D.J. Abnar posted his first career 100-yard game, rushing for 108 yards and two touchdowns during Liberty's 73-7 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan.
The Flames picked up their third home victory in a row this season in their 73-7 win over visiting Kentucky Wesleyan, Saturday night, at Williams Stadium.
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 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 Kentucky Wesleyan: • Following the win, the Flames lead the overall series, 3-0 • All three games have been played at Williams Stadium • Liberty has outscored Kentucky Wesleyan, 177-14 (W/ 47-7 in 2003; W/ 57-0 in 2011; W/ 73-7 in 2013)
3-0 at Home: • With the victory, Liberty moves to 3-0 at home this season • The 2013 season marks the 11th time in program history Liberty has started a year 3-0 at home • Prior to this year, Liberty's last 3-0 home start was in 2010 • Seasons Liberty has started 3-0 at home: 1973, 1979, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013
Final Home Test Before Big South Play: • Liberty's contest against Kentucky Wesleyan was the Flames' final home game before Big South play starts on Oct. 19 against Coastal Carolina • Since starting Big South play in 2002, Liberty has posted a 7-5 record in its final home game before starting conference play • Liberty has won six out of its last seven final home non-conference games before beginning Big South play • The Flames lost their final home game before starting conference play in 2012, dropping a 28-26 decision to No. 16/13 Lehigh on Sept. 22
Home Winning Streak: • With the win over Kentucky Wesleyan, Liberty has won its last seven home games in a row • Liberty's seven-game home winning streak started with a come-from-behind 42-35 victory over Gardner-Webb on Oct. 6, 2012 • Liberty has outscored its opponents by an average of 23.9 points per game during its current seven-game home winning streak (273 points scored, 106 points allowed) • Following the come-from-behind win over Gardner-Webb on Oct. 6, 2012, Liberty has held each of its last six opponents at home below 20 points scored • During the Flames' last six home wins, Liberty's opponents have scored an average of 11.8 points per game • Liberty's home winning streak is currently tied for the fourth longest active home winning streak among FCS programs in the country
Team Notes from Kentucky Wesleyan Game: • Liberty finished the game with 73 points scored, the second most points scored in a game in program history (school record is 76 points scored in a 76-0 win over West Virginia Tech on Sept. 2, 1995) • Liberty also scored 73 points in a 73-34 win over VMI on Nov. 10, 2007 • The contest marked the third time in program history Liberty has scored 70 or more points in a game • The 73 points was the most a Liberty team has scored in Turner Gill's eight seasons as head coach (previous was Liberty 56-7 win over Presbyterian College on Oct. 13, 2012) • Following the game, Liberty currently ranks No. 19 in the country in scoring average (37.4 points per game) • The Flames scored 24 points during the first quarter against Kentucky Wesleyan, the most first quarter points in 16 games under head coach Turner Gill (previous high was 21 points scored against Presbyterian College on Oct. 13, 2012) • The Flames came into the game averaging 5.2 points per game scored in the first quarter in 15 previous games under head coach Turner Gill • The Flames scored 10 touchdowns against Kentucky Wesleyan, tying a school record (also scored 10 touchdowns against VMI in 2007 and West Virginia Tech in 1995) • Six of Liberty's 10 touchdowns came on plays of 10 or more yards (21 and 55 yard passing plays; 23 and 26 yard rushing plays; 30 yard blocked punt return; 31 yard interception return) • The Flames scored 45 first half points, doing so with only 11:35 total time of possession during the opening 30 minutes of game • The Flames tied a season high with 22 total first downs against Kentucky Wesleyan • Liberty has finished the last four games with 20 or more first downs (19.2 average per game this year) • 14 of Liberty's 22 first downs came via rushing plays, tying a season high (also had 14 rushing first downs against Morgan State) • Liberty finished the Kentucky Wesleyan game with 462 total offensive yards, its highest total offensive yard output of the season • Liberty has now amassed 400 or more total offensive yards seven times in 16 games under head coach Turner Gill (five times in 2012 and twice in 2013) • The Flames evenly spread out their offensive attack against Kentucky Wesleyan, finishing the game with 241 rushing yards and 221 passing yards • Liberty had a similar even split between its rushing (119 yards) and passing (114 yards) at halftime • The Flames posted their second 200-plus rushing game of the season (also rushed for 330 yards against Morgan State) • Liberty has now rushed for 200 or more yards six times in 16 games under head coach Turner Gill • For the second time this season, Liberty recorded five rushing touchdowns in game (also had five rushing touchdowns against Morgan State) • Liberty has rushed for two or more touchdowns during each of its last four games and nine times in 16 games under head coach Turner Gill • Liberty currently has 15 rushing touchdowns on the year, which ranks No. 9 in the country in total rushing touchdowns • Liberty finished the game rushing for 5.4 yards per carry, the third-straight game the Flames have averaged more than 5.0 yards per carry • After rushing for 155 yards during their first two games of the year (77.5 yards per game), the Flames have rushed for 718 yards during their last three games (238.7 yards per game) • For the third time this year, Liberty finished a game with 200 or more passing yards • The Flames finished the game with a season-low three penalties and tied a season low with 30 total penalty yards • The Flames currently rank No. 13 in the country in fewest average penalties per game (4.40) • Liberty currently ranks No. 20 in the country in fewest average penalty yards per game (41.40) • The Flames won the turnover battle for the second time this year, finishing the game +3 in turnovers (one pass intercepted, four interceptions) • Liberty currently ranks No. 29 in the country in fewest turnovers lost (6) • The Flames are currently tied for No. 32 in the country in turnover margin (+0.6/6 TO lost, 9 TO gained) • Despite the low first half time of possession (11:35), Liberty won the overall TOP battle for the game – 30:29 to 29:31 • The Flames controlled the game clock for 19:15 during the second half • The Flames have won the TOP battle in all three of their wins this season • The Flames converted on a season-best 9-of-13 third-down plays (69.2 percent) • Liberty came into the Kentucky Wesleyan game having converted on 13-of-43 third-down plays during its first four games of the year (30.2 percent) • The Flames scored on all five of their red zone scoring opportunities against Kentucky Wesleyan, recording four touchdowns and one field goal • Liberty currently ranks No. 9 in the country in red zone offense, having scored 18-of-19 times inside its opponent's 20-yard line • 13 of Liberty's 18 red zone scoring conversions have been rushing touchdowns this season • The Flames allowed one sack during the game, their sixth sack allowed this season • The Flames are currently tied for No. 31 in the country in fewest sacks allowed this season (1.20 per game) • For the fourth-straight game, Liberty allowed an opponent to intercept a pass • The Flames are currently tied for No. 53 in the country in fewest interceptions allowed this season (4) • The Flames held Kentucky Wesleyan to an opponent season-low seven points scored • Liberty has held four out of five opponents in 2013 to less than 20 points scored in a game • Liberty currently ranks No. 8 in the country in scoring defense, allowing an average of 15.8 points per game • Dating back to last season, the Flames have held nine of their last 11 opponents to less than 20 point scored in game • The Flames limited Kentucky Wesleyan to 212 total offensive yards, the second fewest total offensive yards Liberty has allowed this season • Liberty has held three of its five opponents in 2013 to less than 300 total offensive yards per game • The Flames currently rank No. 12 in the country in total defense, allowing 290.4 total offensive yards per game • In 16 games under head coach Turner Gill, the Flames have held eight opponents to less than 300 total offensive yards • In 16 games under head coach Turner Gill, Liberty defense is allowing an average of 307.13 total offensive yards per game • 171 of Kentucky Wesleyan's 212 total offensive yards were via the Panthers' passing attack, as the Flames limited Kentucky to 41 total rushing yards • Liberty has held four out of five opponents in 2013 to less than 200 passing yards per game • Liberty currently ranks No. 19 in the country in passing defense, allowing 159.2 passing yards per game • Kentucky Wesleyan's 41 rushing yards marked a new Liberty opponent season low • Liberty has held two opponents to less than 100 yards rushing this season and seven times in 16 games under head coach Turner Gill • Kentucky Wesleyan was the third opponent Liberty has kept from recording a rushing touchdown in a game this season • Liberty currently ranks No. 31 in the country in rushing defense, allowing 131.2 rushing yards per game • The Flames have allowed a total of four rushing touchdowns in 2013, which ranks No. 20 in the country in fewest rushing touchdowns allowed • The Flames intercepted four passes during the Kentucky Wesleyan • The last time the Flames had four interceptions in a game was when the Flames upset No. 6/8 Stony Brook Nov. 10, 2012 • Kentucky Wesleyan converted on an opponent season-low 1-of-10 third-down plays (10.0 percent) • On the season, Liberty currently ranks No. 27 in the country in third-down percentage defense as they have allowed opponents to pick up a first down 33.3 percent of the time on third-down plays (22-of-66) • Kentucky Wesleyan was the second of Liberty's opponents this year to finish a game without a fourth-down conversion attempt • On the year, Liberty currently ranks No. 7 in the country in fourth-down conversion defense (16.7 percent/1-of-6) • Kentucky Wesleyan finished the game without a red zone scoring opportunity, marking the second time the Flames have kept an opponent out of the red zone in 16 games under head coach Turner Gill (also kept Presbyterian College out on Oct. 13, 2012) • For the second time this year, Liberty had 29 different players finish a game with tackles • 36 of Liberty's 58 tackles during the game were solo tackles • All four of Liberty's interceptions resulted in returns of 30 or more yards (31, 33, 39 and 45 yards) • The Flames tied a season-best with eight tackles for a loss against Kentucky Wesleyan • The Flames recorded their first blocked punt return for a touchdown since a 63-27 victory over Coastal Carolina on Oct. 15, 2011 • Liberty finished the Kentucky Wesleyan game with a season-low one punt for 26 yards
Player Points against Kentucky Wesleyan: • Both D.J. Abnar (7.2) and Desmond Rice (7.9) averaged more than seven yards per carry • D.J. Abnar posted career numbers in the game with 15 rushing attempts and 108 rushing yards • D.J. Abnar posted his third career game with 10 or more rushing attempts • D.J. Abnar recorded his first career multiple rushing touchdown game as he scored twice on the ground against Kentucky Wesleyan • D.J. Abnar's 100-yard rushing game allowed him to become the 33rd player in program history to rush for 100 yards in game • D.J. Abnar finished the game with a career-high 144 all-purpose yards (108 rushing yards and one kickoff return for 36 yards) • Desmond Rice finished the game with eight rushing attempts for 63 yards • Desmond Rice scored his team-leading sixth rushing touchdown of the season • Desmond Rice has recorded a rushing touchdown in the last four games • Desmond Rice recorded his second career touchdown reception during the game, a 23-yard pass play from Javan Shashaty • Desmond Rice currently ranks No. 36 in the country by averaging 8.4 points per game • Austin Kaigler carried the ball a career-high 15 times for a career-best 54 yards • Austin Kaigler came into the Kentucky Wesleyan game with three career carries for two yards • Josh Woodrum had his second multiple touchdown pass game of the year and the fourth of his playing career • Five of Josh Woodrum's six passing completions were to Darrin Peterson, including both of his touchdown passes • Javan Shashaty finished the game 7-of-8 with 107 passing yards, accounting for all new career highs • Javan Shashaty recorded his first career touchdown against Kentucky Wesleyan, completing a screen pass to Desmond Rice, who was able score from 23 yards out at the 9:33 mark of the third quarter • Darrin Peterson had his second career multiple touchdown game of his career with two of his five reception going for a score • All four of Darrin Peterson's touchdown catches this year have been for 20 or more yards and have averaged 47.3 yards per touchdown play (21, 28, 55 and 85) • Jaquan Glover finished the game with four receptions for 50 yards, both marking career highs • Jaquan Glover came into the game with eight career receptions for 75 yards in 11 career games played • Grant Bowden was limited to one punt for 26 yards • Grant Bowden's one punt for 26 yards marks the first time he has finished a game for the Flames averaging less than 30 yards per punt (previous career low was a 31.8 yards per punt average against Charleston Southern on Nov. 3, 2012 – five punts for 159 yards) • John Lunsford finished the game with a career-best 13 points scored (10 extra points and one field goal) • John Lunsford's 13 points scored marked the second time in his career he has recorded 10 or more points in a game (scored 10 points against Gardner-Webb on Oct. 6, 2012) • John Lunsford's 13 points scored marks the most points scored by a Flame since Matt Bevins set a school record with 18 points scored against Stony Brook on Nov. 20, 2010 • John Lunsford tied a program record with 10 extra points, becoming the third player in program history with 10 extra points in a game (Noah Greenbaum vs. VMI in 2007 and Phillip Harrelson vs. West Virginia Tech in 1995) • Andrew Jauch blocked his first career blocked kick, blocking a punt and returning it 30 yards for a touchdown • Miles Hunter and Nick Sigmon led Liberty's defensive attack with five stops apiece • Miles Hunter came into the game with eight career stops (5 solo, 3 assisted) in 17 career games played • The Kentucky Wesleyan game marked the third time Miles Hunter has finished a game with multiple tackles (he had two stops against both Montana and Lehigh in 2012) • Kevin Fogg had his team-high third interception of the season, returning the interception 39 yards • Kevin Fogg is tied for No. 3 in the country with three interceptions this season • Walt Aikens record his second interception of the season and sixth of his career, returning an interception 45 yards • Both Jimmy O'Grady (33 yard return) and Gary Sampson (31 yard return) recorded their first career interceptions • Gary Sampson returned his interception 31 yards for a touchdown, giving Liberty its second interception return for a score in 2013 (Kevin Fogg – 29 yard return for a touchdown against Monmouth) • Wesley Scott matched his season-tackle total against Kentucky Wesleyan, finishing the game with three solo stops • Chima Uzowihe recorded his team-leading two sack of the season • Gerald Holt recorded his first career sack against Kentucky Wesleyan
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