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Kent State Revisited: News and Notes
Kent State scored 10 unanswered points during the fourth quarter on Thursday evening, rallying to defeat the visiting Flames, 17-10, at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio.
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 Jamie Hall.
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.
Season Opener Notes:
• Liberty has lost three straight season-opening games and four of its last five first contests of the year, with each of those losses coming at the hands of an FBS opponent.
• Liberty's last four season-opening losses: 2009 at West Virginia (L/ 20-33), 2011 at N.C. State (L/ 21-43), 2012 at Wake Forest (L/ 17-20) and 2013 at Kent State (L/ 10-17).
• Liberty's lone season-opening win during the last five years was a 52-7 victory over St. Francis, Pa., on Sept. 4, 2010, a game that was played at Lynchburg's City Stadium while renovations were completed at Williams Stadium.
• The week following its victory over St. Francis, Pa., Liberty traveled to Muncie, Ind., where it defeated Ball State, 27-23, on Sept. 11, 2010, marking the program's last victory over an FBS opponent.
• Following the setback at Kent State, Liberty is now 19-22 all-time in its first game of the year.
• Liberty also falls to 11-29-1 in its first road game of the year after its seven-point loss at Kent State.
Series with Kent State:
• Kent State now leads the series with the Flames, 2-0.
• Kent State won the first meeting in the series, 38-10, on Sept. 11, 2004.
• Liberty is now 3-8 all-time against current members of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), which Kent State belongs to.
• Liberty's victories over current members of the MAC include Ball State (2010), Buffalo (1998 when Buffalo was an FCS program) and Eastern Michigan (1989).
Team Notes versus Kent State:
• Kent State outgained the Flames by 139 total offensive yards (361 to 222).
• Liberty recorded 207 of its 222 total offensive yards during the second half (15 total offensive yards during the first half).
• Liberty finished the game with 11 first downs, with eight of the 11 first downs coming in the second half.
• Liberty's first three series of the game were each three-and-out series, resulting in negative 11 yards of total offense.
• Liberty's offense was jumpstarted following the game's lone turnover, when Chima Uzowihe forced Kent State quarterback Colin Reardon to fumble the ball on a third-and-20 play and Jacob Hagen recovered the loose ball.
• On the next play, Liberty quarterback Josh Woodrum found tight end Brandon Apon open for an 11-yard reception, resulting in the Flames' first set of new downs with six minutes left to play in the second quarter.
• Six of Liberty's 10 total drives during the game resulted in 20 or less total yards gained.
• Liberty's 222 total offensive yards were the fewest gained by the Flames in 12 games under head coach Turner Gill (previous low was 265 yards gained against Coastal Carolina on Oct. 27, 2012).
• Liberty has finished 10 out of 12 games under head coach Turner Gill with 300 or more total offensive yards (averaging 386.17 total offensive yards per game).
• The Flames failed to score a touchdown during the first quarter of the game at Kent State, marking the eighth time in 12 games under head coach Turner Gill Liberty has not scored a touchdown in the opening quarter.
• In 2012, Liberty failed to score a touchdown during the first quarter in seven of its 11 games (Montana, Lehigh, Gardner-Webb, Concord, Coastal Carolina, Stony Brook and VMI).
• Liberty's scoring average in 12 games under head coach Turner is now 25.8 points per game (First quarter scoring average – 4.0; second quarter scoring average – 7.9; third quarter scoring average – 8.3; fourth quarter scoring average – 5.6).
• Eight of Liberty's 11 first downs against Kent State were the result of passing plays.
• 85.1 percent of Liberty's 222 total offensive yards against Kent State came via the passing game (185 passing yards, 33 rushing yards).
• Liberty 33 rushing yards were the second fewest rushing yards recorded by the Flames in 12 games under head coach Turner Gill (fewest rushing yards were 21 at Montana on Sept. 15, 2012).
• In 12 games under head coach Turner Gill, Liberty has been held to less than 100 team rushing yards five times.
• Liberty finished the Kent State game with 189 passing yards, marking the 10th time in 12 games under head coach Turner Gill the Flames have thrown for 170 or more yards in a game.
• The Flames have finished with at least one passing touchdown in each of their 12 games under head coach Turner Gill.
• Liberty was limited to 21:10 total time of possession against Kent State, its lowest TOP in 12 games under head coach Turner Gill (previous low was 27:33 TOP against Stony Brook).
• Liberty managed to pick up a first down on two of 10 third-down plays against Stony Brook.
• Liberty's two third-down conversions marked the fewest for the Flames in 12 games under head coach Turner Gill (previous low was 4-of-11 against Gardner-Webb and 4-of-15 against Stony Brook).
• The Flames averaged 6.4 third-down conversions per game in 2012.
• Kent State finished the game with 361 total offensive yards, including 167 rushing yards and 194 passing yards.
• Kent State's 361 total offensive yards were the third-highest total by a Flames' opponent in 12 games under head coach Turner Gill (481 by Gardner-Webb and 383 by Stony Brook).
• Kent State rushed for 167 yards against Liberty, marking the fourth-most rushing yards the Flames have allowed an opponent in 12 games under head coach Turner Gill (201 by Montana, 226 by Coastal Carolina and 251 by Norfolk State).
• Liberty held Kent State to less than 200 passing yards (194), marking the eighth time the Flames have held an opponent to less than 200 yards in 12 games under head coach Turner Gill.
• Kent State quarterback Colin Reardon completed 21-of-28 passing attempts against Liberty (75.0 completion percentage).
• Only three other Liberty opponents in 12 games under head coach Turner Gill have completed 75 percent or more of its passing attempts against the Flames (Norfolk State – 75.0/15-of-20; Presbyterian College – 75.0/30-of-40; Gardner-Webb – 84.3/27-of-32).
• Kent State finished the game picking up a first down on 9-of-18 third-down plays.
• Kent State's nine first downs gained on third-down plays tied for the most by a Liberty opponent in 12 games under head coach Turner Gill (Coastal Carolina also had nine as they were 9-of-16 on third-down plays).
• Kent State finished the game with three sacks for a loss of 21 yards.
• Five of Liberty's 11 opponents during its first season under head coach Turner Gill finished the game with three or more sacks.
• Four of the five games were Liberty was sacked three or more times came during the first five games of the 2012 season.
• The only time Liberty was sacked three or more times during the second half of 2012 was against Concord on Oct. 20 when the Mountain Lions recorded three sacks.
• Liberty held Kent State to 17 points, with 10 of the points coming during the fourth quarter.
• Liberty has held opponents to 20 or less points in four straight games dating back to 2012 and seven out of 12 total games under head coach Turner Gill.
• Five of Kent State's 10 drives resulted in 25 or fewer total offensive yards.
• Kent State managed to gain less than 40 total offensive yards on seven of its 10 drives against Liberty.
• All three of Kent State's drives of more than 40 yards resulted in the Golden Flashes adding points to the scoreboard.