BLACKSBURG, Va. - No. 15 Virginia Tech got off to a slow start but eventually found its groove in a 42-7 victory over Austin Peay at Lane Stadium on Saturday.
Junior quarterback Logan Thomas passed for 212 yards and accounted for three touchdowns (one rushing) for the Hokies and redshirt freshman tailback Michael Holmes rushed for two touchdowns.
And as is the custom in Blacksburg, defense and special teams had big impacts as well. The Hokies (2-0) held the Governors (0-2) to 221 total yards, and had a blocked punt and long punt return in the first half that led to touchdowns.
"I've got to give Austin Peay credit," Thomas said. "They played hard, they played tough, and they made us do some things we didn't want to do off the start. We got better throughout the game, which is something that you need to do, and it's something we want to build on."
Senior tailback Wesley Kitts of Austin Peay rushed for 110 yards on 22 carries, his second consecutive 100-yard game.
Virginia Tech led, 28-0, in the third quarter when Austin Peay finally got on the scoreboard. The Governors, who have scored in 75 consecutive games, put together a 78-yard drive and cut the deficit to 28-7 on Terrence Oliver's 10-yard touchdown run.
"We had some opportunities," coach Rick Christophel said. "I just thought we played hard. We really, really played hard."
The Hokies, who have won 37 of their last 38 home games against Football Championship Subdivision opponents, answered on their next possession and went ahead 35-7 on Thomas' 13-yard scoring strike to tight end Randall Dunn. That signaled the end of the day for Thomas, who handed over the quarterbacking duties to backup Mark Leal.
Leal and the Hokies' second-team offense scored in the fourth quarter on an 18-yard run by Tony Gregory.
Virginia Tech took advantage of a couple of big special teams plays, and its offense eventually came alive in a 21-0 first half.
The Hokies started their first scoring drive from Austin Peay's six-yard line thanks to a 46-yard punt return by sophomore Kyshoen Jarrett. Holmes scored on a two-yard run a short time later to give Tech a 7-0 lead with 2:38 remaining in the first quarter.
"I was just doing my job, just doing what I had to do," Jarrett said of his return. "I got some great blocks, and it set us up for a touchdown."
Gregory blocked a punt in the second quarter to set up Virginia Tech's second touchdown. The Hokies took over at the Governors' 42-yard line and got into scoring range with a 23-yard completion from Thomas to wide receiver Marcus Davis. Thomas scored on a one-yard run two plays later to put Tech up, 14-0, with 5:35 left.
The Hokies struck again right before the end of the half when Thomas hooked up with wide receiver Corey Fuller on a 40-yard touchdown pass play. Cody Journell's extra point gave Tech a 21-0 lead with 26 seconds remaining.
"I will say I saw a lot of good plays out of our offense, a lot of good plays out of our offense," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "We've just got to put them together. That's the deal. We've got to put it together."
NOTES: Linebacker Chase Williams and running backs J.C. Coleman and Tony Gregory made their first career starts for the Hokies. ... Austin Peay received a $318,750 payout for making the trip to Blacksburg. ... Beamer is 6-1 against the Governors. He was 5-1 against them when he was head coach at Murray State from 1981-86. ... Virginia Tech is 66-10 in September since 1993. ... The Hokies have blocked two punts in the last two seasons, both by Tony Gregory.