2012 feels a whole lot like a lost season for Hokie fans, and a big reason for that rests squarely (fairly or not) on their quarterback, Logan Thomas. That is unfortunately the nature of football: blame the coach, and when not applicable (those concerns have already been voiced ad nauseam) blame the quarterback, the leader and coach on the field. While he is not the only one to blame, and didn't even have some of the necessary pieces to have success (i.e. an average offensive line, receivers who gave consistent effort and a running game that wasn't almost completely dependent on himself), he didn't have the year any one of us envisioned and his regression from his 2011 form played a large part in the Hokies inability to maintain possession and put together productive drives.
Chief to Beamer/Stinespring's offensive strategy over the years is the ability to keep possession of the football, something the 2012 team failed abysmally at (finishing 50th in the nation during the regular season, though in the first half of the season, they were hovering around 100). What is surprising (and possibly telling) is that four of the Hokies losses came in games which they had more than 30 minutes of possession (or more than their opponents), something that Beamer teams rarely do. That's saying that the team had more possession and for whatever reason failed to do anything with it (capitalizing on their opportunities? Ahem...where have we heard that one before?). And chief to the reason the Hokies were unable to keep the football (aside from mortifyingly bad play-calling) was Logan Thomas' inaccuracy in the passing game, either failing to complete passes, or completing passes to the wrong team.
But one of the questions that we should really be asking is SHOULD Logan Thomas really be at fault, or catching as much of the blame as he is? Part of the reason Hokie fans identified with Thomas so much was that, regardless of his freakish physical stature and success in his first year as a starter in 2011, he exuded a quiet confidence, he was humble, even-keeled and a hard-worker. Those things didn't change in 2012. We're talking about the first guy to step up and say, "Yeah, that one was on me. I take all the blame" when something went wrong. Even in close wins he could be heard saying something to that effect if he thought he hurt the team. In fact, how can we fault a guy who didn't even want to play quarterback originally? He eliminated teams in the recruiting process planning to play him at the position, and committed to Virginia Tech mostly because of their insistence that they were going to use him at an H-back/hybrid WR/TE position (which by the way, didn't exist at Tech when he committed and hasn't existed since) and NOT at quarterback. He was angry when as a freshman he was told the Tech coaches were going back on their word, but he went along with it, and hasn't complained about it in the open once. How can you not root for a guy like that!? How can you not want to seem him succeed? That being said, he did not succeed in 2012, and for all his personal strengths and character qualities mentioned above, his confidence is fading (if not all gone). And that's a separate issue we'll address later. It's just worth noting that a lot of the blame and hatred for Thomas is misplaced.
As I said of the Thomas/Leal situation in the Gobbler Country Manifesto:
"Logan Thomas is still our quarterback: