Tied at 4-4 overall—with just two losses each in the ACC—Miami and Virginia Tech will matchup tonight in Miami with conference championship eligibility on the line. For the Hokies the road to the ACC Championship game starts tonight and it will be their quarterback, Logan Thomas, who will drive them there.
A football season builds through the year. Like a sentence evolving into a paragraph, a paragraph to a chapter and a chapter to a novel, so too, must the Hokies focus on winning a possession before winning a game.
That starts with Thomas.
Thomas, who has thrown for 13 touchdowns this year and run for five more, has also been intercepted 10 times. Having completed just 53.6 percent of his passes, his 1910 passing yards suggests a tendency to unleash and overcompensate on yardage.
Surrounded by receivers like Marcus Davis and Corey Fuller, Thomas has the option to sit in the pocket and advance the ball downfield. Even freshman Demitri Knowles is averaging 15.2 yards per catch, including a 42-yard touchdown reception.
Success against this Miami defense is not the tallest task right now.
Miami has allowed a 1999 yards through the air so far this season and nearly matches that mark on the ground, allowing 1994 yards to rushers. A low turnover margin also helps account for this poor defensive production: Miami has forced just six interceptions on the year.
This makes it all the more pivotal for Thomas to be on his mark.
As a rusher, Thomas must make big plays with his legs as well as his arm. He has surpassed 40 yards on the ground four times this season and could most likely do so again against Miami. That safety valve is obviously there, but maintaining possession hinges on recognizing those openings and exploiting them for first downs.
If Logan Thomas can replicate performances he had against top Coastal Division foes North Carolina and Duke—where he threw for 354 yards and completed 60.9 percent of his passes, respectively—it will put Virginia Tech well on the way to victory.
With a win over Duke already, Virginia Tech can take the lead in the ACC Coastal Division before the season is out, but so can Miami. Logan Thomas can be the difference.