Nov 21, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Marquis Williams (14) breaks up a pass intended for Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Tre Turner (11) during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Pitt crushes Va. Tech behind Pickett’s 3 TDs

Senior Kenny Pickett passed for 404 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another, leading the host Pittsburgh Panthers to a 47-14 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies in an ACC game on Saturday.

Senior wide receiver DJ Turner caught 15 passes for 184 yards and one TD, helping Pitt (5-4, 4-4 ACC) win its second straight game. Turner’s 15 receptions were one short of a school record.

Pickett completed 35-of-52 passes, with one interception. He threw 40 times in the first half alone. A.J. Davis ran 12 times for 80 yards and one score, and Alex Kessman added four field goals, including boots of 53 and 52 yards for the Panthers.

Quarterback Hendon Hooker and wide receiver Tre Turner led the Hokies (4-5, 4-4), who have lost three straight games.

Hooker completed 13-of-22 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran 14 times for 53 yards. Hooker entered the game ranked first in the nation in rushing yards by a quarterback and second in TD runs by a QB, but he was kept out of the end zone by Pitt.

Tre Turner caught three passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Panthers were without 16 players, including three starting offensive linemen and star wide receiver Jordan Addison.

Virginia Tech was without 12 players, including one starter on each line and two key defensive backs.

Pitt, which never trailed, led 23-14 at halftime, and the Panthers started the game with three Kessman field goals.

Virginia Tech cut its deficit to 9-7 on Hooker’s 55-yard touchdown pass to Turner, who ran a deep post.

The teams traded long touchdown drives on the next three possessions.

Pitt got a touchdown on Vincent Davis’ one-yard run; Turner went up to catch a high, seven-yard TD throw from Hooker; and Pickett fired an 11-yarder to Jaylon Barden.

On that last play, Pickett made a brilliant spin move to avoid a sack and then threw across his body to Barden, who scored his first career TD.

The Panthers put the game away in the third quarter, getting another Kessman field goal, Pickett’s 64-yard TD pass to Turner and Pickett’s one-yard run to make it 40-17. On the TD pass, Turner beat the Hokies over the top and then dragged two defenders into the end zone.

Davis’ one-yard run with 2:39 left in the fourth quarter gave Pitt a 47-14 lead, capping the scoring.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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