This past summer I predicted that Jermaine Thomas would rush for 1,000 yards this season. Each week I will try to give an update on Thomas' progress, unless it becomes painfully clear that he won't make it. This week I have even less to "report" than last week, but if you are still holding out hope for JT to have a big year, read on.
Here are the rushing numbers from the JSU game:
TOTAL 26- 78
Once again, Jones was our work horse. This is only to say that he out-produced the other RBs, which isn't saying much at all. At this point, TJ is more likely than JT to crack the 1,000-yard barrier this year. Heck, Louis Givens has more rushing yards than Thomas!
(Breakdown courtesy of FSUncensored)
It's only two plays, but hey, why not?
1-10, Twin TE, I-Formation Thomas inside zone right, cuts back left, 5 yard gain. Strange play, not really sure what FSU was trying to run, but Thomas hit the cutback hole well.
2-5 Twins WR I, Thomas outside zone to tight end side (short side of field), 3 yards. J-State just played this really well. FSU needed to check to a pass here, with 8 maybe 9 in the box.
Thomas also had one reception in the flat where Easterling managed to block his man directly into Thomas, resulting in a 3-yards loss.
To keep the dream alive, JT will have to get rolling soon. Here are the current numbers:
|Yds this past week||Yds remaining||On pace for(season total)||New avg. needed|
Running Against BYU
In their first two games, the Cougar defense has surrendered a paltry 77.5 rushing yards per game. Of course, one of those two teams was Tulane. BYU's performance against Oklahoma is a better gauge for us, and this is good news. OU collected 118 yards on 31 carries for a 3.81 YPC, but they could have had more if they had stuck with the run. The good news is that OU did this with an O-line that is less experienced (penalties!) and less well-coached than ours. Also, OU did not have the benefit of a QB like Ponder who can run from the gun or the pistol. If we can get Ponder running this week (not just on scrambles), then this will open up the lanes for JT and company. And of course, we need better blocking from the H-back and TE.
FSUn is predicting 220 yards on the ground, with Ponder getting a significant number of those. My only concern here is that if the BYU offense is able to get ahead by more than 14 points in the first half, we will abandon our running game. But if we can keep pace with their offense (I don't think we'll shut them down) in the first half, then we are very likely to attain the 220 envisioned by FSUncensored. Here's another benchmark -- if Ponder has at least 40 rushing yards (excluding sacks) in the first half, then our running game will succeed. In fact, there's reason to think that if Ponder reaches that mark, we will win. FSU has won every game in which Ponder ran for 30 or more yards. Moreover, we have good reason to think Ponder will reach this goal -- BYU has been burned by running QBs in the past, as other TN authors have pointed out.
I'll be bold once again and predict a good day for JT: 90-100 yards rushing, 40-50 yards receiving.