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Football Opponent Preview: Rutgers

October 24, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Game Day Central: Rutgers

Game Note vs. Rutgers

Liberty (5-2) begins a four-game road swing on Saturday with its first-ever meeting against Rutgers (1-6, 0-5 Big Ten) and its inaugural matchup with a Big Ten opponent.

"4 Downs" with the Scarlet Knights  

1. Saturday's game will feature a matchup between first-year head coaches. Hugh Freeze is in his first season at the helm for the Flames, while Nunzio Campanile is serving as interim head coach for Rutgers. Liberty will face three straight first-year head coaches overall, as last week's opponent (Maine - Nick Charlton) and next week's foe (UMass - Walt Bell) are also under new leadership in 2019.

2. Liberty is closing in on bowl eligibility. The Flames need to win at least two of their final five games to secure eligibility for their inaugural bowl game appearance. Rutgers has played in 10 bowl games, most recently defeating North Carolina in the 2014 Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, Mich. Hugh Freeze will be coaching against a Big Ten foe for the second time. Illinois spoiled his Arkansas State debut with a 33-15 decision on Sept. 3, 2011 in Champaign, Ill.

3. Liberty third-string QB Brandon "Pop" Robinson graduated from Irvington High School, located approximately 20 miles northeast of SHI Stadium in Irvington, N.J. The Flames are playing their third game in New Jersey all-time, with the two previous contests being played at Monmouth.

4. Only four FBS teams are currently riding a longer losing streak than Rutgers' six-game skid. Conversely, Liberty is one of 14 FBS squads with an active winning streak of 5+ contests. Liberty at Rutgers is one of three FBS matchups on Saturday between a team on a 5+ game winning streak and a squad on a 5+ game losing skid (also Appalachian State at South Alabama and Louisiana Tech at UTEP).