By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The University of Delaware football team will play its first road game of the 2017 season on Saturday when they step up a level to visit Virginia Tech down in Blacksburg.

The Blue Hens are 1-0 under new head coach Danny Rocco after opening the campaign last Thursday with a 22-3 home win over Delaware State.

“I thought the defense kind of stole the day,” Rocco tells KYW Newsradio. “I thought we played really well on defense. Created some takeaways, had a couple of really big, critical, momentum-swinging plays in the game with our defense and held them to a field goal. Offensively, we moved the ball really well, we just did not do as well as we need to do in the red zone.”

Delaware head football coach Danny Rocco (credit: Mark Campbell, University of Delaware Athletics)

Redshirt junior quarterback Joe Walker threw for a career high 192 yards in the win against the Hornets. The Blue Hens were able to get some big plays in the passing game, something they struggled with last year.

“It’s huge and then there were a couple more out there that we kind of left on the field,” Rocco says. “I remain optimistic that that part of our game will continue to get better. The ability for Joe to find these open recievers down the field and then the ability for these receivers to go up and get the football. We did have some solid performances, [Diante] Cherry (102 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns) had a good game. I felt that [Vinny] Papale had a solid game at receiver. [Jamie] Jarmon had a solid game at receiver. I think we’ve got some guys that are going to be able to make some plays in the passing game.”

This match-up with the Hokies will be a tough one for Delaware, but Rocco doesn’t want to focus on it as just a challenge.

“First of all, it’s a greater opportunity,” he says. “We always recognize the challenges that we have in life and the obstacles that we have, but sometimes these would present themselves as the biggest opportunities and we have to look at this as an opportunity.”

Virginia Tech opened its season this past Sunday with a 31-24 win over West Virginia.

“They are athletic,” Rocco says. “They are talented at the running back position, they’ve got a dynamic wide receiver (Cam Phillips). They are physical and well-coached in the offensive line. And their quarterback (Josh Jackson) came up big as a first-time player for them.”

Delaware and Virginia Tech will get underway at 3:30pm on Saturday.


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