Hokies Fans Angry About Overturned Catch
Lynchburg, VA - It's been the hot topic of water cooler conversations all day. Did Virginia Tech's Danny Coale really make the diving touchdown catch last night in the Sugar Bowl?
Many Hokies fans are still fired up because the potential game-winner was overturned by a replay official.
A group of retired football officials in the Lynchburg area are speaking on the condition of anonymity, saying it should have been ruled a touchdown. They say there's an unwritten rule to never criticize another official so most of them would not go on camera.
Only one did agree to go on camera but would not openly discuss the call.
Robin Wood spent 40 years as a college football official. He says he was watching as a fan when the play happened.
"I thought when I saw it he was out of bounds and then I saw the officials give the touchdown signal and I said, 'Wow,'" said Wood.
Wood thought it was an incomplete pass but reconsidered after seeing the replay.
"It appeared one of Coale's elbows was inbounds which would make it inbounds if he was controlling the ball," said Wood.
He will say he didn't think there was indisputable evidence for the booth official to overturn the call.
"I was surprised that they reversed it, but that's all I can say," said Wood.
Local Hokie fans say they're glad to know many believe it was a bad call, but it doesn't ease their pain.
"It feels like the game was taken out of the player's hands. It really bothers me that the players weren't put in a position to win," said Justin Dalton.
"I felt heartbroken. I just sat on the couch after the game like I just watched someone steal an old lady's purse and run away and I couldn't do anything about it," said Cody Campbell.
Wood says he sympathizes with Hokie nation but they should realize.
"It's a hard call, tough call," said Wood.
Coale has asked his Twitter followers to retweet his message if they think it was a touchdown, and many are doing that.