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Wimberly Reflects on Liberty's Defense in 2013
Continuing with LibertyFlames.com's look back at the 2013 season, today Liberty Flames Sports Network reporter Nick Pierce visits with Flames' defensive coordinator Robert Wimberly.
Wimberly recently completed his second season as Liberty's defensive coordinator, helping the Flames post an 8-4 overall record, a two-win improvement over 2012. Liberty also shared the Big South title with NCAA FCS Playoff quarterfinalist Coastal Carolina with both programs finishing conference play with a 4-1 record.
The Flames once again had a stout defense, finishing their season ranked No. 9 in total defense (313.9 total offensive yards allowed per game). Liberty held eight of its 12 opponents to less than 20 points score and ranked No. 7 in the country in scoring defense (17.6 points per game allowed).
Last week, Liberty had seven of its defensive starters honored when they were named to the All-Big South teams (first team – Chima Uzowihe/DL, Nick Sigmon/LB, Jacob Hagen/DB, Walt Aikens/DB, Kevin Fogg/DB; second team – Cory Freeman/DL and Scott Hyland/LB).
A point of emphasis for the Flames coming into the season was to force more turnovers. Liberty finished its season +11 in the turnover battle and ranked No. 3 in the country in turnover margin (+1.3). Liberty also ranked No. 18 in turnovers gained (26) and tied for No. 1 in the country in turnovers lost (11).
A majority of Liberty's turnovers came via interceptions, as the Flames recorded 19 picks, which ranked tied for No. 2 in the country. Hagen led the Flames with six interceptions and individually ranked No. 7 in the country in interceptions.
Liberty's tackle leaders on the year were Sigmon and Aikens, who both finished the season with 62 stops. Sigmon evenly spread his tackles out with 30 solo stops and 32 assisted tackles, while more than 80 percent of Aikens' tackles were solo stops (50 solo, 12 assisted).
Hyland finished fourth on Liberty's roster this season, recording 57 tackles (26 solo, 31 assisted). The senior finished his career as Liberty's active career tackles leader with 175 stops.
On Friday, LibertyFlames.com will wrap up its video retrospective series of the 2013 season when Pierce interviews offensive coordinator Aaron Stamn.