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Morgan State Revisited: News and Notes

September 15, 2013
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The Flames moved to 2-0 at home in 2013 with a second straight convincing home victory, defeating Morgan State, 38-10, on Saturday night at Williams Stadium.

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.

Series with Morgan State:
• Following the 28-point victory, Liberty leads the series 3-1
• The home team has always won the game in this series
• Yesterday's contest was the first meeting in the series since 1996
• Liberty has scored a combined 141 points in three meetings with Morgan State at Williams Stadium (averaging 47.0 points per game)
• Liberty also defeated Morgan State in Lynchburg, 55-27 (Sept. 12, 1992) and 48-17 (Sept. 17, 1995)

2-0 Starts at Home:
• With the 38-10 victory over the Bears, Liberty moved to 2-0 at home this year
• The last time the Flames won their first two home games of the year was in 2010
• Liberty has started the year 2-0 at home five out of the last eight seasons (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013)
• Dating back to last season, Liberty has now won six straight home games

Team Notes from Morgan State Matchup:
• Liberty scored 28 of its 38 points during the first half of play, including 14 points in each of the first and second quarters
• Liberty's 14 first quarter points marked the second time under head coach Turner Gill the Flames have scored 10 or more points in the first quarter (other game was against Presbyterian College – Oct. 13, 2012)
• Liberty scored on its opening drive of the game, marking the third time the Flames have scored on a drive the first time they touched the football under head coach Turner Gill (also against Presbyterian College and Charleston Southern in 2012)
• Liberty's 38 points scored was the fourth most points scored by the Flames under head coach Turner Gill (56 vs. Presbyterian College, 45 vs. Monmouth and 42 vs. Gardner-Webb)
• Liberty is averaging 31.0 points per game this year, which ranks No. 36 in the country in scoring average
• The Flames finished the contest with 431 total offensive yards, setting a new team season high for total offensive yards
• Liberty's 431 total offensive yards is the most for the Flames since Liberty racked up 692 total offensive yards in a 56-7 victory at Presbyterian College on Oct. 13, 2012
• Liberty 431 total offensive yards are the Flames' fourth-highest total under head coach Turner Gill
• Liberty has amassed 400 or more total offensive yards six times under head coach Turner Gill, with five of those six games coming at Williams Stadium
• Liberty recorded 287 of its 431 total offensive yards during the first half of the game and had racked up 405 total offensive yards by the end of the third quarter
• The Flames finished the game with 61 total offensive plays and averaged 7.1 yards per play
• On the season, Liberty is averaging 6.2 yards per offensive play and has averaged 5.0 or more offensive yards per play in each of its three games
• In 14 games under head coach Turner Gill, the Flames have averaged 6.2 yards per offensive play and have finished nine games averaging 5.0 yards per offensive play
• Liberty finished the game with a season-high 22 first downs
• Liberty has finished 10 out of 14 games under head coach Turner Gill with 20 or more first downs
• Liberty finished the game with a season-best 14 first downs by rushing plays
• In the first two games of 2013, Liberty had tallied a total of 10 first downs by rushing plays (2 vs. Kent State and 8 vs. Monmouth)
• Liberty's 14 rushing first downs marks the fifth time Liberty has finished a game under head coach Turner Gill with 10 or more rushing first downs
• Liberty finished the game with six first downs by passing plays, accounting for a new season low
• Liberty's six passing first downs against Morgan State ties the second fewest passing first downs the Flames have finished a game with under head coach Turner Gill (4 vs. Charleston Southern, 6 vs. Stony Brook)
• Liberty finished the game with 330 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns
• The Flames came into the Morgan State matchup with 155 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns on the season
• Liberty had already matched its season rushing total by halftime against Morgan State, as the Flames finished the first 30 minutes of play with 193 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns
• Liberty's 330 rushing yards was the second-most rushing yards by the Flames under head coach Turner Gill (429 vs. Presbyterian College)
• Liberty finished the game with five rushing touchdowns, the second most rushing touchdowns in a game under head coach Turner Gill (most is 7 vs. Presbyterian College)
• Liberty has rushed for 12 touchdowns in its last four games dating back to 2012 (4 vs. VMI in 2012, 0 vs. Kent State, 3 vs. Monmouth, 5 vs. Morgan State)
• 46 of Liberty's 61 total offensive plays against Morgan State were rushing plays, marking the highest rushing play percentage in a single game under head coach Turner Gill (75.4 percent)
• In 14 games under head coach Turner Gill, Liberty is averaging 58.0 percent rushing plays (549/947) to 42.0 percent passing plays (398/947)
• Liberty has averaged more rushing plays than passing plays in each of the eight games the Flames have won under head coach Turner Gill
• In Liberty's eight victories under head coach Turner Gill, Liberty has averaged 64.2 percent rushing plays in a game (346 rushing plays to 539 total offensive plays)
• In the Flames' six losses under head coach Turner Gill, Liberty has averaged 49.8 percent rushing plays per game (203 rushing plays to 408 total offensive plays)
• Liberty finished the Morgan State game with a season-low 101 passing yards
• Liberty's 101 passing yards against Morgan State were the fewest passing yards in a game under head coach Turner Gill (previous low was 108 passing yards against Charleston Southern)
• The Flames failed to record a passing touchdown against Morgan State, marking the first time in 14 games under head coach Turner Gill the Flames have finished a game without a passing touchdown
• Liberty completed 9-of-15 passing attempts against Morgan State, marking the fewest completed passes and passing attempts by the Flames under head coach Turner Gill (previous lowest – 12 completions vs. Charleston Southern; 19 passing attempts vs. Charleston Southern)
• The Flames were able to pick up a first down on 5-of-9 third-down plays against Morgan State
• Liberty came into the game having converted on 4-of-20 third-down plays the previous two games this season
• For the second game in a row, Liberty converted on a fourth-down play, scoring on a 10-yard Desmond Rice touchdown run on a fourth-and-two play during the second quarter
• Liberty won the time of possession battle for the second week in a row, finishing the Morgan State game with a 4:54 TOP advantage (32:27 to 27:33)
• Liberty was 6-of-6 in red zone scoring chances against Morgan State, recording five touchdowns and a field goal
• On the season, the Flames remain perfect in red zone scoring opportunities (11-of-11), having scored nine touchdowns and kicked two field goals.
• Liberty is one of 15 FCS teams in the country who remain perfect on the season in red zone scoring opportunities
• The Flames finished the Morgan State game with four penalties for 40 yards
• Liberty is currently ranked No. 16 in the country in fewest penalties per game (4.33) and No. 24 in fewest penalty yards per game (39.00)
• Liberty committed its third turnover of the year against Morgan State on a Josh Woodrum interception in the third quarter
• Two of Liberty's three turnovers in 2013 have been interceptions
• On the year, Liberty currently ranks No. 28 in the country in turnover margin (+0.7; 5 turnovers gained to 3 turnovers lost)
• Liberty currently is tied for No. 19 in the country in fewest turnovers lost (3)
• Liberty allowed its fourth sack of the season against Morgan State and currently ranks No. 32 in the country in average sacks allowed (1.33 per game)
• Liberty held Morgan State to 10 points, marking the sixth straight opponent Liberty has held to less than 20 points scored
• Morgan State's 10 points scored were the second fewest the Flames have allowed in 14 games under head coach Turner Gill (fewest are seven points allowed against Presbyterian College)
• Following the game, Liberty currently ranks No. 10 in the country in scoring defense (allowing 14.0 points per game)
• The Flames allowed Morgan State to gain 171 total offensive yards during the game, marking a new opponent season low
• Morgan State's 171 total offensive yards were the fewest the Flames have allowed in 14 games under head coach Turner Gill (previous low was 177 by Concord)
• Liberty held Morgan State to a season-low 3.4 average yards per play
• 143 of Morgan State's 171 total offensive yards came on the ground
• Morgan State had 69 yards of total offense during both the first and fourth quarters
• Morgan State finished the second quarter with 18 total offensive yards and 15 more during the third quarter
• Eight of Morgan State's 10 drives during the game were for less than 30 yards
• Morgan State finished the game with 11 first downs, with eight of the 11 first downs coming on rushing plays
• Following the game, Liberty currently ranks No. 23 in the country in first down defense, having allowed 43 first downs this year (14.3 opponent average per game)
• Morgan State scored the first rushing touchdown against the Flames in 2013 when Herb Walker scored from four yards out with 2:39 left in the game
• Prior to the fourth-quarter rushing touchdown, the Flames had not allowed a rushing touchdown since the Stony Brook game on Nov. 10, 2012 (fourth quarter)
• Prior to the fourth-quarter rushing touchdown, Liberty had held opponents without a rushing touchdown for three straight games and 15 total quarters of football
• Despite allowing 143 rushing yards to Morgan State, Liberty ranks No. 31 in the country in rushing defense (132.3 yards allowed per game)
• Liberty limited Morgan State to 28 passing yards during the game, the fewest passing yards allowed by the Flames in 14 games under head coach Turner Gill
• Liberty has held three different opponents to less than 100 passing yards under head coach Turner Gill (92 by Norfolk State, 95 by Montana and 28 by Morgan State)
• Morgan State's 28 passing yards were the fewest allowed since Liberty held St. Paul's to 20 passing yards on Aug. 31, 2006
• For the first time this season and the fifth time under head coach Turner Gill, Liberty held an opponent without a passing touchdown in a game
• Liberty is allowed 138.3 passing yards per game, which ranked No. 13 in the country in passing defense
• Morgan State was able to convert on 6-of-13 third-down conversion opportunities
• Morgan State's six third-down conversions were the second most by a Liberty opponent this season (Kent State converted on 9-of-18 third-down plays)
• Liberty limited Morgan State to four punt return yards on two punts during the game
• Liberty has allowed a total of seven punt returns for 10 total yards in three games this year and ranks No. 25 in the country in net punting (39.00)
• Liberty ranks No. 17 in the country in punt return defense, allowing 1.43 yards per punt return

Player Points against Morgan State:
• Desmond Rice finished the night with a career-high 97 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns
• Prior to the Morgan State game, Desmond Rice had recorded three rushing touchdowns in 21 previous games played
• Desmond Rice's previous single-game career high prior to the Morgan State game was 52 rushing yards against Gardner-Webb in 2011
• Following the game, Desmond Rice ranks No. 7 nationally in total points scored in 2013 (18)
Clifton Richardson had his best game as a Flame, rushing for 86 yards and two touchdowns
• Clifton Richardson led all Liberty running backs with 14 carries during the game, marking a new career high with the Flames (previous high was 12 carries against Kent State)
• Clifton Richardson has finished all three games in 2013 with 10 or more rushing attempts (37 total/12.3 average per game)
Greg Pratt was Liberty's third leading rusher against Morgan State, finishing the game with four carries for 67 yards
• Greg Pratt started his first career game against Morgan State and gained 14 yards on the opening play of Liberty's first drive
• Prior to the Morgan State game, Greg Pratt had recorded five rushing attempts for 42 yards in 19 career games played at Liberty
• Josh Woodrum finished the Morgan State game with a career-best 42 rushing yards on seven carries (6.0 yards per rushing attempt)
• Prior to the Morgan State game, Josh Woodrum's top rushing performance was against Lehigh where he carried the ball 11 times for 20 yards
• Josh Woodrum recorded his longest career run against Morgan State, a 16-yard scamper on a third-and-18 play in the second quarter (Liberty scored on the next play from 10 yards out)
• For just the second time in 12 career starts under center, Josh Woodrum finished a game without a passing touchdown (also against Stony Brook)
• Josh Woodrum finished the Morgan State game with his fewest passing yards (101), completions (9) and attempts (15) as the Flames' starting quarterback back (12 straight games dating back to last year's matchup against Montana – Sept. 15)
• Prior to the Morgan State game, Josh Woodrum's fewest passing yards (108), completions (12) and attempts (19) as a starting quarterback came against Charleston Southern
• Five of Josh Woodrum's nine completions were for 10 or more yards
• Only two players finished the game with multiple receptions – Gabe Henderson and Desmond Rice – both finishing the game with two receptions
• For the second time this year and the eighth time in 14 career starts at Liberty's punter, Grant Bowden finished a game averaging 40.0 yards per punt (40.0/2 punts for 80 yards)
• One of Grant Bowden's two punts pinned Morgan State inside its own 20-yard line
Walt Aikens returned his first career kickoff against Morgan State for 43 yards
John Lunsford finished the game with a 40-yard field goal , marking his fifth career field goal of 40 or more yards
• Liberty had 29 different players finish the game against Morgan State with a tackle
Jacob Hagen, Andrew Jauch and Jibrille Fewell led the Flames with four stops each
• Andrew Jauch matched his career total in tackles against Morgan State with four stops (2 solo, 2 assisted), having recorded four tackles in 21 previous career games played
• Jibrille Fewell's four tackles were the third most tackles in a game for the nose guard
Chris Robinson finished the game with three solo stops, including his first career tackle for a loss
• Walt Aikens recorded his third career sack against Morgan State and added three solo tackles
Kevin Fogg finished the game with his 10th career pass breakup, plus added three solo stops
Toby Onyechi started his first career game against Morgan State and finished the contest with three tackles (1 solo, 2 assisted)
Dexter Robbins and Gerald Holt each game into the game with one career tackle, but both finished the contest with three tackles each (1 solo, 2 assisted)
Dylan Lewellyn recorded his third-highest single-game career tackle total with three stops against Morgan State (2 solo, 1 assisted)
D.J. Abnar recorded his first career fumble recovery off a muffed punt by Morgan State