Toledo beats Liberty 21-19 in Boca Raton Bowl

Liberty quarterback Kaidon Salter (7) runs up the middle against Toledo during the first half of the Boca Raton Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Jim Rassol) (Jim Rassol, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ROANOKE, Va. – In the Boca Raton Bowl, the Liberty Flames came up short against the Toledo Rockets 21-19.

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Liberty jumped to a 7-0 lead in the opening quarter behind a Shedro Louis touchdown run. But Toledo responded with 21 unanswered points.

While down by 14 late, the Flames showed fight late with two passing touchdowns. The loss proved to be the first bowl loss for the Liberty Flames.

Toledo racked up 356 yards in offense and dominated on 3rd down conversions.

The Flames entered the game looking to become the second team in NCAA history to win four-straight bowl games in their first four years of FBS bowl eligibly.

Following a pair of Cure Bowl wins (2019 and 2020) and a win in the 2021 LendingTree Bowl, Liberty’s all-time bowl game record now stands at 3-1. The Flames dropped their fourth game in a row and end the 2022 season with an 8-5 record.

Toledo, the 2022 MAC champions, wins its 12th bowl game in school history and finishes the season with a 9-5 record.

Despite the close overall score, the Rockets dominated the final stats sheet. Toledo finished the game with twice as many total plays as Liberty (86 plays for 356 yards to Liberty’s 41 plays for 253 yards). The Rockets also held a 40:03 to 19:57 time of possession edge.

Liberty’s starting quarterback Kaidon Salter finished with 147 of Liberty’s 253 total offensive yards. He ran the ball 10 times for 63 yards, while also completing 12-of-20 pass attempts for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Shedro Louis followed Salter on the ground, rushing eight times for 37 yards and a touchdown.

Demario Douglas fell seven yards short of crossing the 1,000-yard threshold as the wide receiver’s six receptions resulted in just 16 receiving yards to give him 993 yards on the year.

Durrell Johnson finished the final game of his Liberty career setting a single-season program record. The nation’s leader in sacks added five more to his season total, giving him 27.5 tackles for a loss to surpass the previous record of 25.0 set by Jason Wells in 2000.

About the Author

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

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