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Football Opponent Preview: Jacksonville State

September 21, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Game Day Central: Jacksonville State

No. 16/NR Liberty will look to move to 2-0 on the road in 2017 and 4-0 overall when the Flames travel to Jacksonville, Ala., to face No. 5/7 Jacksonville State on Saturday night.

"4 Downs" with the Gamecocks
1. Liberty is seeking its first-ever victory over Jacksonville State and its first triumph in the state of Alabama. The Gamecocks are playing their first home game since suffering a 40-24 loss to Youngstown State in the 2016 FCS second round on Dec. 3, 2016.
2. Interestingly, Jacksonville State has already had two bye weeks during the 2017 season, coming on the weekends of Sept. 2 and Sept. 16. Saturday's game will mark Liberty's second visit to Burgess-Snow Field but its first since Oct. 17, 1981. The Flames have only played four games in Alabama in program history and none since a 35-28 loss at Samford on Oct. 30, 1999.
3. John Grass has done an exceptional job in three-plus seasons as Jacksonville State's head coach. He owns a 34-7 record, with the only seven losses coming to Power Five opponents (Auburn, Georgia Tech, LSU and Michigan State) and inside the FCS Playoffs. The Gamecocks have posted convincing victories in each of their three previous meetings with the Flames, including a 64-0 home win on Oct. 17, 1981, a 42-13 victory in Lynchburg on Sept. 25, 1982 and a 48-19 triumph in Lynchburg on Sept. 24, 2016.
4. It has been four years since Jacksonville State has either suffered a regular-season home loss (Oct. 12, 2013 vs. Tennessee State) or an OVC defeat (Nov. 16, 2013 vs. Eastern Illinois). Since then, the Gamecocks have won 17 straight regular-season home games and 24 consecutive OVC contests. Jacksonville State has also recorded 32 straight regular-season wins against non-FBS opponents since its Nov. 16, 2013 setback to Eastern Illinois.