January 4, 2012
Tech-Michigan notes and quotes
By Jimmy Robertson

Myer with memorable game: Tech kicker Justin Myer entered the Sugar Bowl with exactly two career field-goal attempts – a couple of 50-plus yarders and neither came in a pressure situation. But the fifth-year senior found himself thrust into a starting position after Cody Journell was suspended and Tyler Weiss was sent home for violating curfew.

Myer had a memorable game, for sure, setting a Tech bowl record by hitting four field goals and yet misfiring on one in overtime. He hit field goals of 37, 43, 36 and 25 yards, with the 43-yarder being a season long by a Tech kicker. He missed from 37 yards.

“It was a new situation for me,” Myer said. “I had kicked a couple of long ones before, but I had never been the main guy. So it was different preparing. The last few days, I was hitting them well, and I felt I’d have a good game going in.”

Unfortunately, Myer may be remembered for the missed 37-yarder, though by no means would that have guaranteed victory for the Hokies. After the miss, Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons kicked the game winner.

“That last field goal is going to make it tough,” Myer said when asked how he would remember his career. “I feel like I did a good job, especially for not kicking many field goals here. If it wasn’t for that last one, I’d be really pleased with how I kicked.”

He certainly got a lot of support in the locker room following the game. A bunch of players congratulated him and tried to lift his spirits.

“He played awesome,” receiver Danny Coale said. “He gave us the points that we had. He put us in position to win at the end. It shouldn’t have come down to a field goal, and I don’t agree that it should have come down to a field goal.

“The missed opportunities, the penalties – that’s what led it to being a close game. It shouldn’t have been close.”

Great game for Tech ‘D’: Tech’s defense played one of its best games of the season, holding a potent Michigan offense to only 184 yards on the night. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson rushed for just 13 yards and completed 9 of 21 for 117 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception.

Tech defenders were in position to make a play on both of his touchdown passes. In the first half, Tech safety Eddie Whitley probably should have intercepted Robinson’s 45-yard scoring pass to Junior Hemingway, but he mistimed his break. Then, in the second half, Antone Exum was in position, but Hemingway jumped over him and managed to get a foot inbounds for a score.

Tech’s defense sacked Robinson three times and held Michigan to 3.5 yards per play.

“We just read our keys and played our base defense,” Whitley said. “That’s basically what we did. We didn’t do anything special. We didn’t shadow him or do anything like that. We trusted our defense and played base. That’s what we did.”

Wilson breaks Tech single-season rushing mark: David Wilson found the going tough against Michigan’s defense, but the junior from Danville, Va., managed to break the Tech single-season rushing record in the game.

Wilson finished 82 yards rushing on 24 carries, giving him 1,709 yards for the season. His 11-yard run on his second carried of the third quarter enabled him to surpass Ryan Williams’ mark of 1,655 yards set in 2009.

“It was definitely an accomplishment,” Wilson said. “It was fun playing out there tonight against a good team from a different conference. I felt both teams were giving 100 percent. They were playing good defense. We knew they were going to play hard-nosed defense and be physical. Our goal was to out-physical them and make plays, which we did. We just ended up coming up short.”

Wilson said he had not made up his mind in regards to giving up his final season at Tech and making himself available for the NFL Draft, but that a decision would be coming shortly.

Coale, Boykin close on strong notes: Tech receivers Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale close their careers in strong fashion.

Coale caught eight passes for 117 yards, while Boykin caught four passes for 30 yards. Coale caught at least two in 45 of his 55 career games, while Boykin hauled in at least two passes in 44 of the 54 games he played in his career.

Fuller notches second INT of season: Tech defensive back Kyle Fuller, a second-team All-ACC selection, intercepted a pass by Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson in the first quarter. The interception marked his second of the season and the second of his career. He also recorded an interception in the Hokies’ win over East Carolina earlier in the season.

Reserves move into starting roles: Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster opened the game in a nickel defense, and Tech’s offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring opened the game in a four-receiver set. That meant a couple of reserves moved into starting roles for the game.

Detrick Bonner, a cornerback, made his fourth start of the season. Receivers Marcus Davis and D.J. Coles also started, with Davis making his eighth start and Coles making his third.

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