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Coastal Carolina Revisited: News and Notes

November 23, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty claimed its seventh Big South title and first-ever trip to the NCAA FCS Playoffs with a stunning 15-14 victory over No. 2/1 Coastal Carolina, Saturday afternoon, at Brooks Stadium.

Included with today's news and notes are video highlights from yesterday's one-point road win over Liberty's arch rival during both team's regular season finale.

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 Coastal Carolina:
• Following the game, the series is now tied, 6-6
• The Liberty win snapped a two-game series winning streak for the Chanticleers
• Liberty won its second game in the series at Brooks Stadium (first was a 43-38 victory in 2008 that also came down to the game's final drive)
• The game was the lowest scoring game in the 12-game series, as the two teams were averaging a combined 66.7 points per game during previous series matchups

Liberty Versus Ranked Teams:
• Liberty is now 15-49 all-time versus ranked opponents
• Coastal Carolina is the second top 25 team Liberty has defeated in 2014 (Liberty defeated No. 25 Bryant, 38-21, at home on Sept. 20)
• Liberty is 2-1 against ranked FCS teams in 2014 and has now won three of its last four matchups against nationally ranked FCS opponents
• The win marked Liberty's fourth against a nationally ranked team under Head Coach Turner Gill (Liberty is now 4-7 against ranked teams under Gill)
• The win gave Liberty its first-ever victory over the top ranked team in the country in any sport in Liberty's Division I history (since 1988)
• The highest ranked team Liberty had previously defeated on the gridiron was No. 6 Stony Brook, 28-14, on Nov. 10, 2012

Team Talking Points:
• Liberty won its third regular season finale in a row and is now 10-1 in the month of November under head coach Turner Gill
• Liberty won its third road game in a row and fourth of the year, improving to 17-4 on the road in its last 21 Big South road games
• The last time Liberty won four road games in the same season was in 2008 when Liberty finished the year with a program-best 10-2 overall record
• The Flames amassed 455 yards of offense against the Big South's top ranked defense, as Coastal Carolina came into the game limiting opponents to a league-best 302.5 yards per game
• Following the game, Liberty's fifth game of 2014 with 450 or more total offensive yards, the Flames now rank No. 32 in the country in total offense (426.2 yards per game)
• The Flames finished the game with 170 team rushing yards, its second-highest total in the last four games
• Liberty carried the ball 51 times against Coastal Carolina, marking its third time in the last five games with 50 or more carries (all three were victories – Gardner-Webb/50; Monmouth/52; Coastal Carolina/51)
• Liberty finished the game without a rushing touchdown, marking only the second time this year Liberty has finished without a rushing touchdown and the seventh time in three seasons under Head Coach Turner Gill (35 total games)
• 15 of Liberty's 24 first downs in the game came via passing plays, marking the second-highest passing first down total of 2014 (Liberty also had 15 first downs via passing plays against Indiana State)
• Liberty scored all three times it entered the red zone against Coastal Carolina and now ranks No. 11 in the country in red zone offense (88.2 percent/45-of-51)
• Liberty finished the game with 285 passing yards, its highest total since starting Big South play and its fifth time this year with 275 or more passing yards
• Liberty was able to pick up a new set of downs on 12-of-21 third-down plays, its highest conversion rate of the 2014 season
• Liberty converted on 2-of-3 fourth-down plays and now ranks No. 26 in the country in fourth-down conversion percentage (61.1 percent/11-of-18)
• The Flames won the time of possession battle for the fifth time in six games (36:53 to 23:07), including four games with a time of possession edge of more than 10 minutes per game
• Liberty finished the game with 10 penalties for 84 yards, its second highest penalty total and penalty yardage total of the 2014 season
• Liberty entered the Coastal Carolina game ranked No. 24 in the country in fewest penalties per game 5.27)
• The Flames allowed two sacks in the game, the fourth time in 2014 Liberty has allowed multiple sacks in a game (Liberty ranks No. 10 in the country in fewest sacks allowed – 0.92 per game)
• For the first time this year, Liberty lost the turnover battle, but was able to win the overall game (-2 at North Carolina; -2 at Indiana State; -2 vs. Richmond; -1 at Coastal Carolina)
• Liberty held Coastal Carolina to its lowest offensive total of the year at 312 yard, after the Chanticleers enter the game ranked No. 1 in the Big South and No. 13 in the country in total offense (482.3 yards per game)
• Liberty's defense limited Coastal Carolina to 55 total plays, marking the third time in the last five games the Flames have held an opponent to 55 or few plays
• Coastal Carolina finished the game with 171 passing yards, becoming the sixth opponent Liberty has held below 200 passing yards in a game in 2014
• One of Coastal Carolina's two touchdowns in the game was a rushing touchdown, Liberty's sixth rushing touchdown allowed in the last five games
• Liberty finished the game with two sacks, giving the Flames multiple sacks in four out of the last five games (Liberty ranks second in the Big South with 26 sacks)
• Coastal Carolina finished the game converting on 5-of-12 third-down plays, marking the third time in the last five games Liberty has allowed five or fewer third-down conversion (five times overall in 2014)

Notable Player Points:
• RB D.J. Abnar led the Flames with 35 carries for 122 yards, marking his sixth 100-yard rushing performance of the year and the seventh of his career
• For the second time in three games, RB D.J. Abnar finished a game with 35 or more carries (had a career-high 39 carries against Monmouth on Nov. 8)
• Following the Coastal Carolina game, RB D.J. Abnar's season rushing total is 1,116 yards, the most rushing yards since Rashad Jennings finished his senior year with 1,500 rushing yards (eighth highest total in program history)
• QB Stephon Masha started his second career game, finishing the contest completing 20-of-33 passing attempts for 285 yards and a touchdown
• QB Stephon Masha finished the game with 285 passing yards, surpassing his total of 238 in his first start against Charleston Southern
• QB Stephon Masha completed the longest touchdown pass of his young career on a 72-yard scoring play to Darrin Peterson
• WR Gabe Henderson posted his third career 100-yard game with a team-high 10 receptions for 114 yards (two of his three career 100-yard games have been against Coastal Carolina)
• WR Gabe Henderson established a new career high with 10 receptions (previous career-best was nine receptions against Coastal Carolina in 2013)
• All 10 of WR Gabe Henderson's receptions gave Liberty first downs against Coastal Carolina, including seven on third-down plays
• WR Darrin Peterson posted his seventh 100-yard receiving game of the year with four receptions for 113 yards (11th of his career)
• WR Darrin Peterson scored on a 72-yard touchdown play, Liberty's seventh passing play of 2014 of 50 or more yards (four to Peterson)
• Following the game, WR Darrin Peterson now ranks No. 7 in total receiving yards (1,214) and No. 10 in the country in receiving yards per game (101.2) and touchdown receptions (12)
• TE Dexter Herman finished the game with three receptions for 32 yards, his fifth game this year with three or more receptions
• K John Lunsford connected on three of his four field goal attempts (32, 42 and 32 yards), setting a new career high
• Following the game, K John Lunsford now ranks No. 10 in the country in field goals made per game (1.4) and No. 7 in the country in scoring by a kicker (8.2 points per game)
• LB Nick Newman led the Flames in tackles with nine stops, his fourth game this year with eight or more tackles
• S Gary Sampson tied a career high with seven tackles, including five solo stops (also had seven tackles against Charleston Southern the week prior)
• DL Toby Onyechi finished the game with five tackles, giving him four games with five or more tackles in 2014 (back-to-back games with five tackles
• DL Chima Uzowihe recorded his Big South leading eighth sack of the year and now is tied for fourth in program history and second in Big South history with 17.0 career sacks
• DL Chima Uzowihe finished the game with three tackles, leaving him six tackles shy of becoming the fifth active Liberty player with 100 or more career tackles
• DL Chima Uzowihe blocked his second field goal of the year (also blocked a field goal attempt against Richmond), becoming the fourth player in program history with two blocked field goals in a season
• DL Chima Uzowihe had his second career blocked kick against Coastal Carolina, as the junior also blocked an extra point try by CCU kicker Alex Catron in 2013
• DL Chima Uzowihe now has four career blocked kicks (two blocked field goals and two blocked extra point attempts)
• S Jacob Hagen finished the game with five tackles, extending his career-best season to 92 tackles, which is the second highest total this year in the Big South