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MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
“I’m back this week and everything’s going to be fine,” Virginia Tech kicker Cody Journell said after his 1-game suspension.
Monday, September 16, 2013
BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer is a fan of golf, so it's no surprise he likened kicker Cody Journell‘s struggles Saturday at East Carolina to a golfer's swing that has gotten out of whack.
"I think every golfer knows you hit a big ol' hook, now you try not to hook it and all of a sudden you're slicing it," Beamer said. "You leave it out there and don't get your club face closed. He got into that a little bit."
Beamer and Journell are trying to get to the root of the problem that led a kicker who had made more than 80 percent of his career field goals to be suddenly unable to make anything.
Journell called his performance in the Hokies' 15-10 win against East Carolina the the worst game of his career. He pulled an extra point to the left, missed field goals of 40 and 38 yards and had a 32-yarder that he yanked to the left late in the game negated by a running into the kicker penalty.
Journell had a sore back in the middle of last week, although he didn't think that was an issue. It was more mechanical than mental, he thinks.
"It definitely makes you think about what you did wrong, but I was excited to go out there every time, so I wouldn't say it really affected me mentally," Journell said. "But once you miss three, you're definitely frustrated with yourself."
Beamer said Monday that Journell's plant foot was an issue, although he had a good corrective day of kicking Sunday.
With Virginia Tech's offense still trying to find a rhythm under offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, the Hokies need all the points they can get in close contests.
Last season was proof of that. Journell made game-winners against Georgia Tech, Virginia and Rutgers and sent the Boston College game to overtime with a late field goal.
"There's no worry with Cody," Beamer said. "He just got on a bad roll there the other day. We went back out and kicked [Sunday] and he was extremely good. He's done it too long. He's knocked too many right down the middle of the goal posts - he's going to be just fine."
Defensive end James Gayle was named the ACC's Defensive Lineman of the Week after finishing with three tackles, 2.5 TFLs and two sacks against East Carolina, one of which went for a safety late in the game.
The Hokies have 12 sacks in three games, tied for second most nationally.
Beamer sounded optimistic that defensive end Tyrel Wilson (knee) and receiver Charley Meyer (hamstring) would be able to play against Marshall on Saturday. Wilson got only a handful of snaps against ECU, while Meyer did not travel.
The status of running back J.C. Coleman, who has missed two of the first three games with an ankle injury, remains up in the air. Beamer said Coleman's progress "slowed down a little bit" late last week, which is why he didn't travel.
Beamer does not expect cornerback Antone Exum to return to action this week. The senior, who tore his ACL in the offseason, targeted the Marshall game as a possible first game back, but the Hokies are still waiting for a checkup.
"I'm not sure exactly when he'll be back," Beamer said.
Brent Benedict started at right tackle for Laurence Gibson on Saturday because he had a better week of practice, Beamer said. Gibson started the first two games but Benedict began to work in at tackle against Western Carolina in Week 2.
"Benedict has been a little more consistent than Gibson," Beamer said. "Let's go back and see how we practice here and go from there."
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