Saturday, December 1, 2012

Utah State - 11/17/12

Where do I begin? We go on the road and score 62 points and we are 9 - 1. I knew this team was special and they are taking me places that I did not even know existed. I am so darn proud of this team. I turned over a new leaf last week and I hope I can keep that booger turned over. I thought I did a pretty good job of staying positive and I think my melt down at the UTSA game really helped me get through the Texas State game. I was so proud of Matt Nelson after the Texas State game. Not only did he get his rhythm back he passed Josh Scobee and is now the all time career scorer for a kicker at La Tech. How amazing is that? Matt ended the night with 342 career points and now only needs 3 points to pass Troy Edwards to become La Tech's all time leading scorer. In my book that is one huge accomplishment. Congratulations Matt Nelson! It is time for me to get my mind right, extra drawers packed and my emotions in check for Utah State.
This is our 3rd Aggie team to play this year. I know it has to be another NCAA record. I stumbled across this fight song on the Utah State athletics site. It is called The Scotsman. Show me a Scotsman who doesn't love the thistle, Show me an English man who doesn't love the rose, Show me a true blooded Aggie from Utah who doesn't love the spot where the sagebrush grows! What the heck is that? Sounds like some wacky weed is being passed out in Logan! Now I know for certain that this Blue Aggie team is truly from a different mother. This will be a very tough game and I like our chances at home. With school being out I sure hope we get the fans in the stands. Theses guys need all of the support they can. This will be an emotional game for Janet & I. It will be Senior Day and the last time that we get to watch Matt play football at Joe Aillet Stadium. It is hard for me to believe that 4 years have gone by so fast.
We have made so many new friends and the support of Matt Nelson and our family has been so amazing. I just hope when I walk out on the field with Matt when his name is announced that I don't lose it. I spoke with Matt several times during the week. He said that practices have gone well. He said he was kicking the ball really well. The team has been very focused and the seniors have one thing on their mind and that is to win their last game at home. We have a lot of family (John, Carol, Bob, Margaret, David, Barbara, Cathy, Wes, Parker, Peyton and friends are coming to the game. My buddy and his wife (Jeremy & Lindsey) are coming over from Dothan. Ray Holly's family, RP Stuart's family and Ryan Allen's family, Mr. Harper, Mr. Hamm and his wife and Mr. Rust will all be hanging out at tailgate spot 52 as well. That is a big group! We made our way over to Ruston Friday afternoon. Once we hit Ruston we made our way over to the hotel where we hooked up with my parents and Jeremy & Lindsey. Jeremy and I were in training class together when we bought our Cruise Planners franchise. Jeremy is a huge Auburn fan and Matt had committed to La Tech earlier in the summer.
Since Matt's first game was against Auburn we hit it off right away and we have been friends ever since. Jeremy got to see his first game and now is getting to watch his last home game on senior day. I appreciate all of his support over the years. Matt had called and said he had a few minutes before chapel if we wanted to come to the field house. He wanted to show us something. We made our way over and he handed his mom a program. Matt was on the cover for senior day. How cool is that? That is such an honor and for it to happen on Senior Day. All I can say is Wow! As we were getting ready to leave Dan "The Equipment Man" Matthiesen drove up. It was so good to see him. He has been at Georgia State and there season was over so he had the opportunity to come see the game. Dan is such an awesome young man! We made our way over to Matt's house and loaded up the tailgate stuff for our last tailgate of the year. Onward to the tailgate spot to get the tents setup and then it was time for an adult beverage.
Alaskan Amber was the beer of choice. We got my dad's chair setup so he could supervise. :) All kidding aside my parents have been there almost every Friday night before the home games to help setup the tailgate spot and we are very appreciative of their support and help. After everything is setup and the adult beverages have kicked in we head over to Wow Cafe & Wingery for some wings and a few more beers. It was great just to kick back and visit with my parents and Jeremy and Lindsey. We headed back to the hotel for our last pre night bottle of red wine. After a couple of glasses of red wine we called it a night as Janet and I would head to the tailgate spot super early and Jeremy, Lindsey and my parents would head over a littler later. If you did not get there early then parking was going to be an issue because of graduation. Janet got everything setup the way she wanted and I had everything good to go when it was time to start the chili. Today was a chili fest with chili dogs, frito pies and chili on whatever you wanted it on. Senior day is going to be an awesome day, but an emotional day.
This has gone by way to fast! Mr. Harper showed up as well as Janet's parents. Andrew had his crew in full gear making gumbo and Bobby had his chili heating up. Ray Holley's family showed up and they were ready to party. Ryan Allen's family came by and it was awesome spending time with them. RP Stuart's family showed up along with my sister and her family and then Mr. Hamm and his wife came by. Kasie showed up and Dan and Dave Matthiesen came by as well. This is going to be an awesome day. We have such amazing family and friends. The chili is heating and Papaw has the dogs on the grill, so let's get this chili festival started. Everything is in position and the gun sounds. Let's eat! This might be the first tailgate that we don't have any leftovers. That would be awesome! Jeremy and I were talking and he said no where at Auburn can you tailgate this close to the stadium and he thought it was awesome that La Tech has it setup this way.
I told Jeremy so was I. The party is in full swing and the food looks like it is a huge success. Tailgate spot 52 has been so kind to us over the last 4 years and I hope to continue to keep her for years to come. We hear the sirens and that can only mean one thing. The team is close by. College Football Dad put your big boy pants on and get your emotions in check. It is time to head to tailgate alley and get that last hug from Matt as he enters the stadium for his last home game. Hold back your tears CFD. We make our way over and I give Ms. Toni a big hug. She has been such a big supporter of this football team. First comes Vince Cano and I get a big bear hug. Next it is Ray Holley and I get another bear hug. Then I see Matt and give him a hug, tell him I love him, I am proud of him and go have fun! When I saw him hug his mom I about lost it. We made our way back over the the tailgate spot and visited with everyone before we had to head up to the field house by 2:00. We made our way to the field house with Kasie. They gave us our instructions and then we made our way outside as we waited for Matt to come up the tunnel. You could tell he was ready for this to get over so he could get back to business.
He gave his mom a rose as we walked down the tunnel. I was still holding up ok. Coach Dykes was greeting everyone at the end of the tunnel next to the Bulldog. He said a few words to Matt, gave Janet a hug and shook my hand. Then Matt's name was announced. What a thrill for Matt and these players to be able to do this with their families at their side. I have not lost it yet! After all of the seniors are announced we gave Matt a hug and again told him to go have fun. We made our way up to our seats and joined the rest of the family. It looked like everyone had made it ok through the ceremony. I sat on the same row as Jeremy & Lindsey and we had family above and below us. To be honest I am ready to get this thing started. Come on Dogs! We can do this! UTS will kick off and DJB takes it 45 yards to our 46 yard line. That is a good start. Tech runs 3 plays and RA comes in to punt. UTS takes over at their 14 yard line and runs 1 play as they score on an 86 yard pass and run play.
What just happened? Did we not watch film? Tech takes the kickoff and runs 3 plays and RA comes in to punt. What are we doing. UTS starts on our 43 yard line and runs 3 plays as UTS attempts a 28 yard FG and it is no good. We just dodged a bullet! Tech takes over and runs 5 plays and RA comes in to punt. I am not liking these play calls.UTS takes over at their 14 yard line and runs 16 plays as they score from 1 yard out and UTS is now up 14 - 0. Tech takes the kickoff and starts this drive at our 27 yard line. We run 2 plays as the 1st quarter comes to an end. Wow! I was not expecting this. This is our house! The 2nd quarter starts as Tech runs 8 plays as Matt Nelson comes in to kick a 36 yard FG. It has left his foot and I see the hands up and it is good! Way to go Matt! Let's do this! Matt kicks off to the goal line and UTS takes it out to the 16 yard line. UTS runs 6 plays and has to punt.
Tech starts on their 15 yard line and runs 11 plays as Matt comes in and attempts a 44 yard FG. Through my lens I see Matt kick and the ball immediately goes backwards. It looks like 2 guys got through the right side and the FG is blocked. How does this happen? The protection has been so good in the beginning of the season. UTS takes over at our 42 yard line and runs 5 plays and connects on a 38 yard FG. UTS is now up 17 - 3. Tech takes the kickoff and runs 13 plays starting at our 31 yard line and CC is intercepted. Noooooooo! CC just threw is 1st pick of the season from the UTS 12 yard line. We have to regroup! UTS takes a knee as the half comes to an end. UTS leads 17 - 3. What is going on? I am in shock! Jeremy and I head out to down a couple of adult beverages at the tailgate. Bobby, Ross & Woody are already out there. We are all in disbelief. Where has our team gone?
It is about time for the kickoff so Jeremy and I head back in. Matt kicks off and UTS will start at their 22 yard line. UTS runs 5 plays and scores on a 13 yard rush play. Did our coaches just not talk to our defensive players. UTS is now up 24 - 3. This is getting out of hand! UTS kicks off and KD fumbles the ball and UTS takes over at our 12 yard line. Why is this happening? UTS runs 4 plays and connects on a 30 yard FG and is now up 27 - 3. We have got to turn this thing around now! Tech takes the kickoff and starts on our 22 yard line. We run 11 plays as KD scores from 2 yards out. Matt connects on the PAT and UTS leads 27 - 10. Matt kicks off and UTS starts at their 34 yard line and runs 7 plays as CK runs it in from 25 yards out. UTS now leads 34 - 10. This is not good. I need to go stand at the rail and change some of this ju ju up. Tech starts the next drive at our 25 yard line and we run 4 plays as CC hits MW on a 25 yard pass play.
Matt connects on the PAT and just like that the score is Tech 17 - 34. Come on guys! Matt kicks off and UTS starts at their 23 yard line and runs 9 plays and scores. UTS is now up 41 - 17. I think I am going to be sick. UTS kicks off and DJB takes it 98 yards and scores. Matt connects on the PAT and the score is now 41 - 24. Do you believe in miracles? Matt kicks off and UTS runs 2 plays as the 3rd quarter comes to an end. We can do this guys! Everyone is holding up 2 fingers on each hand for TD. The 4th quarter starts with UTS running 2 plays and they have to punt. We start on our 20 yard line and run 12 plays as KD takes it in from 1 yard out. Matt connects on the PAT and the score is 41 - 31. Here we go! Matt kicks off and UTS starts on their 33 yard line and runs 5 plays and has to punt. Tech takes the ball at our 25 yard line and runs 14 plays and CC throws another pick from the UTS 11 yard line.
This just did not happen. Come on CC we need to get you back on the field. UTS runs 4 plays and has to punt. Tech starts on our 14 yard line and runs 8 plays as HL runs it in from 7 yards out and Matt connects on the PAT and the score is now 41 - 38. We need you defense. I have a feeling my heart rate is pretty high. Matt kicks off and it is a touch back. UTS runs 3 plays and has to punt. Way to step it up defense. Tech starts on our 23 yard line 7 plays and goes for it on 4th down at the UTS 36 yard line and RH runs 21 yards down to the UTS 15 yard line. CC runs 1 play and the pass is incomplete and with 5 seconds on the clock Matt Nelson comes in to kick a 32 yard FG to tie the game and send this baby into OT. I could not watch even through my lens. I went down the tunnel and I heard the irruption. The FG was good! I sprinted back to my seat and hugged everyone I could. Adam McGuirt ran up and gave me a high five.
Then I started doing these hulk movements with my arm just screaming YEA! YEA! YEA! Matt has wanted this opportunity so long! I have never seen so much excitement from our fans. This is so awesome! Janet said DG tried to throw Matt on the ground and then Matt jumped into QP's arms and held up 2 fingers in each hand. Wow! Can we do this. UTS wins the toss for OT and runs 3 plays and scores a TD. Tech takes the ball and runs 4 plays and RH comes up short. UTS wins 48 - 41. I am speechless, I am sick, I am happy that Matt had the opportunity and I am not sure what I am going to do next. We are all sort of numb form the wildest roller coaster ride I have ever been on. I regrouped myself and we all made our way over to the field house. What am I going to say to Matt? Will he even come out? This was my last time to go to the field house to watch Matt come out of the field house. Matt finally comes out. He had already changed and he made his way to each family member and friend and gave us all a hug.
It is one that I will never forget. I told him I loved him and I was very proud of him. You could tell he was excited that he made the FG to send the game into OT, but the loss really did hurt. We visited for a little bit and then headed back to the tailgate area. The walk did me good. I was not ok with how the game ended, but I would survive. When we got back to the tailgate spot Bobby, Woody, Ross and several other were there waiting. I got a hug from each one of them. They had watched the kick from the opposite tunnel and they said when Matt made that kick it was a wild celebration in the parking lot. They all have been so supportive of Matt. Matt came over to the tailgate area along with Ray Holley and his family. We all got to visit with everyone and it did ease the pain some with everyone being together. I did sneak Matt off to the side as I had to know what happened on the blocked FG.
He said before he could even look up they were on top of him. It looked like the right side got gaped. We kick at 7 1/2 to 8 yards back and for someone to get to the ball they have to get through our line. He said he knew the kick at the end of the game was good as soon as he kicked it. He said he hated the loss but stoked that he was able to put the team in a position to win. We will spend time with the family tonight and then get ready for San Jose State. We went ahead and took everything down since we had an extra truck and so many people who could help. That made it really nice. We told all of our tailgate neighbors goodbye and told them we will see them at the bowl game. We made our way over to Matt's house and everyone helped unload the stuff into the garage. Then it was time to kick back with an adult beverage. RP's dad had every kind of meat on the grill and there was all kinds of food to eat.
Ray's family and Ryan;s family was there as well. Jeremy & Lindsey had to get up early for their trip back to Dothan so I took them back to the hotel and then I went back to Matt's for a while. We made our way back to the hotel and called it a night. My parents and Janet and I met Matt for church at the Bridge. It was my first time to go to church with Matt since he has been in Ruston. I was very impressed with the service. After lunch my parents headed back to Florida via Biloxi for the night. We were going to stay in Ruston one more night and spend some time with Matt since this was his last night. We had dinner with Matt & Kasie and Matt ended up staying at the hotel with us Sunday night. We took Matt to breakfast Monday morning and headed back to Dallas to get the dogs and to get ready for the last 2 days of the workweek since Thanksgiving was around the corner.
We will be heading back to Ruston early Thanksgiving morning to fix dinner for the guys before they head out to San Jose. While I am disappointed with the loss I am so proud of the team and how they came back after being down. They have that never give up attitude and it shows out on the field. I am so proud of Matt for hanging in there and trusting himself. That kick with no time on the clock was amazing. Matt scored 11 points and now is the all time leading scorer at La Tech. He now has 353 career points as he just passed Troy Edwards who had 345 career points. That is just incredible and never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought Matt would have done that. Wow! I want to thank all of our family and friends who attended the game. We are so blessed with all of the support of Matt and words can not describe how grateful we are. Thank You! I want to give a special thanks to Jeremy & Lindsey for making the trip over to Ruston. It was such a blast to hang out.
San Jose State is up next. I won's discuss them until my next blog. I want to enjoy this last home game. I will leave Utah State alone. 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. It is such a blast to follow Matt Nelson through his eyes and this Bulldog team. I write for the bottom of my heart and what my feelings are at that time. 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!