BLACKSBURG -- Virginia Tech's football team believes it has what it takes to be consistently good on offense and dominant on defense, and it made progress toward that end Saturday in a 45-3 victory over Western Carolina at Lane Stadium.
After struggling in a season-opening loss to No. 1 Alabama, the Hokies' offense showed improvement against the Catamounts, gaining 462 total yards and getting contributions from several different players.
Defensively, Virginia Tech held WCU to 162 yards, including only 51 passing, and came a third-quarter field goal away from recording a shutout.
"Some of it was ragged, but I thought we took another step today and did some good things," Hokies coach Frank Beamer said.
Virginia Tech senior quarterback Logan Thomas completed 17 of 31 passes for 200 yards and one touchdown. Redshirt freshman tailback Trey Edmunds rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
The Hokies (1-1), who saw their 93-game home sellout streak end, won in convincing fashion despite three turnovers, one of which led to WCU's only points.
For the second straight game, Virginia Tech's defense held its opponent to fewer than 210 yards. It yielded only 206 total yards to Alabama.
"I think we're making strides," said Hokies senior linebacker Jack Tyler, who had a team-leading 11 tackles. "Our goal is to be the best defense in the country. If you ask anybody, that's our goal, and we expect that."
WCU (0-2) was led by quarterback Eddie Sullivan, who passed for 51 yards and rushed for 41. Kicker Richard Sigmon scored the Catamounts' only points on a 28-yard field goal in the third quarter.
"We were productive at times, but against a team like Virginia Tech and against Bud Foster's defense, we couldn't do much," WCU coach Mark Speir said.
Thomas, who threw two interceptions, led two second-quarter touchdown drives but failed to capitalize on another scoring opportunity late in the first half when he threw an interception in the WCU end zone.
Tech's offense started slow, but it got untracked with a 16-play, 87-yard drive that culminated with a one-yard touchdown run by Edmunds with 11:50 left in the second quarter.
The Hokies scored again on their next drive. They rode sophomore tailback J.C. Coleman, who gained all 38 of his rushing yards on seven carries during the possession, and went up 21-0 on Thomas' 19-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver D.J. Coles.
Tech's defense allowed only 108 first-half yards while forcing two turnovers, both interceptions by junior free safety Detrick Bonner. Bonner returned his first pick 37 yards for the Hokies' first touchdown near the midway point of the first quarter.
"I don't think we scored a touchdown last year, so to get a touchdown in the second game I thought was really good," Bonner said.
The Hokies extended their lead to 28-0 early in the third quarter on a 76-yard touchdown run by redshirt freshman tailback Chris Mangus. Edmunds added a one-yard scoring run late in the third quarter to put the Hokies ahead 35-3, and redshirt freshman tailback Joel Caleb completed the scoring with a 13-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
"It is always nice to play in front of a big crowd. It was super loud and it is something special, especially for the young guys," WCU senior linebacker Courtland Carson said. "They seemed pretty excited. To us, we looked it as just another game. The only thing they had on us is size. We just need to stay consistent as a defense and as a team."
NOTES: Hokies senior OG Andrew Miller left the game in the first half with a sprained ankle and did not return. X-rays were negative. ... Bonner became the first Tech player to record multiple interceptions in one game since cornerback Jayron Hosley had two against Arkansas State in 2011. ... Bonner's interception return touchdown was the 132nd non-offensive touchdown scored under Beamer, the 83rd by the defense and the 55th via interception. It was the first defensive touchdown for the Hokies since the 2010 ACC championship game. ... Western Carolina CB Trey Morgan and LB Christon Gill both recorded their first career interceptions in the first half. ... TE Kalvin Cline became the 10th freshman to play for the Hokies this season, breaking a record under Beamer. ... Beamer is now 24-3 in home openers at Tech. ... Hokies freshman FB Sam Rogers made his first career start.