It’s just Week 1 and Virginia Tech fans still have 11 more games to go over the next 12 weeks. Obviously, after last season’s 3-8 campaign, Hokie fans are feeling better today after beating Old Dominion, 36-17, Saturday night at Lane Stadium.
There was a lot to break down, some of the good, some the bad, and just overall a win is a win, and 1-0 sounds a lot better than 0-1. However, as the game went along, there was one thing that frustrated fans, and no, it wasn’t the play of quarterback Grant Wells, who had his moments and didn’t have his moments. It was the officials and official reviews for everyone’s favorite rule and a rule that nobody can figure out yet………. targeting.
Not to sound like LeBron James, but there was not one, not two, not three, not four, but five reviews for targeting. There ended up being three ejections between the two teams, one that should have been an ejection that wasn’t and one that wasn’t even close to being targeting that was reviewed.
First ODU’s Amorie Morrison was ejected in the first quarter for targeting for his hit on Virginia Tech QB Kyron Drones on the transfer’s first play in Blacksburg. Then, Tech’s Jalen Stroman was tossed for targeting.
In the second half, Virginia Tech’s Phedarius Payne was ejected for targeting and will miss the first half of next Saturday’s game against Purdue. There were two other instances where targeting was reviewed, but the players were allowed to stay in the game.
Old Dominion’s Jason Henderson somehow avoided getting ejected for targeting when he clearly lowered the crown of his helmet and delivered a hit. It was reviewed and he stayed in the game. In the fourth quarter, Virginia Tech’s freshman Caleb Johnson was flagged for targeting and it was a clean hit. Give the referee’s credit, that was the quickest of the reviews in just about a minute.
Not only were fans and media members frustrated, but so was Tim Hasselbeck on the call for the ACC Network. The former college QB admitted he was frustrated with all the stoppages and reviews. I get it, it’s a safety issue for all players, however, through Week 0 and Week 1 in the 2023 season, it seems like it’s going to be called different than last season and that’s going to drive fans crazy.