Halfwits and Wagers Ran the Damn Football

TKP's favorite gamblers are riding high after routing NC State. What could possibly go wrong?

After four seasons of enduring an inconsistent and scarcely productive rushing attack from Justin Fuente and Co, Hokie Nation was treated to three hours of man football on Saturday evening. With running backs prancing untouched into the second-level and offensive linemen serving up pancakes for the table, Virginia Tech cruised to a convincing 45-24 victory over a physically overmatched NC State team.

And as any good Hokie knows, Tech has a long and proven track record of following up dominant, season-propelling victories with reliably strong performances, so this weekend's trip to Durham promises to be a largely uneventful affair. No, did I get that wrong? Something about East Carolina? Old Domin...

Screw it, on to the lines!

Over / Under: 1.5 80 yard rushers for the Hokies

Joey: Despite the 314 yard ground-and-pound Virginia Tech delivered on Saturday evening, only one Hokie eclipsed 80 yards (Khalil Herbert, 104), with Vanilla Vick Braxton Burmeister a somewhat distant second at 67. That said, enough changes this week — Hendon Hooker's potential return and Raheem Blackshear getting to practice seem most beneficial — that I think the service academy-esque rushing attack powers on for a second straight week. Give me Herbert, Blackshear, and maybe even a quarterback for 80+. Over.

The Fifth Fuller: Thanks for bringing up ECU, Joey, I'd just gotten my right eye to stop twitching. So the age old question after a first game blow out was...are the Hokies that good or is NC State that bad? While I think it's a mix of both, Duke has actually had somewhat of a good rushing defense, statistically. While both Notre Dame and LOLUVA both averaged over 4 yards per carry, neither eclipsed 200 yards on the ground, and I think the three headed Hooker/QP4/Burmeister monster is going to have to air it out some to keep the Dookies honest. Plus, I sort of get the feeling when Hooker's back that Fuente is going to be playing Three Card Monte with his quarterbacks, which means no one is going to rack up yards, through the air or on the ground. I'm going under.

Over / Under: 15 Players and Full-Time Coaches on the Unavailability Report

Joey: Feel free to tell me I'm alone here, but I clicked on Virginia Tech Football's official Unavailability Report tweet at least 10 times on Saturday night waiting for the rest of the image to load.

I mean, they couldn't have just tweeted out a 3 line screencap with no actual information about who was sidelined (or why)? I legitimately even opened up my laptop because I thought my phone was broken. Turns out, my phone is fine, and Pete Moris is leaning into the Bill Belichick persona even more in 2020.

Communication style aside, this feels like an easy bet. The crumbs of information fans have managed to collect seem to suggest Justin Hamilton remains out for another week, and I imagine a decent portion of the list is driven by non-COVID-19 related injuries. I'll go with the over here, thinking most injuries remain unchanged week-over-week with only a handful of guys trickling back in after completing COVID-19 protocols.

The Fifth Fuller: So we know nothing about the state of the team from week 1, week 2 all we know is "BAD", and in week three we learned that the Hokies can still play a game even with 23 players out. All that means is the situation in week 2 was even WORSE. The one consistent theme is that I spend the entire week knowing less about the state of the team than what's in my wife's head. That is an impressive bar to clear (if you had "Let's rip out a fireplace and a load bearing wall and completely renovate the kitchen we renovated less than ten years ago" on last night's bingo card, hats off to you).

As Joey said, the information coming out of the Athletic Department is abysmal, so to emphasize the point at the bottom, no one should risk any amount of money on predicting anything related to COVID-19 (setting aside the moral issue of gambling on it and general 2020 guidance that you should always expect things to get worse). That being said, if you held a gun to my head and forced me to pick, I'm going over.

Most Receptions: Tre Turner, James Mitchell, Tayvion Robinson, or Raheem Blackshear

Joey: Tayvion Robinson was the surprise winner here last week, which means the 757 native has earned a highly-coveted position on the ballot for Week 2. Recognizing this is a complete and total crapshoot, I'll roll with Big Play Tre for the second time, hoping that after a fairly quiet week receiving-wise Brad Cornelsen will scheme up ways to get his star wideout more involved from the outset.

The Fifth Fuller: I am really bad at predicting this one! Who had the most receptions last week? Tayvion Robinson! Here's a tougher one...who had the most receptions against Duke last season? Tayvion Robinson! I'm sure Joel would agree with me here, that is clearly enough data to establish a trend line and we can reasonably assume that Tayvion Robinson will be the Hokies' leading receiver until the end of history. Don't stop me, I'm on a roll.

Over / Under: 2.5 Turnovers Forced by Virginia Tech Defense

Joey: Duke's offense sucks. I've watched decently long stretches of the Notre Dame and UVA games, and their Pistol-centric attack has the strange dynamic of looking innovative, smart, and sometimes even dangerous until you remember it's Duke and Chase Brice throws 4 picks in 20 minutes of gametime against Virginia. So yeah, I'll take the over here, with Tech rattling off a strip sack and a pick in the first half to get the ball rolling.

The Fifth Fuller: Duke's offense REALLY sucks. To the point where I pity Joey for enduring more than the high(low?)lights of those games. As a bit of context, do you know the last time the Hokies forced more than 2 turnovers against Duke? 2014! For whatever reason, the randomness of the pointy bouncing ball has not favored Tech against the Devils, and I don't see any reason to expect things are going to change. Plus, they couldn't give the ball away to the Hoos fast enough last week and I'll say something about reverting to the mean to sound intelligent. You should nod thoughtfully at this point and say something like "It's gonna even out over the course of the season" so you also appear intelligent.

Over / Under: 0.5 Mentions of David Cutcliffe Coaching Peyton Manning

Joey: This was an easy over 5 years ago (honestly, the real question would have been 'Will ESPN bring a Manning to the booth?'), but it's more interesting these days as Father Time finally caught up to Peyton and Eli. Plus, it's hard to brag about an offensive mastermind when he's seven days removed from getting his lunch money stolen by Bronco Mendenhall to the tune of SEVEN turnovers.

I'll go under in what may be the first-ever Cutcliffe coached outing where not a single Manning is mentioned. And no, Nationwide commercials don't count.

The Fifth Fuller: All I ever hear commentators say about Cutcliffe is how he manages to produce a competitive team at a place that doesn't really prioritize football, and how he is recruiting to a tough place and he runs a great program, blah blah blah. He's the underdog, and who doesn't love to root for the underdog? But oddly enough, I've managed to miss the connection between Cutcliffe and Manning, probably because I spend most Hokie football games yelling at the TV. And that's EVERY game; there's happy yelling (lot's of that last week), angry yelling (lots of that last year against Duke), ref yelling, annoying commentator yelling, yelling at random opponent fans (this gets worse the more beers in we are), all sorts. So, if I never hear them say anything about Cutcliffe and Manning, does that mean it didn't happen? I say yes. LET'S GO UNDER!

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

Joey: This hurts a bit -- Ed Orgeron (sans Joe Brady) and Derek Mason don't exactly scream 'points' -- but my lock of the week is LSU/Vanderbilt Over 49. Yes, LSU's offense is clearly taking a step back after turning Roger Goodell's basement into Baton Rouge North, and Vanderbilt managed only 255 yards from scrimmage against Texas A&M, but 49 is just begging to be taken. LSU comes out pissed off, likely covers the spread, and gets close to 49 by themselves.


The Fifth Fuller: In the interest of keeping with this column, Oklahoma is gonna blow the doors off of Iowa State, -7 points is ridiculously low. But on a more SERIOUS topic, it's Fat Bear Week. For those of you not in the know, we all get to vote on who the fattest bear at Katmai National Park is in a single elimination tournament. Now, last year's winner Holly (405) has a bye until Saturday, and she's got to be the early favorite. But I'm going with a shocker; Walker (151) got knocked out in the first round last year, and he seemed to take it personally. I mean, the guy has an ass like a Chevy, he looks like he's been eating whole trees since March. This is Walker's year. I'd also really like to move away from body shaming these bears; it's nature, okay? Can we all agree to start calling this "Winter Preparedness Week"?

Spread: Virginia Tech -10.5

Joey: This is a dangerous gambling spot. The Hokies are riding high after an impressive season opener, square off against a winless opponent in a sleepy stadium (with or without fans), and have a matchup with divisional rival UNC looming the following week. Put simply, it's the perfect letdown spot.

But something about this Hokies team feels different. Maybe it's Brock Hoffman's cigar-smoking energy, or maybe it's a restocked running back room filled with proven veteran talent. Maybe it's a quarterback trio as deep as anywhere in the country, or maybe it's a defensive line unit that seems to have learned how to rush the quarterback during quarantine. Or maybe it's just me getting caught up in the jubilation of a dominant Week 1 victory that felt like so much more. But until the wheels come tumbling off (as they are no doubt bound to do), I'm enjoying the hell out of having a good football team in Blacksburg.

Hokies by 20.

The Fifth Fuller: In the interest of keeping you all in suspense, I will state my four supporting arguments and then my conclusion.

Firstly, while there was a run a few years back where Duke consistently played the Hokies close in one possession affairs that even went into quadruple overtime in 2015 (successfully blocked THAT one out of my head). However, the history of this series is lopsided, mostly the good way, occasionally the other. It is probable that someone is getting spanked.

Secondly, Duke has not beaten the Hokies two games in a row since the Truman administration.

Thirdly, and oddest of all, Duke's three ACC wins against the good guys all came in Lane Stadium. They have not beaten the Hokies in Durham since Video Killed the Radio Star kicked off MTV.

Fourthly, Khalil Herbert is good at running the football, he is doing so behind an offensive line of ill-tempered bad men and I almost felt bad for the NC State defensive linemen who finally got a sack and were rewarded by Quincy Patterson coming in and crushing their souls.

This one is done in the 3rd quarter. Hokies by a lot.

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.


I cannot find fault with any of these takes, Let's Go!

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"



Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

LSU O/U has gone up since publication. I know they WANT to run up the score, but I'm not convinced they can. I mean, they will definitely blow out vandy, but I don't think vandy scores in the double digits and I don't know that LSU can shoulder the remainder right now.

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)..

I had a feeling we would beat NC State's ass last week, and I have a feeling we will beat Duke's ass this week. I don't think either of those teams are good, but we are. We should flex our muscles accordingly.

You two are nuts if you don't think ESPN/ACCn won't roll out a graphic with Daniel Jones and the Manning brothers at some point in this game. OVER.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Want to manage QB rotation? Build a big lead early. Worked in week 1. Q4 is for QP4. I want Quincy to come in and trample the last shards of resistance of every team we face this season.

i hereby submit that each HWAW should also include the participants' record from last week

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

yes, I was wondering how they did but I'm too busy (lazy) to figure it out on my own

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

It's always safe to assume I won. Counting the Notre Dame total points line as a push for now, the results:

  • Joey: 5-2-1
  • Fifth Fuller: 4-2-1

I got an extra win from correctly predicting Khalil Herbert as the leading rusher (and Fifth's pick didn't even dress). We'll plan to include moving forward!

TECHNICALLY, I picked the Notre Dame O/U correctly, as they scored zero points last weekend. But if you want to win on a technicality, that's fine.

From the Meet the Bears page of the Fat Bear Week Site: "Walker was estimated to weight almost 1,200 pounds (545 kg) in September 2019."
Hokies Win BIG! It's Science!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

I'm just here to shoutout the bears pick.

Anyone hearing that the game Might not be played? Ugh

Ask me Monday, then I'll tell you I was hearing that this week.

OK, its monday - whatcha got?

Well, they're on the bus to Durham right now...sooo

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Probably going to hear that every game this year

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

No, did you? Or are you just wondering

I would guess just wondering. It seems like over the past several weeks, the one thing Fuente has been transparent about is how many guys we're down. This week, I haven't heard anything, so unless Duke was going to cancel/postpone, I doubt we are.

If you're right, and I hope you are, that's some reckless phrasing by AXD

No. I have heard there are starters out again, though. Different from last time

Well, we don't know who we might be getting back that was out last week either. I also just tried looking up if any Duke players are out due to testing or contact tracing. The only thing I could really find was this link. Seems like Duke has kept a good lid on it and probably won't have anyone out from COVID.