NEW ORLEANS — After Tuesday night’s overtime loss to Michigan in the Sugar Bowl, Jayron Hosley said his team, so disparaged coming in, had nothing to be ashamed of.
“I hope the world saw that,” he said. “We played our hearts out. We had ups and downs, but we got it rolling when we needed to.”
Standing at a lectern across the hallway, coach Frank Beamer couldn’t bring himself to that conclusion. He’s been around long enough to know that the final score is often all that matters.
“We didn’t get a win,” he said. “We need wins.”
The Hokies are 1-5 in BCS games, a record that does not reflect the tension of the game’s final minutes or the controversy that ensued.
Danny Coale’s touchdown catch in overtime could have been the winner, but it went upstairs and was overturned by a Pac 12 officiating crew.
Coale stood by his locker for more than 20 minutes after the game answering questions. He was diplomatic, saying that he thought it was a touchdown but the refs must have seen it differently.
Watching from the next locker, Jarrett Boykin offered a different perspective.
A few yards away, in the defense’s locker room, Hosley offered similar thoughts.
“I thought it was a [heck] of a catch, man,” he said. “Danny Coale has been making plays for us all year, and that just solidified it.”
Hosley, a junior who announced that Tuesday night was his last game as a Hokie, twice intercepted passes only to see them overturned. On the second, a pass interference call negated what would have been a crucial third-quarter play.
“Both guys were into each other, and the receiver rolled his ankle, and he made it look like he got shoved down,” defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. “That’s what I saw, anyway.”
All that would have been overshadowed, though, if the Tech offense had been able to produce in the red zone. Instead, kicker Justin Myer was 4-for-4 in regulation. The senior who had never made a field goal seemed destined for a fairy tale ending, but it turned sour when he missed a 37-yarder in overtime.
“Right now, the last one’s really all that’s on my mind,” a dejected Myer said as he was consoled by teammates. “It was fun to be a part of this game. I just wish it had come out a different way.”
Coale felt similarly. The senior took the blame for a fake punt on fourth and 1, saying that he had the option to kick or run the ball, and should have kicked it. Still, it was an odd call for Beamer to make, particularly since the Hokies hadn’t rugby punted all year.
The loss made for a tough ending to Coale’s career, one he was still processing in the minutes after the game.
“I’m kind of like a zombie right now,” he said. “I can’t believe it wasn’t a touchdown. I can’t believe it’s over. The last five years went quickly.”
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