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Liberty Adds Southern Illinois to 2015 Football Schedule

March 23, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty Adds Southern Illinois to 2015 Football Schedule

2015 Football Schedule

Liberty Athletics has announced the addition of Southern Illinois to its 2015 football schedule. The road contest will be played in Carbondale, Ill., on Sept. 26.

Liberty's first-ever matchup against the Salukis replaces Liberty's previously announced game against James Madison. The agreement also comes with a return game for Liberty, as Southern Illinois will travel to Lynchburg to face the Flames at Williams Stadium in 2019.

Southern Illinois posted a 6-6 record in 2014 under seven-year head coach Dale Lennon, including a 3-5 record in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Lennon has led the Salukis to the NCAA FCS Playoffs twice during the last seven years (2008 and 2009).

The Missouri Valley Football Conference has been the powerhouse conference of FCS football in recent years, led by North Dakota State's four-straight NCAA FCS Championships.

Last year, the Missouri Valley Football Conference had five teams in the NCAA FCS Playoffs field (Illinois State, Indiana State, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa and South Dakota State).

The game will be played at Saluki Stadium, the home of Southern Illinois football since 2010. The horseshoe-shaped facility has a seating capacity of 15,000.

Liberty's current 2015 schedule includes five home games (Sept. 5 vs. Delaware State, Sept. 19 vs. Montana, Oct. 24 vs. Kennesaw State, Nov. 7 vs. Presbyterian and Nov. 21 vs. Coastal Carolina) and seven road games (Sept. 12 at West Virginia, Sept. 26 at Southern Illinois, Oct. 3 at Georgia State, Oct. 10 at Gardner-Webb, Oct. 17 at Monmouth and Nov. 14 at Charleston Southern).

The Flames are coming off their most successful season in program history. Liberty captured its seventh Big South Conference title in the last eight years and made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA FCS Playoffs.

Liberty concluded the regular season with a 15-14 road win at No. 1 Coastal Carolina, a victory that captured the Big South's automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs.

The Flames opened their first-ever postseason run with a 26-21 win at No. 15 James Madison, advancing to the second round where Liberty faced No. 5 Villanova.

Liberty, under the direction of VaSID and Bobby Ross Coach of the Year award winner Turner Gill, finished the season with a 9-5 overall record and ranked No. 17 in the country in both the Sports Network and FCS Coaches polls.