Such a shame that Miami’s offense is struggling, if only they had an explosive receiver who could help them out. Oh wait, they do? Ahh yes, that’s right, they do! His name is Jeff Thomas, remember him? The Canes receiver who was taking the country by storm the first few weeks of the season? Yeah, Miami needs to make him come alive again.
Through the first three games of 2018, Thomas had 11 catches, 334 yards, two touchdowns and was gaining 38 yards every-time he made a reception. Yes, YOU READ THAT RIGHT.
Since the Toledo game, the Hurricanes have failed to get the ball to this could-be All-American. In the past four games, Thomas has only six receptions, 97 yards, and one touchdown. Thankfully, he’s still making things happen when he catches the ball, gaining 11 yards on average the past six receptions.
Against the Seminoles, even while injuring his knee, Thomas still reeled in a touchdown from N’Kosi Perry, as well as a key third-down conversion, with one of the most crucial catches in the past 10 years for Miami.
WR Jeff Thomas doesn’t catch this ball like he is 5’10” 175. Gets vertical between two defenders, showing strong hands at the catch point. He such a special talent. Really nice pass by N’Kosi Perry as well #devy #CFF #Miami pic.twitter.com/Nzh2KfSKV6— Jason DiRienzo (@allpurposescout) October 11, 2018
The fact that Miami has this talented of a receiver and he’s only been targeted 35 times this season is an absolute outrage. What started off as a year where Thomas could've possibly set single-season records for the Hurricanes, has turned into a collective frustration amongst everyone.
CFB REC YPC— CFB Focus (@cffmwachsman) October 22, 2018
1 Jerry Jeudy/BAMA 25.06
2 Frank Darby/ASU 23.67
3 Jeff Thomas/MIAMI 23.59
4 Michael Pittman Jr/USC 22.43
5 D'Wayne Eskridge/WMU 22.13
6 Tamorrion Terry/FSU 22.0
7 DK Metcalf/OLEMISS 21.88
8 Jaylen Waddle/BAMA 21.76
9 Corey Sutton/APPST 21.53
10 CJ Worton/FIU 21.52
It should be mentioned however, that Thomas left the FIU game early for dehydration, and then injured his knee against FSU, which most likely limited him against Virginia. Thomas had just one catch for five yards in the 16-13 loss to the Cavaliers.
THAT'S HOW YOU GET JEFF THOMAS THE BALL?— rOmaN (@romancane) October 14, 2018
Like you realize people game plan to get play makers the ball right?
They'll motion them around.
Hand them the ball.
Good news is thatMiami has been able to utilize Thomas and his talents when it comes to the return game. He had a punt-return touchdown that was called back against FIU, and then had solid returns against Florida State and Savannah State.
One way that the Hurricanes could get the ball into Thomas’ hands more though is through way of the reverse. Miami has ran it only once this season to the sophomore, and it went for 19 yards. Now obviously they’re not going to run that all the time, but right now, Mark Richt’s offense would kill for a play that went 19 yards.
The Toledo game was a perfect example of how Miami could get Thomas the ball in a variety of ways. Not only did they run a reverse to him for a substantial gain, but two simple screen passes also gained positive yards. Remember, he doesn’t have to go deep for six every play, just get him the ball, simple as that.
Now with Miami’s backs against the wall at 5-2, they will need the playmaking ability of Thomas even more, especially with Ahmmon Richards gone, and with Malik Rosier coming back as starter, that actually may happen.
Although most of the Canes fanbase is upset that Rosier has been named the starter again, him and Thomas did make quite the connection. While Thomas was making heads turn the first four games, it was Rosier delivering those passes. Thomas and N’Kosi Perry only connected on five passes, compared to 12 receptions when Rosier was under center. So we can only pray, that this duo will reappear as Rosier is back as the starter.
So we’re not asking for Thomas to have 11 receptions a game, even though that would be very nice. But it is obvious that Miami does much better offensively and are much more explosive when Thomas gets the ball.
Jeff Thomas has accounted for 10 plays of 30 yards or more.— 5Rings_Canes (@5Rings_Canes) October 13, 2018
That’s in the passing game and special teams - kick and punt returns.
Dude has been unreal! pic.twitter.com/Ld9foqU0Hv
When Thomas has more than 50 yards receiving or three or more catches, the Miami offense averages 41 points per game. Sadly, when those things don't happen offensively for the Canes, they’re scoring just 23 points a game.
Friday, the Canes will hopefully try and use Thomas as much as they can when they face Boston College. The Eagles are ranked 69th in pass defense, and in both of their losses they’ve allowed 100-yard receivers.