Justin Thomas didn’t always properly handle the adversity from the 2015 season. Too many times he let his emotions get the best of him and would give away his disappointment with negative body language. It’s something that needed to be addressed this season.
Thomas got high marks in that regard last week against Boston College and appears to be on his way to re-emerging as the positive play-maker who lit up the scene in 2014.
“I thought he did a good job on Saturday,” Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said. “He handled himself. That was a real positive for him. He did a much better job. He made an improvement in that area.”
There was plenty that Thomas could have gotten upset about. The playing conditions were miserable, which took away many of his options for pitching the ball. There were too many missed assignments by the offensive line and the other backs. And just when it appeared the Yellow Jackets had gathered some second-half momentum, a fumble stopped them in their tracks.
Any of that adversity might have sidetracked Thomas a year ago. Not this time. He hung tough and was able to engineer the winning drive in the final minutes of the game, the fourth time in his career he has done so.
Thomas ran for 16 yards and threw for 119 yards against Boston College. He moved into the top 10 in school history for career passing yards; he ranks eighth with 3,314. He is 776 yards behind Eddie McAshan.
“The team believes in him,” Johnson said. “They’ve seen him in games and practice. He’s a pretty confident kid. I don’t think he’s got any doubt in himself at all. He’ll be the first to tell you he can play better.”
Defense gets passing marks
The 14 points scored by Boston College is the fewest allowed by Georgia Tech is an ACC game since Clemson scored only six against them in 2014. The defense came up with three turnovers after getting 17 takeaways for the entire 2014 season. The 320 yards accumulated by the Eagles is the fifth-fewest allowed to an ACC opponent since the beginning of 2014.
Changes at Bobby Dodd
Fans will see improvements made at Bobby Dodd Stadium, the most visible being a new videoboard at the south end of the stadium. The new board has 34 percent higher resolution than the existing board, which was installed in 2009. The ribbon boards have also been replaced with new displays.
Another big change is improved LTE cellular data coverage. The old board interfered with frequencies in and around the stadium. In recent years, fans would get frustrated by the lack of cell availability. The system would sometimes get overpowered, as happened last year following the improbable finish to the Florida State game.
Fans who lease the Stinger Seats, the cushioned, chair-back seats, will enjoy new waterproof seats with high-density foam. Improvements have been made to the restrooms throughout the stadium, with additional baby changing stations and paper towel dispensers. Concession stands will have new offerings, including an option for a bottomless box of popcorn.
The athletics department has worked with campus and Atlanta authorities to modify entry and exit routes to the stadium.