A very ugly incident Wednesday night in Blacksburg has resulted in the suspension of Virginia Tech kicker Cody Journell. Journell is suspended indefinitely and while he has not officially been ruled out for the Sugar Bowl, it's hard to fathom a situation where he will be on the field in New Orleans.
If the Hokies are without Journell when they take on Michigan in the Sugar Bowl Jan. 3, my guess is they'll take the same approach they did when he missed the game against Duke on Oct. 29 due to an injury to his right quad. For that game, it was decided Murray State transfer Tyler Weiss would handle short field goal attempts and kickoff specialist Justin Myer would handle long attempts.
The only field goal attempt by the Hokies in that game was a 29-yard attempt by Weiss that missed. Myer has attempted two field goals this season: A 57-yard attempt against North Carolina and a 53-yard attempt against Virginia. Neither was very close.
Needless to say, neither senior has inspired much confidence when given a chance during the regular season. I fully expect the Hokies to go for it on every manageable fourth down if they're without Journell. As many have said on Twitter, can Danny Coale kick field goals, too?
Beyond the Sugar Bowl, the Hokies will be without a kicker on the roster for next year if Journell doesn't return.
Journell's future with the Hokies will depend on what the courts decide his involvement was in Wednesday's incident and then what, if anything, he can do to earn his way back on. Regardless of whether or not he ever sees the field again for Virginia Tech, I hope Journell is able to move on from this and the story can have a happy ending.