Liberty becomes bowl eligible with road win over North Texas

CJ Daniels led the receiving department with 7 receptions for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Liberty Flames football (WSLS 10)

DENTON, Tx. – Down 26-14 midway through third quarter, the Flames rallied behind their returning quarterback and a special teams touchdown to secure a 35-26 win over North Texas, Saturday afternoon, at Apogee Stadium.

With the win, the Flames (6-2) become bowl eligible for the third season in a row. Liberty is one of three FBS transitioning teams in NCAA history to become bowl eligible each of its first three full seasons at the FBS level (Appalachian State: 2015-20 and Marshall: 1997-2002).

North Texas outgained the Flames in the game, finishing with 454 total offensive yards on 95 plays, the most gained by a Flames’ opponent in 2021. Liberty finished the game with 351 yards on 64 plays.

Liberty did most of its damage threw the air, finishing the game with a season-high 351 passing yards.

Malik Willis, who left the game in the second quarter but returned in the second half, finished the night completing 12-of-18 passing attempts for 222 yards and three touchdowns. His passing yards moved the redshirt junior over the 4,000 career passing yard mark (4,013).

Redshirt sophomore Johnathan Bennett took over the offense during the second quarter an completed 7-of-18 passing attempts for 88 yards and fourth career touchdown pass.

CJ Daniels led all receivers in the game, recording his first career 100-yard game. The freshman finished the night with seven receptions for 135 yards and two touchdowns.

Linebacker Rashaad Harding led all tacklers with 13 stops (eight solo, five assisted). Safety Javon Scruggs followed with eight stops (seven solo, one assisted), while adding one of two Liberty interceptions on the night.

About the Authors:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.