Quarterback Logan Thomas was visibly upset in the waning moments of Virginia Tech's disheartening 30-12 loss to the Miami Hurricanes last Thursday.
The frustration was understandable given how Logan played and the number of blown opportunities by the Tech offense.
For his part, Thomas threw for 199 yards and added 124 yards on the ground—most of which came on a lumbering 73-yard touchdown run straight up the middle on a busted play.
The problem for Thomas were his two interceptions and a fumble on the Miami goal line. He also overthrew a wide open fullback on a 4th-and-1 play.
Something has been off for Thomas all season, and I've come to think that a big part of it is he's putting too much pressure on himself.
Granted, the entire weight of the Hokie offense is on his shoulders because there simply aren't enough playmakers out there, but LT needs to relax a bit.
It's never fun when you're losing, but it's hard to win when you aren't having some fun.
Smiling doesn't have to mean you're happy, but it does speak to a better overall mindset.
Sometimes, there's not much you can do but laugh and move on when things aren't going your way. It's a heckuva lot better than sulking and getting down on yourself.
While I generally dislike cross-sport comparisons, a golf contrast works here as does baseball. Great golfers and pitchers have short memories and quickly get over mistakes. You can let a bad performance stick with you and motivate you after the fact, but in the moment there's no room for dwelling on mistakes.
Logan is a very young QB and just as his mechanics and ability to read defenses will likely improve, so too will his maturity and leadership abilities.
It may not be an enormous deal that Thomas declined to talk to the media after the Miami loss, but just think of the uproar had former Tech quarterback Sean Glennon done that a few years ago.
Glennon was one of the most criticized athletes in Hokie history, but time and time again he went out under the glare of the media lights and addressed those critics regardless of his performance.
Logan will learn from this experience both on and off the field.
This is Frank Beamer's most trying season in 20 years, so it's no surprise that his players have struggled at times to process what's happening.
And despite Virginia Tech's 4-5 overall record and 2-3 ACC mark, there are still things to play for this year.
This group will either go down as an underachieving bunch that completely collapsed during a lost season, or as a team that struggled a great deal but finally made a push toward respectability in the final stretch.
It will be a tall order, but it's possible with better execution and a little more positive energy.
Who knows, they might even have fun doing it.
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