The Liberty Flames football program closed out its 2012 season in championship style, winning six of its last seven games. Liberty’s late-season winning ways helped the Flames claim their fifth Big South title in the last six seasons and their first under Head Coach Turner Gill.
With the momentum of another championship run behind them, Liberty enters the 2013 season with high expectations, ready to face the fourth 12-game schedule in program history.
Leading Liberty’s offensive attack in 2013 will be quarterback Josh Woodrum. The redshirt sophomore posted one of the best first-year quarterbacking seasons in program history, throwing for 1,966 yards and 11 touchdowns. Woodrum’s rookie season was nationally recognized, as he finished 13th in the final voting for the Jerry Rice Award (top FCS freshman in the country).
Joining Woodrum in the backfield will be seasoned running back veterans Aldreakis Allen and Desmond Rice, along with Virginia transfer Clifton Richardson. Allen became the ninth rusher in program history to surpass the 1,000-yard rushing threshold (1,019 yards) and added 10 rushing touchdowns in 2012.
As stout as Liberty’s offense will be in 2013, the Flames’ defense may be the key to leading the team to another Big South title and the team’s first-ever trip to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. The Flames return eight out of 11 defensive starters from last year, including seven of their nine top tacklers. Leading the defensive charge for Liberty will be linebacking duo Scott Hyland (55 tackles) and Nick Sigmon (52 stops).
Liberty’s 2013 slate has four first-time matchups, including road meetings with in-state opponents Richmond and Old Dominion. Liberty kicks off the season with a Thursday evening game on ESPN3 at Kent State on Aug. 29. Three months later, the Flames will look to claim another championship trophy following their regular-season finale road game at Charleston Southern on Nov. 23.