Turnley initially got hurt against Utah. He says the injury was a shock to the system, particularly because he never really had one as serious during his career. The following week against UConn, he hurt his other foot.
“The thing about the one in the UConn game was that it was on a screen,” Turnley recalled. “I was pulling out to the left. I went to cut a linebacker, and it felt like the sole of my shoe ripped out, that’s the sound it made and the feeling I had. I got up on my feet, and I said, ‘It happened again. I can’t believe it.’ We completed the pass, and we ran a hurry-up no huddle, so I limped my way over to the line and snapped the ball. I didn’t have time to think about it. I went to the sideline, then to the locker room for pain medicine, and came back.”
Turnley ended up with torn plantar fascia in both feet. On crutches all week, but was in for every snap of every game. He converted to center last spring. As much out of need by Pitt as there was for an opportunity to play. He proved to be far, far better than anyone expected.
Is there any doubt that playing UConn on a weeknight is some sort of bad ju-ju for Pitt? There was “slide right.” There was being burned twice on a for passing TDs by a team lacking a functional QB and so much else. Then there was last year’s MASH unit game: Ray Graham’s torn ACL, Matt Rotheram fractured his left ankle, Cam Saddler fractured his sternum and Turnley was also injured in the weeknight win over UConn.
/looks at 2012 schedule
/Pitt-UConn play on a Friday night