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Southern Illinois Revisited: News and Notes

September 27, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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No. 10/10 Liberty began a challenging four-game road swing on Saturday in Carbondale, Ill., by dropping a 34-13 decision to Southern Illinois in its first visit to Saluki Stadium in program history.

Included with today's news and notes are video interviews with Head Coach Turner Gill, senior quarterback Josh Woodrum and sophomore safety Avery James.

Throughout the season, will run a similar feature online each Sunday, spotlighting the notable accomplishments and numbers from the previous day's gridiron battle.

Series with Southern Illinois:
• Southern Illinois now leads the series, 1-0
• Southern Illinois is the first of three first-time opponents on Liberty's 2015 schedule
• Joining Southern Illinois as first-time opponents for the Flames this year are Georgia State (Oct. 3) and Kennesaw State (Oct. 24)
• Liberty is now 3-12 all-time when facing an opponent from the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC)
• The Flames last road win against a MVFC opponent came in 2008 (against Youngstown State)

Team Talking Points:
• Following the loss, Liberty drops to 0-2 on the road in 2015 and 9-11 in four seasons under Head Coach Turner Gill
• The Flames finished the game with a season best 85 total offensive plays, tying for their highest play total in a game under Head Coach Turner Gill (also had 85 plays against Coastal Carolina in 2014)
• For the second time this year, Liberty finished a game with 10 or more first downs by passing plays (15 of Liberty's 24 first downs came on passing plays)
• Through four games in 2015, 54.3 percent of Liberty's first downs have come via passing plays (44-of-81)
• Liberty currently ranks No. 17 in the country in total first downs via passing plays (44) and No. 26 in first down offense (81 total first downs in four games)
• After rushing for 229 yards in its season opener against Delaware State, the Flames have been limited to a combined 251 rushing yards during its last three games
• Liberty has been held under 100 yards rushing in each of its last three games (West Virginia – 92; Montana – 78; Southern Illinois – 81)
• The last time Liberty has been held to less than 100 yards in three-straight games was in 2005 (four games in a row)
• During its first three seasons under Head Coach Turner Gill, Liberty was held below 100 team rushing yards eight times (in 37 games)
• The Flames finished the Southern Illinois game converting on a season-high 10-of-20 third downs plays
• Liberty's 20 third-down plays marked the second-highest total the Flames have faced in four seasons under Head Coach Turner Gill (21 vs. Coastal Carolina in 2014)
• Liberty has won the time of possession battle each game in 2015 and finished the Southern Illinois game with a 4:00 TOP edge (32:00 to 28:00)
• Following the game, Liberty currently ranks No. 9 in the country in average time of possession (33:52)
• After finishing back-to-back games without a turnover, Liberty committed two turnovers against Southern Illinois (both fumbles on a sack of quarterback Josh Woodrum)
• Southern Illinois turned the Flames' pair of turnovers into 14 points, marking the first time an opponent has turned a Liberty turnover into points in 2015
• The Flames have turned the ball over three times in 2015 (two fumbles, one interception) and now rank No. 18 in the country in fewest turnovers lost
• Southern Illinois made the most of their plays, finished the game with 482 total offensive yards on 68 plays (7.1 average yards per play)
• Southern Illinois' 7.1 average yard per play was the third-highest total the Flames have allowed in four seasons under Head Coach Turner Gill (9.2 by Appalachian State in 2014; 8.9 by Gardner-Webb in 2012)
• After holding its first three opponents to a combined 235 team rushing yards, the Flames allowed Southern Illinois to rush for 255 yards on 42 carries (6.1 yards per carry)
• Southern Illinois' 255 rushing yards were the most allowed by Liberty since Charleston Southern rushed for 359 yards in 2014
• After finishing two of its first three games of 2015 with double digit penalty totals, Liberty finished the Southern Illinois game with six penalties for 56 yards
• After recording 14 sacks in their first three games of 2015, the Flames were held without a sack for the first time since last year's game against Presbyterian
• Southern Illinois finished the game with no special team return yards, as the Salukis called for a fair catch on Liberty's lone punt and all four of John Lunsford's kickoffs went for a touchback

Josh Woodrum Interview:

Avery James Interview:

Notable Player Points:
• RB D.J. Abnar finished the Southern Illinois game with seven carries for 24 yards, leaving him 31 yards shy of 2,000 career rushing yards
• RB Todd Macon led the Flames' limited rushing attack, rushing 10 times for 28 yards and his second rushing touchdown of 2015
• QB Josh Woodrum finished the Southern Illinois game, completing 26-of-47 passing attempts for 277 yards
• QB Josh Woodrum attempted a career high 47 passing attempts against Southern Illinois, surpassing his 45 attempts at Indiana State in 2014
• With his yardage against Southern Illinois, QB Josh Woodrum ranks No. 13 in the country with 1,005 passing yards in 2015
• QB Josh Woodrum finished the Southern Illinois game with 277 total offensive yards allowing him to became Liberty's all-time leader with 8,876 career total offensive yards (surpassing Robby Justino's 8,806 career total offensive yards)
• WR B.J. Farrow finished the game with eight receptions for 101 yards, leading the Flames in both receiving categories
• WR B.J. Farrow became the third Flame in 2015 in finish a game with 100 or more receiving yards (joining Zac Parker and Dante Shells who posted 100-yard games against Montana)
• WR B.J. Farrow more than doubled his season total against Southern Illinois, as he came into the game with six receptions for 96 yards during the first three games of 2015
• WR Zac Parker finished the Southern Illinois game with seven receptions for 55 yards, surpassing his previous career high of six receptions set last week against Montana
• WR Kyle Carrington recorded his first career stats against Southern Illinois, finishing the game with three receptions for 14 yards
• K John Lunsford connected on a 57-yard field goal to close the second quarter, his 10th career field goal of 50 or more yards
• With his two field goals and an extra point, K John Lunsford moved within two points of tying Phillip Harrelson for second place on Liberty's career point scored list (Harrelson – 250 points; Lunsford – 248)
• S Avery James led Liberty's defense against Southern Illinois with 15 tackles, surpassing his previous career high of nine stops at West Virginia earlier this year
• S Avery James' 15 tackles against Southern Illinois are the most by a Flames' defender since Dylan Lewellyn recorded 16 tackles against Brevard in 2014
• S Corbin Jackson finished the Southern Illinois game with nine tackles, surpassing his previous career high of seven stops against West Virginia earlier this year
• S Corbin Jackson recorded 1.5 of Liberty's 2.0 tackles for a loss against Southern Illinois
• S Alpha Jalloh finished the game with eight tackles, surpassing his previous career high of five tackles against Montana earlier this year
• S Alpha Jalloh created the lone turnover of the game for the Flames, recording his second career interception in the fourth quarter
• CB Wesley Scott finished the game with three solo tackles, moving him within six tackles of becoming the third player on Liberty's active roster with 100 career tackles