It took five games, but Miami receiver Jeff Thomas finally had the breakout game of 2019 that we were all waiting for. In the Canes 42-35 loss to Virginia Tech this past Saturday, Thomas finished with six catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns, those were his first two scores of the year.
Leading up to the Hokies game, something that was being preached over and over again on social media was the fact that Thomas had not been an integral part of Dan Enos’ offense. Prior to Saturday, Thomas had 15 catches and no touchdowns. To make matters worse, in the previous two games against Bethune Cookman and Central Michigan, Jeff had a combined six catches.
One of Dan Enos’ main objectives on Saturday has to be getting the ball to Jeff Thomas more.— ALCS Bound/#KosiHive (@hurricanesmarsh) October 1, 2019
Throughout the week, there was even backlash to anybody campaigning for Thomas to get the ball. Much of that comes down to the fact that the junior receiver had some forgettable moments so far in 2019, especially against the Gators when he muffed a punt and also dropped a touchdown pass.
Thomas proved people wrong however, being one of the main factors in Miami’s comeback that nearly won the game against Va Tech.
Miami WR Jeff Thomas cooks VT with a sick corner route for six. pic.twitter.com/khAlBb7xTu— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) October 5, 2019
It was a clear indication that: 1. Thomas is still one of the most dangerous players on Miami when he gets the ball in his hand. 2. Enos should definitely be running more of a spread offense.
In case you forgot, Jeff Thomas is good at football pic.twitter.com/jw3cwNs8el— ALCS Bound/#KosiHive (@hurricanesmarsh) October 10, 2019
Against the Hokies, Thomas was averaging 20.7 yards every time he caught the ball, so it’s clear that if you get the ball to him in space he’s going to do something with it.
Perhaps it was N’Kosi Perry coming in at quarterback that sparked Thomas’ performance. It’s a fact, some receivers just play better with certain QB’s, and Perry’s style of play on Saturday was perfect for Thomas. It was more of an improvised type of play, and Thomas was able to find separation with Perry hitting him.
Like so many of said, 5 can make certain throws that 15 can’t. pic.twitter.com/UOHznTQ9tu— ALCS Bound/#KosiHive (@hurricanesmarsh) October 10, 2019
Through the first four games, when Jarren Williams was at quarterback, and nothing against Williams at all, but it was a lot of designed slant patterns and it didn’t allow Thomas to really do anything with the ball once he caught it. Take for instance the North Carolina game, where Thomas had 7 catches but for only 51 yards and no touchdowns.
One thing is for certain, this Miami offense is a lot more effective and proficient when Thomas gets the ball like he’s supposed to. If the Hurricanes have any shot of beating the Virginia Cavaliers on Friday night, JT4 is going to have to a big part of the Miami offense.