Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Big South open for taking

The Flames hope to win their second straight conference championship this year

As Liberty heads into Homecoming 2013 weekend, the football team begins preparation for the much-anticipated showdown against their rival, the No. 6 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.

Saturday’s matchup against Coastal Carolina will begin a four-week stretch of Big South conference games. The stretch will be followed by a nonconference game. The Flames will conclude with their regular season with the fifth and final conference game.

The Flames defense has been strong during the first six games of the season. Currently, Liberty’s defense is ranked No. 6 in the nation, giving up only 16.7 points per game.
Defensive back Kevin Fogg is currently 11th in the Football Championship Subdivision with three interceptions, while fellow defensive back Walt Aikens and linebacker Scott Hyland lead the Flames in tackles.

Offensively, running back Desmond Rice has had a positive impact in the backfield, and Liberty has also received help from wide receiver Darrin Peterson. Rice leads Liberty with 401 yards on the ground and six touchdowns in six games. Peterson leads the team in receiving yards with 401. Peterson has also notched four touchdowns and two 100-yard receiving games.

Coastal Carolina enters this Saturday’s game undefeated at 6-0 (1-0 Big South). They are coming off a strong 42-7 victory against Gardner-Webb. The Chanticleers are led by running back Lorenzo Taliaferro, who is fifth in the nation in rushing with 835 yards and third in touchdowns, reaching the end zone 13 times.

Liberty, currently sitting at 3-3, has the advantage of coming off a bye week, which granted the Flames extra preparation for Saturday’s game. Since 2003, the two teams have split their 10 games with five wins apiece.

After Saturday’s game against the Chanticleers, the Flames will travel to Boiling Springs, N.C. to face Gardner-Webb. Gardner-Webb stands at 4-3 (0-1 Big South), coming off a loss to Coastal Carolina. After the Gardner-Webb game, the next matchup for the Flames will be against Virginia Military Institute (VMI). VMI is 1-5 (0-1 Big South), and coming off a streak of four straight losses. A matchup with the Presbyterian Blue Hose 1-4, (0-0, Big South) will follow the VMI game.

After Presbyterian, Liberty has its final nonconference game of the season against Brevard (2-4). The game will be the Flames third straight and final home game of the season. Liberty’s final Big South game will come against the Buccaneers. Charleston Southern is currently undefeated at 7-0 (1-0 Big South). The matchup between Liberty and Charleston Southern will be an exciting conclusion to the Flames season.

According to liberty.edu/flames, tickets for reserved and premium seating are sold out, leaving only general admission.

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