Saturday, October 24 2020, Truist Field, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 3:30 p.m. ET
Hokies at Demon Deacons Betting Preview: Hokies (-9.5), Demon Deacons (+9.5)
Virginia Tech Hokies
There’s no question that quarterback Hendon Hooker has given the No. 9 Hokies (3-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) a huge lift. After sitting out the first two games, Hooker has guided the Hokies to 71 points in six quarters since taking over for Braxton Burmeister at halftime of the 56-35 loss to North Carolina.
Hooker threw for two touchdowns in the second half against the Tar Heels and followed that by rushing for 164 yards in last week’s 40-14 romp past Boston College. He is 18 of 28 passing for 348 yards and is No. 2 in rushing with 193 yards in two games behind leader Khalil Herbert’s 592 yards.
“I’m kind of considered a dual-threat quarterback because of how I can make plays,” Hooker said. “In my eyes, it’s just playing football, so I really don’t put a label on it.”
A transfer from Kansas, Herbert is second in the nation in rushing after running for 143 yards against BC. He also had a 29-yard reception for a touchdown on a screen pass from Hooker.
The Hokies lead the nation in rushing with their average of 312 yards a game. They are fifth among Power 5 teams in scoring with their average of 42 points a game, seventh in total offense (484.5 yards per game) and fourth in average yards per play (7.37).
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
The Demon Deacons (2-2, 1-2 ACC) got a much-needed 40-23 win over Virginia for their first conference victory after losses to Clemson (37-13) and North Carolina State (45-42) to start the season. It also got them to .500.
“This football team has to be an ascending team, but when you’re young, you need these nuggets and these wins to keep them going,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. “Tuesday practice would’ve been tough 1-3, and so this was a really big win for momentum, to keep our season going, and to give our guys a shot of confidence.”
Sam Hartman set the tone for what would become a 309-yard passing performance by tossing a 40-yard touchdown pass to A.T. Perry on the game’s opening drive. Hartman has passed for 893 yards in completing 62 percent of his passes. He has yet to throw an interception in 100 attempts.
Against Virginia, Jaquarii Roberson recorded a career-high 126 yards on seven catches and Kenneth Walker III posted his second three-touchdown performance in three games.
The one negative for the Demon Deacons were the 12 penalties for 119 yards in the contest. That was one more penalty than they had in their first three games combined.
Hokies at Demon Deacons Betting Pick for October 24, 2020
Hooker had a big game for Tech in the Hokies’ 36-17 win over Wake Forest last November, completing 15 of 23 passes for 242 yards and rushing for 69 more yards. Now the Hokies have added Herbert to their arsenal for the Deacons’ defense to contend with.
Hokies at Demon Deacons Betting Pick:
Hokies 38, Demon Deacons 20
Hokies at Demon Deacons Best Bet for October 24, 2020
The Hokies have forced eight turnovers through four games with five coming via interceptions. They have committed only three themselves, and Burmeister accounts for the lone interception. Hooker has give the offense a second life, but you have to remember No. 1 Clemson scored only 37 points against Wake Forest in the opener.
Hokies at Demon Deacons Best Bet: UNDER 69.5
–Field Level Media