Fiu On The Sugar - Was It A Catch?
Virginia Tech WR Danny Coale
Virginia Tech WR Danny Coale
Posted Jan 3, 2012

Pete Fiutak on the controversial finish in the thrilling Sugar Bowl.

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- There's absolutely no right or wrong answer.

- I've worn out my DVR looking at it over and over and over again, and to me, Danny Coale looked like his elbow and shoulder landed out of bounds at the exact same time, and it also looked like he absolutely, positively, 100% had control of the ball. However, the rule is so wacky that yeah, it could be interpreted that he technically didn't have control because the point hit the ground. And yes, it could've been ruled that his elbow came down barely before his shoulder hit.

- And that's the point. There call could've gone any way. There wasn't indisputable evidence to have overturned the touchdown call.

- Call or no call, that was a mother of a catch.

- But the game didn't end on the reversal.

- Justin Myer might have had a great night, but he missed the 37-yarder.

- Virginia Tech's special teams superiority is all on reputation at this point. The Hokies lost on special teams.

- And the inexplicable decision to go for a fake punt rather than pin Michigan deep.

- It's not like the Wolverines were moving the ball at will – this wasn't the Rose Bowl. The Tech defense was doing its job, and while Frank Beamer might be an all-time great, that was an awful call.

- Yeah, Michigan won, but this wasn't exactly the big statement the Big Ten needed. The two big bowl wins – this, and Michigan State's win over Georgia – came on missed field goals and the controversial reversal.

- Forget about the 30-yard mistake for a moment. David Wilson's 112 yards gained on 24 carries were earned. He never seemed able to bust free.

- This is the moment Logan Thomas is officially on the map. He had a good year, but not enough people noticed the performance against Miami to make a splash. With his size, mobility, and arm, if he can make any sort of progress as an accurate short to midrange thrower, he'll become a red hot NFL prospect.

- With a few apologies to RGIII, Denard Robinson might be the single most exciting player in college football, but the offense is playing with fire when he's taking chances like he does with his jump ball passes. He threw a brilliant scoring pass to Junior Hemingway, and he showed flashes, but he should've ended up with four picks instead of the one he gave away.

- And he needs to improve his decision making. Someone needed to clue him in to where No. 20 was. Jayron Hosley might have been beaten a few times, but he won his share of battles.

- Maybe it's time to apply the Georgia Tech offense theory to Robinson. If a good defensive team with sound, disciplined linebackers gets time to prepare, it can stop Robinson from getting free.

- It's the right philosophy. Sell out to keep Robinson from getting into open space and take your chances on his alley-oop jump ball passes he makes.

- Virginia Tech would've assumed it would win if it knew before the game that Robinson would complete 9-of-21 passes and run for 13 yards on 13 carries.

- And Fitzgerald Toussaint wasn't heard from, either. The Michigan offensive line was whipped by the Hokie defensive front.

- The Virginia Tech defense could be truly special next year with nine starters likely to be back. The offense, though, has to replace most of the offensive front and all the top receivers will be gone. Wilson would be nuts to not bolt early, meaning the offense will be rebuilt around Thomas and the season will depend on the D.

- Michigan will be better, but the biggest key to the 2012 season will be the rest of the Big Ten – it's lousy as is, and it's about to take another step back. Ohio State isn't playing for anything; Penn State is dead program walking; Wisconsin loses Russell Wilson and doesn't have another on the way; Nebraska needs to find a third offensive player; and Michigan State has to undergo a massive rebuilding job. Meanwhile, the Wolverines are loaded if the defensive front can find a few key replacements. The recruiting class is among the best in the country, and the schedule is more than manageable.

- After starting out the season 0-1 after a date with Alabama in Jerry World.

- Yeah, Michigan State, Kansas State, TCU, Houston, Boise State, and even though it wasn't eligible, Arkansas were all deserving to play in the Sugar Bowl. But who cares when it's 23-20 with an overtime finish? It wasn't a masterpiece, but it was a terrific exhibition game.