Pitt lost to NC State 30-29 at Heinz Field on Saturday, but the defeat at least saw some standout performances from members of the Panthers offense. One of the luminaries was receiver D.J. Turner, who amassed a career-high 186 yards against NC State.
Much of Turner’s production came on back-to-back catches on Pitt’s first drive of the second half. The first catch gained Pitt 32 yards, and the second gained 27 yards and put the Panthers on the Wolfpack’s one-yard line. The second catch was nearly a touchdown, but Turner stumbled after reaching back to reel in the pass by quarterback Kenny Pickett.
Turner saw a similar situation play out two drives later, when he reeled in a 23-yard reception and fell into the end zone. That play was initially ruled a touchdown but was reviewed and overturned. And once again, the ball was placed at the one-yard line. However, Pitt would score on a Pickett sneak and take a 20-17 lead in the third quarter.
Then, in the fourth quarter, Turner would put Pitt in scoring position once more with a 50-yard reception. That drive would end with an Alex Kessman kick that gave the Panthers a 23-17 advantage. The 5’9”, 205-pound receiver would also come up with a gain of 10 on the drive that put Pitt up 29-24 as well as a 28-yard catch on the final play of the game.
The Maryland transfer was Pitt's top receiver on Saturday and posted the highest receiving yardage total among ACC receivers over the weekend. With his 186-yard game, he now has a team-high 319 receiving yards and one touchdown on the season. He has also topped his output at Maryland, which was accrued over four years, in just four games, as he had 294 yards and one score with the Terps.
In addition, Turner’s performance on Saturday was the best in terms of yardage by a Pitt receiver since 2004, when Greg Lee posted a 188-yard game against Syracuse. Turner also tied Antonio Bryant, who posted a 186-yard game of is own against West Virginia in 2001, for the 10th most receiving yards in a game.