Myer converts four FGs, but misses in OT in Sugar Bowl

By on January 4, 2012

Two weeks ago, Manheim Central grad Justin Myer was the third-string kicker for the Virginia Tech football team.

On Tuesday night, he experienced a roller coaster of emotions in the national spotlight, with the No. 11 Hokies ultimately suffering a 23-20 loss to No. 13 Michigan in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La.

Virginia Tech (11-3) outgained Michigan 377-184 in total yardage, but the Hokies came away with just one touchdown in five trips inside the red zone. Myer, however, connected on his first four field goal attempts, including a 25-yarder with just :02 left in regulation to tie the score 20-20 and force overtime. Earlier, he split the uprights from 37, 43 and 36 yards.

His 43-yard kick in the second quarter was the longest by a Hokies kicker in more than a year. The last one matching that distance came off the foot of Chris Hazley, who booted a 43-yard field goal in Virginia Tech’s 44-33 win over Florida State in the 2010 ACC championship game.

On the opening possession of overtime, Myer again got the call, but this time his 37-yard attempt sailed wide right. From there, Michigan got the ball and the Wolverines’ redshirt sophomore kicker Brendan Gibbons nailed a 37-yard field goal down the middle to lift his team to the victory.

Gibbons also gave Michigan a 20-17 lead thanks to a 39-yard field goal with 4:00 left in regulation, as the Wolverines capitalized on a short field after they stopped a fake punt called by Hokies coach Frank Beamer.

Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas answered by directing an 11-play, 83-yard drive, leading to Myer’s game-tying 25-yarder.

According to news reports, the Hokies’ primary place kicker Cody Journell was unavailable for the game following his arrest in an alleged home invasion, and Virginia Tech sent backup Tyler Weiss home from New Orleans because of a curfew violation. More MYER, page B-6