Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas tried to approach Saturday’s game against Virginia as if it were just another game.
But it would be hard to ignore that it was the final one that he and 15 of his teammates would play in.
Though coach Paul Johnson’s spread-option offense gets pigeon-holed as a run-only scheme, it was Thomas’ passing ability that helped carry the Yellow Jackets to a 31-17 win over the Cavaliers.
Thomas completed 5 of 10 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for minus-9 yards on nine carries.
“It was fun, a great last one, and we went out with a win,” Thomas said. “We have a lot of great memories in this stadium and did a lot of good things throughout careers. It was a great moment.”
All in all, a quiet day for the signal-caller, who missed the previous week’s upset of Virginia Tech because of an injury. But his performance against the Cavaliers was enough to secure a winning season for the Jackets going into next week’s game at Georgia.
Thomas’ ability as a maestro of the running game wasn’t evident against the Cavaliers. The game started with Thomas pitching the ball to a blocker, which almost resulted in a fumble on the 5-yard line. Thomas said he should have been more careful running what Johnson said should have been “huge” play.
Thomas didn’t look crisp running the ball throughout the game, something that hasn’t happened often during his career.
“I don’t think he got a lot of help (Saturday),” Johnson said. “When you play every week, you develop a groove, and we never got into a rhythm today; we only had big plays.”
Thomas was the orchestrator of one of those big plays when he hit a wide-open Clinton Lynch for a 54-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Another potential touchdown didn’t happen because a wide-open Brad Stewart dropped Thomas’ perfect pass in the third quarter.
When he wasn’t throwing the ball, he was downfield trying to throw blocks, such as on Qua Searcy’s 60-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
“I seen him cut back, so I figured why not go throw a block and lead him into the end zone?” Thomas said.
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