The Flames were able to even their Big South record at 1-1, with a dominating defensive performance at Gardner-Webb, shutting out the Runnin' Bulldogs, 24-0, on Saturday.
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 Gardner-Webb: • Liberty leads the overall series, 11-8-1 • Liberty has won the last seven meetings in the series • Liberty has won the last four meetings against Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs, N.C. • In the last four games at Spangler Stadium, Liberty has outscored Gardner-Webb, 141-31 • Saturday was the second time the Flames have shut out Gardner-Webb at Spangler Stadium • The last time the Flames shut out the Runnin' Bulldogs in their home stadium was a 31-0 victory on Nov. 17, 2007, a win that clinched Liberty's first-ever Big South title • Liberty is now 8-4 all-time against Gardner-Webb since Big South play begin in 2002
Shutout Update: • Saturday's 24-0 win over Gardner-Webb marked the 22nd shutout in program history • Liberty's last shutout was a 57-0 win over Kentucky Wesleyan on Oct. 1, 2011 • Liberty's last shutout over a Division I opponent was a 42-0 blanking of Charleston Southern on Oct. 25, 2008 • Saturday's win marked the second time the Flames have shut out Gardner-Webb in program history • The last time Liberty shut out Gardner-Webb, the Flames clinched its first-ever Big South title with a 31-0 victory over the Runnin' Bulldogs at Spangler Stadium on Nov. 17, 2007 • Saturday's win marked the first shutout victory for Turner Gill as a head coach (93 career games coached at Buffalo [2006-09], Kansas [10-11] and Liberty [2012-13])
Road Wins: • Liberty picked up its first road victory of the year on Saturday • Coming into the game, Liberty was 0-3 on the road in 2013 with the three losses coming by a combined 20 points • Liberty is now 3-6 all-time in road games under head coach Turner Gill • All three of Liberty's road victories under head coach Turner Gill have come against Big South opponents • Liberty's other road victories under head coach Turner Gill were a 56-7 win at Presbyterian College on Oct. 13, 2012 and a 33-14 victory at VMI on Nov. 17, 2012
Team Notes versus Gardner-Webb: • Liberty finished the game with 343 total offensive yards, marking the first time in four games the Flames have not amassed 400 total offensive yards in a game • Liberty's 343 total offensive yards against Gardner-Webb was its second lowest total of the season (season low was 222 yards at Kent State) • Liberty finished the game with 16 first downs, its second lowest total of the year (season low was 11 at Kent State) • The two teams combined for only 30 first downs throughout the entire game (Liberty 16; Gardner-Webb 14) • Against Coastal Carolina last week, the two teams combined for 59 total first downs (Liberty 30; Coastal Carolina 29) • Prior to the Gardner-Webb game, Liberty and its opponents had been averaging 40.0 combined first downs during the first seven games of the season • The Flames finished the game with five first downs via rushing plays, its second lowest total of the season • In four road games in 2013, Liberty has amassed 18 first downs via rushing plays (4.5 per game) • In four home games in 2013, Liberty has totaled 46 first downs via rushing plays (11.5 per game) • Liberty finished the Gardner-Webb game picking up 11 of its 16 first downs via passing plays • Liberty has finished its last three games with 10 or more passing first downs and five times overall this season • Liberty currently ranks No. 37 in the country in passing first downs (86) • Liberty finished the game with 111 rushing yards, marking the fourth time the Flames have been held under 150 rushing yards in a game (all four times on the road) • In four road games in 2013, Liberty is averaging 98.75 rushing yards per game (395 total rushing yards) • In four home games in 2013, Liberty is averaging 231.5 rushing yards per game (926 total rushing yards) • The Flames rushed for one touchdown at Gardner-Webb, its 20th rushing touchdown of the season • Last year during the Flames first season under head coach Turner Gill, the Flames rushed for 21 touchdowns • Liberty ranks tied for No. 16 in the country in rushing touchdowns (20) • 67.6 percent of Liberty's offense against Gardner-Webb came via its passing game (232 passing yards/343 total offensive yards) • Liberty finished the with two passing touchdowns, marking the fourth-straight game and the fifth time this season the Flames have thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game • The Flames finished the game with four penalties for 29 yards • Liberty has finished six out of eight games in 2013 with four or fewer penalties • Liberty currently ranks No. 8 in the country in fewest penalties per game (4.13) • Liberty currently ranks No. 10 in the country in fewest average penalty yards per game (36.5) • For the fourth game in a row and the sixth time overall this season, the Flames won the time of possession battle (32:51 to 27:09) • Gardner-Webb came into the game leading the country in average time of possession (35:37) and had won the time of possession battle in each of its prior seven games • Liberty was able to pick up a first down on 7-of-16 third-down plays (43.8 percent) • Liberty has finished each of its last four games with seven or more third-down conversions • During the first four games of the year, Liberty converted on 13 third-down plays (13-of-43/30.2 percent) • During the last four games of the year, Liberty has converted on 32 third-down plays (32-of-58/55.2 percent) • Liberty currently ranks No. 25 in the country in third-down conversion percentage (44.6 percent/45-of-101) • For the fourth game in a row, Liberty did not attempt to convert on a fourth-down play • For the third time this year, Liberty finished a game tied in the turnover battle (one Liberty pass intercepted to one Gardner-Webb lost fumble) • Liberty is +6 in the turnover battle in 2013 (9 lost, 15 gained) and currently ranks No. 17 in turnover margin (+0.8) • Liberty is tied for No. 10 in the country in fewest turnovers lost with nine (three fumbles lost, six intercepted passes) • Liberty is tied for No. 38 in the country in turnovers gained with 15 (five fumbles gained, 10 intercepted passes) • For the sixth game in a row, Liberty's offensive line allowed only one sack • Liberty has allowed nine sacks during the 2013 season, which ranks No. 19 in the country in fewest sacks allowed (1.13 per game) • Liberty limited Gardner-Webb to 230 total offensive yards during the game, which was 143.7 yards less than its season average coming into the game (was averaging 373.7 yards per game of total offense) • For the fourth time this season and the ninth time in 19 games under head coach Turner Gill, the Flames held an opponent to less than 300 total offensive yards • Gardner-Webb finished the game with 14 total first downs, the second fewest by a Liberty opponent this season (season low was 11 by Morgan State) • Liberty currently ranks No. 37 in the country, allowing an average of 18.38 first downs per game • Gardner-Webb finished the game with four first downs via rushing plays • Liberty has held five of its eight opponents in 2013 to less than 10 first downs via rushing plays • Liberty has allowed a total of 57 first downs via rushing plays, which ranks No. 30 in the country in fewest rushing first downs allowed • Gardner-Webb finished the game with 14 first downs, 10 of which came via its passing game • Gardner-Webb is the third-straight opponent to finish with 10 or more passing first downs in a game (both Old Dominion and Coastal Carolina had 19) • During the first five games of the 2013 season, Liberty's opponents were averaging 8.0 passing first downs per game (40 passing first downs/five games) • During the last three games of the 2013 season, Liberty opponent have averaged 16.0 passing first downs per game (48 passing first downs/three games) • Liberty held Gardner-Webb to an opponent season low 30 team rushing yards on 29 carries (1.0 yards per rushing attempt) • Saturday's game marked the eighth time Liberty has held an opponent below 100 team rushing yards in 19 games under head coach Turner Gill • At halftime, Gardner-Webb had rushed 13 times for negative 19 yards rushing • Following the game, Liberty now ranks No. 23 in the country in rushing defense (127.6 rushing yards allowed per game) • Gardner-Webb finished the game without a rushing touchdown, marking the fifth time this season Liberty has held an opponent without a rushing touchdown in a game • Liberty has allowed eight rushing touchdowns in 2013, which ranks No. 19 in the country for fewest rushing touchdowns allowed • For the second time this year, Liberty did not allow a passing touchdown in a game (also against Morgan State) • Gardner-Webb finished the game with an opponent season low one penalty for five yards • Gardner-Webb only picked up three first downs on 16 third-down plays (3-of-16/18.75 percent conversion rate) • Gardner-Webb is the fourth opponent this season Liberty has held to five or fewer third-down conversions in a game • On the year, Liberty ranks No. 35 in the country in third-down conversion defense (40-of-112/35.7 percent) • Liberty was able to stop Gardner-Webb on each of its fourth-down plays on Saturday • On the year, Liberty ranks No. 11 in the country in fourth-down conversion defense (4-of-15/26.7 percent) • Liberty finished the game with a season-high six sacks and 14 tackles for a loss • The most sacks Liberty had previously had under head coach Turner Gill was three (2012 – Norfolk State and Presbyterian College; 2013 – Monmouth) • The most tackles for a loss Liberty had previously had under head coach Turner Gill was nine against Presbyterian College in 2012 • Liberty's six sacks against Gardner-Webb are the most for the Flames since Liberty became Big South play in 2002 (previous high was 5.0 sacks against Coastal Carolina in 2007) • Liberty 14 tackles for a loss against Gardner-Webb ties the most for the Flames since Liberty started Big South play in 2002 (Liberty also had 14 tackles for a loss against Appalachian State in 2002) • Following the game, Liberty now ranks No. 34 in the country in tackles for a loss (6.6 per game) and No. 57 sacks (2.00 per game) • Liberty's defense finished the game with seven pass breakups, tying a season high (also had seven pass breakups against Old Dominion) • Liberty had four quarterback hurries during the game, marking the third time in 2013 Liberty has recorded four quarterback hurries in a game (also against Morgan State and Richmond) • Liberty scored on both of its red zone scoring chances against Gardner-Webb (one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown) • Liberty currently ranks No. 7 in the country in red zone offense, scoring on 27 of 30 red zone scoring opportunities in 2013 (90.0 percent scoring rate) • Liberty has scored a touchdown 23 out of 27 times it has scored in the red zone this season (17 rushing touchdowns, six passing touchdowns, four field goals) • Gardner-Webb failed to score on each of the two times it entered the red zone against Liberty • Liberty currently ranks No. 6 in the country in red zone defense as opponents have scored on 16 of 24 times inside the Flames' 20-yard line (66.7 percent scoring rate) • The Flames finished the game with a season-low 26 combined return yards (two punt returns for 12 yards and one kickoff return for 14 yards) • Gardner-Webb finished the game with an opponent season low 11 combined return yards (two punt returns for five yards and one kickoff return for six yards) • Following the game, Liberty ranks No. 17 in the country in kickoff return defense, as the Flames are allowing an average of 17.53 yards per kickoff return • Liberty had its best punting averaging in four games, as the Flames averaged 37.1 yards per punt against Gardner-Webb (seven punts for 260 yards) • Liberty tied a season high with seven punts (also had seven punts against Old Dominion)
Player Points against Gardner-Webb: • Desmond Rice led the Flames in rushing, carrying the ball 19 times for 74 yards • Desmond Rice finished the game without a rushing touchdown, his third game this year without scoring a rushing touchdown • Desmond Rice carried the ball 19 times during the game and has averaged 20.0 carries the last three games • During the first five games of the year, Desmond Rice averaged 10.2 rushing attempts per game • Desmond Rice completed his first passing attempt of his collegiate career, a 33-yard passing touchdown to Darrin Peterson in the second quarter • Desmond Rice is the second non-quarterback on Liberty's roster to complete a pass in 2013 (Darrin Peterson had a 22-yard pass to Brandon Apon against Monmouth) • Clifton Richardson finished the game with nine carries, his highest rushing attempts total since carrying the ball nine times at Richmond • Josh Woodrum missed posting his fifth 200-yard passing game of the season by one yard, finishing the Gardner-Webb game with 199 passing yards • For the fifth game in a row, Josh Woodrum recorded a touchdown pass • For the sixth time this season, Josh Woodrum finished a game with one interception • Darrin Peterson led the Flames with six receptions for 69 yards • Darrin Peterson scored his team-leading fifth touchdown reception of the year, a 33-yard pass play from Desmond Rice • Darrin Peterson's five touchdown receptions in 2013 are the most for a Flames receiver since Chris Summers finished the 2011 season with seven touchdown receptions • Gabe Henderson averaged 21.0 yards per reception against Gardner-Webb, finishing the game with three receptions for 63 yards • All three of Gabe Henderson's receptions against Gardner-Webb came on third down plays and were for more than 20 yards • Grant Bowden had his best punting average in five games, finishing the Gardner-Webb game with seven punts for 260 yards (37.1 yards per punt) • Grant Bowden tied a season high with seven punts against Gardner-Webb (also had seven punts against Old Dominion) • One of Grant Bowden's seven punts pinned Gardner-Webb inside the 20-yard line, giving him nine punts in 2013 that have started the opponents inside their own 20-yard line • John Lunsford tied a season and career high with a 52-yard field goal during the third quarter • John Lunsford's 52-yard field goal ties his 52-yarder against Old Dominion with both kicks registering as the second longest field goal in program history (Matt Bevins also had a 52-yard field goal against Coastal Carolina in 2010) • Liberty's defensive line finished the game with a combined 17 tackles (8 solo, 11 assisted) • Liberty's defensive line accounted for 5.0 of the team's 6.0 sacks • Liberty's defensive line accounted for 12.5 of the team's 14.0 tackles for a loss • Five different defensive linemen factored into the group's 5.0 sacks • Six different defensive linemen accounted for the units 12.5 tackles for a loss • Jibrille Fewell led the defensive line with five tackle (3 solo, 2 assists), 1.0 sacks (3 yards) and 2.0 tackles for a loss (9 yards) • Jibrille Fewell's five tackles against Gardner-Webb marked season high (previous season high was four tackles against Morgan State) • Toby Onyechi followed with four stops (3 solo, 1 assisted) • Toby Onyechi led all players in the game with 1.5 sacks for a loss of eight total yards • Toby Onyechi came into the Gardner-Webb game with 2.0 sacks in 19 previous games played • Erwin Dessources, Cory Freeman and Chima Uzowihe finished the game with two stops apiece • Erwin Dessources added his second career sack during the game for a five-yard loss • Cory Freeman recorded his first sack of the season and his fourth career sack for an 11-yard loss • Chima Uzowihe shared in a sack with Toby Onyechi and now leads the Flames with 3.5 sacks on the year • Jimmy O'Grady recorded Liberty's third blocked kick of the year, tipping a punt that only sailed 26 yards • Aaron Dial and Nick Sigmon tied for team-high tackling honors with eight stops each • Aaron Dial evenly spread his tackles, recording four solo and four assisted tackles in the game • Aaron Dial's eight tackles ties a season and career high, as he also finished the Kent State game with eight stops • Nick Sigmon led Liberty with five assisted tackles and added three solo stops • Nick Sigmon also led the Flames with three tackles for a loss • Nick Sigmon currently leads the Flames on the year with 47 tackles and nine tackles for a loss • Nick Sigmon is Liberty's active career leader with 27.5 tackles for a loss • Outside of Liberty's defensive lineman, Scott Hyland recorded Liberty's sixth and final sack • Scott Hyland's sack against Gardner-Webb was his first of the season and gives him 4.5 sacks for his career
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