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October 1, 2012

Big Performers: Cincinnati Loss

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Despite looking like it had a come-from-behind win with under two minutes left, Virginia Tech lost a heartbreaking game with 13 seconds left ti Cincinnati on Saturday, 27-24 at FedEx Field. Despite the loss, there were a few Hokies with some big games.

5. Michael Holmes, running back

The running game as a whole struggled to produce consistently (that will be a theme here) Saturday, but the lone bright spot was Holmes. The redshirt freshman led the team with 61 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown, but his biggest contribution came on Tech's first drive of the fourth quarter.

Virginia Tech ran eight plays on that drive, five of which were hand-offs to Holmes. Holmes ripped off runs of 19 and 17 yards on his first two carries to get the ball inside the red zone and then capped it off with a three-yard rush for the touchdown. For the second straight week, the Hokies got a semi-breakout effort from a new running back after Tony Gregory had a big day against Bowling Green. Gregory sat out this week with a knee injury

4. Marcus Davis, wide receiver

Davis was the most productive wide receiver for the Hokies on Saturday, hauling in five passes for 101 yards - including a big 50-yard reception to move the Hokies into the red zone. According to Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times, Davis was targeted seven times during the game, meaning his five receptions were a pretty efficient performance.

This team needs offensive playmakers in the worst way, so if Davis can get going consistently and explosively on the perimeter, there may be some hope yet.

3. Corey Fuller, wide receiver

Despite losing a fumble, Fuller again came up in the clutch for the Hokies over the middle. With just under two minutes to play and the Hokies trailing by four, Fuller snared a searing Thomas pass over the middle and then turned on the jets, using his track trained speed to outrun the Bearcats to the end zone.

Fuller finished the game with four receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown and was huge in the closing minutes for the second game this year.

2. Jack Tyler, linebacker

Tyler is a weekly fixture on this list because he deserves to be. Tyler again led the Hokies in tackles with 11, giving him 53 on the year. He also had five quarterback hurries.

Tyler has 20 more tackles than the next closest tackler (Kyshoen Jarrett, 33) on the team and is third in the ACC in tackles, and tied for 14th in the country.

At this pace, Tyler is on track to finish he year with 127 tackles which would be the most by a Tech defender since Vince Hall recorded 128 stops in 2006. For those wondering, Rick Razzano holds the record for tackles in a season with 177 so that's probably not in danger.

1. Kyshoen Jarrett, Rover

The secondary in general has been a huge disappointment this year, but Jarrett has been one of the pleasant surprises. He has established himself as a strong in-the-box safety and a really solid open field tackler.

Jarrett finished the game Saturday second on the team in tackles with seven. While some changes may be in store in the secondary, Jarrett probably needs to stay right where he is.


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