Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas eager for test against top-ranked - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas eager for test against top-ranked Alabama

Posted: Updated:
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas hopes to show No. 1 Alabama a more refined version of his skills on Saturday in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas hopes to show No. 1 Alabama a more refined version of his skills on Saturday in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Alabama knows all about the Logan Thomas the Crimson Tide can see on game film.

They have watched the 6-foot-6, 254-pound Virginia Tech quarterback throw breathtaking deep balls and run over linebackers. Alabama also has seen Thomas overthrow open receivers, turnovers that lead to points.

Thomas hopes to show them a more refined version of his skills on Saturday in Atlanta.

Link:  Preview of No. 1 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech

The senior spent the spring getting intensive coaching on mechanics from new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler. Thomas spent the summer leading more workouts with his teammates than he ever has, all with a goal of avoiding a repeat of last season's 7-6 struggle.

His final season starts with what he said is the biggest game of his career.

"I would say it is, just because it's the start of my final season and we're playing against the back-to-back champions," Thomas said this week. "We're playing against the No. 1 team in the country. It's my first time doing that. Obviously they're the team to beat. They're the team everybody knows about in the country. We've just got to go and represent and just have to play well and smart and physical and if we don't have a lot of mental mistakes we'll be just fine. I'm just excited to take the field."

The Hokies have played the No. 1 team seven times in their history, and have lost all seven.

Thomas' passing numbers in scrimmages have not reflected the improvements he and Loeffler say he's made — he threw three interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns, in the much anticipated spring game, and was 5-for-15 with two interceptions in another scrimmage during preseason camp. But Thomas knows the Hokies will need him to make every throw to have a chance against the Tide.

Alabama is preparing like it expects to see Thomas' best. Or Cam Newton.

"He can run the ball and throw the ball," linebacker C.J. Mosely said of Thomas, comparing him to the former Auburn quarterback who led the Tigers to the national championship in 2010. "They have run-pass plays with the quarterback that he can either keep the ball and run it or he can pass it. ... He's just a big, bruising quarterback. Once he gets going, it'll be hard to stop him."

Coach Frank Beamer expects Thomas to be fine, but worries more about how many of the weapons around him, mostly unproven, will be equal to the task of performing on such a big stage.

"I don't worry about Logan. I'll be honest with you," Beamer said. "He's got things under control and he's intelligent on the field, he's calm on the field, he's in control on the field. I think he's probably learned from last year: take care of the football. I think it's probably the people around Logan that are the real issue right here and how they play. And how we protect. And how we run the football. And how we catch the football. I think those are the real issues right there."

Tailback J.C. Coleman's status is questionable because of two sprained ankles, which would leave redshirt freshman Trey Edmunds as the featured back in his first college game, and Coleman also is the team's leading returning pass-catcher with 21. If he can't play, sophomore wide receiver Demetri Knowles (19 catches) and junior tight end Ryan Malleck (17 catches) will be Thomas' most familiar returning targets.

That youth is why the Hokies worked so hard in the offseason.

"I think these guys have gotten a lot better," Thomas said. "... They're doing things the way things need to be done, paying attention to the small details, and that's what's going to make us great."

That, and Thomas making the throws necessary to cash in on opportunities.

"We've got to complete passes when they're there, not have any drops and no mental mistakes," Thomas said, "and if we do that, we'll be in the game the entire time and give ourselves a great shot to win it."

___

AP Sports Writer John Zenor in Tuscaloosa, Ala., contributed to this report.

___

Follow Hank on twitter at: http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr

  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:32:07 GMT
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
  • Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson says Nick Marshall will win Heisman Trophy in 2014

    Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson says Nick Marshall will win Heisman Trophy in 2014

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 1:52 PM EDT2014-08-19 17:52:14 GMT
    Auburn's backup quarterback predicts Nick Marshall will win the Heisman Trophy this season.More >>
    Auburn's backup quarterback predicts Nick Marshall will win the Heisman Trophy this season.More >>
  • BALLOT BREAKDOWN: FSU No. 1 in AP preseason poll

    BALLOT BREAKDOWN: FSU No. 1 in AP preseason poll

    Monday, August 18 2014 4:24 PM EDT2014-08-18 20:24:03 GMT
    By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer The Associated Press preseason Top 25 is out. Take a look at how the ballots break down, and find out what to watch for when the college football...More >>
    By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer The Associated Press preseason Top 25 is out. Take a look at how the ballots break down, and find out what to watch for when the college football season begins...More >>
  • UAB SportsMore>>

  • UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:12:02 GMT
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
  • UAB grants Chad Frazier release from scholarship

    UAB grants Chad Frazier release from scholarship

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:58:33 GMT
    UAB has granted All-Conference USA point guard Chad Frazier a release from his scholarship.More >>
    UAB has granted All-Conference USA point guard Chad Frazier a release from his scholarship.More >>
  • Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:58:02 GMT
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.More >>
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.More >>
  • Local SportsMore>>

  • Carl Edwards to join JGR in 2015

    Carl Edwards to join JGR in 2015

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-08-20 03:08:24 GMT
    NASCAR's hottest free agent is off the board. Carl Edwards was introduced as the newest member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team on Tuesday."It means the world to me to have this opportunity and to be a part of this organization," Edwards said. "It'll be nice to finally talk about this."Rumor linked Edwards to JGR ever since he announced last month that he was ending his ten year partnership with Roush Fenway Racing.Edwards will drive the No. 19 Toyota next season. It's the fourth piece to an impr...More >>
    NASCAR's hottest free agent is off the board. Carl Edwards was introduced as the newest member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team on Tuesday."It means the world to me to have this opportunity and to be a part of this organization," Edwards said. "It'll be nice to finally talk about this."Rumor linked Edwards to JGR ever since he announced last month that he was ending his ten year partnership with Roush Fenway Racing.Edwards will drive the No. 19 Toyota next season. It's the fourth piece to an impr...More >>
  • Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:32:07 GMT
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
  • WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:58 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:58:10 GMT
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Civil rights icon believes protesters in Ferguson, MO can learn from Birmingham

    Civil rights icon believes protesters in Ferguson, MO can learn from Birmingham

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:50 PM EDT2014-08-20 03:50:00 GMT
    People in the Magic City are holding protests and expressing concern for the situation in Missouri. Sarah Snyder spoke with a local civil rights icon - who hopes Birmingham can be an example to people in Ferguson. More >>
    People in the Magic City are holding protests and expressing concern for the situation in Missouri. Sarah Snyder spoke with a local civil rights icon - who hopes Birmingham can be an example to people in Ferguson. More >>
  • Carl Edwards to join JGR in 2015

    Carl Edwards to join JGR in 2015

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-08-20 03:08:24 GMT
    NASCAR's hottest free agent is off the board. Carl Edwards was introduced as the newest member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team on Tuesday."It means the world to me to have this opportunity and to be a part of this organization," Edwards said. "It'll be nice to finally talk about this."Rumor linked Edwards to JGR ever since he announced last month that he was ending his ten year partnership with Roush Fenway Racing.Edwards will drive the No. 19 Toyota next season. It's the fourth piece to an impr...More >>
    NASCAR's hottest free agent is off the board. Carl Edwards was introduced as the newest member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team on Tuesday."It means the world to me to have this opportunity and to be a part of this organization," Edwards said. "It'll be nice to finally talk about this."Rumor linked Edwards to JGR ever since he announced last month that he was ending his ten year partnership with Roush Fenway Racing.Edwards will drive the No. 19 Toyota next season. It's the fourth piece to an impr...More >>
  • Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:32:07 GMT
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
  • WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:58 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:58:10 GMT
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
  • 2 killed in helicopter crash in Tuscaloosa County (update)

    2 killed in helicopter crash in Tuscaloosa County (update)

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:15 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:15:41 GMT
    One of the two people killed in a helicopter crash in Tuscaloosa County was an Alabama Power employee, a company spokesperson confirmed to ABC 33/40.More >>
    One of the two people killed in a helicopter crash in Tuscaloosa County was an Alabama Power employee, a company spokesperson confirmed to ABC 33/40. More >>
  • Texas Gov. Perry booked on abuse of power charges

    Texas Gov. Perry booked on abuse of power charges

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-08-20 00:56:36 GMT
    Gov. Rick Perry was defiant Tuesday as he was booked on abuse of power charges, telling dozens of cheering supporters outside a Texas courthouse that he would "fight this injustice with every fiber of my being."More >>
    Gov. Rick Perry was defiant Tuesday as he was booked on abuse of power charges, telling dozens of cheering supporters outside a Texas courthouse that he would "fight this injustice with every fiber of my being."More >>
  • Birmingham council members consider forming task force to clean-up cemeteries

    Birmingham council members consider forming task force to clean-up cemeteries

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 7:39 PM EDT2014-08-19 23:39:33 GMT
    A cemetery you can't see is leading Birmingham city leaders to take a closer look at a growing problem. One council member wants the city to form a task force to clear out the hallowed grounds.More >>
    A cemetery you can't see is leading Birmingham city leaders to take a closer look at a growing problem. One council member wants the city to form a task force to clear out the hallowed grounds.More >>
  • Bessemer Mayoral Candidates: How long have they lived in the city?

    Bessemer Mayoral Candidates: How long have they lived in the city?

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-08-19 22:50:11 GMT
    Incumbent Mayor Kenneth Gulley has two challengers in Bessemer's August 26th mayoral race. Both of them are newcomers to living inside Bessemer city limits. Four years ago, this was an issue for Mayor Kenneth Gulley.More >>
    Incumbent Mayor Kenneth Gulley has two challengers in Bessemer's August 26th mayoral race. Both of them are newcomers to living inside Bessemer city limits. Four years ago, this was an issue for Mayor Kenneth Gulley. More >>