Technician is asking a relevant question for discussion – How far can Thomas take the Pack?
In relief of Mitchell against the Bulldogs, Thomas completed 15 of 27 passes for 212 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. In his first Wolfpack start last Saturday against Richmond, Thomas connected on 24 of 31 passes for 237 yards, improving his completion percentage from the previous week by about 22 points. However, he also threw two interceptions.
Interceptions have been Thomasâ€™ pitfall throughout his career. During his freshman year at Colorado State in 2010, he threw 13 interceptions and 11 touchdowns. During his sophomore season, he cut down that figure to eight interceptions and seven touchdowns. It should be noted that in 2011, Thomas threw 261 passes, 130 fewer than his freshman year.
Thomas, who stands 6-foot-6-inches, is regarded as a pocket passer, but in the game against Richmond, Thomas showed flashes of mobility, running nine times for 47 yards. If the Wolfpack wants to continue to be successful with Thomas at the helm, Thomas will have to keep working on using his legs as well as his arm.
For me, the projected analysis of the Brandon Mitchell injury/Pete Thomas replacement was pretty clear from the moment that it happened — it’s all about Wake Forest (and potentially Syracuse).
Presuming that Mitchell’s projected timeline for return on October 12th (vs Syracuse) holds true, then Mitchell absence only has one opportunity to significantly impact the Wolfpack’s fortunes for the season in a ‘swing game’– October 5th at Wake Forest.
In the window of Mitchell’s projected absence I think you had/have to presume a State win vs Richmond and Central Michigan regardless of Mitchell’s presence. Similarly, you have to presume a loss against Clemson (even if Mitchell was on the field). So, if Mitchell does return for Syracuse, this ultimately leaves the ‘opportunity cost’ of his injury and Thomas’ play as the ‘swing game’ at dreaded Wake Forest.
I know that it is easy to highlight how State almost lost to Richmond and therefore that game is/was not a ‘gimme’. But if you pay attention to the items that really impacted the Richmond game – (1) untimely turnovers from State that mostly were fumbles; (2) exceptional execution on some key offensive plays by Richmond; an (3) an awful officiated series in the first half that gave Richmond seven points – then you won’t see ‘Pete Thomas’ name anywhere on the list. In fact, Thomas’ 77% completion percentage and big plays on 3rd down conversion serve to support how integral Thomas was to the Wolfpack’s victory on Saturday.
Technician summed up their piece with what I think was a very accurate conclusion:
Thomas has the ability as well as the supporting cast around him to keep the Pack on course for a season to be proud of. Itâ€™s understandable for a fan base to have reservations about a second-string quarterback, but in Stateâ€™s case, it could be a lot worse.
Barring any unforeseen event, the question of how far Thomas can take the Pack will most likely be answered in Winston-Salem on October 5th.