Two sports staff writers, Alex Koma and Alyssa Bedrosian, give their thoughts on Logan Thomas' start against East Carolina.
When a quarterback only completes eight of his passes for 91 yards in one half of a football game, it’s generally cause for concern. When that’s the player’s total for an entire game, it could even be called a reason for panic.
Accordingly, panic was generally the reaction people had to Logan Thomas’ game against East Carolina last Saturday. While many had confidence in Thomas coming into the season, that belief seems to have largely dissipated after his play last weekend.
For the most part, it’s hard to fault Thomas’ detractors. He often looked nervous standing in the pocket and didn’t seem to have much confidence at all.
A common refrain has been that Thomas needs to learn that he’s not Tyrod Taylor or Michael Vick, and that he has the size and arm strength to stay in the pocket and get the ball down field, and it’s hard to disagree.
However, it’s hardly time to panic just yet. It’s difficult to find a lot from the ECU game that makes Thomas look good, but it’s important to understand that the current perception of him is inaccurate.
First, it’s worth mentioning that expectations for Thomas coming into the year were probably pretty skewed. Many seemed to have no trouble believing that a player recruited as a tight end who had only taken a handful of college snaps could effortlessly step in and take over for Virginia Tech’s career leader in passing.
It’s not surprising in the least that a new quarterback like Thomas has had some growing pains, particularly in his first road test, but everyone is treating it as if the sky is falling.
Additionally, the game itself needs to be examined before Thomas can be fully indicted. While he often looked timid in the pocket and had a poor completion percentage, the playcalling hardly put him in much of a position to succeed.
The team was largely content to run on the first two downs, and when David Wilson was able to break off big gains on one of the attempts, the offense was able to thrive.
However, when the running game was held to a minimal gain, or a penalty set the team back, Thomas was asked to pick up large chunks of yardage as the defense was content to sit back in coverage and force him to make a big play.
While Taylor and Vick had the ability and confidence to make such a method work, Thomas isn’t quite able to yet, and it’s unfair to expect him to instantly learn how to do so.
Finally, it shouldn’t go overlooked that when the Hokies needed Thomas to step up the most, he
In the third quarter, he was able to complete a 13-yard pass to Jarrett Boykin on third and 11 to prolong the drive, which allowed Josh Oglesby to find the endzone to give the team the lead.
Similarly, his nine-yard completion to Boykin on third and five in the fourth quarter enabled Oglesby to score the game-winning touchdown, so it’s impossible to say Thomas was a complete failure.
When a team struggles on offense, the starting quarterback is an easy scapegoat. However, in Thomas’ case, people need to take a step back and realize that some early struggles are completely understandable. No one can turn into Peyton Manning overnight.
Just give Thomas some time. If he’s still throwing for less than a hundred yards in a couple weeks, then it’s time to panic, but until then, just be patient.