Thursday, September 8, 2011

BYU vs. Ole Miss

Labor Day weekend was a blast! Besides the hours spent in the car driving. :) Rory and I had been looking forward to this weekend for a long time! Finally the start of college football was here!

I picked up Rory at work around 11:30 in the morning and we were off to Mississippi. About 2 and a half hours later we were in Nashville. We stopped by the airport to pick up Rory's parents and then we went for a treat. :) They have this really good popsicle place that we'd been wanting to try out since the last time we were in Nashville. They were delicious! Then we stopped by McDonald's to pick up lunch since we thought we should get some real food. :) Once we got our food we hit the road again. Just under 4 hours later we finally arrived in Tupelo, Mississippi.

We quickly checked in to our hotel and changed into Sunday clothes and headed to the BYU football team fireside. We arrived about 5 minutes before the meeting was supposed to start. We were unprepared for the crowd we met. The whole church building was packed. We were told later that the church has about a 700 person capacity and there were over 1100 packed in it. Every seat was taken in every room and hall in the building. So we made our way to one of the front doors into the chapel. Polly asked if we could come in and sit on the floor. After getting permission from someone else we were told that we could. So we ended up sitting on the ground right in front of the pulpit. Front row seats! :) Not the most comfortable, but we were just glad to be in the chapel. The meeting was great and we really enjoyed it.

Afterwards we met Carter (In case you don't know his last name is Mees and he's number 15 on defense. He plays safety and is on special teams.) and talked to him for a while. He and Rory are like brothers so it was good to see him and talk to him since we haven't seen him in forever. We also saw a few other players who are from St. George that the Housley's know. As we were walking out of the building with Carter someone yelled from behind us, "Hey football player!" He turned around and they asked him to autograph their football. It was pretty funny. She said she didn't know how else to get his attention. :)

After the fireside we were starving so we tried to find a BBQ place to try out. You can't go to the south and not have BBQ right? Well we tried a couple places, but both were closed. So we headed to Outback instead. After all the talk about BBQ I had to get their ribs to satisfy my craving. :) Rory got a really good steak and fish plate. The meal was delicious! Afterward we shared a chocolate brownie with ice cream for Mike's birthday treat.

Saturday morning we headed down to breakfast and were met by a lot of BYU fans. They weren't hard to spot since everyone was dressed in BYU attire for the big game! We actually ran in to a group that had come down from New Albany, Indiana. They go to the other ward that shares our same church building! And Mike and Polly knew one of the couples because they used to be in their ward in St. George. What a small world?!

We had a few hours to kill before driving to the game so we took advantage and headed over to see where Elvis Presley was born. I learned on this trip that Tupelo, Mississippi is where Elvis was born. We visited the two bedroom house he was born in and lived for a few years. We visited the church Elvis used to attend. They also had a small museum about him we walked through. It was kind of fun to see where he began his life and love of music.

After Elvis, it was back in the car and time to go to University, Mississippi for the big game! It was about an hour or so away. When we arrived we had a lot of fun driving around trying to find parking. There were so many people! Mostly people wearing red, but we were surprised to see more BYU fans than we expected. We finally found a place to park and then we made our way to the stadium. We were a couple hours early but we were so excited to get our tickets and see the stadium. We went to the Will Call for BYU players friends and family and got the tickets that Carter had gotten for us and we were inside! We met up with Carter's Dad at the gate who was even more excited than we were! :)

We had amazing seats right next to where the BYU team came out and on the 13th row! We got some lunch and sat watching the teams warm up. I'd never been to a football game that early before and it was fun to watch. Luckily it was overcast all day because the day before had been SUPER hot and humid. It was still humid, but without the sun beating on us it was bearable. I didn't have to worry about heat stroke. :)

Carter is the one standing in the middle.

Just before 4 the game finally got underway! We were so excited to see how our team looks this year. We were sorely disappointed as the first half ended. We'd had such high expectations and things were not looking very good. We were only down 3 to end the half and neither team had played well, but that did not make us feel any better. To begin the 3rd quarter we hoped for a turnaround and were again disappointed. When BYU QB Heaps threw a pick on the 3 yard line only to have Ole Miss run 97 yards to return it for a touchdown we thought it couldn't get any worse. Then on the next drive we blew it again when we missed what should have been an easy field goal. We were still only down 10-0, but it felt like so much more.

Carter playing on special teams.

The 4th quarter began and we were quickly losing hope. We'd come so far to see such a disappointing game. Less then a minute in and Ole Miss got another field goal which put them up 13-0. Luckily they didn't get a touchdown off that drive. We were sure that would have been too much for BYU to overcome. After all the disappointment, BYU finally put together a long drive ending with a touchdown! We couldn't believe it! We jumped for joy! We had hope again!

I think there was about 8 minutes left at this point and we knew BYU had to hold Ole Miss in order for them to get a chance at winning. After multiple penalties and bad play, there was 5 minutes left and Ole Miss was on their own 21 facing a 3rd and 27 attempt. We were screaming so hard! We had to hold them! Then BYU could get the ball back with over 4 minutes to try for another touchdown. Out of nowhere Van Noy got into the backfield and forced the Ole Miss QB to fumble. The ball bounced around a little before Van Noy was able to grab it and run it into the end zone for a touchdown! We were stunned! The entire BYU section exploded into cheering and jumping up and down. The rest of the stadium was silent as they realized what had just happened. They thought they had the game. They had been winning the whole second half. And just like that BYU pulled ahead 14-13. We couldn't believe it! The rest of the game we were on the edge of our seat hoping BYU could pull it out. When the clock finally hit 0:00 we cheered some more! The game was horrible until about the last 10 minutes, but it made it all worth it!

Carter is #15. This was the team coming over to cheer with their fans after the game.

We got to see Carter again after the game. It was great to see him after a win and not a disappointing loss. At some point in the first half someone stepped on Carter's too and dislocated it. He said when he took his shoe off at halftime it was sticking straight up. They popped it back in and numbed it up and he was out playing again. It was nasty looking! All black and blue! I hope it heals up quick!

Polly made Rory a Mees jersey so of course Rory had to get it signed!

After the game we decided to not face the traffic leaving the city and we stopped for some dinner at Chili's. After dinner we drove about 40 minutes or so to a little city where we were staying for the night. There are no big cities around Ole Miss so all the hotels were sold out for quite a ways. But this just gave us a head start on our way to Memphis the next day.

Sunday we dropped Rory's parents off at the airport and began our long trip back home. We had thought about sticking around in Memphis and going home Monday, but after hearing about Tropical Storm Lee we thought we should head out before the storms rolled in. Little did we know we were going to drive through a lot of nasty rain anyway. Multiple times we could barely see the road because of the sheets of rain coming down, but we made it home safe and sound! It was nice to be home and done with all the driving. :)

We had a great weekend! BYU's win made it all worth it! We're now making plans to go to the BYU vs. TCU game in Texas in October and can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. Katie, you make a great historian. I don't think my scrapbook pages will tell the story quite the way you did. It was a great trip! Wish we could go to every game, but I guess we will have to settle for HD TV :) Glad you and Rory decided to go to the TCU game, too (although I can't say I'm surprised!) I hope our boys in blue can put up a few more "W's" between now and then - Go Cougars!