The Flames used the strong running efforts of Aldreakis Allen and Sirchauncey Holloway to wrap up its fifth Big South title in the last six years with a 33-14 win over VMI on Saturday.
Included with today's news and notes are radio highlights from the contest courtesy of the Flames Sports Network's radio crew, plus Coach Turner Gill's postgame interview with FSN radio sideline reporter Nick Pierce.
Throughout the season, LibertyFlames.com ran a similar feature online each Sunday, spotlighting the notable accomplishments and numbers from the previous day's gridiron battle.
VMI News & Notes:
VMI Series Notes: • Liberty now leads the series with the Keydets, 9-3 • Liberty has won the last seven games in the series • Since VMI joined the Big South in 2003, the Flames have won nine out of 10 matchups • The Flames have scored 30 or more points in each of the last seven meetings • Liberty has held VMI to less than 20 points scored in three out of the last four meetings • VMI is one of four teams Liberty has defeated nine or more times in program history (also Charleston Southern: 18-2, Delaware State: 9-5 and Gardner-Webb: 10-8-1)
Big South Notes: • The win over VMI secured Liberty's fifth title in the last six years (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012) • The title was shared between Liberty, Stony Brook and Coastal Carolina (each finishing with identical 5-1 Big South records) • Following several layers of tiebreakers, Coastal Carolina was awarded the league's automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs based upon its 3-0 Big South road record • Liberty and Coastal Carolina are the only teams to have won five Big South titles in conference history • Liberty finishes the season with a 5-1 record in Big South play for the fourth year in a row • During the six-year run where Liberty has won five Big South titles, the Flames have posted a 29-4 record in Big South play
Other Highlights from the VMI Contest: • The victory secured a winning record for the Flames in 2012 (6-5) • Liberty has now posted a winning record in each of the last seven seasons • In the 40-year history of the Flames' football program, Liberty has finished the year with a winning record 20 times • Liberty was 3-0 during the month of November, marking the 11th time in program history the Flames have finished the last month of the season undefeated (1973, 1979, 1982, 1988, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2012) • The game capped off the playing careers for 15 players: Korrey Davis, Elliott Dutra, Ryan Ferguson, Justin Gunn, Stan Herring, Sirchauncey Holloway, Pat Kelly, Bryant Lewellyn, Aaron Lundy, Nick Martin, Thomas Nelson, Greg Schuster, D.J. Sellman, Brent Vinson and Jay Weatherington • This year's senior class finishes as the fourth winningest senior class in program history with a 29-15 four-year record • This year's senior class posted a 20-4 record in Big South games and won three Big South titles (2009, 2010 and 2012) • Turner Gill becomes the fourth head coach in program history to post a winning record in his first season as head coach • Gill is joined by John Cartwright (5-4 in 1974), Sam Rutigliano (7-3 in 1989) and Danny Rocco (6-5 in 2006)
Offensive Highlights from the VMI Contest: • The Flames scored 33 points against the Keydets, the team's third-highest point total of the season • Liberty finished the year one point shy of 300 points (299), which would been the Flames' sixth-straight year with 300 or more points scored • The Flames finished the VMI with a balanced offensive tackle that led to 351 total offensive yards (179 rushing, 172 passing) • Liberty finished the season surpassing the 300 yard mark in nine out of 11 games • Liberty currently ranks No. 41 in the country in total offense (401.9 yards per game) • The Flames finished the VMI game rushing for 179 yards and four touchdowns • Liberty finished the season rushing for 170 or more yards in six out of 11 games • The four rushing touchdowns were the second most in a game for the Flames this season (season high was seven against Presbyterian College) • Liberty currently ranks No. 36 in the country in rushing offense (175.82 yards per game) • Liberty has one passing touchdown, a seven-yard connection between Josh Woodrum and Justin Gunn • Liberty finishes the season with at least one passing touchdown in each game of 2012 • For the fifth straight game, the Flames did not pass for 200 yards in a game • During the first six games of the year, the Flames averaged 274.8 passing yards per game (1,649 yards) • During the final five games of the year, the Flames averaged 165.8 passing yards per game (829 yards) • Liberty finished the VMI game with 21 first downs (eight rushing, nine passing, four by penalty) • Liberty finished eight games in 2012 with 20 or more first downs • Liberty won the time of possession battle for the eighth time this year (Liberty – 34:17 to VMI 25:43) • Liberty currently ranks No. 8 in the country in average time of possession (33:26) • The Flames entered the red zone six times against VMI and scored on five of those drives (all five were touchdowns) • On the year, Liberty ranks No. 19 in red zone scoring efficiency (87.5 percent/28-of-32) • Of the Flames' 28 red zone scoring drives, Liberty recorded 15 rushing touchdowns, nine passing touchdowns and four field goals in 2012 • Liberty finished the VMI game converting on 8-of-15 third-down plays • The eight third-down conversions was the team's second-highest total in 2012 • Following the game, Liberty ranks No. 28 in the country in third-down conversion efficiency (44.03 percent/70-of-159) • Liberty finished the VMI game with eight penalties for 80 yards, the team's highest penalty total in Big South play • For the third time this season, Liberty did not allow a sack in the game • For the second straight week and the third time this season, Liberty won the turnover battle against VMI (one turnover lost and two turnovers gained)
Defensive Highlights from the VMI Contest: • For the third-straight game and the fifth time in the last six games, Liberty held an opponent to less than 20 points scored in a game (VMI has 14 points scored) • Liberty currently ranks No. 38 in the country in scoring defense (22.18 points allowed per game) • The Flames held VMI to 283 total offensive yards (26 rushing, 257 passing) • Liberty finished the 2012 season by holding five of 11 opponents to less than 300 total offensive yards in a game • Following the game, Liberty ranks No. 19 in the country in total defense (314.73 yards allowed per game) • Liberty held VMI to an opponent season low 26 team rushing yards • The total marked the fifth time in 2012 Liberty held an opponent to less than 100 rushing yards in a game • Following the game, Liberty ranks No. 23 in the country in rushing defense (126.09 yards allowed per game) • VMI finished the game with 257 passing yards, the second most passing yards this season by a Liberty opponent • On the year, Liberty ranks No. 32 in the country in passing defense (188.64 yards allowed per game) • VMI finished the game converting on 4-of-13 third-down plays • Liberty finishes the season have allowed four or fewer third-down conversions in seven games • On the year, Liberty ranks No. 12 nationally in third-down conversion defense (30.92 percent/47-of-152) • Liberty stopped VMI on both of its fourth down plays, forcing the Keydets to give the ball over on downs • On the season, Liberty's opponents finished the year 9-of-20 on attempted fourth-down plays (ranked No. 42 nationally at 45.00 percent) • VMI finished the game with 13 first downs (two rushing, nine passing, two by penalty) • On the year, Liberty ranks No. 3 nationally in first down defense (allowing 14.00 per game) • VMI finished the game with an opponent season-high 12 penalties for 98 yards (the totals surpassed the previous week's game where Stony Brook was penalized 11 times for 73 yards) • Liberty finished the game with two sacks, marking the fifth time in 2012 the Flames have finished with multiple sacks in a game
Special Teams Highlights from the VMI Contest: • The Flames were forced to punt the ball away six times against VMI, which was tied for the team's third-highest punting total in 2012 • For the fifth time this season, the Flames failed to average 40 or more yards per punt (finished the game averaging 36.7 yards per punt) • Despite the lower average punt yards, Liberty's punter Grant Bowden finished the game with four of his six punts pinning the Keydets inside their 20-yard line • All six of John Lunsford's kickoffs went for touchdowns • Liberty currently ranks No. 3 in the country in kickoff return yardage defense (opponents averaging 14.04 yards per kickoff return) • The Flames finished their second game this season with a missed extra point, as John Lunsford finished the game 3-of-4 on point after attempts • The Flames finished the VMI game averaging 13.0 yards per punt return, the team's second-highest punt return average in 2012)
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