Halfwits and Wagers is Back for the Fighting Cutcliffes

Full column dissecting Duke at Virginia Tech among other inane college football discussion.

Welcome back to Halfwits and Wagers. It's been a long(-er) offseason for your resident degenerates, one filled with bad beats, 11-point halftime deficits to Furman, and the occasional afternoon of betting blindly against Jim Harbaugh to cover mounting losses.

It took a couple of weeks to sort out, but Joe replaced Brian and joins me for the rest of 2019. Formerly a long-time editor, reader innocent bystander of this column, he'll now try to keep up with the world's best / worst college football gambler (both me, it varies week-to-week) and have a few laughs along the way.

On to the lines!

Over/Under: 2.5 Hokies turnovers

Joe: I just realized this column reads Joe, Joey. This is already an awful premise for a 90s ABC buddy sitcom. Anyways...

The Hokies average three turnovers a game which makes this an extremely interesting line. That's worst nationally for teams that have played 3 games. Does the trend hold or does Virginia Tech protect the ball better and benefit from some turnover luck? Give me the latter. It's nothing more than a gut feel, but the bye week provides an opportunity to focus on fundamentals and Tech takes advantage. On top of that, Ryan Willis, who at times has been a one-man turnover machine, had a clean statline against Duke last season (17/27 for 332 yards and 3 TDs).

Joey:

"Ryan Willis, who at times has been a one-man turnover machine."

At times? AT TIMES???

In all seriousness, the rate at which Willis has turned the ball over — especially recently — has been perhaps the largest limiter of the Hokies' success since Josh Jackson went down. In 13 starts dating back to last September, Willis has tossed 13 interceptions and lost four fumbles, six of the total giveaways coming in 2019.

But he must have been better at Kansas, right?

/Googles Lee Corso not so fast gif.

Willis was actually worse in Lawrence, throwing 17 picks and losing 5 fumbles in his 11 (winless) starts. For the non-mathematicians out there, that's an even two turnovers per game.

I'll take the over.

Over/Under: 0.5 snaps by a Virginia Tech quarterback not named Ryan Willis

Joe: Over. Expect Tech to dominate from coinflip to victory formation with plenty of chances for any combination of the backup signal callers to get some work.

But still, it's an easy over. There are way too many ways this plays out — blowout either way, injury, special package with a quarterback capable of executing an option series intended to jumpstart the running game, trick play, etc... — to go under.

Joey: The message boards were so hot this week that at one point I read Knox Kadum may see the field on Friday against the Dukies. Yes, Knox Kadum, the same Knox Kadum that the Hokies stole from the clutches of JMU just before Signing Day as Hendon Hooker flirted with the Transfer Portal last winter.

And who says Justin Fuente can't recruit?

Joking aside, this feels like an over. It (ideally) won't be Kadum — who in fairness did win back-to-back state championships in football-rich Georgia — but I do expect to see Hooker or Quincy Patterson get a few snaps to spark a running game lost at sea.

Over/Under: 75 rushing yards for Keshawn King

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