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Football 2014 Mid-Year Review: Special Teams
During the Flames' annual bye week, the Liberty Flames Sports Network will review the first half of the 2014 football season, starting today with a look at the special teams.
John Lunsford and Trey Turner have spotlighted Liberty's special teams success through the first half of the year. Turner, a redshirt freshman, ranks second in the Big South with a 40.5 yards per punt average and has averaged 40 or more yards per punt in four games this year. He also has eight punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line and four punts of 50 or more yards.
After sitting out the first two games of the year, Lunsford has started to put together an all-conference type season. After the junior finished last year 8-of-19 on field goal attempts, Lunsford has connected on 6-of-9 field goal attempts this year which would lead the Big South if he was eligible (must compete in 75 percent of games to be eligible for Big South rankings).
Lunsford's grabbed national attention following the Richmond contest where he sent the game into overtime with a school record 60-yard field goal. The kick was featured on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 plays at No. 4 and earned Big South and numerous weekly national honors.
The Flames will look to make improvements on their return game during the second half of the season. Following seven games, Liberty currently ranks No. 113 in kickoff returns (16.4 average yards per return) and No. 120 in punt returns (1.7 average yards per return), out of 121 FCS teams.
Liberty also ranks No. 112 in the country in kickoff return defense, allowing opponents to average 24.94 yards per return.
LFSN will continue it mid-year review of the 2014 season tomorrow by taking a look at Liberty's defensive unit.