The Virginia Tech football team may have a short week of practice leading up to Thursday’s clash with Georgia Tech, but that doesn’t mean it has lacked compelling storylines.
Instead, some big news has come out about the team’s maligned kicker, the development of some key injuries and a new helmet design.
Some issues may be more important than others to the Hokies’ chances at beating the Yellow Jackets, but it’s been a fascinating news week all the same.
After Cody Journell suffered through the worst game of his career against East Carolina, many speculated that his performance or some lingering injury would keep the kicker out against Marshall.
Journell did indeed find himself on the bench on Saturday, but for entirely different reasons.
Head coach Frank Beamer announced that he’d suspended Journell for a violation of team rules on Saturday morning, forcing the inexperienced Ethan Keyserling into the starting lineup.
Despite his transgression and his long history of personal troubles, Journell will start on Thursday as he tries to atone for his error.
“I made a mistake last week and I’m sorry for it,” Journell said. “I apologized to the coaches and players and my family and everybody who supports me. But I’m going to come back and play this week.”
Journell had previously run afoul of the law when he was arrested for breaking and entering in 2011, but the coaching staff’s confidence in him hasn’t wavered.
“He’s made some mistakes, but he’s certainly a good kicker and a good kid,” Beamer said. “As far as his ability kicking, he’s solid. Got the same flight every time. Made some big kicks. I think that’s a good kicker for us.”
But refocusing on football brings its own problems for the redshirt senior. He missed two field goals and an extra point against ECU, but insists he feels confident now.
“I’m as confident as I can be without being 100 percent,” Journell said.