Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas says it was a good thing a collection of family members and friends were in town Saturday night for the Hokies’ 23-3 loss to Clemson. After an offensive performance that his entire unit would like to forget, Thomas’s inner circle “kind of kept my mind off it.”
“I’ve kind of been raised this way, and my family’s done a great job in that aspect – just kind of letting things roll of your back,” he said.
When he met with reporters during Virginia Tech’s weekly news conference Tuesday, the topic of his first-ever loss as a starting collegiate quarterback could not be avoided. Thomas completed 15 of his 27 passes for just 125 yards and an interception against the Tigers, the second time in five games this season the passing attack has been an issue.
But in moving on from the offense’s struggles this past weekend, Thomas offered the most emphatic statement yet about his own performance when asked about the fairness of expectations some fans and members of the media put on him during spring practice and the preseason. (If you missed my earlier post comparing Thomas’s first five games to other quarterbacks from Virginia Tech and his 2008 recruiting class, you should check it out).
“I always said I was blessed to be in the same category, as they were saying, as Cam Newton – national championship, Heisman Trophy winner,” Thomas said. “I’ll take it. I appreciate it. It’s a blessing. But I’m my own person and it’s going to be a different journey for me than it was for him and hopefully I can be there at one point, but of course there are going to be bumps in the road. And I guess now is one of those points that I think it shows the man -- how he comes back from disappointment and how he produces from now on.”
For the record, if you type in “Logan Thomas Cam Newton” into Google, about 356,000 results come up, including references by some fairly reputable national college football outlets. But to become the sort of quarterback he’s talking about, Thomas knows he must be more patient with his reads.
Though quarterbacks coach Mike O’Cain acknowledged Monday that the team’s wide receivers ran the wrong routes on some plays against Clemson, Thomas said the biggest thing he picked up from the game film were the number of open receivers who were available had he waited an extra moment or two to throw the ball.
He admitted part of that stemmed from not feeling quite right most of the evening.
“I was just at a point where I just didn’t get completely comfortable,” Thomas said. “The previous three games, two games, I had been completely comfortable. I got a good feel for the game, but for some reason I just couldn’t get comfortable for the first half. I kind of started settling in toward the end of the third quarter, fourth quarter.”
As Coach Frank Beamer said following the Hokies’ loss to Clemson, this week’s ACC Coastal Division showdown with Miami has become that much more important because the loser could potentially fall two games behind division leader Georgia Tech.
Thomas, though, was rather convincing that his first loss will not define him or this year’s offense.
“I’m pretty upset about only scoring three points. We played a lot better than three points,” he said. “Miami, they’re a great team as well, but we just want to go out there and put on a performance like there’s never been an offensive performance put [on] here. We’re all pretty upset about it and we all have the same goal – just go out there and at least score, if it’s not a touchdown.”