A night of great plays by both Virginia Tech and Michigan was sullied by poor officiating Tuesday night. Danny Coale made a highlight reel catch for the Hokies on third-and-long in overtime. Coale caught the pass from Thomas in the end zone, his elbow touched down in bounds and then the receiver bounced out of the end zone. It was called a touchdown on the field but was reversed from instant replay.
The ball didn’t budge from Coale’s grip as he hit the ground on what would have been the biggest catch in his career. The ESPN commentators said they thought it was a catch, but only one opinion mattered and the replay official said no catch.
The official may have blown the call but he didn’t miss the kick that followed. Third-string kicker Justin Myer made his first four field goals in the Sugar Bowl but missed the kick that ended up costing the Hokies the game. He missed a 37-yard attempt. Michigan didn’t blow the opportunity and made a game winning field goal.
It was a terrible way to say goodbye to so many great Hokie seniors but the season is over now. At this point it is still unclear if Jayron Hosley and David Wilson will return for their senior season. No matter how hard it is right now, the Hokies must turn to the future. There are five things that Frank Beamer and Virginia Tech need to improve upon to have more success in 2012.