Wednesday, November 7, 2012

UTSA - 11/3/12

My head has been spinning out of control all week! I am not sure what I witnessed during the NMS game. In my mind I would call it a Perfect Storm. The Perfect Storm is an expression that describes an event where a Rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically. I saw a sputtering offense, a two headed defense and a kicking game that was not normal. Those 3 events caused the Perfect Storm for me. Yes, I know we won and a win is a win no matter how it is done. I understand that and yes this team is rolling forward towards a magical season. As a La Tech Football Fan and a College Football Dad I hurt when everything is not perfect! Alright CFD your rant time is up. No more negative thoughts as it is time to move on.
Positive thoughts are on the way. Can you believe we are 7 - 1? These guys never give up no matter what situations they are presented. I am very proud and excited for all of you. It is time for me to get my mind right for these Roadrunners. UTSA is on tap next and we have a herd coming to the game. I don't mean that in a bad way, but we do have a lot of family coming to the game. I am not sure what to expect from UTSA as they are a brand new football program in to year #2 of actually playing football. Their head coach (Larry Coker) has a national championship under his belt with Miami. Looks like another team waiting on a butt whooping as we move forward to achieving our goals. I spoke with Matt a couple times during the week.
You could tell he was upset with his performance against NMS. I needed to stay positive for him even though I don't understand how it happened. This is one game and we learn from it and we get ready for the next challenge. I told him everyday we are presented with challenges and these learning opportunities are what makes us stronger in life. Matt is very strong and his faith will guide him moving forward. He said they worked on some different kickoffs along with the pin kick to the left side of the hash. He watched a lot of film this week. They continued to work on various on-sides kicks along with PAT's and FG's with the team. He said the team is focused on UTSA and they had a great game plan in place.
We started our journey to Ruston Friday afternoon. My parents (John & Carol), my aunt (Donna) and my cousin (Heather) and her family (Rob, Mackenzie & Mikaela) all made their way over from Florida and we met them at the hotel. It was so awesome to see them as it has been way too many years since we have all been together. Then we all headed to Matt's house and loaded all of the tailgate stuff up and then headed to the tailgate spot to setup.  We got all of the tents and tables setup. Mr. Harper stopped by to visit for awhile and Mr. Garland stopped by to drop off some just picked off of the tree satsumas. They are part of the mandarin family and they were amazing. Thanks so much for bringing them to us.
It was now that time again for that adult beverage. Some of our group went to the pep rally and some stayed at the tailgate spot and just enjoyed the environment that we were surrounded with. After a few more adult beverages we headed over to the Log Cabin and got to visit with everyone as we had an awesome meal. We made our way back over to the hotel and visited some more as we capped the night off with an awesome bottle of red wine. Our morning started off early as the game against UTSA would kickoff at 3:00 PM. Janet and I hit the tailgate spot at 7:30 AM and started setting up everything before everyone started arriving. On our menu we were cooking fajitas on the flat top along with caramelized onions and peppers.
We had all of the fixings along with queso so you could either go the fajita route or the fajita nacho route. The Bloody Mary's and other adult beverages were flowing. The onions and peppers are sliced and chilling. Mr. Harper arrived and dropped off an ice chest full of beer and water. It is always awesome visiting with him. My dad took Heather and her group up to the tech tam shop and bought shirts for the game. The next thing I know is Mr. Hamm shows up and he is carrying a 4 gallon jambalaya pot with a stand. He said this is for you! I said you have to be kidding me. He said you need to careful what you wish for in your blog. I was blown away. I did not know what to say! Tears! I gave Mr. Hamm a big hug and told him how grateful I was.
This is so awesome and I still can not believe it. It looks like it is going with me to the Texas State game. Janet's parents (Bob & Margaret) and my sister (Cathy) and her family (Wes, Parker & Peyton) along with a couple of Parker's friends all showed up. Today is Cathy's birthday and I am not sure how old she is but she is getting closer to my age! HaHa! It was time to get the grub on the flat top. I was going to cook the fajitas first and then wrap them in foil and then cook the onions and peppers. Everything is sliced and diced and it is waiting to be consumed. Bobby had arrived earlier and he was going to make fish tacos. He was grilling tilapia and wrapping it with a fresh made corn tortilla's from Chimi V's all topped off with two different slaw's.
Bobby is very good when it comes to food and is super creative. Janet's uncle David arrives up an the adult beverages are still flowing. The fajitas look like they are a bit hit. We knew we were going to cook quesadilla's after the game so we decided to bag up all of the left over meat and onions and put it in the cooler. We picked up a few things as we heard the band start playing and that only meant one thing. The team would be arriving very shortly. We headed over to tailgate alley and waited. Normally Matt is in front but he was a little ways back this time. I got a big hug from VC and then a big hug from Matt. Next it was a big hug from RH. These guys are awesome. We made our way back over to the tents for some final cleanup as most of the family would head in.
I watched Matt warm up some from the gate. As I went back to lock the suburban up Flip showed up at Bobby's tailgate with a bottle of Caymus in hand and we had a nice little toast before the game. Thank you Flip! That is awesome wine. I made my way over to the stadium and found my seat. It is time to get this thing started. Here we go! UTSA kicks off and we start at our 38 yard line. Tech runs 6 plays as CC hits RPS on a 1 yard pass play for a TD. Matt comes in and connects on the PAT. Matt kicks off and we stop UTSA on their 20 yard line. UTSA runs 7 plays and scores on a 33 yard bomb and tie the score 7 - 7. Tech takes the kickoff as KD runs 62 yards on the return and then UTSA gets a 15 yard penalty slapped on top of that.
Tech starts this drive at the UTSA 18 yard line as KD runs it in for a 2 yard TD on the 2nd play of the drive. Matt comes in and connects on the PAT. Matt kicks off and we stop UTSA at their 15 yard line. UTSA runs 7 plays and connects on another 57 yard bomb and the score is tied up at 14 - 14. What is going on? They can not get that open. Tech takes the kickoff and we start the drive on our 26 yard line and run 3 plays as RA comes in and connects on a beauty. We down the ball on the UTSA 5 yard line. Just awesome RA! UTSA runs 4 plays and has to punt. Tech take over at our 36 yard line and run 4 plays as we go for it on 4th and 1 and come up short. UTSA takes over at our 45 yard line and run 1 play as the 1st quarter comes to an end. Wow!
That is all I can say. UTSA starts the 2nd quarter and runs 8 plays and fails on their 4th down attempt and Tech takes over at our 11 yard line and runs 3 plays as CC hits QP on a 79 yard bomb for a TD. Matt comes in and connects on the PAT and Tech is up 21 - 14. Here we go! Matt kicks off and we stop UTSA at their 21 yard line. UTSA runs 4 plays and has to punt. Tech takes over at our 1 yard line and we run 9 plays as Matt comes in for a 36 yard FG and based on my camera lens and Matt's reaction it is not good. What is happening? I am going to puke. This can't be. I sit here for a second and I know his pain has to be worse than mine. I decided I needed to do something that I have never done at a Tech game.
Right or wrong I did it. I went to the tailgate spot and I sat on the ice chest so I could see the score board. My wife is going kill me, but I needed to change things up. The next thing I see is that Tech scores and as the half come to an end the score is 27 - 14. I guess we missed the PAT. My whole body went numb. This is not Matt. Why is this happening? I get so worked up and I know better. I knew Matt would start the 3rd quarter kicking off and I could see by the scoreboard that UTSA was starting at their 20 yard line. After about 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter UTSA scores and Tech is now up 27 - 21. Tech took the kickoff and after about 4 minutes off of the clock Tech scores and it looks like Matt's PAT is good as the score is Tech 34 - 21.
I am not sure why the kickoff is taking so long but I did hear from a radio playing close by that Matt Nelson is kicking off from the tunnel as we were kicking off from the 5 yard line. How does that happen? We must of had some major penalties. We exchanged a few punts as the 3rd quarter comes to an end. I see that it is 3rd down as we start the 3rd quarter. It is 4th down at the UTSA 5 yard line and I see the ball go through the uprights. It looks like Matt has connected on a FG. Way to go Matt! Tech is now up 37 - 21. The kickoff looks high and UTSA starts at their 25 yard line. After about 3 minutes UTSA scores a TD and looks like they fail on a 2 point attempt and the score is now Tech 37 - 27.
Janet's dad had come over to the tailgate spot with about 10 minutes left in the game. One of the gentlemen who was in a tailgate spot close to us brought over a radio so I could listen to the broadcast. I am not sure how many plays were run but Matt comes in to kick a 37 yard FG and UTSA runs into Matt and the penalty gives Tech a first down. I am not sure if he is hurt or not. I sure hope he is not. We run 3 plays and Matt comes in for a FG and the next thing I hear is it is a fake and DG just threw a TD pass to ML and then the PAT is good. Oh my! Tech is now up 44 to 27. I am feeling a little better about the game, but I feel horrible sitting in the parking lot. This is not fair for Matt. He needs me more than ever right now.
The scoreboard shows UTSA starting at their 12 yard line and after about 4 minutes they turn the ball over on 4th down. Tech takes over at the UTSA 49 yard line and after about 2 minutes KD runs it in and Matt connects on the PAT. Tech is up 51 - 27. Matt kicks off and UTSA runs 1 play and the game comes to an end. Tech wins 51 - 27. Holy cow! That is so awesome for this team! I gave the gentleman's radio back and opened a beer and I fought back tears tears. How can a CFD leave the stadium and watch from the parking lot? It is just not right and you should be ashamed of yourself. Matt does not even know and how are you going to tell what you did. How are you going to face your family? Man, my emotions are out of balance!
We decided to cook after the game so I needed to focus my attention to that. We all normally go up to the field house to see Matt, but Janet's mom said she would come directly over after the game and help get things going. The rest of the family started showing up and then I see Matt and his mom walking towards the tailgate area. I had a lump in my throat. Matt walked right up to me and dropped his bag and gave me a huge hug. I did not want to let go. I kissed him on the neck and told him that I loved him and that we would get through this together. There were several friends and fans that came by and told Matt that they were still proud of him and they know that he will bounce back and they have all the confidence in the world in him.
Thanks for all of your support Mr. Harper, Mr. Hamm, Mr. Garland, Mr Cockrell and Ms. Toni! It was so awesome to see and it really means a lot. It is times like these that the tough get better and grow from adversity. We got the quesadilla's on the flat top. We even had hot dogs going for the kids. It was awesome to have all of the family there. It was my sisters birthday and my mom had made a cake. We all got to sing happy birthday to her. It was cool that we could celebrate it with her and a La Tech victory. After all the food was gone we decided to go ahead and take down all of the tailgate stuff and take it back to Matt's since we had 3 vehicles. Everybody pitched in and everything is loaded as we head back to Matt's house.
Everyone starts unloading and in about 20 minutes everything is put up. RPS had his family there and they were cooking in the backyard so we hung out with them for awhile. I did talk to Matt for a few minutes and he that there is something little either with his approach or shoulders. He is going to watch film as early as he can and get this thing back to where he as at when the season started. He did tell me that DG (his holder) held him up in the air against the wall at half time and in DG's words said "Look at me! You know what you can do! You know what you are capable of! Stay focused and visualize! Everyone in this locker room believes in you! Just go do it! You are not out there on an island all by yourself! Do you hear me?" I was blown away and I think it hit home with Matt. Matt told me he will get to the bottom of it and he will get it fixed. I am proud of this team and I love these guys and we will get through this.
We have the opportunities in front of us to do something really special. We said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel. It had been a long day. I wanted to thank all of the family members who made the journey over to watch the game. My cousin and her family drove 14 1/2 hours to come to the game. My parents and aunt drove 12 1/2 hours, my sister and Janet's parents drove 5 hours and her aunt and uncle drove 4 hours. It is so awesome and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We met Matt for breakfast Sunday morning at the Waffle House before he went to church. He did not talk much, but it was great to spend a few minutes with him before he headed to North Dallas. The drive gave me time to reflect on the game and to come up with a way to be a better dad and to quit letting my football emotions get in the way. This is a great win Bulldogs. We are one step closer to achieving our goals. I am very proud of you all. I did talk to Matt after he and CT watched film. They went back and watched the Virginia film and compared it to the last 2 games and he said he has been standing too upright during his approach and this was causing his shoulders not to be square at the target when he kicked the ball. He said this is the tune-up he needed and could not wait to get back on the field and get back to the basics that he started the season with. I was excited to hear the news. I have to move my attention to the Texas State game in San Marcos. We have about 40 family and friends attending the game and the coolest thing about this game is that my oldest son Tyler is going to get to see his first game of the year in person. He is a huge Matt Nelson fan! His weekends are Wednesday & Thursday, so traveling on the weekends to Ruston did not happen this year. He was able to get Friday & Saturday off so he will be able to go visit Matt at the hotel in Austin Friday night and then join us for tailgating on Saturday. Several members from Kasie's (Matt's fiance) family will be attending the tailgating/game as well. It should be awesome! Texas State's stadium is pretty cool.
Matt played a high school playoff game there his senior season. I know when I was in high school that they were called Southwest Texas State and they were one of the best party schools to go to. It should be a great game and I look forward to seeing everyone there. I will leave UTSA here. I promise to keep my emotions in check and enjoy the journey. Matt you rock in my world! Now let's go make some Bobcat stew! What a blast it is and we are so blessed to have the honor to watch Matt Nelson and this La Tech football team. I appreciate all of those who are following my journey. I can't wait to share my thoughts with everyone as the season goes on. It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and this Bulldog football team. I write from the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that time and sometimes I get 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!