Virginia Tech is fighting to keep its bowl-hopes alive Saturday on the road against Boston College. Although the Eagles have won just two games (both at home), the Hokies are still looking for their first road win of the season. Heading into the contest, here's whose stock is on the rise and whose is on the decline.
If this was the New York Stock Exchange, let's just say that every broker would want to get in on the action right now. Fuller recorded his second-career 100-yard game last week against Florida State (124 yards) on a career-high seven catches. He will be making his third straight start (ahead of Marcus Davis this week), and will likely be relied upon as the No. 1 receiver as well as increasing blocking responsibilities.
That's not even to mention that this week Mel Kiper listed Fuller as an NFL prospect, something that numerous scouts have echoed to me recently in the press box. I expect quarterback Logan Thomas to rely heavily on Fuller throughout, and wouldn't be surprised with another 100-yard effort.
It's not often that a punter makes this list. But after the performance Hughes put on against Florida State, it was clear that the punting unit had a serious impact in keeping the game close.
He averaged a season-high of 44.5 yards per punt, including two punts over 50 yards (career-long of 54). Hughes also put half of his punts inside the 20 yard-line (no touchbacks), excluding one on the 20. The Hokies didn't allow any points following a punt, and even scored on a safety following Hughes' final punt. A punter's day doesn't get much better than that, but let's see if the freshman can replicate that performance.
The junior wide receiver is having a first-team All-ACC type of year, and he's on absolute fire right now. Amidon has caught at least six passes in each of the past four games, and has averaged 14.7 yards per catch along the way. Obviously, that's creating some monster numbers.
Though he has scored just two touchdowns in those four games, a total of 32 catches for 469 yards sounds like a pretty decent season. Last week Notre Dame broke his three-game streak of 100-yard performances, but he still managed 84 against perhaps the best defense in the nation. Hokies cornerbacks are sure to have their hands full Saturday.
It doesn't get much more obvious than this case. After a YouTube video made the rounds on national blogs that showed Davis' blocking performance against FSU, he faced constant media questions all week. To make matters worse, Fuller is starting ahead of Davis (first time Davis won't start this season).
It's not like his recent receiving performance forces Virginia Tech coaches to play him; Davis has just five catches over the past two weeks and hasn't recorded more than 68 yards since Duke. His freakish physical talent will still get him in the game, but it will be interesting to see how he's used.
After a year-long rotation, the Hokie coaches stuck with two running backs against Florida State. Holmes was not one of those backs.
He didn't play one snap in the backfield, and it appears Virginia Tech is going to go with a similar rotation this week (J.C. Coleman sprinkled with some Tony Gregory). It doesn't help Holmes' cause that he has rushed for a total of 71 yards on 23 carries in the previous four weeks. While he is sure to be a big part of the offense next year, it's hard to imagine he will be a big part of the gameplan in the final two contests.
After starting the season with 15 touchdowns and just five interceptions, Rettig has thrown four picks in the past two games while only throwing for one touchdown. He's also been sacked seven times total in those two contests.
It's simple: If the Hokies can contain Amidon, they can force Rettig into some big mistakes. Getting a lead will be key: Of the five games Rettig has passed more than 40 times, he's thrown at least one pick in four of those contests. The Eagles have lost all five of those games.