I’m not a football coach, but…

I’m not a football coach, but like you, that doesn’t stop me from playing the old “what would I do if I were the decision maker?” game.  That’s what this Sunday’s article is about.


The Logan Thomas Situation

This is the subject that’s getting beat to death.  It’s what everybody is talking about.  When Logan turns it over, the Hokies lose.  When he doesn’t, they win.  I believe the announcers said during yesterday’s broadcast that Tech is 14-0 when he doesn’t turn the football over, or something like that.

Tech beat Georgia Tech, UNC and Pitt when Thomas was “on” and did not commit a single turnover.  Since then, he had four turnovers in each game in losses to Boston College and Duke.  Both of those games were statistically dominated by the Hokies in total yardage, but those turnovers were killers.

Lots of people are asking the question: when do you pull the plug, or do you pull the plug?  I’d be a coward to not address it, so here goes.

When Logan Thomas is good, he’s really good.  He was really good for most of the BC game, but obviously not for the last 20 minutes or so.  And when he’s bad, he’s really bad, as we saw against Duke and for much of the second half against BC.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of in between.  There is no consistency.  It’s got to be maddening to gameplan when you have absolutely no idea what quarterback is going to show up.

Thomas suffered early in the season from a lack of playmakers at wide receiver.  That wasn’t the issue against Boston College.  Joshua Stanford made plays for him.  Willie Byrn slipped a couple of tackles.  Tailback Trey Edmunds made some big-time plays on screen passes.  He had the help against BC from the targets around him (except for that one pesky play by Demitri Knowles…ugh), but the turnovers still happened.

So when do you pull the plug on loyal guy, a really tough player, a good leader, and a person who never wanted to play quarterback when he arrived, but took one for the team and did so anyway?  It’s not an easy decision for me.  Perhaps the coaches aren’t even thinking about it.  I have no idea.  Even if they are, they certainly won’t admit it, and I don’t blame them.  That’s not a move you talk about publicly until you actually make it.

There’s the possibility that the Logan Thomas we saw against Pitt, UNC and Georgia Tech could make a return for the final three games of the season.  And if that happens, I’d be willing to bet that the Hokies go 3-0 in those games.  But if the Duke and BC version of Thomas shows up, then you can forget about the Miami game, and how embarrassing would it be to see a r-senior QB potentially throw away a win against a bad UVA team?  The Hoos are a bad team, but they can beat Tech at home, but only with the help of turnovers.

We don’t know a lot about Mark Leal .  Tech hasn’t blown anybody out the last two years, so we haven’t had a chance to see him in games very much.  In his limited time, he’s done quite well…

2011: 9-of-13 for 153 yards, 2 TDs
2012: 4-of-6 for 26 yards
2013: 3-of-4 for 25 yards

For his career, he is 16-of-23 (69.6%) for 204 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.  That’s an efficiency rating of 172.77.  That’s a very small sample size, though it’s also impressive and encouraging.

I have no evidence to back this up, but my gut feeling is that Tech’s completion percentage would go up a bit, and the overall passing efficiency rating would be a little higher.  Would he turn the football over?  I sure as heck don’t know, and nobody does.  There’s no evidence to suggest that he would or would not.  However,