- - Tuesday, September 4, 2012

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Jeff Williams wasn’t turning off the TV.

The Giles High School football coach and 1989 Virginia Tech graduate wanted to see the end of Virginia Tech’s Monday night game against Georgia Tech. He wanted to see his alma mater pull out a key victory.

And deep down, he wanted to see one of his former players at Giles redeem himself, for an earlier missed kick and an off-the-field miscue last year.

When junior Cody Journell connected on field goals of 41 and 18 yards to give the Hokies a 20-17 win in the first overtime game at Lane Stadium, Williams got what he wanted.

“Sitting there the whole time, for some odd reason, I kept thinking, ‘Man, it would be nice if Cody could hit a game-winning kick,”’ said Williams, who coached Journell at Giles and was a walk-on defensive back at Virginia Tech, playing his senior year under then-new coach Frank Beamer.

The past two Virginia Tech games have come down to field goals in overtime. Journell had very different vantage points for those games.

When the Hokies lost the Sugar Bowl to Michigan in January, Journell wasn’t with the team. He had been suspended following a December arrest on a charge of breaking and entering. He was accused of going to the home of former Tech basketball player Dorenzo Hudson and brandishing an air gun in an attempt to retrieve stolen marijuana. (Journell’s attorney, Jimmy Turk, denied the case involved drugs.)

Journell was reinstated this preseason after the charge was reduced to trespassing, a misdemeanor.

Monday night, Journell was back in uniform and, after missing his first field goal attempt of the season, connected on two dramatic late kicks to give the Hokies a crucial Coastal Division victory.

Tuesday, Journell was named ACC specialist of the week. Virginia Tech’s Jack Tyler was named the conference’s linebacker of the week after recording a game-high 17 tackles against the Yellow Jackets.

“Anytime you get a chance to tie a game up with 7 seconds left and then kick a field goal in overtime, it’s always special,” said Journell, who declined to discuss his suspension.

Cody made a bad mistake, and he paid I thought a tremendous price,” Beamer said. “The publicity of it was more than most people get. When you’re a Virginia Tech athlete and you mess up, that’s what’s going to happen.”

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