BLACKSBURG, Va. -- David Wilson was only kidding earlier in the week when, after learning he would get the ball on Virginia Tech's first offensive play, he said the team wouldn't need a second play.
Turned out, he was right.
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Wilson ran 20 yards almost untouched for a touchdown on Virginia Tech's first offensive play, giving the No. 13 Hokies a quick lead on their way to a 66-13 victory against Appalachian State.
"He told me I was getting the first carry and I told him I didn't have to hear the second play because I was taking it to the grid," Wilson said of running backs coach Shane Beamer.
"But I didn't think that would really happen."
The touchdown was the first of three in the first half for the junior, his first game as the Hokies' starting tailback, and he finished with 162 yards on just 16 carries.
"That's the way to start the season off," he said.
Logan Thomas also was efficient in his first game as Tech's quarterback, throwing the first two touchdown passes of his career, and the Hokies' defense shut down the Mountaineers.
Appalachian State was outgained 291-61 in the first half before both teams began substituting freely.
The Hokies, who honored coach Frank Beamer before the game for entering into his 25th season as the head coach and then announced at halftime that he's signed a contract extension to keep him on the job through 2016, made sure he got his first season-opening victory in four years.
"A few more days like this and I'll have a few more years after that," Beamer said.
Wilson scored on runs of 20, 19 and 3 yards -- the first just 47 seconds into the game after Antone Exom recovered a fumble by Mountaineers quarterback DeAndre Presley at the 20.
"A defensive end crashed and I went to pull the ball back and I just fumbled," Presley said.
Wilson also broke off runs of 48 and 33 yards before yielding to reserves in the third quarter.
Thomas was pulled early after completing nine of 19 passes for 149 yards, with scoring throws of 7 yards to Randall Dunn and 4 yards to Jarrett Boykin. Thomas was not intercepted, and even got to use his 6-foot-6, 240-pound body to run over safety Patrick Blaylock on a scramble up the middle.
"I wish Thomas was playing tackle for us," Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore said.
The Mountaineers, among the top-rated teams in the Football Championship Subdivision, arrived with what promised to be a high-powered offense led by Presley, considered one of the top players in the FCS, but the multiple spread and option looks didn't fool the Hokies.
Beamer said the defense needed a good showing, too, to put a subpar 2010 behind them.
"Defensively we needed confidence," he said. "... I think we gained some of that today."
Jamal Jackson, who replaced Presley, threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Brian Quick late in the third quarter, making it 52-6, and ran 15 yards for the Mountaineers' other touchdown.
Before it was over, the Hokies had their second-highest point total under Beamer, topped only by 77 points against Akron in 1995. Appalachian State, meanwhile, allowed as many as 60 for only the second time. The Mountaineers lost 72-14 to Chattanooga during the 1978 season.
Presley never got going. He finished seven for 18 for 89 yards with two interceptions and ran 13 times for 43 yards.
By the time an 11-yard run by Presley gave the Mountaineers their initial first down, Cody Journell had added a 28-yard field goal and Josh Oglesby a 4-yard scoring run for the Hokies.
Wilson added his last two scoring bursts in the second quarter. The first came on the play following Jeron Gouveia-Winslow's interception and 26-yard return to the Mountaineers 19, and the second capped a 14-play, 97-yard drive highlighted by Thomas' 55-yard strike to Davis.
Thomas' second scoring pass came 1:40 into the second half, and Tony Gregory blocked Sam Martin's punt 50 seconds later. Kyle Fuller dove on the ball in the end zone, making it 52-0.
It was the 17th time in Beamer's tenure that the Hokies have scored on a blocked punt.
Backup quarterback Mark Leal added his first career touchdown pass -- a 22-yarder to Marcus Davis -- late in the third quarter. Leal hit Davis for a 63-yard score midway through the final period.