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Norfolk State Revisited: News & Notes
Liberty picked up its first win of the 2014 season with the Flames' defense showcasing its talents during a 17-0 shutout win over Norfolk State at William "Dick" Price Stadium.
Included with today's news and notes are radio highlights from the contest courtesy of the Liberty Flames Sports Network's radio crew, head coach Turner Gill's postgame press conference and LFSN radio sideline reporter Kevin Keys' interviews with wide receiver Darrin Peterson and defensive lineman Dominique Davis.
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 Norfolk State:
• Following the win, Liberty now leads the overall series with Norfolk State, 4-2.
• The shutout victory snapped a two-game losing streak for the Flames against the Spartans.
• Liberty now owns a 2-1 record in games played against Norfolk State in Norfolk, Va.
• The contest marked the third time in the series against Norfolk State that the Flames held the Spartans to less than two touchdowns scored.
Team Talking Points:
• Liberty posted its second shutout victory in three seasons under head coach Turner Gill and the 23rd overall shutout in program history.
• With the victory, Liberty claimed its first win over an in-state non-conference Division I opponent since 2003 (Norfolk State – W/ 69-21 on Nov. 8) and the Flames' first road triumph over an in-state non-conference Division I foe since 1997 (Norfolk State – W/ 17-6 on Nov. 8).
• The win also accounted for head coach Turner Gill's first non-conference road victory in three seasons at Liberty (previously was 0-6).
• Liberty has now won three out of its last four road games. Two of those victories were shutouts (Gardner-Webb, 24-0 – Oct. 26, 2013; Charleston Southern, 56-14 – Nov. 23, 2013 and Norfolk State, 17-0 – Sept. 6, 2014).
• Liberty's defensive linemen finished the game with a combined 26 total tackles, six sacks and eight tackles for a loss.
• Liberty limited Norfolk State to 215 total offensive yards on 61 plays (3.5 yards per play), including 90 total yards during the second half.
• The contest marked the fifth time the Flames have limited an opponent to less than 225 yards of total offense under head coach Turner Gill (2012: Concord – 177; 2013: Morgan State – 171, Kentucky Wesleyan – 212 and VMI – 204).
• Liberty finished the game with an interception. The Flames have now intercepted at least one pass in the last six games and nine out of the last 10 contests (has totaled 20 interceptions during the last 10 games).
• Norfolk State managed to penetrate the Flames' red zone only once during the game and fumbled the ball away before scoring.
• Liberty's first scoring drive of the game was a 17-play, 88-yard drive that lasted 8:22 on the game clock, which was the second-longest scoring drive (total plays) in three seasons under head coach Turner Gill (longest was an 18-play, 90-yard drive against Presbyterian in 2013).
• Liberty finished the game with 280 total offensive yards, marking the second-fewest total offensive yards Liberty has amassed in a victory under head coach Turner Gill (fewest was 265 yards in a 28-14 win over Stony Brook in 2012).
• Liberty had 51 total offensive plays against Norfolk State, the second fewest in three seasons under head coach Turner Gill (44 at Kent State in 2013) and the lowest total against a FCS opponent since 2006 (44 at VMI).
• Liberty finished the game 2-of-11 on third-down conversions and currently ranks No. 82 in the country in third-down conversion percentage (28.0 percent/7-of-25).
• After committing six turnovers last week (four fumbles, two interceptions), the Flames finished the Norfolk State game without a turnover, marking the sixth time in three seasons under head coach Turner Gill Liberty has finished a game without a giveaway.
• After finishing the first quarter of the game with a time of possession of 10:10, Liberty lost the TOP battle to Norfolk State (Liberty – 27:24 to Norfolk State – 32:36).
Notable Player Points:
• RB D.J. Abnar recorded his first career touchdown reception with a 22-yard reception to seal the Flames' victory in the fourth quarter.
• RB D.J. Abnar led the Flames with 15 carries for 38 rushing yards, giving the junior exactly 600 career rushing yards.
• WR Darrin Peterson finished the game with four receptions for 69 yards, pushing the junior over the 1,000 yard career receiving mark (1,050).
• QB Josh Woodrum was 14-of-25 for 208 yards, leaving him 56 yards shy of becoming the seventh quarterback in program history with 5,000 career passing yards (current at 4,944 passing yards).
• QB Josh Woodrum rushed six times for 26 yards and scored his seventh career rushing touchdown.
• QB Josh Woodrum accounted 234 of Liberty's 280 total offensive yards against Norfolk State.
• TE Dexter Herman tied a career high with three receptions for 40 yards (also had three receptions against Charleston Southern in 2013).
• P Trey Turner finished his second game in a row with a punt average above 40.0 yards per punt (North Carolina – 41.2 and Norfolk State – 40.9).
• K Avery Echols knocked down his first career field goal (22 yards) to give Liberty the lead late in the first quarter.
• LB Dylan Lewellyn finished the game with a career-high 11 tackles (six solo, five assisted), besting his previous career high of five tackles against Charleston Southern in 2012.
• DL Toby Onyechi recorded a career-best six tackles (three solo, three assisted) and two sacks against Norfolk State (previous career high was four tackles and 1.5 sacks at Gardner-Webb in 2013).
• DL Chima Uzowihe tied a career high with six tackles (three solo, three assisted) and set a new career best with 2.5 sacks (previous career high was 2.0 against VMI in 2013).
• LB Nick Sigmon tied for second on the team with six tackles against Norfolk State (two solo, four assisted) and needs 14 tackles to record his 200th career stop (Liberty's active career tackles leader).
• S Jacob Hagen intercepted a pass and returned it 22 yards, his sixth game in a row with an interception and his eighth career interception (he needs one more interception to tie Kevin Fogg for fifth place all-time on Liberty's career interception list).
• DL Dominique Davis finished the game with three tackles for a loss of 20 total yards, including a seven-yard sack (he entered the game with 4.0 career tackles for a loss and no sacks).
• DB Tyrin Holloway, playing in his second career game at Liberty, has four solo tackles and his first career fumble recovery.