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Football Opponent Preview: Army

September 6, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Game Day Central: Army

The Flames will look to move to 2-0 for the second year in a row when they face the Black Knights of Army on Saturday at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.

"4 Downs" with the Black Knights

1. Saturday's matinee will mark Liberty's first-ever meeting with Army, and the Flames' first matchup with any of the United States service academies on the gridiron. Liberty will be playing a game in New York for the first time under Turner Gill. Liberty will try to slow down an Army squad which ranked No. 1 in NCAA FBS in rushing last season at 362.3 ypg.

2. Liberty is attempting to begin its FBS era with back-to-back wins over FBS opponents. The Flames are just 2-7 in their last nine road openers, but both victories (2010 at Ball State and 2017 at Baylor) came against FBS opposition. Army is coming off of its second 10-win season in program history in 2017, a year when it won its first Commander in Chief's trophy since 1996. The Black Knights have closed each of the last two seasons with bowl game victories.

3. Turner Gill's Buffalo squad won by three points (27-24) in overtime the only time he has faced Army as head coach, Oct. 18, 2008 at Buffalo.  Army has not had a passer throw for 300 yards since Nov. 17, 2007 vs. Tulsa. Since then, Liberty quarterbacks have totaled 24 300-yard games, including eight by current QB Stephen Calvert.

4. Liberty's visit to Army marks the first of the Flames' four matchups with fellow FBS independent squads this season. The Flames will also travel to New Mexico State (Oct. 6) and UMass (Nov. 3) before closing out the season with a home matchup with New Mexico State (Nov. 24). Liberty enters the season with an 0-4 all-time record against FBS independent teams.