The reality was that Thomas had a slight statistical regression, often looking out of sorts with his mechanics and uncomfortable throwing the ball at times. Still, Virginia Tech coaches don’t think Thomas had as bad of a season as many are making it out to be.
“I think he’s progressed,” offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring said. “Obviously it hasn’t shown up so much in the stat department. A lot of that doesn’t have to do with him. It’s a whole new group around him. I think he’s progressed well. I think he understands defenses more.”
Thomas knows his mechanics weren’t finely tuned this year. It showed most when he sailed passes over his receivers.
“My throwing motion had gone up or over the top of the shoulder and then I’d drop it down sometimes which caused the ball to sail going back and looking at film,” Thomas said. “It’s just a couple things I need to work on to make sure it’s just the same way every time. Make sure it’s done right. I missed a lot of throws this year to where I want them back.”
A look at Thomas’ statistics shows a slight regression, but not a huge step back (then again, the hope for Thomas this year was to make a big step forward). For all of Thomas’ struggles, he’s still 172 yards from breaking his own school record in total offense. Granted, it will take him more plays to reach that mark this year (and far more than Tyrod Taylor needed in 2010), something that shows just how dependent on Thomas the Hokies were this season.
Here’s the last three years for Tech’s total offense leaders, all of which were — or likely will be — school records:
- 2010: Tyrod Taylor, 461 plays, 3,402 yards
- 2011: Logan Thomas, 544 plays, 3,482 yards
- 2012: Logan Thomas, 557 plays, 3,311 yards
Here are Thomas’ passing stats in 2011 and ’12:
- 2011: 14 games, 234-391, 59.8%, 3,013 yards, 19 TD, 10 INT, 7.7 7pa, 135.5 rating, 215.2 ypg, 27.9 apg, 3,482 total yards, 248.7 ypg
- 2012: 12 games, 205-390, 52.6%, 2,783 yards, 17 TD, 14 INT, 7.1 ypa, 119.7 rating, 231.9 ypg, 32.5 apg, 3,311 total yards, 276.2 ypg
He’ll actually have a chance to throw for more yards in fewer games, although he’s been less efficient. His completion percentage is down over seven points. He would have needed to complete 28 more of his passes this year to reach last season’s completion rate. Dropped passes by receivers can only account for so much.
His interceptions are up slightly and thus his rating is down. But he’s thrown the ball far more often this year, many times with the Hokies trailing big and in obvious passing situations.
He has almost five more attempts this season. He had five games with 34 or more attempts this season. He had only two such games last year. He had two games last year in which he completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes (his first two as a starter, so inexperience was a factor). This year, it was four games, including the last two against Boston College and Virginia.
Conversely, last season he had seven games in which he completed 60 percent or more of his passes. He topped the 60 percent mark only twice this year.
His rushing stats look very similar to last year:
- 2011: 153 carries, 469 yards, 3.1 ypc, 11 TD, 10.9 apg, 33.5 ypg
- 2012: 167 carries, 528 yards, 3.2 ypc, 9 TD, 13.8 apg, 44.3 ypg
Given Virginia Tech’s running backs, it’s no surprise that Thomas shouldered a bigger load, getting almost three more carries a game. What’s surprising is his yards per carry actually went up slightly. Anecdotally, that didn’t seem like it would be the case.
While Thomas never had more than 18 carries in a game last season (the Georgia Tech game), he had 20 or more carries three times this season (Clemson, Miami, Virginia). He had 29 carries for 89 yards against the Cavaliers, shouldering the offensive load on a day where the elements weren’t conducive for passing by repeatedly running into a stacked front.
Although the stats don’t show a glowing picture about Thomas’ season, Stinespring, for one, still thinks the quarterback is the same NFL prospect he was following last season.
“When we sit back and talk, ‘Is Logan ready?’ He’s the same guy he was last year,” Stinespring said. “Obviously the stats haven’t gone the same as last year and the completion percentage is not as high as it was last year, but it’s not like you got a guy that last year everybody was talking about how quickly he could be drafted and now people will kind of talk about if and when.”