Liberty to face Coastal Carolina in Cure Bowl on Dec. 26
9/11 Coastal Carolina in the 2020 FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 26. The 2020 FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl will be played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 26 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. Flames Club and Ticket InformationTickets for the Cure Bowl will go on sale Monday, Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. through the Cure Bowl website. About the FBC Mortgage Cure BowlThe FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl is more than a game. “We are excited to be heading back to the Cure Bowl and are thrilled with our matchup against a top-ranked opponent in Coastal Carolina.
No. 22 Flames Race Past Western Carolina, 58-14
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. 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. 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. Liberty scored 13 points off of WCU’s three turnovers, while the Catamounts scored seven points off of the Flames' two turnovers.
Liberty aiming to “remain humble” ahead of Western Carolina matchup
LYNCHBURG, Va. – “If you don’t humble yourself you will be humbled so, we’re taking that approach,” said Flames Safety, Ben Alexander. Despite riding high on “Cloud 9” at 7-0 with two ACC victories, they aim to remain true to themselves. “You talk about 2020 being strange, we’re playing our 8th football game and facing an opponent that hasn’t had a game. Now, that’s strange and uncomfortable and not quite sure what to prepare for,” said head coach Hugh Freeze. Lining up in hopes of not letting up when they kickoff at Noon Saturday--as they aim to win their 10th consecutive home game.
Virginia Tech Win Pushes Flames into Both Top 25 Polls
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Following a thrilling 38-35 win over in-state foe Virginia Tech on Saturday, Liberty has moved into both top 25 polls for the first time in program history. 22 in the Associated Press poll and received their first-ever ranking in the Amway Coaches poll at No. In its second full season at the FBS level, Liberty cracked the top 25 polls last week when the Flames were ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press poll. Liberty is one of two FBS independents currently ranked in both top 25 polls.
Freeze welcomes alma mater as Liberty preps for Southern Miss
“I want to beat Southern Miss. I have fond memories of being at Southern Miss, meeting my wife there and so many dear friends there that I met but … you want to win,” Freeze said. Southern Miss hasn’t played since Oct. 3, having had two games postponed due to COVID issues. And just Tuesday, Southern Miss announced that interim head coach Scotty Walden tested positive for the virus. And we have a game with Southern Miss on Saturday, we don’t entertain the possibility it could be canceled.
Liberty adds UMass back to 2020 football schedule
LYNCHBURG, Va. – A game that was previously on the Flames' 2020 football slate has returned as Liberty and UMass will end up meeting on the gridiron this season. Liberty has announced it will host the UMass Minutemen at Williams Stadium on Friday, Nov. 27 at Noon. “We are excited to confirm the game with UMass on Friday of Thanksgiving weekend,” said Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. Liberty was previously scheduled to host UMass on Saturday, Nov. 28, but the contest was dropped from the Flames' 2020 schedule when the Minutemen announced they were not going to play football this fall in August. UMass Athletics provided an update on the status of its football program on Sept. 21, stating the Minutemen would play a limited schedule in 2020.
Liberty knocks off Syracuse 38-21 for 1st win over ACC opponent
Liberty earned its first-ever win over an ACC opponent, rolling to a 38-21 victory at Syracuse, Saturday at the Carrier Dome. 22 Syracuse, Liberty registered 338 yards on the ground in today’s historic win. Liberty came into the game ranking seventh in the nation in rushing yards per game (250.8), while Syracuse allowed 237.5 rushing yards per contest. With the victory, Liberty improves to 5-0 for the first time since opening the 2008 season with six straight wins. The Flames pushed their winning streak to seven games, their longest since a program-record 11-game winning streak spanning Oct. 20, 2007 through Oct. 11, 2008.
Flames striving for offensive consistency against Syracuse
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Syracuse Orange came to the Hill City and left the Flames a sour 24-0 loss in 2019′s season opener. “I actually think they’re better,” said Syracuse head coach Dino Babers. “I think we’re further along in year two than I thought we’d be,” said Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze. Liberty enters at 4-0 with a staunch defense but an offense that’s seeking consistency in the passing game. The Flames hope to be the ones standing on Saturday and in the process, gain their first ever win over an ACC team.
Liberty aiming to not only win but “Pass the Test” on Saturday
LYNCHBURG, Va. – While the Flames imprved to 3-0 last week with a win over North Alabama, Coach Hugh Freeze was honest with his team in his evaluation. “I told them I thought we did not pass the test Saturday. We got the win which was good but didn’t pass the test,” Freeze said. They trust us, we trust them,” said Flames running back Peytton Pickett. That’s pretty much going to be the standard for the game,” said Flames defensive end Jayod Sanders.
Liberty moves to 3-0 after a 28-7 win over North Alabama
LYNCHBURG, Va. – In the first meeting between the two teams on the gridiron, the Liberty Flames defeated the North Alabama Lions 28-7. This is the first time since 2017 that Liberty has started the season 3-0. Ferguson finished with 3 passing TDs. While the passing game wasn’t quite as effective, the rushing attack was relentless. For the third straight game, running back Joshua Mack tallied more than 100 yards (130) while the team finished with 250 yards.
Flames defense looking to rise to the occasion against North Alabama
While the Flames defense has dialed up 6 sacks and eleven tackles for loss this season, there have been some dropped calls, that is, explosive plays and missed tackles. We’ve played good defense at times and we can see we’ve got a chance to be really good,” said Liberty defensive coordinator Scott Symons. “A bit of a challenge since they haven’t played and they have a few transfers. “They’re not overly fast but good football players. Just solid football players,” said Flames linebacker Anthony Butler.
Liberty wins home opener in shootout with FIU
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty racked up more than 500 yards of offense in the 36-34 victory over FIU. For the second consecutive game, running back Joshua Mack rushed for over 100 yards while dual-threat quarterback Malik Willis passed for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns. DJ Stubbs was the Flames top receiver, hauling in 8 receptions for 119 yards including a one-handed snag in the second half. #TougherTogether #RiseWithUs pic.twitter.com/I005yYe9Jo — Liberty Football (@LibertyFootball) September 26, 2020Despite the win, Liberty did lose quarterback Malik Willis in the fourth quarter to an apparent arm injury. The Flames move to 2-0 on the season and will now prepare for North Alabama next week.
Liberty preparing for ‘lots of unknowns’ in home opener with FIU
“FIU has better athletes, probably, across the board than we have so there’s no way you should overlook it,” said head coach Hugh Freeze. We can’t take a lull as Coach Freeze said,” Flames Center Thomas Sargeant said. The highly touted coach has gained 23 wins in just three seasons behind veteran leadership on offense. While many of the talented wide receivers graduated last season, they’ll still lineup with a two-back tandem and multiple transfers from Power 5 schools-- which leaves Liberty wondering what to expect in the Panthers season opener. “It is challenging with the amount of unknowns that are in front of us,” said Flames linebacker Aaron Pierre.
Liberty Flames win season opener 30-24 over Western Kentucky
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Liberty Flames defeated the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 30-24 in their 2020 season opener. For the first time in nearly 4 years Liberty had a different starting quarterback after Stephen “Buckshot” Calvert graduated a season ago. Western Kentucky made another late comeback attempt when Pigrome threw his third touchdown pass, for 36 yards, with 3:04 remaining in the game. While the Flames defense didn’t record any sacks, it did create havoc in the backfield with 16 tackles for loss. Liberty will now return home to prepare for a 1 p.m. kickoff against Florida International University at Williams Stadium next Saturday.
Flames ready to open the season with Western Kentucky on Saturday
LYNCHBURG, Va. – For nearly the past four years, more than 1,400 days, 43 games to be exact, only one man was under center for the Liberty Flames-- Stephen “Buckshot” Calvert. With the record setting passer now graduated, the Flames turn to Malik Willis to be the starting quarterback in the season opener. “I appreciate the faith they placed in me and I just want to go out there and do what they tell me to do and the right way, you know,” Willis said. As they prepare to open the season with Western Kentucky, the Flames will face a defense that ranked 4th in passing in Conference USA last season and returns with the conference’s reigning defensive player of the year De’Angelo Malone at defensive end. The Hilltoppers offense is a work in progress with grad transfer Tyrrell Pigrome at quarterback but experience is on the side of Western Kentucky.
Liberty football adds two new opponents to complete 10-game schedule
LYNCHBURG, Va. The Liberty Flames are set for a 10-game schedule on the gridiron this season. The addition of Coastal Carolina and North Alabama completes a revised 10-game schedule for the Flames in 2020, which includes five home games and five road games. Wednesdays announcement gives Liberty its third scheduled match-up against the Flames former Big South rival Coastal Carolina. Liberty posted wins in Conway, S.C., in 2008 and 2014, while Coastal Carolina left Lynchburg with a victory in 2005 and 2013. Liberty originally had North Carolina A&T, Bowling Green, UMass and UConn on its original 2020 schedule.
ACC schools express concerns over Libertys COVID-19 testing protocols
Despite having loss multiple teams on its schedule due to COVID-19, they were able to keep all 3 ACC opponents in tack- Virginia Tech, Syracuse and North Carolina State. But recent comments from Liberty Head Coach Hugh Freeze, has raised eyebrows and caused concern from a Syracuse and N.C. State. Liberty Responds to Questions about COVID-19 Testing pic.twitter.com/Xiqf5ZTVBD Liberty Flames (@libertyflames) August 15, 2020Liberty University is following CDC, Commonwealth of Virginia, local health district and campus guidelines and protocols. Liberty is contracting with Radeas Labs, located in Wake Forest, N.C., for its in-season testing program. In addition, Liberty conducts daily screening of on campus student-athletes.The Flames are scheduled to play at Syracuse on Oct. 17, at Virginia Tech on Nov. 7 and at N.C. State on Nov. 21.
Liberty football intends to play a full, 12-game schedule in 2020
ROANOKE, Va. On Wednesday afternoon, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) introduced a model plan for football and fall Olympic sports. Its decision directly impacts the upcoming football season for the Liberty Flames. The Flames were originally slated to face 3 ACC opponents during the 2020 season: Virginia Tech (Sept. 5), Syracuse (Oct. 17) and North Carolina State (Nov. 21). In a statement from the Liberty Athletics Communications Department, it said that the Flames remain in constant communication with the three ACC schools that are on the schedule and hope to play these games this season. But athletics officials said Liberty does intend to play a full 12-game football schedule in 2020.
Antonio Gandy-Golden left a footprint a Liberty, hoping to do the same in the NFL
ROANOKE, Va. – He's one of the best wide receivers to ever suit up for the Liberty Flames. Much like the program over the past four years, Antonio Gandy-Golden’s ability and skills were constantly on the rise. He left his footprint in the Hill City and set career records along the way. Now he’s preparing to get the call of a lifetime, with the upcoming NFL Draft. He said the time spent with them two paid off at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine.
Gandy-Golden named Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Courtesy of Liberty Athletics:National recognition continues to roll in for Liberty’s Antonio Gandy-Golden, as the senior wide receiver has been named a semifinalist for the 2019 Biletnikoff Award. Gandy-Golden was one of 12 semifinalist named for the 2019 Biletnikoff Award, as announced earlier today by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation. As such, the Biletnikoff Award recognizes college football’s outstanding receiver, not merely college football’s outstanding wide receiver. 2 in the country in total receiving yards (1,244) and receiving yards per game (124.4). 2019 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists (in alphabetical order):Player, SchoolRashod Bateman, MinnesotaOmar Bayless, Arkansas StateJa’Marr Chase , LSUAntonio Gandy-Golden, LibertyIsaiah Hodgins.