Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong opens game with consecutive pick-sixes

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If you’re having a bad day, or even a bad week, just know Brennan Armstrong is having a worse one. As 5.5-point home underdogs, the Virginia quarterback knew he’d have his work cut out for him Saturday against Pittsburgh, but he couldn’t have anticipated a start like this, having his first two passes both returned for pick-sixes.

Needless to say, that’s not how coach Tony Elliott drew it up in the huddle, with Armstrong spotting the visitors 14 points in a head-spinning span of 16 seconds. The Cavaliers haven’t qualified for a bowl game since 2019, a dry spell that, barring a miracle in the next few weeks (Virginia trailed 28-0 at halftime), will continue at least another year.

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Though rare, this feat of football futility is not unprecedented. In fact, as recently as last month, Saints quarterback Andy Dalton was intercepted on back-to-back possessions against the Cardinals, though not on consecutive plays.

It didn’t get much better for Armstrong after that, finishing with a first-half stat line of 69 yards on 8-of-16 passing with -27 rushing yards on five carries. If you’re wondering how the latter number is even possible, sacks technically count as rushing attempts in college, which is obviously not the way they’re recorded at the pro level. Among FBS quarterbacks, only Georgia Southern’s Kyle Vantrease has thrown more interceptions (13) than Armstrong (12) this season.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Ryan M. Kelly, Getty Images