Thomas missed low, high and wide in Saturday’s rainy conditions, and appeared to make several poor decisions running the read-option. He also endured several drops from his receiving corps once again. Thomas now has six interceptions through four games this season, one more than he hoped to have all season.
“It’s just hard to grip the ball and throw it,” Thomas said. “It seemed like Cato didn’t have a problem at all, but I did.”
But when the carnage was complete, Thomas emerged with three total touchdowns, including the game winner. Coaches and teammates raved about his moxie, and it’s his cool under pressure that seems to give them confidence despite his erratic passing skills
“We made a decision in the overtime that Logan’s our most experienced player and he’s been there before, so we wanted the ball in his hands at the end of the game,” offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said. “When you have a senior quarterback, you’ve got to put the ball in his hands at the end of the game.”
“Couldn’t have a better leader than Logan,” Beamer added.
Interestingly enough, when running back Trey Edmunds was asked about his 43-yard run that seemed to spark the Hokies on their fourth-quarter scoring drive, he mentioned another play as the jump start Virginia Tech needed. Facing fourth and nine, Thomas stood in the pocket and found wide receiver Joshua Stanford for an 11-yard gain.
“I feel that was really the turning point of the game,” Edmunds said.
3) Beamer’s decision to use more starters on special teams is paying off.
Beamer Ball arose from the dead Saturday. After Beamer’s once-vaunted special teams unit took some heat after several gaffes in a season-opening loss to Alabama, blocked kicks may have saved Virginia Tech from a loss.
Two minutes into the game, cornerback Kyle Fuller burst around the edge and blocked a kick off the foot of Marshall punter Tyler Williams. Linebacker Derek DiNardo then scooped up the loose ball and took it into the end zone for an early touchdown.
Fuller and DiNardo said after the game that the Hokies noticed Marshall only used a two-man shield in its punt protection, much like East Carolina last week. So Virginia Tech rushed DiNardo up the middle between the two shield protectors and Fuller came untouched around the edge for the block.
It was Virginia Tech’s first blocked punt against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since 2010.
“We came in wanting to change the game, and I feel we did that,” Fuller said.
Special teams proved to be a difference maker in double overtime as well when defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins burst through the line of scrimmage to block Marshall’s potential game-winning field goal. More on Hopkins in a bit, but it’s important to note both blocked kicks came from defensive starters.