Halfwits and Wagers Firmly Believes in the Validity of Concussions

After a rough gambling week and a second-half dumpster fire in Lane Stadium, Halfwits returns looking for winners and low-brow concussion jokes.

For someone who clearly doesn't believe in all this millennial concussion nonsense, Larry Fedora seems to have suffered multiple traumatic blows to the head since taking over in Chapel Hill.

Or, as Uncle Larry likes to call it, "selective memory."

I actually respect the take.

In fact, I respect it so much that I'd like to announce that Notre Dame did not happen and the Hokies are now 3-1 on the season with two rainouts. Unfortunately, Brian and I are squarely on the record with a suspect set of Week 6 picks (in fairness, I blame Mike Stoops) as the elder statesmen of the crew picked up a valuable half-game on your clubhouse leader.

Brian's Record this Year (+Last Week Only) 15-25-1 (4-4-1)

Joey's Record this Year (+Last Week Only) 22-19 (4-5)

On to the lines!

Over/Under: 0.5 40+ yard touchdowns for North Carolina

Brian: Hell, it's probably going to be over. I wanted to get that out of the way so I could get this diatribe out.

/stretches yelling muscles

I know it's tough to sit there and watch your team lose a few games, especially after opening the year on what seemed like such a high note at the time. But I've seen far too many people ask "how did this happen" for it to go unnoticed. The secondary's bad. It's a bummer, and ironic for a university that proclaims itself DBU—haven't seen many of those tweets this year, have we? They only have three guys who are any good, one of them's always hurt, and none of them play corner.

It's a dire situation.

But let's pump the brakes before we start talking about how a thin secondary in 2018 is an indictment on recruitment and roster management over the last few years.

Yes, the Hokies are playing at least four guys who should be at best rotational players and at worst bench-ridden understudies. Some of it's a talent problem, some of it's development. And others have just been thrown in before they're ready. But this didn't happen because some sort of recruiting failure. It happened because Fuente and his staff were busy filling in the holes on both lines (something he doesn't get nearly enough credit for, by the way), and apparently was unable to predict that he'd lose three starters in the months before the season.

There are a ton of DBs on the roster. They were just all supposed to play next year. And when Chamarri Conner and Armani Chatman and Caleb Farley are running things in the secondary, think back to the time when you bitched and moaned about things falling apart being a sign of bad things to come.

(And for the record, remember who wasn't good as a freshman? NEARLY EVERY FRESHMAN WHO EVER PLAYS, ESPECIALLY ON DEFENSE. Remember how bad Greg Stroman was? The dude's playing in the league now. Remember how terrified everyone was when Adonis Alexander was targeted on a deep ball? He's also in the league. So relax.)

Joey: Before news broke on Chazz Surratt's season-ending injury, this over was a no-brainer. I mean, an athletic quarterback who can make people miss in space? That's a nightmare for a Bud Foster defense once again reeling after a disastrous second-half showing against Notre Dame.

That said, Carolina figures to turn to Nathan Elliot in Surratt's absence, a southpaw junior whose quick slant throw closely resembles a 72-mph Rich Hill changeup running away from a righty. I understand that sounds like a stretch, but Elliot quite honestly may have the worst arm of any Division 1 quarterback to ever start a football game.


Over/Under: 375 Virginia Tech offensive yards

Brian: Does this look like the face of a man who's going to go for less than 400 yards?

It may take him 60 passes to get there, but by god he'll do it.

On a completely unrelated note, I'd like to introduce you to my new meme for the rest of the 2018 season. It's too good not to use at least four times a game.

Joey: Red zone woes and inopportune turnovers aside, the Hokies' offense under Ryan Willis has been incredibly productive over the last two weeks against seemingly strong defenses. If you allow me to compare apples to oranges for a brief minute, let's look at the numbers:

Josh Jackson, 2017 vs. Duke: 200 yards passing, 387 yards total offense*
Ryan Willis, 2018 vs. Duke: 332 yards passing, 413 yards total offense

Jerod Evans, 2016 vs. Notre Dame: 267 yards passing, 419 yards total offense
Ryan Willis, 2018 vs. Notre Dame: 309 yards passing, 441 yards total offense

Can Willis take better care of the football, make better reads in the option game, and not lose his mind at Steven Peoples for his own failure to properly execute play action? By all means.

But his challenges notwithstanding, Brad Cornselsen's unit has shown a clear ability to move the football under Willis, and that's not a bad place to start. In other words, time to figure out the whole scoring in the red zone thing and this offense could be decent by November.


*Yes, this game was played in a monsoon. Apples to oranges, remember?

Over/Under: 2.5 North Carolina turnovers

Brian: To be fair to Nathan Elliott, he's bounced back to average after a disastrous opening game against Cal (four picks, 137 yards). I mean he's still been bad. He's still the guy who lead the Heels in their loss to East Carolina (and may be the man who saved Scottie Montgomery's job?). But he hasn't thrown another pick since week one! That counts for something, right?

/checks the Miami box score.

/sees that Elliott lost three fumbles before being replaced by Chazz Surratt, who threw three interceptions.

/rechecks the numbers.

/blinks for two straight minutes.

This screams the over, but I'll have to see the Tech defense get their swagger back. Until then, I'll say under.

Joey: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I would have gone under assuming a healthy Surratt*. But with Elliot letting it loose on a soggy field recovering from the remnants of Hurricane Michael? That's a hungry Bud Foster and another over.

*I admit this sounds stupid after Surratt completed more passes to Miami's defensive line than he did his own receivers a few weeks ago in South Beach. (This isn't true but it's frighteningly close.)

True or False: Damon Hazelton will catch a touchdown pass

Brian: I wish this could be my "Joey Coogan Memorial Lock of the Week". I'll keep pounding these overs until they go wrong. Gimme Hazelton and a score.

The real line? Over/under 20 targets. I think Willis could get reeeeeal close.

Joey: This shouldn't even be a line anymore, as Hazelton is one score away from setting the Virginia Tech school record for consecutive games with a touchdown (as a wideout, that is). Against a North Carolina defense best described as "serviceable" on its good days, I'll take Hazelton to scamper into the end zone yet again.

Georgia -7 at LSU

Brian: Georgia has this weird tendency to play really poorly for two quarters and then come out and wipe their opponent off the face of the Earth.

But when will a sluggish start come back to haunt them? And what will they do when they try to turn into a world destroyer, and LSU just doesn't care?

In a weird way, I think the Tigers losing to Florida last week will make it even harder for the Bulldogs in Baton Rouge. LSU will come out angry, the fans will be ready (read, hammered). I don't know if Joe Burrow can do enough to win, but doesn't this feel like one of those stupid games where LSU has no business keeping it close, but hangs in the whole 60 minutes?

Geaux Tigers.

Joey: This line was at 7 when I first put together the Halfwits template on Monday afternoon, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't immediately check the latest number on Wednesday night before writing so I could update the spread to a more reasonable 10 or 11. Clearly ignoring my dumb brain, Vegas has LSU holding steady as 7-point dogs against No. 2 Georgia, a clear indicator of the respect level oddsmakers continue to have for the gumbo-fueled chaos in Death Valley.

Look, I love Coach O. That's no secret. But this is a mismatch if I've ever seen one, a dominant Georgia team blessed with two quarterbacks better than anyone in the state of Louisiana* squaring off against Ed Orgeron and 100,000 drunk Cajuns who will be calling for his job by the second quarter.

Again, I love Coach O, but my gut says Georgia wins by double-digits. Go Dawgs.

*Sorry, Drew Brees is too short. Don't @ me.

Wisconsin +8.5 at Michigan

Brian: Isn't it funny how much we trashed Michigan for losing to Notre Dame, said how overrated they were, and then promptly rocketed them up the top-25 anyway? The Wolverines are 8.5 point favorites because they...what? Beat an awful Nebraska team? Barely squeaked by Northwestern? Trounced Maryland?

Cool. Wake me up when they beat someone good. I'll take Wisconsin +8.5, and fully intend to wager on that this weekend.

Joey: Has there ever been a so-called "big game" that 99% of America couldn't care less about?

Call me crazy, but Paul Chryst and Jim Harbaugh playing for third place in the Big Ten doesn't exactly get the blood flowing, even if the khaki-wearing milk-chugger has finally realized that he doesn't have to run a fullback dive every play when he lucks into a halfway-decent quarterback in Shea Patterson.

I have no real opinion on this game other than to say Michigan likely wins at home, but Wisconsin never seems to get blown out (unless it's Ohio State and their gosh darned fast kids). I'll take the Badgers and the points and will 100% not be tuning in.

The Joey Coogan Memorial "Navy Hits the Over" Lock of the Week.

Brian: It's foolish to go in on a big game as my lock of the week, but I think Oregon is the best team in the Pac-12. Justin Herbert's great, and they should've beaten Stanford but gave the game away.

I'm not convinced Washington is any good. That loss to Auburn keeps looking worse, and after that, they haven't really played anyone (close games against Utah, Arizona State, and UCLA). Yet somehow, the Huskies are favored by three over the Ducks in Eugene?

Thank you very much Mr. Ducksworth. Quack quack quack quack quack Mr. Ducksworth.

Joey: Navy stinks. Really bad.

True story: Navy is so bad that I had a co-worker come up to me yesterday and apologize (apologize!*) that the Midshipmen couldn't scrape across 14 points to hit the over last week against Air Force.

That said (and I openly admit this is the most degenerate sentence I've ever published on our website), I love the Navy/Temple over at 49.5.

Hear me out. Temple is averaging almost 33 ppg halfway through 2018, a figure that should approach 40+ against a porous Navy defense. That means the triple option needs just 10 points to scrape back above .500 for the year, and I'm not giving up just yet.

Navy. Over.

*You may have questions. Here's an FAQ:

Q: Your co-workers openly gamble on college football?
A: "Work-life balance."

Q: Did this particular idiot in question go to Navy?
A: No, he went to UVA.

Q: Does he also bet Navy overs every week?
A: Yes, we need a raise.

Virginia Tech-North Carolina Over/Under: 57.5

Brian: I'm confused as to why this is so high? UNC scored 38 against Pitt (woof, Narduzzi), but hasn't broken 20 against anyone else. I realize that Tech's defense isn't great, but is either offense good enough to push this over?

No way.

Joey: At some point, this offense is due for a 40-point performance under Ryan Willis — its simply putting up too many yards not to. Does the breakthrough moment happen this week against a shoddy Tar Heels defense? Perhaps, but I'm not ready to bet any over where Nathan Elliot is factoring into half of the offensive production.


Spread: Virginia Tech -5.5

Brian: Fuente hates Carolina. I don't know if I've heard him talk passionately about anything else, but you can tell that he loathes the Heels. He'll have the boys fired up to play this one, and I think the Hokies win by more than a touchdown (I'm thinking 31-17).

Joey: Justin Fuente comes off as a relatively mild-mannered, polite football coach who controls his emotions on the sidelines and closely manages all flow of information to the media.

Justin Fuente also seems to openly hate North Carolina football. As in, Justin Fuente has outscored North Carolina 93-10 in two games. Eight quarters of football. 120 minutes!

While attrition and injuries have wreaked havoc on the Hokies' top-end talent this year, I still like the Fuente vs. Fedora trend to continue. Take the Hokies to cover running away in a convenient recovery spot from Notre Dame.

Disclaimer: Some of these are real betting lines, but many of them are fake and none of this is real advice that should be taken seriously.


Virginia Tech-North Carolina Over/Under: 57.5
Let's see, a hurricane at the UNC stadium during a Tech - UNC game, shouldn't the question be will Tech put up more than 57 points versus the Tar Heels? I'll take the over.

Why do people keep saying there will be a hurricane at this game? It's supposed to be clear skies.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Because Hurricane Michael is a Category Hitler hurricane headed up the east coast!!! Do you not watch the news?!

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

It'll be well into the Atlantic by game-time, but we're sitting here in Durham getting ready for 50mph winds this afternoon. Supposed to dump several inches of rain before it leaves too.

Truth be told, I was thinking the effects Hurricane Michael might be still being felt (wasn't looking at the weather reports). So, if you will allow me, to change the text to: Let's see, a HOKIE hurricane at the UNC stadium during a Tech - UNC game, shouldn't the question be will Tech put up more than 57 points versus the Tar Heels? I'll take the over.

The thing I have heard amongst my SEC loving co-workers is that people in Baton Rouge are proclaiming to be O+ or O- depending on whether or not they want Coach O fired. I am sure their fanbase will be reasonable and won't have a dramatic O- shift if LSU gets the doors blown off by the #2 team in the country.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Just win baby, we need to go bowling.

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"


That Wiscy/Michigan line is free money, right? Am I missing something here?

"Mountains get big cause they have no natural predators." - Ken M

I may or may not have put real money on Wiscy covering and also (though to a lesser degree) on the Wiscy moneyline.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..


Chem PhD '16

If you're going to forget a game, why wouldn't it be ODU?

No idea what you're talking about. What is an ODU?

Yes, the Hokies are playing at least four guys who should be at best rotational players and at worst bench-ridden understudies. Some of it's a talent problem, some of it's development. And others have just been thrown in before they're ready. But this didn't happen because some sort of recruiting failure. It happened because Fuente and his staff were busy filling in the holes on both lines (something he doesn't get nearly enough credit for, by the way), and apparently was unable to predict that he'd lose three starters in the months before the season.

^^All of this.^^

Now, if this whole "busy filling in the holes on both lines" sentiment could somehow provide some quality depth at DT, I'd feel better about it all.

Is it football season yet?