BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Defense and special teams have long been Virginia Tech's calling cards. That tradition continued Saturday, as the 18th-ranked Hokies dispatched lower-division opponent Delaware 27-0 at Lane Stadium.
Virginia Tech (2-0) held the Blue Hens to 223 yards in its home opener, forcing two turnovers and sacking Delaware quarterback Joe Walker four times.
The Hokies thrived in the kicking game as well, with a punt return touchdown from Greg Stroman and two field goals from Joey Slye, including a career-long 50-yarder.
Delaware (1-1), from the Football Championship Subdivision, was held scoreless for the first time since a 19-0 loss to Towson in 2015.
The Blue Hens dominated time of possession and held the Hokies to only 303 total yards (81 rushing). But Tech was still able to run away with the game.
Hokies redshirt freshman quarterback Josh Jackson passed for 222 yards and two touchdowns. Tech senior wide receiver Cam Phillips caught six passes for 90 yards and a score.
Walker passed for 116 yards. Blue Hens wide receiver Diante Cherry had three receptions for 41 yards.
The Hokies broke open a relatively close contest with a big fourth quarter. Phillips caught a 28-yard scoring pass from Jackson to make it 24-0, and Slye added a 24-yard field goal to extend the lead to 27-0.
Virginia Tech led 17-0 at halftime despite only a 164-146 edge in yardage.
Stroman's 61-yard punt return touchdown with 2:45 remaining in the first quarter gave the Hokies a 7-0 lead. Stroman juked a couple of would-be tacklers before sprinting the rest of the way to the end zone.
Virginia Tech extended its lead to 10-0 midway through the second quarter on Slye's 50-yard field goal.
The Hokies' shutout was preserved when Delaware kicker Frank Raggo missed a 28-yard field goal attempt off the right upright.
Tech went ahead 17-0 late in the second quarter on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to running back Travon McMillian.
NOTES: CB Greg Stroman's first-quarter score was the third punt return touchdown of his career, and it was the first punt return touchdown allowed by the Blue Hens since 2012. ... Stroman is the first Virginia Tech player with a punt return touchdown in three consecutive seasons. Only DeAngelo Hall (five), Andre Davis and Frank Loria (both four) had more punt return touchdowns during their Hokies careers. ... WR Diante Cherry became the 19th player in Delaware history to eclipse 100 career receptions, and he also surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for his career. ... Virginia Tech freshman TE Dalton Keene made his first career start. ... RB Travon McMillian has scored a touchdown in five consecutive games dating to last season. ... Delaware DB Nasir Adderley blocked a 46-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half. ... Virginia Tech S Terrell Edmunds recorded his first career sack in the third quarter. ... There was an announced crowd of 62,526.