Virginia Tech’s Turner catches Georgia Tech in 26-17 win

Oct 30, 2021, 12:46 AM | Updated: 4:21 pm

Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister, right, rushes against Georgia Tech during the second ...

Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister, right, rushes against Georgia Tech during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

              Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister passes against Georgia Tech during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
              Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims rushes against Virginia Tech during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
              Virginia Tech defensive back Armani Chatman, left, intercepts a pass intended for Georgia Tech wide receiver Nate McCollum (8) during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
              Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister, right, rushes against Georgia Tech during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

ATLANTA (AP) — It was easy to pick out a player of the game with Tre Turner catching seven passes for 187 yards and a touchdown to lead Virginia Tech to a 26-17 win at Georgia Tech Saturday.

But embattled Hokies head coach Justin Fuente suggested that the junior wide receiver was window dressing.

Virginia Tech snapped a three-game losing to break even in the ACC on the strength of four field goals by John Parker Romo, Turner’s dazzling day, a big fourth-down stop with the Hokies’ backs nearly to their own goal line and a smash-mouth game plan.

The Hokies rushed 53 times for 237 yards, and as Georgia Tech geared to stop the run in the first half, Virginia Tech kept throwing the ball over the heads of the Yellow Jackets on the way to a 20-7 halftime lead.

Braxton Burmeister completed 15 of 25 passes, 254 yards and two touchdowns for Virginia Tech, and Turner racked up a career high in receiving yards. The Hokies gained 199 of those passing yards in the first half.

Thomas had rushed for 103 yards, Raheem Blackshear for 83, and Burmeister for another 46 even after losing 19 on sacks.

“It starts with running the football. We made some plays in the passing game as a byproduct of (Georgia Tech) selling out to stop the run,” said Fuente. “Malachi certainly played well. Raheem’s playing better because Malachi’s playing better. You see a concerted effort to move piles and go north and south.”

Georgia Tech (3-5, 2-4 ACC) toyed with a comeback in the second half, but couldn’t overcome a first half in which the Yellow Jackets allowed Virginia Tech (4-4, 2-2) – the next-to-last ranked offense in the conference at 329.7 yards per game – to match that yardage on the way to a 20-7 lead.

Virginia Tech took the lead on their second possession when Turner was open along the left sideline 10 yards past the nearest Georgia Tech defender. Only because Burmeister underthrew the ball did the wide receiver not waltz into the end zone as he finished a 69-yard scoring play by juking two defenders.

“We had a couple busts in the first half,” said Tech coach Geoff Collins, who suggested that a player injury played a factor in personnel on the field at the time.”

Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs rushed for 113 yards, and nearly gave the Yellow Jackets the lead late only to slip on wet turf in Bobby Dodd Stadium.

After Georgia Tech pulled to within 23-17, Gibbs broke through a gaping hole over right tackle early in the fourth quarter for what looked like possible 81-yard touchdown run.

He had one last defender to worry about. “I saw a safety coming at an angle,” he said. “I tried to cut back. I rolled my foot.”

Gibbs slipped at the Virginia Tech 20, but said, “Nah,” when asked if the turf was slick on a cool, gray day with intermittent drizzle.

A few plays later, Collins opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the Virginia Tech 12.

The Hokies held, stuffing Jordan Mason.

From there, the visitors chewed 7:01 off the clock on a 12-play, 85-yard drive that ended with Romo’s 21-yard field goal with 4:21 left in the game lead 26-17.

Jeff Sims completed 15-of-26 passes for 183 yards and two scores and rushed for 60 yards. Sims had a touchdown pass to Gibbs called back by a penalty, and completions of 39 and 19 yards were canceled as well. He was responsible for both Georgia Tech turnovers, each in the second half, with a fumble and an interception.


Georgia Tech largely scrapped its base defensive look at halftime, “As the game they went on, they went back to more four down (linemen),” Fuente said. “We were able to run the ball, and the line was going the right direction.”


Virginia Tech: The Hokies carried play from start to finish in building a 23-16 edge in first downs while holding the ball for more than 10 minutes longer than the Jackets.

Georgia Tech: The Jackets found ways to lose. They were 3-of-12 on third downs and 1-of-3 on fourth downs. Virginia Tech was 9-of-18 on third downs and converted its only fourth down. “I think the story of the game was third downs . . . and even fourth downs . . . ” Collins said. “Coming up short when we start off poorly, it’s hard to reel it back in.


Virginia Tech: The Hokies play at Boston College Friday night.

Georgia Tech is at Miami on Saturday.


More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25.

Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

7 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

7 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

7 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

7 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

7 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

7 months ago

Virginia Tech’s Turner catches Georgia Tech in 26-17 win