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Saturday’s loss to Pittsburgh was a tough one to swallow for Virginia Tech fans everywhere. The defense was terrible all day and the Hokies couldn’t even count on junior quarterback Logan Thomas to score enough points to bail out the usually stellar defense.
Three games into the 2012 season, Thomas has yet to play a consistent game from start to finish. On Saturday, Thomas finished 14 of 31 for 265 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. The three interceptions were Thomas’ first turnovers of the 2012 season.
For the season, Thomas is now 50 of 92 for 707 yards. Thomas is completing just over 54% of his passes. He has thrown for five touchdowns.
Thomas’ overall numbers reflect his play on the field. Accuracy has been his biggest problem thus far. On Saturday, Thomas missed a throw to Marcus Davis that would have resulted in an easy touchdown. Davis ran a post route with no safety over the top. Had Thomas put the ball on the money, it is an easy score.
Obviously some of the issues in the passing game are miscommunication. Receivers have run the wrong routes on occasion. Senior Corey Fuller and freshman Demitri Knowles are two players receiving the first significant playing time of their respective careers.
But, with all due respect to Davis, Fuller has been just as good. Which makes the problems with passing game even more perplexing.
Before the season began, everyone knew the Hokies would have struggles along the offensive line. And good offensive line play isn’t a quick fix. Guys need to play together, trust one another and understand individual and team blocking assignments.
Thomas has been sacked six times in three games. It is up for debate how many of those are actually on the offensive line. Thomas has held the ball too long at times waiting for someone to come open down the field.
The offensive line’s main issue has been run blocking. No doubt the lack of a consistent running game could be a problem for the passing game in coming weeks. Better teams, such as Clemson and Florida State, will devote more attention to the passing game because the Hokies cannot run.
This makes it even more imperative that Thomas corrects his accuracy issues moving forward.
Thomas must take advantage of every opportunity in the passing game because he has to operate as if he has no running game.
I still firmly believe the running game will come with time. Will it be as good as last year’s? No, but it doesn’t need to be. The Hokies have a good passer in Thomas and some outstanding talent at the wide receiver position. You play to your strengths and that is something head coach Frank Beamer and offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring need to keep in mind.
Here is why Hokies’ fan should be encouraged: In 2011, Thomas, a first-year starter, had his worst game against Clemson, however, the following week vs. Miami, Thomas had perhaps his best game as a Hokie.
In the Clemson game, Thomas was 15 of 27 for only 125 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. He was pressured all game and made several bad decisions.
Against the Hurricanes just one week later, Thomas finished 23 of 25 for 310 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Thomas also rushed for two touchdowns including the game-winner. That’s right, folks, Thomas accounted for all five Hokie touchdowns.
So, if we go recent history, Thomas will have a big game next week against Bowling Green. It will be important for Thomas to have a good game next week, but it will be crucial to the Hokies’ ACC title hopes that he carries his good play into the following game and beyond.
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