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Flames hope the third time will be a charm against ACC opponent NC State

Liberty will play under the lights for the first time this season

Liberty Football hosts the Western Carolina Catamounts at Williams Stadium on November 14, 2020. (Photo by Ross Kohl-Liberty University)
Liberty Football hosts the Western Carolina Catamounts at Williams Stadium on November 14, 2020. (Photo by Ross Kohl-Liberty University) (Ross Kohl-Liberty University)

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Whether it’s come against the likes of Florida International, Syracuse or Virginia Tech-- Liberty Flames have found a way to be effective week in and week out.

“I think we breathe confidence into our players and their experiences they’ve had with us thus far give them reason to believe we will go in and compete,” said head coach Hugh Freeze.

Their formula for success has worked but the Flames toughest equation to solve will be North Carolina State. The Wolfpack lost quarterback Devin Leary to a broken fibula but Bailey Hockman has delivered. In 6 games he’s completed 63 percent of his passes and 8 touchdowns--with an elite receiving core including Emeka Emezie.

“I think as long as we keep pressure on him it could go either way. Not every ball he throws will be incomplete or interception but it’s definitely up to us to make it easier on our back end,” said Flames defensive end Durrell Johnson.

Defensive Coordinator, Scott Symons, added, “There will be one-on-one matchups throughout the course of the game whether it’s linebackers on running backs or d-line getting wins so our corners are going to rise up and I expect them to play well.”

Liberty’s offense will also try to have success through the air with a receiving core that has gotten healthier as the season has progressed. But they are sure to be challenged by a secondary that has size and length.

“We’ll have to use really good technique getting off the press when they do press, catch the ball in traffic and make one guy miss so we’re excited about it,” said Flames wide receivers coach Maurice Harris.

Liberty’s first two ACC victories shine brightly on their 2020 resume, and they hope that the third time will be a charm on Saturday night in Raleigh.


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