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Football Opponent Preview: Indiana State

September 14, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Game Day Central: Indiana State

No. 19/NR Liberty closes out a two-game homestand on Saturday when the Flames welcome the Sycamores of Indiana State from the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

"4 Downs" with the Sycamores
1. Liberty is seeking its first-ever victory over Indiana State, which has won both previous meetings between the two teams. First-year Sycamores Head Coach Curt Mallory is looking for his first head coaching victory and Indiana State's first triumph since Oct. 22, 2016 at Southern Illinois. The Sycamores have dropped five straight games since then, including an 0-2 start to the 2017 season.

2. Liberty and Indiana State are trending in opposite directions through two games. The Flames are averaging 53.0 ppg and 554.0 ypg in wins over Baylor and Morehead State. Meanwhile, Indiana State is managing only 13.5 ppg and 254.0 ypg through its setbacks to Eastern Illinois and Tennessee.

3. Liberty Athletics has enjoyed some memorable moments at Indiana State, highlighted by three NCAA Division I men's cross country individual national titles in Terre Haute. Josh McDougal was victorious in 2007, while Sam Chelanga took top honors in 2009 and 2010. In another non-football note, Indiana State alum Larry Bird wore a pair of 3s on his Boston Celtics uniform during his Hall of Fame NBA career, after leading the Sycamores to the 1979 NCAA Tournament national title game. Hardwood legend John Wooden also has Indiana State ties, beginning his coaching career at then Indiana State Teachers College in 1946.

4. Indiana State has had just four winning seasons in its last 20 campaigns. The Sycamores' best year during that span was 2014. Indiana State posted a 38-19 home win over Liberty on Sept. 27 on its way to an 8-6 record. The Sycamores joined the Flames in the 2014 FCS Playoffs, defeating Eastern Kentucky before losing to Chattanooga.