Schools increasingly giving disgraced coaches second chances
The questions came one after another the moment Xavier announced it was bringing back Sean Miller, its former and wildly successful basketball coach. The guy who had been fired by Arizona and left in his wake multiple NCAA violations. Athletic director Greg Christopher went on the defensive, calling the allegations “troubling."news.yahoo.com
Monday huddle: An awkward reunion and showcase of future NFL picks -- Liberty vs. Ole Miss will be must-see TV
Liberty at Ole Miss might not be the biggest game in college football this weekend, but you’d be hard-pressed to find another with juicer storylines than when they meet for a noon kickoff on Saturday.
Liberty preps for Coastal Carolina in Cure Bowl matchup
Liberty finished the regular season with a 9-1 record and is currently ranked No. 23 in the final regular season Associated Press and Amway Coaches national top-25 polls. Coastal Carolina replaced Liberty with undefeated BYU and handed the Cougars their first defeat. So there’s just a lot of excitement and energy and positive vibes that is around this building right here that we’re going to take with us down to Orlando,” Liberty safety Javon Scruggs says. The Cure Bowl is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night from Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
Liberty recruiting is flourishing under Coach Hugh Freeze
Freeze’s third signing class at Liberty includes 12 three-star ranked recruits as ranked by 247Sports.com and six three-star recruits as ranked by Rivals.com. The 18-player class includes the highest ranked recruit in program history as ranked by ESPN.com. Defensive lineman Khristian Zachary is a four-star recruit ranked by ESPN.com and is the first-ever Liberty recruit to be included into the ESPN Top 300 recruiting player list. Vincent Pallotti HSWill graduate in May from St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Md. … saw playing time in 13 career games at Pearl River, finishing with 23 receptions for 370 yards and three touchdowns … graduate of Philadelphia High School in Philadelphia, Miss.
Flames add 18 to roster during early signing period
Freeze’s third signing class at Liberty includes 12 three-star ranked recruits as ranked by 247Sports.com and six three-star recruits as ranked by Rivals.com. The 18-player class includes the highest ranked recruit in program history as ranked by ESPN.com. Defensive lineman Khristian Zachary is a four-star recruit ranked by ESPN.com and is the first-ever Liberty recruit to be included into the ESPN Top 300 recruiting player list. 2021 Flames Football NLI SigneesAndrew Adair * OL 6-4 310 Warrenton, Va./Kettle Run HSKylen Austin * WR 6-1 175 Baltimore, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti HSWill graduate in May from St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Md.
Liberty athletic department, Flame Nation react to COVID-19 canceling ESPN College GameDay showdown
14 Coastal Carolina Saturday. Athletic Director Ian McCaw told reporters they received test results on Wedmesday and alerted Coastal Carolina and ESPN of the positive cases. [Liberty, Coastal Carolina football game canceled due to Flames’ coronavirus cases]He said he’s disappointed for student-athletes and coaches but supports the medical team’s decision. McCaw expects to bring the team back sometime next week, hoping they can prepare for a bowl game. As for Flames nation, one Liberty student told 10 News she was looking forward to watching the team play on ESPN College GameDay.
Liberty, Coastal Carolina football game canceled due to Flames’ coronavirus cases
Liberty on canceled football game Hear from Liberty Football Head Coach Hugh Freeze after the team was forced to cancel Saturday's game against Coastal Carolina. Posted by WSLS 10 / WSLS.com on Thursday, December 3, 2020The university announced Thursday that the Flames’ game against No. ESPN is reporting that Coastal Carolina will now host BYU in a battle of two unbeaten teams. There are some COVID-19 concerns within the Liberty Flames football program, according to a university athletic department official. Liberty, which is scheduled to conclude its regular season in Conway, South Carolina, against Coastal Carolina, has been in communication with its opponent.
Freeze focused on Liberty despite rumors
Lynchburg, VA. – Liberty is out to the best start in program history with a former power-5 coach at the helm. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Hugh Freeze would immediately be on every speculative “short list” literally minutes after the South Carolina job became available. This isn’t new for the former Ole Miss coach. Freeze continues to lead Liberty to program firsts, like bowl bid, bowl victory, power five victory, and now, three consecutive weeks in the AP Poll. Will Muschamp was fired Sunday midway through his 5th season in Columbia, after the gamecocks lost to Ole Miss 59-42 on Saturday.
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.
Liberty extends head football coach’s contract through 2026
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Looks like Liberty University’s head football coach is going to stay with the Flames for six more years. Liberty announced Wednesday that it has extended its contract with Hugh Freeze, the head football coach, through the 2026 season. “We are proud of Coach Freeze and the football program,” said Jerry Prevo, Liberty University President. Falwell’s vision was for Liberty to compete at the highest level of college football and Coach Freeze is making great strides towards realizing the vision.”Prevo said that this contract extension demonstrates his commitment and support of Freeze and the football program. “Coach Freeze is a wonderful blessing to Liberty and we are grateful for his outstanding leadership of our football program and mentorship of our football student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Ian McCaw.
Barbir's FG gives No. 25 Liberty 38-35 win over Hokies
25 Liberty to a 38-35 victory over Virginia Tech. But officials ruled that Virginia Tech had called a timeout before the kick. “I’ve always done this,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said. Hendon Hooker paced Virginia Tech, throwing for 217 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 156 yards and a touchdown. Virginia Tech: The Hokies play Miami at home on Saturday.
No. 25 Liberty Flames heading to Blacksburg Saturday to take on Virginia Tech
25 in the AP Poll, they head straight into one of the toughest battles on their schedule at Virginia Tech. “They’re bigger, faster, stronger and deeper,” Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze said. Tech is averaging 290 yards a game, Liberty just 35 yards less. “Being able to run the ball is something we take pride in,” Liberty offensive lineman Thomas Sargeant said. “If we can’t run the ball, the offense is only one dimensional.”“Their running backs are big and powerful, some are small and fast,” Virginia Tech Head Coach Justin Fuente said.
AP Top 25: No. 2 Alabama closes gap with Clemson; Liberty in
2 Alabama heading into a huge ACC matchup at fourth-ranked Notre Dame this week. The rest of the top five remained the same, with Ohio State at No. 1 on their ballots had Clemson third behind Ohio State. Penn State had the fourth-longest active streak behind Alabama (205), Ohio State (138) and Clemson (94). 4 Notre Dame: Another “biggest game of the year” — until the next one.
7 for 7: Willis’ record-setting day sparks Liberty’s victory over Southern Miss
The win had special meaning to Liberty Head Coach Hugh Freeze, a 1992 Southern Miss graduate. Willis added 97 rushing yards on 12 carries, and his rushing touchdown gave him seven total touchdowns. Southern Miss quarterback Tate Whatley (52 yards rushing, 188 yards passing) rushed for a Williams Stadium record-tying four touchdowns and added a passing touchdown. After Liberty held each of its previous three opponents to below 100 rushing yards, the Golden Eagles totaled 215 rushing yards. Southern Miss scored with less than a minute left to set the final score.
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 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.
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 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.