|Steve Helber / Associated Press|
|Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas' inconsistency should be very concerning to NFL evaluators.|
Last week, we praised Virginia Tech senior quarterback Logan Thomas. This week, we come to ... well, not bury him, but we are going to take back all that praise.
It is becoming increasingly evident that Thomas' impressive 2011 season was the aberration. The aberration wasn't the mediocre showing he had last season or his inconsistent play this season.
Thomas remains a physically gifted athlete who, at 6-foot-6 and 254 pounds, always is going to draw comparisons to Cam Newton. But while Thomas' size, arm strength and speed (he has been clocked as fast as 4.64 in the 40) are similar to Newton's, he isn't in the same class as a quarterback -- or even the same grade.
Thomas' play in October had conjured memories of 2011, when he threw for 3,013 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 picks as a first-time starter. But his play Saturday in a shocking loss to Duke -- yes, Duke is 6-2, but the Blue Devils are nowhere near a complete team -- conjured memories of last season, when he threw for 2,976 yards, 18 TDs and 16 interceptions, and saw his completion percentage fall from 59.8 percent in 2011 to 51.3 percent.
Thomas was 21 of 38 for 214 yards, four interceptions and zero TDs in the 13-10 loss to Duke. The Blue Devils went 1 of 11 on third down, threw four interceptions of their own, had 198 total yards and lost the time-of-possession battle by almost 19 minutes -- and they won.
Thomas has thrown for 1,665 yards, nine TDs and 10 interceptions, and is completing 55.2 percent of his passes this season.
In Virginia Tech's weekly media availability Monday, Thomas said he played well about 75 percent of the time against Duke, wryly noting that the percentage isn't good.
"My footwork and my brain really weren't jelled together," he said. And remember that he is a fifth-year senior.
Two interceptions stand out. One came on a forced pass on 3rd-and-goal from Duke's 7-yard line in the second quarter, one play after a procedure penalty wiped out a Hokies touchdown. The other came with about five minutes left in the game, on a 2nd-and-6 from Tech's 48, when he failed to spot a wide-open receiver deep and instead dumped it off -- on a poor pass -- to an underneath receiver who was well-covered.
"I obviously could have made a lot better choices," Thomas said Monday.
Granted, Thomas doesn't have much help. The rushing attack is mediocre and the receiving corps is young and inexperienced. Still, a fifth-year senior quarterback who is starting for the third season in a row is expected to rise above things like that and make the players around him better. In short, the intangibles don't seem to be there.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.