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Flames Slated to Play 12 Games in 2008

February 15, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Rashad Jennings and the defending Big South champion Flames will face 12 games during the 2008 football season.

Rashad Jennings and the defending Big South champion Flames will face 12 games during the 2008 football season.

2008 Football Schedule

For just the second time in the history of its football program, Liberty will play a 12-game schedule in 2008, with 10 of the 12 opponents members of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

Liberty, who also played a dozen games in 2003, will host seven of its 12 opponents at Williams Stadium, a site where the Flames posted a perfect 6-0 record in 2007, a new school record for home victories.

Dating back to the 2006 season, Liberty has reeled off eight-straight wins in its home facility, which is tied for No. 1 nationally for the longest home winning streak among NCAA FCS programs. The Flames share the mark with Dayton.

"We are very excited about the opportunities that the 2008 schedule presents our program," said head coach Danny Rocco. "Playing a 12-game schedule, which includes seven home contests, will be a challenge for our squad coming off last year's Big South championship run.

"With the addition of Stony Brook to the league and squaring off against non-conference opponents, like Elon, Western Carolina, Youngstown State and Lafayette, I think the 2008 schedule will prepare this year's team as we continue to establish a championship program."

Liberty's seven home games come in clusters of two and three throughout the 2008 schedule, beginning with a pair of NCAA Division II foes in North Greenville and Glenville State.

The Flames open the year with a new opponent in North Greenville on Aug. 30, followed by Glenville State's fourth trip to Lynchburg on Sept. 6. Both games will be played under the lights at Williams Stadium, giving Liberty five-straight night games to open the year.

Liberty will take to the road for the following three weeks, plus a bye on Sept. 20. The Flames will open the road swing when they travel to Cullowhee, N.C., to face Western Carolina on Sept. 13. The last time the Catamounts and the Flames met on the gridiron was in 2006, when the Flames shutout Western Carolina, 21-0, in Lynchburg.

Liberty will renew an old rivalry on Sept. 27, when the Flames face Youngstown State in Youngstown, Ohio. From 1988 to 2005, the Flames and the Penguins met eight times, with Youngstown State claiming victories during six of the eight meetings.

The Flames will close out the four-consecutive weeks away from Williams Stadium when they open Big South Conference action in Conway, S.C, against Coastal Carolina on Oct. 4. Liberty snapped the Chanticleers' three-year stranglehold on the league title last year by posting a perfect 4-0 record to claim their first-ever conference championship.

The following week, Liberty returns to the friendly confines of Williams Stadium to open up a three-game homestand, starting with Big South newcomer Stony Brook on Oct. 11.

Liberty will face its third new foe of the year on Oct. 18, by welcoming Lafayette, a NCAA FCS program out of the Patriot League, to the Hill City. The Leopards have dominated their league over the past several years, winning three-straight Patriot League titles from 2004 to 2006, before their run was halted by Fordham last season.

The Flames return to Big South action on Oct. 25 when they host Charleston Southern during Liberty's annual Homecoming Weekend. The Flames have posted a 23-12 record over the 35-year history of the program during the festive weekend.

Liberty opens up the final month of the 2008 slate with a pair of key road contests. The Flames will travel to Clinton, S.C., for the first time since 1984 on Nov. 1, where two-time Big South Coach of the Year Danny Rocco and his squad face future Big South foe Presbyterian.

The following weekend, Liberty makes the journey up the Blue Ridge Mountains to face in-state foe VMI. The Flames have won the last two meetings in the series, including a thrilling 32-28 victory during their last trip to Alumni Memorial Field in 2006.

Liberty will conclude its 2008 schedule with a pair of home games during the waning weeks of November. The Flames will open up the year-ending homestand, when they wrap up Big South action against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 15. The Runnin' Bulldogs will be looking for revenge following last year's 31-0 blanking in Boiling Springs, N.C., which clinched the league title for Liberty.

The Flames will close out the 2008 season against former Big South foe Elon on Nov. 22. During the Phoenix's last trip to Lynchburg, Liberty handed Elon at 27-17 setback during the season finale of the 2004 to cap a four-game winning streak.

The following weekend, playoff action begins for 16 NCAA FCS programs, as eight programs will host the first round of the NCAA FCS Championship Playoffs on Nov. 29. The Big South Conference has had one program experience postseason play. Coastal Carolina concluded its three-year Big South title run with a first-round match-up with eventual national champion Appalachian State in 2006.

The NCAA FCS playoffs continue with four quarterfinal match-ups on Dec. 6, followed by a pair of semifinal games played on Dec. 12 and 13. On Dec. 19, the NCAA will crown its FCS champion in Chattanooga, Tenn., when Tennessee-Chattanooga hosts the title game at Davenport Field at Finley Stadium.

2008 Liberty University Football Schedule

Aug. 30 North Greenville - 7 p.m.
Sept. 6 Glenville State - 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Western Carolina - 6 p.m.
Sept. 20 Open
Sept. 27 at Youngstown State - 6 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Coastal Carolina * 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 Stony Brook * - 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 18 Lafayette - 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 25 Charleston Southern * - 3:30 p.m.
(Homecoming Game)
Nov. 1 at Presbyterian - 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 8 at VMI * - 1 p.m.
Nov. 15 Gardner-Webb * - 1 p.m.
Nov. 22 Elon - 1 p.m.
Nov. 29 NCAA FCS Playoffs
Dec. 6 NCAA FCS Playoffs (Quarterfinals)
Dec. 12-13 NCAA FCS Playoffs (Semifinals)
Dec. 19 NCAA FCS Playoffs
National Championship Game
Chattanooga, Tenn.
* - Big South Conference game