LYNCHBURG, Va. – While the Flames imprved to 3-0 last week with a win over North Alabama, Coach Hugh Freeze was honest with his team in his evaluation.
“I told them I thought we did not pass the test Saturday. We got the win which was good but didn’t pass the test,” Freeze said.
Liberty’s offense didn’t look ready for the test in the first half, having converted just one third down, missing 2 field goals and holding a slim seven point lead at halftime before they found their footing later. This week may be a new test strategy. Quarterback Malik Willis is a full go after suffering an elbow injury two weeks ago.
“I just have to keep doing me, playing the way I play, taking what the defense gives me,” Willis said.
“I do have the brace on and that’s a very protective brace and I just have to go out there and do what I do and not worry about it.”
With the Warhawks allowing nearly 300 rushing yards per outing and the Flames having rushed for over 200 yards in each of their games, that’s the part of the test their hoping will yield rich results.
“They get a push up front we just have to run behind our pads and rely on them and everything else will fall in place. So I believe in those guys, they’ll get it done. They trust us, we trust them,” said Flames running back Peytton Pickett.
The priority for the defense will be limiting the uptempo offense from ULM and keeping them out of the redzone-- where they have capitalized 8 times in 13 trips this season.
“We have to get to the quarterback before he gets a head of steam before he even gets to the redzone honestly. We’ll let our secondary get back to where they need to be before they try to get one off, we’ll already be in the quarterbacks face. That’s pretty much going to be the standard for the game,” said Flames defensive end Jayod Sanders.
Saturday’s Noon kick is not only a chance for Liberty to move to 4-0, but to also prove they are battle tested for a tougher schedule in the weeks to come.