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Monmouth Revisited: News and Notes
Liberty opened its 25th season of play at Williams Stadium in grand fashion on Saturday, handing future Big South foe Monmouth a 45-15 loss in front of the sixth-largest crowd in stadium history.
Included with today's news and notes are radio highlights from the contest courtesy of the Liberty Flames Sports Network's radio crew, plus Coach Turner Gill's postgame interview with LFSN radio sideline reporter Nick Pierce.
Throughout the season, LibertyFlames.com will run a similar feature online each Sunday, spotlighting the notable accomplishments and numbers from the previous day's gridiron battle.
Home Opener Notes:
• Liberty's record in its first home game of the year: 26-14-1.
• Liberty in its last 10 home-opening games: 9-1.
• During the last 10 years, Liberty's only home opening loss was head coach Turner Gill's first home game last year against No. 24 Norfolk State, 31-24, on Sept. 8, 2012.
• Liberty has now won 10 of its last 11 home-opening contests.
Series with Monmouth:
• Saturday's match-up was the first in the series between the two programs.
• Monmouth is one of four first-time opponents on Liberty's 2013 schedule.
• Other first-time matchups for Liberty in 2013 include: Richmond (9/28), Old Dominion (10/5) and Brevard (11/16).
• Liberty will start to face Monmouth more frequently in coming years when the Hawks will become an associate member of the Big South Conference in 2014.
#FilltheBill for 25 Seasons
• The Monmouth game marked the beginning of Liberty's 25th season of competition at Williams Stadium.
• Liberty has posted a 90-43 record in 25 seasons at Williams Stadium (67.7 winning percentage)
• Liberty won its first game played at Williams Stadium, defeating Towson, 37-18, on Oct. 21, 1989.
• Liberty has posted a winning record in 15 out of 24 seasons since starting play at Williams Stadium in 1989.
• Liberty has posted a winning record at Williams Stadium the last seven years.
• Liberty's scoring average at Williams Stadium: 32.31 (4,297 points scored/133 games)
• Liberty's opponent scoring average at Williams Stadium: 19.30 (2,567 points allowed/133 games)
Team Notes from Monmouth Match-Up:
• The game was played in front of 18,467 fans, marking the sixth largest attendance figure in Williams Stadium history.
• Liberty finished the game with 399 total offensive yards, missing the opportunity to post its sixth game under head coach Turner Gill with 400 or more total offensive yards by one yard.
• In 13 games under head coach Turner Gill, the Flames are averaging 387.15 total offensive yards per game.
• The Flames scored 45 points in the game, marking its second-highest point production in 13 games under head coach Turner Gill (most points scored was in a 56-7 victory at Presbyterian College on Oct. 13, 2012).
• Liberty opened its scoring against Monmouth with a first quarter safety, accounting for the Flames' first safety since Aug. 31, 2006, against St. Paul's.
• Liberty opened the game by scoring nine first quarter points, the second most points the Flames have scored in the first quarter in 13 games under head coach Turner Gill (most first quarter points scored was 21 points in a 56-7 victory at Presbyterian College on Oct. 13, 2012).
• Liberty finished the Monmouth game with 20 first downs (eight rushing, 10 passing and two by penalty).
• In 13 games under head coach Turner Gill, Liberty has averaged 19.64 first downs per game and had 20 or more first downs nine times.
• Liberty had 10 first downs via passing plays, marking the seventh time the Flames have finished a game under head coach Turner Gill with 10 or more passing first downs.
• Liberty finished the Monmouth game with 277 passing yards with three different players combining to complete 16-of-22 pass attempts (72.7 completion percentage).
• The game marked the first time the Flames have passed for more than 200 yards since last year's game against Presbyterian College (263 yards on Oct. 13, 2012).
• The game marked the sixth time in 13 games under head coach Turner Gill the Flames have passed for 200 or more yards (with five of the six occurrences coming during Gill's first six games with the program).
• Liberty fumbled the football four times against Monmouth, but was able to recover its own loose ball three of the four times.
• Liberty won the time of possession battle against Monmouth, 34:15 to 25:45, including a 12:03 to 2:57 edge during the first quarter.
• Liberty finished the Monmouth game with 13:05 more time of position than its season-opening game against Kent State (21:10).
• For the second-straight game, the Flames struggled on third-down plays, finishing the Monmouth game 2-of-10 on third-down conversion opportunities.
• Liberty is 4-of-20 on third-down conversion opportunities in 2013, which ranks No. 106 among FCS programs in the country (113 total FCS teams).
• After allowing three sacks against Kent State, Liberty finished the Monmouth game without allowing a sack.
• This marked the fourth time in 13 games under head coach Turner Gill that Liberty's offensive line did not allow a sack in a game.
• Liberty held Monmouth to 15 points scored, marking the eighth time in 13 games under head coach Turner Gill the Flames have held an opponent to 20 or few points scored.
• Liberty has held seven of its last eight opponents to less than 20 points scored in a game.
• Liberty currently is allowing an average of 16.0 points per game this year, which ranks No. 19 in the country in scoring defense.
• In 13 games under head coach Turner Gill, Liberty's defense has held opponents to a scoring average of 21.23 points per game.
• Monmouth finished the game with 280 total offensive yards with 101 of its yards coming during the fourth quarter.
• Monmouth finished the game with 12 first downs (three rushing, seven passing and two by penalty).
• In 13 games under head coach Turner Gill, Liberty has held eight opponents to 15 or fewer first downs and opponents are averaging 14.31 first downs per game.
• Liberty held Monmouth to 87 total rushing yards, marking the sixth time Liberty has held an opponent below 100 team rushing yards under head coach Turner Gill.
• Liberty held its third-straight opponent without a rushing touchdown.
• The Flames have not allowed a rushing touchdown since Stony Brook's Miguel Maysonet scored on the ground from 13 yards out with 13:31 left to play in the fourth quarter during Liberty's 28-14 upset win over the Seawolves on Nov. 10, 2012.
• Monmouth finished the game with 193 passing yards, marking the ninth time in 13 games under head coach Turner Gill the Flames have held an opponent to less than 200 passing yards.
• Liberty caused Monmouth to turn the ball over three times on Saturday (three interceptions), with each giveaway eventually leading to a Liberty touchdown.
• Monmouth finished the game 2-of-11 on third-down conversion opportunities and one failed fourth-down conversion try.
• Monmouth's two third-down conversions tied for the second fewest conversions an opponent has had against Liberty in 13 games under head coach Turner Gill (2-of-7 by Gardner-Webb on Oct. 6, 2012).
Player Points Against Monmouth:
• Liberty had three different players finish the game with rushing touchdowns: Desmond Rice, D.J. Abnar and Clifton Richardson.
• The last time the Flames had three different players record a rushing touchdown in the same game came during a 56-7 victory over Presbyterian College on Oct. 13, 2012.
• Desmond Rice (16 carries) and D.J. Abnar (12 carries) finished the game with career-high rushing attempt totals
• The game marked the fourth time in Desmond Rice's career he has carried the ball 10 or more times in a game.
• Desmond Rice rushed for 50 yards, marking his second-highest single-game career rushing total (rushed for 52 yards against Gardner-Webb in 2011).
• Josh Woodrum finished the game with 237 passing yards and two touchdown passes.
• Josh Woodrum has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 10 of 11 games he has started under center for the Flames.
• The Monmouth game marked the third time in Josh Woodrum's career he has thrown multiple touchdown passes in a game.
• Josh Woodrum's 237 passing yards was his third-highest single-game passing total since taking over as Liberty's starting quarterback last year.
• Javan Shashaty completed both his passing attempts for 18 yards, marking his first career attempts and completions in a Flames' uniform.
• Darrin Peterson completed a 22-yard passing play to tight end Brandon Apon midway through the third quarter.
• Nine different players finished the Monmouth game with at least one reception.
• Dante Shells led the Flames with four receptions for 68 yards, both career high totals for the wide receiver.
• Darrin Peterson posted his second-straight 100-yard receiving game, finishing the Monmouth contest with three receptions for 124 yards.
• Darrin Peterson became the 14th player in program history to post consecutive 100-yard receiving games and the first since Chris Summers accomplished the feat twice in 2010.
• Two of Darrin Peterson's three receptions resulted in touchdowns (28 yards and 85 yards).
• Darrin Peterson's 85-yard touchdown reception is the seventh longest touchdown reception in program history.
• Grant Bowden averaged 40.2 yards per punt against Monmouth.
• Two of Grant Bowden's punts pinned Monmouth inside the 20-yard line, including the first which put Monmouth at the one-yard line that eventually led to a Liberty safety.
• Grant Bowden has averaged 40 or more yards per punt in a game seven times in 13 games as Liberty's starting punter.
• John Lunsford had seven kickoffs against Monmouth, six of which sailed into the end zone for a touchback.
• Linebackers Nick Sigmon and Jimmy O'Grady topped Liberty's individual tackle listings against Monmouth, each finishing the game with five tackles.
• All five of Jimmy O'Grady's tackles were assisted stops.
• Jimmy O'Grady entered the game with three career tackles in seven career games played.
• Francis Bah recorded his first sack of the season (a six-yard loss) and is currently Liberty's active leader with five career sacks.
• Kevin Fogg finished the game with two interceptions, extending his Liberty active career lead now with seven career interceptions.
• The game marked the second time in Kevin Fogg's career he has recorded two interceptions in the same game (also against Robert Morris on Sept. 9, 2011).
• Kevin Fogg returned his first career interception for a touchdown, picking off a pass midway through the second quarter and returning it 29 yards for a touchdown.
• Walt Aikens intercepted his first pass of the year, giving him five career interceptions.