A thousand yards of offense. That would be a fine prop for this fireworks show, which we’d take Over, too. Between them, these two have been averaging a combined 77 points—and 1,031 yards.
Their sophomore quarterbacks will hog the spotlight. The Cavaliers’ Brennan Armstrong has completed 71.6% of his attempts, for 744 yards, seven touchdowns and one pick, averaging a scintillating 11.1 yards per attempt.
Sam Howell, the Heels’ Heisman hopeful, has garnered headlines but hasn’t matched Armstrong. It promises to be the day’s most entertaining game, so sit back, take the Over, enjoy a cold beverage and watch the scoreboard light up like a pinball machine.
Okay, Armstrong did beat up lowly William & Mary for 339 yards and two touchdowns. But he was just warming up, as he torched a Big Ten defense (Illinois) for 405 yards and five TDs.
There is some concern about a knee he tweaked in the second half against the Illini. He returned, wearing a brace. By mid-week, Cavaliers coach Bronco Mendenhall seemed relieved, believing that his dual-threat quarterback is fine.
“I haven’t heard [any updates], which is always good news,” he told 247Sports.
An Ohio native, Armstrong is seventh in the country with a quarterback rating of 196.4, according to teamrankings.com.
Sophomore Dontayvion Wicks averages 23.3 yards per catch, top-40 in the country. Senior receiver Ra’Shaun Henry and 6-foot-7, 275-pound junior tight end Jelani Woods both have 21.2-yard reception averages.
Watch all of them thrive on their first game of the season on the artificial stuff, actually called RootZone 3D Blend AstroTurf, at Kenan Memorial.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Howell was a top-five Heisman candidate in the offseason, at about 12-1 odds, as one of the few returning quarterbacks to have registered a double-digit yards-per-attempt figure a year ago. That is élite.
He has slipped to around 10th, and 28-1 odds. His 151.2 QBR is 47th in the country. Two games offer ample time to lose some favor in the hyper-intensive wagering marketplace, but his 9.2 YPA is just off blue-ribbon pace.
He has completed 62.3% of his attempts and averages 9.2 yards per attempt, not exactly shabby figures. But he’s tossed only four touchdown passes, has had three picked off and has even fumbled it away twice.
The Heels had a rough opener, losing 17-10 at Virginia Tech on a Friday evening that no doubt sullied Howell’s Heisman luster. They slapped Georgia State around in a 59-17 thrashing at Kenan that represented their first of eight consecutive games on the fake turf.
They’re ready to roll.
Junior receiver Antoine Green has nabbed five passes for 137 yards, a 27.4 average that ranks him 12th in college football. Sophomore Emery Simmons is just as dangerous, averaging nearly 20 yards on his six catches.
Josh Downs, a 5-10 rookie, has emerged as a go-to target with 16 receptions for nearly 200 yards.
Sports Betting Recommendation
The past two games between these ACC rivals have been track meets, 44-41 and 38-31. Who won? Who cares. That’s not our concern as we are only in this for points.
The Cavaliers are ninth in the nation with 7.8 yards per play, the Heels are 21st at 6.8. Both will move the ball regularly, giving the chain gang a stressful workout.
Brennan Armstrong and Sam Howell will have a fantastic duel that might even stretch into overtime, which will only enhance our Over wager.