No. 23 Liberty keeping realistic outlook ahead of Arkansas matchup

‘You also have to be real and know that Arkansas will be favorites this week and they should be’

LYNCHBURG, Va. – There’s no question Liberty is the hottest team in the land … now with national recognition ranked No. 23. But the one question that is warranted – can they use this as motivation rather than a crutch for complacency.

“We’re appreciative that we’re getting recognized but the work isn’t done,” said Flames defensive lineman Dennis Osagiede. “We have to fight every day.”

“I’ve lived this life – at Ole Miss, we were ranked a lot. Here not so much but when you do it’s pretty special so you celebrate that but you also have to be real and know that Arkansas will be favorites this week and they should be,” said Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze. “What they’ve been ranked in the SEC in both rushing and total yards – they’re very balanced.”

A tough task awaits the Flames in Fayetteville as the Razorbacks tout one of the top offensive attacks the SEC has to offer led by 1,000-yard rusher Raheim Sanders and quarterback KJ Jefferson.

“It’s like you’re playing an athletic Ben Roethlisberger almost just the way he can make plays last longer,” said Liberty defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Josh Aldridge. “He’s not just a runner but a big dude and can throw it a country mile too.”

“We’re going to have to swarm the football,” said Flames safety Robert Rahimi. “I think we’ve done a great job at that and the coaches will give us a great game plan and we need to go out and execute it.”

As for the Flames’ offense, head coach Hugh Freeze said Monday that quarterback Kaidon Salter is likely out while we can expect Charlie Brewer to give it a go as he did against BYU, but, Johnathan Bennett will be ready to be QB1 if needed for Saturday’s 4 p.m. kickoff.

About the Author:

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