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Gardner-Webb Revisited: News & Notes

October 7, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty pushed its Big South opener and Homecoming winning streak to six-straight games on Saturday, rallying to hand visiting Gardner-Webb a 42-35 setback at Williams Stadium.

Included with today's news and notes are radio highlights from the contest courtesy of the Flames Sports Network's radio crew, plus Coach Turner Gill's postgame interview with FSN 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 Gardner-Webb:
• Liberty now leads the overall series, 10-8-1
• Liberty has won the last six meetings in the series between the two programs
• In the previous five wins, Liberty had been winning by an average margin of victory of 26.4 points per game
• Liberty has now faced Gardner-Webb five times in 11 Big South opening contests (2002, 2004, 2006, 2011 and 2012)

Gardner-Webb Highlights:
• The Flames scored 32 of the game's final 40 points to rally for a 42-35 victory
• The victory was head coach Turner Gill's first as Liberty's head football coach
• The win extended Liberty's home Big South winning streak to a conference record 16-straight games (last home BSC loss was to Gardner-Webb in 2006)
• The game started Liberty's 11th season of Big South football

Homecoming Recap:
• Liberty upped its overall record to 28-11 in Homecoming contests
• Liberty has now won six-consecutive Homecoming games
• Prior to Saturday's game, Liberty had won its last five Homecoming games by an average margin of 36.2 points per game
• Prior to Saturday's game, Liberty had been outscoring opponents by 23.15 points per game in its 27 previous Homecoming victories

Noting the Attendance:
• The Homecoming game was played in front of 18,239 fans
• The attendance figure marked the fifth largest crowd in Williams Stadium history
• Three of Liberty's Top 5 Williams Stadium attendance figures have now come from Homecoming games
• Liberty currently ranks No. 10 in the country in total home attendance (51,204), No. 12 in average home attendance (17,068) and No. 22 in filling stadium capacity (88.90 percent)
• The game was the seventh highest attended FCS game in the country this weekend

Offensive Highlights from the Gardner-Webb Game:
• The Flames finished the game with a season-high 42 points
• Liberty scored 32 of its 42 points during the second half of the game
• Liberty scored 32 of the games last 40 points to rally for the victory
• Liberty finished the game with a season-high 508 total offensive yards
• Following the game, Liberty is now averaging 405.8 total offensive yards per game and ranks No. 34 in the country in total offense
• The last time the Flames racked up 500 or more total offensive yards was in their 63-27 Homecoming victory over No. 20 Coastal Carolina, last year (518 yards)
• 68.5 percent of Liberty's total offensive yards came during the second half (160 – first half; 348 – second half)
• Liberty finished the game with a season high 25 first downs
• Liberty has now finished the last three games with 20 or more first downs
• The Flames are now averaging 20.2 first downs per game and rank No. 48 in the country in first down offense
• 17 of Liberty's 25 first downs against Gardner-Webb came via the passing game
• On the season, 62 of Liberty's 101 first downs have come via the passing game (61.3 percent)
• Liberty has finished four out of five games in 2012 with 10 or more passing first downs
• Liberty currently ranks No. 21 in the country with 62 passing first downs
• The Flames surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark for the third time this season, finishing the game with 120 team rushing yards
• 79.1 percent of Liberty's rushing yards came during the second half (95 second half rushing yards)
• The Flames picked up their fourth rushing touchdown of the season against Gardner-Webb
• The Flames finished the Gardner-Webb game with a season high 388 passing yards
• Following the game, Liberty currently ranks No. 11 in the country in passing offense (277.20 passing yards per game)
• Liberty has now passed for 300 yards twice this season (also against Montana – 321 yards)
• Liberty also ranks No. 15 in the country in passing efficiency (149.66)
• Liberty finished the game with four passing touchdowns against Gardner-Webb
• Liberty has scored 15 touchdowns in 2012, with 10 coming via the passing game (four rushing, 1 punt return)
• Liberty finished the game with a season low four penalties, resulting in 40 penalty yards
• Coming into the game, Liberty was averaging 8.3 penalties per game and 57.3 penalty yards per game
• Three of Liberty's four penalties were called on the Flames' offensive unit (holding twice and one delay of game)
• The Flames won the turnover battle for the first time this year, finishing with one giveaway to Gardner-Webb's two turnovers
• Liberty finished with a time of possession advantage for the second game in a row (34:17 to 25:43)
• Liberty had possession of the football for more than 10 minutes during both the first (10:18) and third quarters (10:37)
• Following the game, Liberty now ranks No. 8 in the country in average time of possession (33:38)
• Liberty finished the Gardner-Webb game with a season low four third-down conversion (4-of-11)
• Liberty now ranks No. 33 in the country in third-down conversion percentage (41.33/31-of-75)
• Liberty was successful on its lone fourth-down play, helping sustain its first scoring drive of the day
• Liberty has now converted on 2-of-7 fourth-down plays in 2012
• Liberty's offensive line allowed three sacks during the game
• Liberty now ranks No. 109 (out of 121 FCS teams) in sacks allowed per game (3.20)
• Liberty successfully put points on the scoreboard each time it crossed over into the Runnin' Bulldogs red zone
• Liberty finished the game with three touchdowns and two field goals when penetrating Garder-Webb's 20-yard line
• Liberty currently ranks No. 9 in the country in red zone offense (scoring on 92.0 percent of drives crossing the opponent's 20-yard line)
• Liberty has scored on 12-of-13 red zone drive (3 rushing TDs, 5 passing TDs, 4 FGs)

Defensive Highlights from the Gardner-Webb Game:
• The Flames allowed a season high 35 points during the game
• Liberty has allowed 30 or more points in three of its five games in 2012
• The last time the Flames allowed an opponent to score 35 inside Williams Stadium was Lafayette in 2008 (L/ 31-35 on Oct. 18)
• The last time the Flames allowed 35 or more points in a game and won was against Coastal Carolina in 2008 (W/ 43-38 on Oct. 4)
• Gardner-Webb finished the game with an opponent season high 481 total offensive yards
• 68.6 percent of Gardner-Webb's total offensive yards came during the first half (330 first half total offensive yards; 151 second half total offensive yards)
• Liberty held Gardner-Webb to 98 rushing yards, tying an opponent season low (Wake Forest also finished with only 98 rushing yards)
• Following the game, Liberty is now allowing 150.8 rushing yards per game (ranked No. 52 in the country in rushing defense)
• Liberty allowed Gardner-Webb to rush for an opponent season high four rushing touchdowns
• The last time the Flames allowed an opponent to rush for four or more touchdowns was Stony Brook in the 2009 season finale loss in Stony Brook, N.Y. (L/ 33-36 on Nov. 21)
• Liberty has allowed 16 offensive touchdowns this season, 13 of which have been rushing touchdowns
• 79.6 percent of Gardner-Webb's total offensive yards came via its passing game (383 passing yards; 481 total offensive yards)
• Gardner-Webb amassed 301 of its 383 passing yards during the first 30 minutes of play
• Gardner-Webb's 383 passing yards nearly doubled the previous high passing yards the Flames had allowed in 2012
• Prior to the Gardner-Webb game, Liberty had allowed Wake Forest and Lehigh to pass for 195 yards
• Liberty is now allowing 192.0 passing yards per game, which ranks No. 43 in the country in passing defense
• The Flames allowed an opponent season high 21 first downs (6 rush, 14 pass, 1 penalty)
• Liberty allowed Gardner-Webb to tally 14 first downs via its passing game
• During the first four games of the year, Liberty's opponents had tallied a total of 20 first downs via passing plays
• Following the game, Liberty ranks No. 4 in the country in first down defense (15.40 allowed per game)
• Gardner-Webb finished the game with five penalties resulting for a loss of 36 yards
• The five infractions by the Runnin' Bulldogs was the third high opponent penalty total this year
• The Flames held Gardner-Webb to an opponent season low two third-down conversions (2-of-7)
• On the year, Liberty ranks No. 29 in the country in third-down conversion defense (32.31 percent/21-of-65)
• Gardner-Webb failed to convert on its lone fourth-down conversion attempt against Liberty
• Liberty has now stopped opponents four out of seven times in 2012 on fourth-down conversion attempts
• Liberty ranks No. 41 nationally in fourth-down conversion defense (42.86 percent/3-of-7)
• The Flames had their second red zone defensive stop of the year against Gardner-Webb
• Liberty's opponents have managed to put points on the scoreboard 12 out of 14 times they have crossed the Flames' 20-yard line
• 11 of the 12 times Liberty's opponents have entered the red zone, they have scored a touchdown, including four out of five times against Gardner-Webb

Special Teams Highlights from the Gardner-Webb Game:
• The Flames finished the game with their second highest total return yardage of the season
• Liberty had one punt return for 15 yards and four kickoff returns for 134 yards (total return yards: 159)
D.J. Abnar gave the Flames' the longest kickoff return of the season with an 83 yard return early in the second quarter
• Following the Gardner-Webb game, Liberty currently ranks No. 35 in the country in kickoff returns (22.94 avg. yards per return)
• Liberty held Gardner-Webb to an opponent season low 35 total return yards
• The Runnin' Bulldogs finished the game without a punt return and two kickoff returns for 35 yards
• Following the game, Liberty currently ranks No. 22 in the country in kickoff return yardage defense (17.29 avg. yards allowed per return)
John Lunsford knocked down both of his field goal attempts during the game (22 and 33 yards) and now ranks No. 25 in the country in field goals per game (1.2)
• The Flames converted on their first two-point conversion of the season when Josh Woodrum found Pat Kelly for a two-point passing play during the third quarter
• For the fourth time in five games, Liberty averaged more than 40 yards per punt in 2012