Staff Predictions: Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina
As it turns out, 2020 has a chance to end on a high note for Liberty football fans. After having their season finale against Coastal Carolina cancelled due to a COVID-19 spike within the team, the Flames will have a chance to take on the undefeated Chanticleers and defend their 2019 Cure Bowl title. A rivalry will be renewed on a dramatic stage between two teams who finished the season with a combined 20-1 record and who are nearly identical in numerous statistical categories. Our staff shares their thoughts in the final edition of staff predictions for the 2020 season.
John Nekrasov, Editor -LU 21, Coastal 17
Tonight is the game everyone wanted. Liberty is back in the Cure Bowl for the second year running, but a win in a ranked matchup billed as one of the most exciting bowls of the year would cement how much progress the Flames have made under Coach Freeze. This game will be close – but the Flames will edge a dramatic late win to take home a second Cure Bowl trophy.
Christian Weaner, Asst. Editor – Coastal 31, LU 24
This may be the toughest pick of the season. Liberty has not taken the field in nearly a month because of a COVID outbreak that cancelled the regular season finale. Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina may have been a cancelled Sun Belt championship victory over ranked Louisiana away from a New Year’s Six bowl bid. With FCS rivalry roots, this one will be exciting, but the Chanticleers are the better team, and they will leave Orlando much like the Flames did back in 2019 – with a program-first bowl victory at the Cure Bowl.
John Simmons, Web Manager/Reporter – LU 35, Coastal 31
In a rivalry game like this with a bowl win in the line, the final result won’t be determined by who’s the more talented team (especially since both rosters are loaded with talent). It all comes down to intangible factors that serve as extra motivation for a team to grind out a victory. For Liberty, the combination of pulling off a bowl game title defense, finishing a historic season with a win and regaining the series lead with a heated rival will give them enough edge to #BeatCoastal.
Emmanuel Adamson, Social Media Manager/Reporter – LU 24, Coastal 20
This is what we’ve all been waiting for, the Liberty Flames against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. The Chanticleers are coming off an impressive win against BYU just a couple weeks ago. However, the Flames haven’t played in almost a month, which I think will be a benefit to them. #BeatCoastal
Mario Cosentino, Reporter – Coastal 28, LU 24
Before their initial matchup against Coastal Carolina was canceled, I predicted that the Flames were going to beat the nationally ranked Chanticleers. That however was before Coastal upset a talented BYU team, further establishing themselves as one of the best teams in the country. Securing their first bowl win however won’t come easy as they face a Flames defense only allowed 301 yards per game against a fairly difficult schedule. While I have a hard time betting against Liberty this season, I have an ever-harder time betting against Coastal Carolina.
Joshua Lipowski, Reporter – LU 31, Coastal 28
Some things just work out as the much-anticipated Liberty vs Coastal game will happen after all. Trying to find the separation between these two teams is like splitting hairs with both having explosive offenses, lockdown defenses, mobile quarterbacks, a solid running game, and both having something to prove to the world on the biggest stage of either of these programs’ short history. With the game being virtually a coinflip, I looked at myself in last place in the standings and knew my best chance of climbing the ladder is picking the underdog Flames.
Christian Shields, Reporter – Coastal 45, LU 38
The Flames have had a fantastic season, no matter how Saturday turns out. They have truly embraced the Champions for Christ mindset. That being said, Coastal is a great team with an undefeated season. Expect a shootout with Coastal emerging undefeated for the season.