September 24, 2011
Tech-Marshall notes and quotes
By Jimmy Robertson

Coale moves up a spot: Tech receiver Danny Coale moved into fourth place in career receptions and in fifth place in career yardage at Tech after catching seven passes for 107 yards in Tech’s 30-10 win over Marshall. The game marked his second straight 100-yard performance.

“We saw on film that we were going to have some opportunities to throw the ball, and that’s what we did,” Coale said. “That’s how it was called, and we [he and the receivers] tried to execute when our number was called.”

Coale passed Eddie Royal, Antonio Freeman and Josh Morgan in receptions and now has 123 receptions for his career. Royal caught 119 passes from 2004-07, while Freeman caught 121 from 1991-94. Morgan caught 122 from 2004-07.

In yardage, Coale passed André Davis, who had 1,986 receiving yards from 1998-2001, and he now has 2,039 yards in his career. He needs only 14 yards to pass Ernest Wilford (2,052 yards, 2000-03) into fourth place on the all-time list.

Coale sees time as a punter: Tech head coach Frank Beamer replaced struggling punter Scott Demler with Coale after Demler hit a poor punt in the first half of the game. Beamer did not commit to Demler or Coale for the Hokies’ upcoming contest with Clemson.

“You know what you got back there,” Beamer said of the decision to go with Coale. “He’s a guy who’s been in a lot of battles. He knows how to operate with the pressure on.

“We’ll go back and go out there Monday and have good competition. Then we’ll see what happens.”

Coale averaged 31 yards per punt on two punts. His longest was 37 yards that went into the end zone for a touchback.

“That was the first time I’ve punted live since high school,” Coale said. “That first one, I was just trying to get it off as soon as I could. They rushed pretty hard.

“But as I’ve said before, I’ll do anything I can to help. Scott is going to be fine. He’s going to keep battling for it, and we’ll see what happens next week, but I think he’s a great punter. “

Coles gets the nod: Tech receiver D.J. Coles made his first collegiate start when he got the nod in placed of injured Jarrett Boykin, who sat out the game with a hamstring injury. He caught a career-high eight passes for a career-high 66 yards in the game. His longest catch was 22 yards.

“They [Marshall’s cornerbacks] played off of us, and we got a lot of hitches,” Coles said. “They were bailing on us, taking away the deep ball, so we took what we could get. I was in the boundary, and the guy was playing off of me. I had a lot of space, so I knew I might get a lot of balls throw my way. You just have to step up and make plays when it’s thrown your way.”

Boykin missed the first game of his career. He has played in 44 games for his career, starting 35 and had a starting streak of 27 consecutive games.

Gresh saves two points: Trey Gresh, the Hokies’ holder for extra points and field goals, made a nice play late in the first quarter after kicker Cody Journell’s extra point was blocked by Marshall’s Vinny Curry. Monterius Lovett picked up the ball and sprinted toward the Marshall end zone.

But Gresh, who had an angle on Lovett, managed to chase him down and get him to put a knee down at the Tech 15 before Lovett went on to the end zone. Officials reviewed the play and ruled that Lovett’s knee indeed touched down at the Tech 15.

So Gresh’s hustle play preserved two points for Tech. In the locker room after the game, Gresh received the special teams game ball for his effort.

Defensive ends wreak havoc: Tech defensive ends James Gayle and J.R. Collins played the best games of their careers, combining for four sacks against Marshall. Gayle recorded seven tackles and 1.5 sacks, while Collins had five tackles and 2.5 sacks.

“They’re athletic and they do a good job of coming off the edge,” Beamer said of the tandem. “We’ve had some fast guys in the past, and when we’re fast coming off that edge, we’re usually pretty good.”

Gayle had three hurries and Collins was credited with two hurries. They often forced Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato to throw the ball earlier than he wanted, and Gayle forced Cato’s only interception by rushing him.

“I wouldn’t say he was timid, but he knew what was coming,” Gayle said. “Basically, he played for us at the end of the game. When you keep getting hit, you’re going to throw the ball a little early.”

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