LYNCHBURG, Va. – The 22nd-ranked Liberty Flames rolled up a season-high 633 yards of total offense on the way to a 58-14 victory over Western Carolina on Saturday at Williams Stadium.
The Flames are off to their best start in program history at 8-0. Liberty extended its overall winning streak to 10 games, the Flames' longest since a program-record 11-game winning streak spanning Oct. 20, 2007 through Oct. 11, 2008. The Flames' home winning streak also stands at 10 games, one shy of the program record. The Catamounts, playing their first game in 357 days, open their season at 0-1.
Liberty is now 4-3 all-time against Western Carolina, having won the last three meetings in a row. Prior to today, the last meeting was a 19-16 Flames win at WCU on Sept. 13, 2008.
Liberty’s Malik Willis passed for 306 yards on 14-of-19 attempts with three touchdowns passes, while adding a team-high 97 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns. Joshua Mack and Peytton Pickett added one rushing touchdown apiece. Kevin Shaa caught two passes for 137 yards and a touchdown, while CJ Daniels (two catches, 96 yards) had a pair of touchdown catches.
On defense, Liberty’s Durell Johnson and Carl Poole had one interception apiece, while Poole posted a fumble recovery and forced fumble.
Liberty outgained WCU 633-282 for the game, while the Flames totaled a season-high 379 yards passing and 254 yards rushing. Liberty scored on big plays, with six out of the Flames' touchdowns were scored from 34 or more yards out. The Flames' 633 total yards are the fifth most in a single game in program history and were their most in a home game since rolling up 681 yards against Monmouth on Oct. 22, 2016. Liberty scored 13 points off of WCU’s three turnovers, while the Catamounts scored seven points off of the Flames' two turnovers.
“I thought he [Malik Willis] played solid, you know. I mean, you get to where you expect so much out of them on every play and I have to I have to temper my emotions sometimes and probably expect them to be perfect on every play and that’s just not reality. I thought it was really solid," said head coach Hugh Freeze.
“God had my arm throwing them pretty well today and he got those guys in the end zone and they work hard every day of the week and we’re just glad to see it come to fruition on a Saturday," said Willis.