Thomas Must Improve for Success in 2016

justin thomas

Georgia Tech was anything but successful the last college football season. The Jackets compiled an embarrassing record of 3-9, with wins over two FCS Schools and a miracle victory over Florida State. Unacceptable for the talented coaching staff under the leadership of Head Coach Paul Johnson.

In order for Georgia Tech to turn around this stroke of bad luck, obviously improvements must be made. Specifically, one key player must take the next step forward to give Georgia Tech a better chance at a winning season, taking the Coastal Division, or even taking the ACC.

Justin Thomas has been a wizard in Johnson’s signature option offense with his breakaway speed and high football IQ. He can dart around the corner of the line, jump into a linebacker’s lap, and toss a lateral to the runningback with ease. His speed and sixth sense for when to keep the pigskin or when to throw it to the back behind him has made him a threat under center since he first took over in 2014. However, while Thomas is perhaps the perfect specimen for an offense built on a dominating rushing attack, he lacks in the passing game. His career completion percentage is just 46.9%, and he sports a career TD-INT ratio of 32-16.

Thomas must develop as a passer to make the Georgia Tech offense more dynamic and less predictable when facing tough defenses in the ACC like North Carolina, Boston College, and Clemson.

However, Tech doesn’t need to abandon the option all together and Thomas doesn’t need to pass for 300 yards a game. If Thomas can just improve his accuracy, then Tech suddenly morphs back into a an offensive powerhouse. His hypothetically improved passing will force defenses to respect the passing game, which opens up the field for the option. Similar to how a dominant center on a basketball team can get shooters open on the perimeter.

Now, football is a team sport and you can’t put all of the blame for the poor performance in 2015 on Thomas, as Georgia Tech was struck with a slew of injuries last season. But still, if Justin takes that step forward, it’s hard to deny that Georgia Tech would be a offensive beast.

What do you think? Are there other players that must step up for Tech?

About Andy Hendricks

UWG Mass Communications Student, Passionate Atlanta Sports Fan, Follow me on Twitter at @andyatlsports

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