Turner's touchdowns help Tech rally past Furman

Hokies enter field before game against Furman
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (VT Athletics) -- Tré Turner scored second half touchdowns rushing and receiving, helping Virginia Tech rally to a 24-17 nonconference victory over Furman on Saturday at Lane Stadium.

The win marked Tech's second straight and moved the Hokies to 2-1 on the season. Furman fell to 1-2.

The Hokies trailed 14-3 at halftime after Furman converted two Virginia Tech turnovers into touchdowns, but the Hokies scored on their first two possessions of the second half to grab the lead, and then Turner's 29-yard touchdown run with 5:04 remaining sealed the win.

Tech tailback Keshawn King rushed for 119 yards in his first collegiate start, and his 54-yard run on the second play of the second half got the Hokies going. The play set up a 3-yard touchdown run by James Mitchell that cut the Furman lead to 14-10 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

A fumble by Furman's Devin Wynn on the ensuing possession was costly, with the Hokies converting on Ryan Willis' 2-yard touchdown pass to Turner with 8:12 left in the third. That score enabled Virginia Tech to grab a 17-14 lead, and it never trailed again.

Turner's 29-yard touchdown run gave Tech some breathing room. The Hokies allowed a Furman field goal late, but recovered an onsides kick in the final minute and ran out the clock.

Turner, a receiver, rushed for 68 yards and caught four passes for 29 yards. Willis completed 17 of 21 for 123 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

Devin Abrams paced Furman (1-2) with 72 yards rushing on 10 carries. The Paladins only had 231 yards of offense.

KEY PLAY
Turnovers were – and usually are – the name of the game, and a Furman turnover really changed the momentum of the game. Tech nickel Chamarri Conner made a nice stop of Furman tailback Devin Wynn, who fumbled when Dax Hollifield came in at the last moment and punched the ball away. Tech's DaShawn Crawford recovered the fumble at the Furman 26, giving the Hokies great field position, and they capitalized. A four-play drive ended with Willis' touchdown pass to Turner, giving Tech the lead for good.

QUOTE TO NOTE
Turner on his fourth quarter touchdown run – "The funny thing is Coach just told me to get the first down. So, when I got the first down, all I saw was green grass, and I chose to go get the touchdown because I didn't want to get tackled. I don't like getting tackled."

GAME NOTES
• Virginia Tech started four true freshmen on offense Saturday – King, offensive linemen Doug Nester and Bryan Hudson and receiver Tayvion Robinson.

• Turner's 68 yards rushing were a career high and his rushing touchdown marked the second of his career.

• Turner has caught at least one pass in all 15 games in which he has played during his career.

• King's 100-yard rushing performance marked the first by a Tech tailback since Steven Peoples rushed 156 yards in the Hokies' loss to Old Dominion last season.

• Willis' touchdown pass marked the 43rd of his career – 31 at Tech. He needs just 16 yards to surpassing 6,000 passing yards for his career.

• Emmanuel Belmar had 1.5 sacks – part of a day in which the Hokies had a season-high four sacks. Chamarri Conner and DaShawn Crawford also had sacks.

UP NEXT
The Hokies now have a bye week before resuming play Sept. 27 against Duke. The Friday night affair at Lane Stadium kicks off at 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.