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Lehigh Revisited: News and Notes

September 23, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The Flames closed out their September portion of their 2012 schedule with a 28-26 setback to No. 16/13 Lehigh on Saturday at Williams Stadium on Hall of Fame weekend.

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.

News and Notes from the Lehigh game:

Series with Lehigh:
• Lehigh leads the overall series, 3-0, which started back in 2004
• Lehigh has won both meetings at Williams Stadium (2004 – 34-16; 2012 – 28-26)
• Lehigh has been ranked in the Top 25 the past two times the teams have met (2011 – No. 15/16; 2012 – No. 16/13)

Season Opening Notes:
• For the first time since the 1982 season, Liberty is 0-4 following its first four games of the year
• Liberty has started 0-4 twice previously in program history (1981 and 1982)
• In 1982, Liberty picked up its first victory during the fifth game of the season against Central State (Ohio), which started a seven-game winning streak to cap off a 7-4 year
• In 1981, the Flames lost their first nine games of the season before preventing a winless season with a 42-23 victory over Evangel in the season finale to finish the year 1-9
• The last time that Liberty lost four games in a row in the same season was in 2006 during Danny Rocco's first year as Liberty's head coach

Liberty versus Ranked Opponents:
• Following three-straight setbacks to Top 25 programs, Liberty is now 11-46 all-time against nationally ranked teams
• Liberty has now dropped seven of its last eight match-ups against ranked opponents
• Liberty has previously faced three nationally ranked teams in a row in program history, dropping all three during the 1993 season (L/ 30-38 to No. 9 North Carolina A&T, L/ 13-35 to No. 3 Troy State and L/ 0-42 to No. 4 Youngstown State)

Attendance Facts and Figures:
• The Lehigh game was played in front of 17,139 fans, marking the sixth largest home attendance figure in Williams Stadium history
• Both of Liberty's home attendance figures in 2012 rank in the Top 10 in Williams Stadium history (Norfolk State ranks No. 9 with 15,826)
• The Liberty vs. Lehigh game was the ninth highest attended FCS game in the country on Saturday
• Following the game, Liberty now ranks No. 12 in the country in total attendance (32,965), No. 15 in average attendance (16,483) and No. 27 in filling stadium capacity (85.85 percent)

Offensive Highlights from the Lehigh Game:
• The Flames scored a season-high 26 points against Lehigh
• The Flames won almost all offensive statistical categories against Lehigh on Saturday, including first downs, rushing, passing, total offensive yards, time of possession and third-down conversion
• Liberty finished the game with 23 first downs to Lehigh's nine first downs
• For the first time this season, Liberty finished a game with more rushing first downs (13) than passing first downs (10)
• The Flames rushed for a season-high 241 yards and two touchdowns against Lehigh
• Liberty nearly doubled its team rushing total in one game, as the Flames had rushed for a combined 282 yards and one touchdown during the first three games of the year
• The rushing total marked Liberty's highest in a single game since rushing for 259 yards and six touchdowns against Coastal Carolina on Oct. 15, 2011
Aldreakis Allen (18 carries, 125 yards) and Sirchauncey Holloway (20 carries, 107 yards) both surpassed the 100-yard rushing marking against Lehigh
• The last time the Flames had a pair of players finish a game with 100 rushing yards each was Sept. 29, 2007, when Rashad Jennings (16 carries, 101 yards) and Zach Terrell (five carries, 115 yards) surpassed the 100-yard threshold against St. Francis (Pa.)
• The Flames outgained Lehigh, 247 to 195, in passing yardage
• The 247 passing yards were the Flames' third highest of the season
• Following the game, Liberty currently ranks No. 27 in the country in passing offense (249.5 yards per game)
• Liberty tied its second-highest completion total of the year with 21 completions
• Six different players caught passes against Lehigh, tying a season low for wide receivers used during a game (Wake Forest: 7; Norfolk State: 6; Montana: 9; Lehigh: 6)
• For the second-straight game, Liberty's quarterbacks completed passes at a 75 percent or higher mark (Montana (35-of-45/77.7 percent; Lehigh 21-of-28/75.0 percent)
• The Flames finished the game with two interceptions, its first multiple-interception game of the year
Josh Woodrum had his second-straight 200-yard passing game, completing 20-of-27 pass attempts for 236 yards
• Josh Woodrum becomes the 11th quarterback in program history to record consecutive 200-yard passing games
• Liberty outgained Lehigh in the game 488 total offensive yards to 301 total offensive yards
• The 488 total offensive yards marks the first time the Flames have surpassed the 400-yard mark under head coach Turner Gill
• The Flames finished with game with a season-high 78 offensive plays
Pat Kelly was Liberty's leading receiver with seven receptions for 99 yards, a new single-game high for 2012
• Pat Kelly missed recording his fourth career 100-yard receiving game by one yard
Brandon Apon got Liberty on the scoreboard with a 35-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter
• Brandon Apon now has eight career receptions, three of which have gone for touchdowns
• Liberty finished the game with a 24:50 time of possession advantage (42:25 to 17:35)
• Liberty finished the first (11:31), third (10:16) and fourth quarters (12:36) with at least 10 minutes of possession each 15-minute period
• Following the game, Liberty currently ranks No. 13 in the country in average time of possession (33:29)
• The last time the Flames had a double-digit time of possession advantage was against Stony Brook to close out the 2010 season with a victory at home and a 13:34 TOP edge (36:47 to 23:13)
• The last time the Flames had a 20-plus minute time of possession advantage was against South Florida in 2001 when Liberty held on to the ball for 42:17 minutes to USF's 17:43 (24:34 TOP edge)
• For the third time this season, Liberty finished a game with at least six third-down conversions, as Liberty picked up a new set of downs on 7-of-15 third-down plays
• Liberty has had seven third-down conversions in three of its four games
• The Flames currently rank No. 29 in the country in third-down conversion percentage (42.19)
• Liberty's offensive line allowed Lehigh to record three sacks, giving opponents 13 sacks during the first four games of the year
• Liberty currently ranks No. 106 out of 121 FCS programs in the country in sacks allowed per game (3.25)
• The Flames scored each time they crossed over into the red zone against Lehigh, recording a touchdown and a field goal
• Liberty has scored on seven of eight drives that have penetrated the opponent's 20-yard line in 2012, including five touchdowns and two field goals
• The Flames committed two turnovers that directly resulted in 14 points for Lehigh
• On the year, Liberty has committed eight turnovers, which opponents have used to score six touchdowns
• Following the game, Liberty currently ranks No. 104 out of 121 FCS programs in the country in turnover margin (-1.25, 8 lost, 3 gained)

Defensive Highlights from the Lehigh Game:
• Liberty finished the game with a total of 40 tackles, as compared to 102 tackles by Lehigh
• The 40-tackle effort was Liberty's lowest team tackle total since 2009 when Liberty record 37 stops in a road victory at Lafayette (Sept. 19/ Liberty won 19-13)
• Liberty's leading tackler in the game was linebacker Scott Hyland, who finished the game with six stops
• In comparison, Lehigh had seven players with six or more stops, including three in double figures (Billy Boyko: 14; Billy O'Brien: 13; Sam Loughery: 11)
• Liberty limited Lehigh to nine first downs during the game (three rush, five pass, one penalty)
• The last time the Flames held an opponent to less than 10 first downs in a game was against Kentucky Wesleyan in 2011
• The last time the Flames held a Division I opponent to less than 10 first downs in a game was during a 58-13 victory over Coastal Carolina in 2009
• Following the game, Liberty currently ranks No. 5 nationally in first down defense (14.00 allowed per game)
• The Flames nearly held their second opponent of the season below the 100-yard rushing threshold, as Lehigh rushed for 106 yards during the game
• More than 64 percent of Lehigh's rushing yards came on one play, when quarterback Michael Colvin called a quarterback draw and rushed 68 yards downfield for a touchdown
• The Flames did surrender a season-high three rushing touchdowns to Lehigh, as the Mountain Hawks matched Norfolk State's three-rushing touchdown performance
• Liberty limited Lehigh to an opponent season low 44 total offensive plays
• Prior to the Lehigh game, Liberty's next lowest opponent total was 64 plays (for 343 yards) by Norfolk State
• The Flames nearly kept their third opponent out of four in 2012 below the 300-yard mark, as Lehigh finished the game with 301 total offensive yards
• Following the game, Liberty currently ranks No. 22 in the country in total defense (308.5 yards allowed per game)
• Lehigh finished the game with an opponent season-low three third-down conversions on nine plays where the Mountain Hawks faced a third-down play
• Following the game, Liberty ranks No. 33 in the country in third-down conversion defense (32.76/19-of-58)
• For the first time this year, Liberty's defense failed to create at least one turnover, keeping the Flames at just three turnovers caused in 2012
• Lehigh crossed over Liberty's 20-yard line twice during the game, scoring a touchdown on both drives
• On the year, Liberty's opponents have penetrated the 20-yard line nine times and scored on eight of those drives
• Each of the scoring drives that crossed over the 20-yard line have resulted in touchdowns this year for Liberty's opponents

Special Teams Highlights from the Lehigh Game:
Grant Bowden finished the game with a season-best 40.8 yards per punt average (four punts for 163 yards)
• Two of Grant Bowden's four punts pinned Lehigh inside its own 20-yard line
• Liberty has now averaged 40 or more yards per punt in three out of four games this year
• Lehigh only had one punt return for a total of nine yards, the fewest total punt returns yards and total punt returns for an opponent this season
John Lunsford finished the game with five kickoffs, with all five sailing into the end zone and resulting in a touchback
• Following the game, Liberty ranks No. 28 in the country in kickoff return yardage defense with opponents averaging 17.20 yards per kickoff return
• John Lunsford had his first career game with multiple field goals, as the rookie knocked down both of his attempts (32 and 40 yards)
• John Lunsford gave Liberty its first lead of the night with a 32-yard field goal with 1:36 left to play in the third quarter, marking his shortest field goal try of the year
• With his two field goals and three extra points, John Lunsford finished the game with a career-high eight points
Ryan Ayers tried to return three of Lehigh's punts, resulting in a total of eight total yards