Postgame Notes Postgame Quotes
Top Plays: FIU
Liberty defended its Williams Stadium turf on Saturday, holding on for a 36-34 home-opening win over the visiting FIU Panthers in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.
The win pushes Liberty's (2-0) overall winning streak to four games and extends its home winning streak to six. The Flames are 2-0 against Conference USA opponents this season, while FIU opens its season at 0-1.
Following up a big opening week, Flames quarterback Malik Willis completed 24-of-30 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns while also running for 85 yards on 13 carries. Liberty's Joshua Mack (107 yard rushing, one TD) and DJ Stubbs (119 yard receiving, one TD) both broke 100-yard milestones in the win. Alex Barbir made a career-high three field goals for Liberty.
D'vonte Price led FIU with 148 yards on 13 carries and two rushing touchdowns while also adding a touchdown reception.
Liberty outgained the Panthers 527-304, with Durell Johnson accounting for 2.5 out of the Flames' five sacks. A Jayod Sanders' sack sealed the win with 1:32 remaining. The Panthers committed 15 penalties in the game for 127 yards.
The Flames trailed 28-27 heading into the fourth quarter and scored nine points during the final quarter to claim their first win since Nov. 4, 2017 against Duquesne when trailing after three quarters.
Box Score Highlights: Final Score: 36-34 FIU (0-1, 0-0 C-USA) Liberty (2-0) Location: Williams Stadium (Lynchburg, Va.) Attendance: 1,000
Turning Point: Liberty trailed 28-27 entering the fourth quarter. Facing a fourth-and-one at its own 34-yard line to start the fourth, Mack rushed for 33 yards and the first down. He put Liberty back ahead 33-28 with a four-yard rushing touchdown to cap the drive.
Later on, a failed two-point conversion attempt by FIU left the Flames with a 36-34 lead that proved to be the final score.
Play-By-Play Breakdown: First Quarter
What's Next: The Flames will take on North Alabama for the first time in football, hosting the Lions (0-0) on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Williams Stadium. Date: Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020 Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Williams Stadium) Radio: LFSN Radio (Flagship Station: The Journey 88.3 FM Lynchburg) TV: ESPN3 Kickoff: 1 p.m. (EST)
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