BLACKSBURG — The North Carolina defense was just the antidote Virginia Tech needed for its offensive malaise.
Quarterback Logan Thomas threw for 230 yards and three touchdowns as the Hokies built a 21-7 lead heading into halftime at Lane Stadium.
Thomas was 13-for-20 in the first half, completing passes to seven different receivers.
D.J. Coles had two catches for two touchdowns and Willie Byrn had three grabs for 118 yards, including an 83-yarder as Virginia Tech (4-1, 1-0 ACC) racked up 277 first-half yards.
It was the first time since last year’s Duke game that the Hokies scored three offensive touchdowns in regulation against an FBS team, a streak of 10 games.
Virginia Tech struck first getting a 45-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Demitri Knowles, who got behind the UNC secondary, making it 7-0.
Thomas continued to be on the mark on the Hokies’ next drive, making a couple of big third down throws. He hit Byrn on a crossing route for 18 yards before zipping s 9-yard pass to Coles for a touchdown to make it 14-0 early in the second quarter.
UNC answered, moving into Tech territory on a 40-yard bubble screen to Quinshad Davis. After a fourth down sneak, Marquise Williams, who started in place of an injured Bryn Renner, threw a jump ball to tight end Eric Ebron, who snagged it over cornerback Kendall Fuller for a 6-yard touchdown, cutting the Virginia Tech lead to 14-7.
The Tar Heels pinned the Hokies at their 2-yard line just before the half, but Thomas completed an 83-yard pass to Byrn to get them out of trouble. A few plays later, Thomas found Coles again for a 5-yard touchdown to make it 21-7.
Coles has 11 catches this year. Five have gone for touchdowns.
A 5-yard completion to Knowles on Virginia Tech’s first possession made Thomas the Hokies’ all-time leader in career passing yards. Tyrod Taylor held the previous mark with 7,017 yards. Thomas has 7,245 passing yards in his career.
Williams, who made his first career start, went 7-for-14 for 97 yards, adding another 32 on the ground. Renner had been slowed by a foot injury all week.