, right now! I am not sure why, but I am like a little kid getting ready to go in a candy store when football season starts. I am not sure what flavor my game day deodorant will be this year, but I am sure it will be a mix of grass, leather and sweat. :) I am stocked up on drawers this year. I just hope I make sure to take extras on the road trips. As I get older my mind can get distracted. My first game blog was supposed to be for the Texas A&M game, but Thunderstorm Isaac was headed to Shreveport and the powers to be decided
that in the best interest of the teams and the fans to postpone the game and move it to October 13th. I threw a penalty flag on that one. You have to be kidding me. I guess the Aggie cheerleaders did not want to get wet! Football is meant to be played in the elements! It is just part of the game. At least for those teams who play in a real football stadium without the aid of a dome. The Southern Miss game last year was played in a monsoon with many portions of the field covered in water. Come on man! This is College Football! We had
family travel to Shreveport from Florida and Missouri to watch the game before it was postponed. I am not going to let a thunderstorm stop me, so we headed to Shreveport early Thursday AM to meet up with everyone. Our tailgate would still be on that is for sure. We spoke with Matt on our way over and the team was free on Thursday so Matt and Ryan Allen came over to join us. We hooked up with everyone at the hotel and then headed to Maxwell's Market to pick up all of our tailgate grub. Ross was there as he always is and helped us pick out several items. Matt and Ryan signed one of their schedule posters and gave it to Ross.
He got a kick out of that. We picked out enough stuff to fill up two bags and headed out. We had hoped to go to Independence Stadium and setup the tent and get our tailgate on, but instead we headed back to the hotel at the racetrack. The hotel had a conference room setup for us to have our indoor tailgate. We spread out the grub and got our adult beverages flowing. It was great to have Matt and Ryan there. It really felt like there was going to be a football game. Matt and Ryan both said that these elements can be a nightmare for the kicking units, but they were prepared to play.
They had worked so hard over the summer and at camp and then the postponement of the game sort of took the wind out of their sails. Now they will have to work on a new game plan for Houston and start watching film on Friday. Later that evening we drove over to the stadium at kickoff time and there was a little drizzle and a slight wind. Oh well! What are you going to do except enjoy the moment of what should of been. We did find a little joint in Shreveport to eat dinner at. It was called Herby-K's. They are known for their Shrimp Buster and it was awesome.
Thanks to Ross at Maxwell's Market for the recommendation. After dinner we drove by the stadium again and it was still a slight rain with the exception that it was pretty foggy. We headed back to the hotel and Matt and Ryan headed back to Ruston. Even though the game was not played we still had a blast hanging out in Shreveport. Friday morning we headed back to North Dallas and would get things ready to watch a ton of college football. Many thanks to all of the family members who made their way to Shreveport even though no game was played. Now I have to wait a whole week for the opening kickoff in Houston.
Time had better fly or I am going to be a basket case. I spoke with Matt several times during the week and he said practices were going great. His timing with David and Josh had been spot on. They have a few trick plays if the situation presents it's self. I guess they have something for every game if needed. He said most of kickoff's for Houston were going to be pinned left or sky center. I am not sure why we have to play these games. Just kick the ball down the middle. Now you see why it takes multiple pairs of drawers to get through a game. If any of you are on Twitter you need to check out @FakeMattNelson. I am not sure who is doing this, but it is hilarious and I wish I would of come up with it. Finally Friday afternoon got here and we started our journey down to Houston.
We stayed at Janet's parents in Spring. Friday night college football and a little red wine was where it was at. Saturday morning was on top of me and I was ready for my first beer to kick the season off. My beer of choice was Alaskan Amber. It is an awesome beer! We had 11 family members meetup at noon and we started our caravan down to South Houston. Several others would meet us down at our tailgate spot. The cash parking lot was about 3 blocks from the stadium so that made it nice. There was several La Tech tailgates already rocking when we got there.
The tent is up, the snacks are out and the adult beverages are flowing! Now this is what I am talking about! College Football at it's finest is upon us. Tom Morris and Dwayne Woodard came by and we got to visit for a little bit. That was pretty cool! Around 4:00 we took the tent down and headed to the alumni tailgate for some burgers. They had a great location and the weather was awesome. There was some little wind out of the north, but other than that it was perfect. We made our way over to the stadium at 5:30 and went in to watch Matt warm up.
He was really kicking the ball well. One of his kickoffs hit the goal posts and he hit a couple of 60 plus yard FG's. He looks like he is jacked and ready to get this thing started. We were sitting right next to where the team entered the field. You could tell emotions were running high as they waited to run on the field. Here we go! La Tech is going to kickoff! Matt kicks it 7 yards deep and Houston elects to run it out and we nail them at the 8 yard line. That is a great start! Houston runs 6 plays and fumbles on the 36 yard line. La Tech takes over and runs 3 plays and TK scores.
Matt kicks the PAT and we are on the board. Here we go! Matt kicks off and we have a touch back. Houston runs 4 plays and punts. La Tech takes over at the Houston 42 yard line. La Tech runs 5 plays and TK scores again. The PAT is good. Matt kicks off and we have another touch back. Houston runs 14 plays and kicks a 30 yard FG. Tech takes the ball at the 27 yard line and we run 3 plays and RA comes in to punt. Houston runs 10 plays and we hold them to a 42 yard FG. Tech runs 5 plays as the 1st quarter comes to an end with Tech up 14 to 6.
Three plays later and CC hits JG for a touchdown. The PAT is good and we are up 21 to 6. This is awesome! Matt now is kicking north into a decent wind and it goes out of bounds at the 2 yard line. What just happened? When you kick to these corners this is what can happen. Let's kick it down the middle and if it drifts left then we a golden. This is exactly why I wear multiple pairs drawers! Houston runs 4 plays and has to punt. Tech takes over at our 20 yard line and we run 6 plays and RA comes in to punt. Houston takes over at their 2 yard line and runs 3 plays and has to punt.
Tech takes over at our 25 yard line and we run 7 plays and RA comes in to punt. Houston takes over at their 19 yard line and runs 9 plays and a TD is scored. The score is Tech 21 - Houston 13. Houston kicks off and we start at our 17 yard line. We run 8 plays and go for a 4th and 9 yards to go at Houston's 33 yard line and come up short. Here we go again! I know there is some wind but kick the 50 yard FG and try to get some points. TF is going to put me back on my blood pressure medicine. Houston takes over at their 31 yard line and runs 8 plays and another TD is scored.
I am not liking this. Houston kicks off and we run 4 plays and RA comes in to punt and the half comes to an end with Tech up 21 -20. The 3rd quarter starts and we run 4 plays starting at our 25 yard line and RA comes in to punt. Houston runs 4 plays and they have to punt. Tech takes over at our 1 yard line and we run 4 plays as TK scampers 59 yards for a TD. The PAT is good! I like this! Matt kicks off and we have our first sky kick of the season. The ball did hit the ground but we were not in position to recover it. It really would not made a difference as we were off sides. Houston starts at their 33 yard line and runs 10 plays as they fall short on their 4th down attempt. Tech taks over at our 42 yard line and runs 10 plays as KD takes in in from 2 yards out. The PAT is good! Matt kicks off and Houston takes over at their 26 yard line and scores on a 74 yard pass play.
This is not good! What happened to our defense? Tech takes over at our 25 yard line and we run 10 plays as RH scoots in from 2 yards out. The PAT is good! Way to go Mr. Holley! Matt kicks off and we have another touch back. Houston runs 10 plays and fails at a 4th and 6 at our 12 yard line. Tech takes over and runs 2 plays as the 3rd quarter comes to an end. Tech is up 42 to 27. The 4th quarter starts as we run 4 plays and RA comes in to punt. Houston takes over at their 20 yard line and runs 2 plays and we have a fumble. Tech recovers at Houston's 14 yard line and HL takes in in for a touchdown. The PAT is good! Matt connects on a another kick for a touch back. Houston runs 12 plays and scores a TD. The 2 point conversion is good. Tech is up 49 to 35 with 9:36 to go in the 4th quarter. This is a lot of points! Tech runs 8 plays and CC hooks up with RPS for a 14 yard TD pass. The PAT is good! Way to go Mr. Stuart! Matt kicks off and we have another touch back.
Houston runs 9 plays and scores. Can this game hurry up and end? Houston attempts an on-sides kick and we recover at Houston's 48 yard line. We run 5 plays to the Houston 35 yard line. It's 4th down and we punt. Are you kidding me? It is a 52 yard FG with a tad of wind behind you. Let's go up by 3 scores! Just do it! I am not sure if this was a TF or MT decision, but in my opinion it was the wrong one. Houston takes over at their 20 yard line and runs 12 plays and scores. What is happening here? Houston kicks the on-sides kick and recovers it. They were penalized as the ball only traveled 9 yards and that is illegal touching. Tech takes over and takes a knee as we finally win this shootout 56 to 49! I am exhausted! This has to be the longest game I have ever attended. My observations from the game were that we have an awesome offense and our defense has some work to do. I thought David, Josh and Matt all worked well together in their first live game. I understand we want to be up tempo, but towards the end of the game we were snapping the ball with 10 seconds on the clock.
You have to run the thing down further if you are trying to manage the clock. You have to take chances on long FG's. Your kicker has a strong leg! The officials were horrible and we had way too many booth reviews. Other than that I am darn proud of this football team and what a great way to start the season off with a win on the road, no turnover's and no sacks. We met Matt at the bus and got to visit with him for a little bit before they headed back to Ruston. Over all he was pleased with his performance. He said his leg still felt good and sure could use an ice bath. He said the kick out of bounds in the 2nd quarter was all him as he over kicked the ball and got a little to high on it. Their game plan was still to pin the ball in the left corners and these things are going to happen when you are playing darts with the kick offs. We had a lot of family at the game so everyone got to spend a little time with Matt. Matt boarded the bus and we headed back to the parking lot. I know this is going to be a long night/morning as I know when I get to my in-laws house that it will take me several glasses of red wine to calm down.
Many thanks to all of our family members who attended the game. I would like to give a very special thanks to Ann Smith and Gary Wiley for taking the time to come to the game as well. Everyone's support of Matt and the Bulldogs is greatly appreciated. It was also great visiting with the Harper's and Garland's. Rice is next and I can't wait to get to Ruston. Our first tailgate of the season is finally here. We will set up Friday evening and will be ready to go early Saturday morning. We are in tailgate spot #52. Stop by and say hello. I don't know much about Rice. They used to have a band called "The Mob" which used to run on to the field from their seats and no one was dressed the same. I am not sure if they do it the same way but in the old says they were hilarious. Their mascot is an owl and in 1917 students from Texas A&M stole the mascot. Rice hired a private detective to go to College Station to find the missing mascot. When the detective had recovered the mascot he sent a coded telegram to the school that "Sammy is fairly well and would like to see his parents at 11:00".
The Rice mascot now had a name. The mascot was named Sammy. This can not be true! That has to be made up. I will end the Houston journey here. Some of the pictures used in my blog were taken by Mr. Tom Morris. I appreciate him letting me use them. What a blast it was and we are so blessed to have the honor to watch Matt and this team. I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. I can't wait to share my thoughts with everyone this season. It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and this Bulldog team. I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that time and sometimes I get a little carried away. I am very passionate about La Tech football. I am just a College Football fan and I love College Football. Until our paths cross again have a blessed week. College Football Dad!