September 25, 2009
Thomas has been the Jackets best weapon
One of the bright spots this season has been the emergence of Demaryius Thomas as a dominant wide receiver. Last year, Bay-Bay showed signs of his potential after gaining 230 yards in one game against Duke. So far this season, Thomas has realized that potential by leading the ACC with 109 receiving yards per game, which also ranks 12th in the nation, to go along with a pair of touchdowns. Through the first three games, Bay-Bay has already gained 327 total yards, which is more than half of his total for all of last season.
Thomas says, "Whenever I get a chance, I make the play. After I catch the ball, I try to get yards after the catch. Coach Johnson has given me chances to make plays and I have capitalized on some of them."
His success may also have a ripple effect on recruiting to help lure receivers to Georgia Tech that may have doubts about playing in a run-based triple option offense. The offense is a big play offense as Thomas has already shown so far this season. Bay-Bay already has a 56-yard reception, a 39-yard reception to set up a game winning field goal, a 34-yard touchdown reception, and a 56-yard touchdown reception.
Thomas has some advice for recruits. He states, "They just have to come in here and watch practice and watch film. Then they will find out that even though it is a running offense, we throw the ball in this offense too."
The offense will look to rebound this Saturday against North Carolina after missing some opportunities in a loss to Miami last week.
According to Thomas, "We just have to come out and practice harder this week, watch some film, and go over some of the stuff that we did wrong along the boundaries. There were a couple of missed blocks and the receivers and A-backs were on different pages. We have been working on that this week and hopefully we will be better going into the game on Saturday."
The Yellow Jackets have also emphasized capitalizing on scoring opportunities once they get into the red zone. Tech has struggled at times this season to convert long drives into touchdowns once they get inside of the 20 yard line.
Thomas says, "We have been doing some new stuff and hopefully it will work. Basically once we get in the red zone, we need to want to score touchdowns more than we have been."
Tech will be well rested after getting an extra two days as they prepare for the Tarheels. They also have the added incentive to play well after they were beaten by three touchdowns in Chapel Hill last season.
Thomas summarized Tech's performance last year by replying, "last year we didn't come out and play hard like we had been during the season. We have a lot of motivation this week after coach reminded us during practice how we went down there and played last year. Many players are motivated this week to play against North Carolina. We have had this game circled on our calendar. They beat us the worst besides LSU and we could not do anything on offense. We could not get anything moving and they were able to throw the ball on our defense. I'm looking forward to play them this week."
It will be interesting to see what kind of energy level the Jackets bring on Saturday, especially after discovering that the loss to Miami has knocked them out of the top 25 rankings for the first time this year. The Jackets will look to avenge last year's loss and prove that they still belong in the rankings by beating the 22nd ranked Tarheels. They will go for their fifth straight win at Bobby Dodd stadium with a noon kickoff on Saturday.
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