Virginia Tech will be without starting safety Reggie Floyd for the first half of the North Carolina game after a late targeting penalty against Rhode Island.
Targeting called against Reggie Floyd after the review. Floyd is ejected and suspended for the first half of next week's game against North Carolina. Significant to say the least. Devon Hunter will likely start at rover next week and is in now #Hokies— The Tech Lunch Pail (@techlunchpaild) October 12, 2019
Floyd had 5 tackles, 4 of which were unassisted before the targeting call late in the fourth quarter led to his ejection. Devon Hunter took over for Floyd at rover for the rest of the game and is expected to play at rover during the first half of next week's game.
Justin Fuente and Bud Foster both said that they agreed with the call after the game. However, Fuente used his chance at the podium to make the case that players shouldn't be forced to the locker room because of the penalty. Rather, Fuente said that he wished the rule could be changed to allow that player to stay on the sidelines and simply not play, rather than isolate him from his teammates.
Fuente: Says he wishes players after targeting wouldn't have to be "ushered out" after the play but could simply not play and be on the sidelines instead of being in the locker room #Hokies— The Tech Lunch Pail (@techlunchpaild) October 12, 2019
The loss is significant especially of someone like Floyd who is a captain and can provide valuable leadership in what feels like a potential Coastal elimination game between the Hokies and North Carolina, especially with a third ACC loss being almost certain to end VT's Coastal title hopes.
However, the Hokies will embrace a "next man up" attitude as Rayshard Ashby told reporters after today's game with Ashby confident that Hunter can rise to the challenge.
One thing to watch will be whether the Hokies go to Floyd in the second half or stick with Hunter. Obviously, some of that may depend on Hunter's first half play, but the Hokies have a history of sticking with the guy who's in the rhythm of the game instead of making a change.
This was the case last year as Khalil Ladler didn't play against Pittsburgh despite the fact that he was only suspended for the first half of the game due to a targeting penalty from the previous week. However, Floyd not only is a regular starter, but he's also a captain and adding in his leadership on the field in the second half could prove valuable.
Whatever the case is, the Hokies will have to adapt against North Carolina with senior captain Reggie Floyd suspended for the first half.