With the Flames being midway through their annual bye week, LFSN reporter Nick Pierce recently had a chance to visit with Defensive Coordinator and Safeties Coach Robert Wimberly.
Much like its offensive counterparts, the Flames' defense has had its ups and downs during the early part of 2016. In its two wins this season, Liberty has allowed an average of 7.0 points per game and 251.5 total offensive yards per contest. In its three losses, the Flames have surrendered an average of 37.7 points per game and 505.3 yards of total offense per game.
The bright spots for Liberty's defense in 2016 can be found in the unit's ability to create turnovers. The Flames rank No. 24 in the country in turnover margin and No. 3 in turnovers gained with 15. Liberty finished the entire 2015 season with only 14 turnovers gained.
Eight of Liberty's 15 turnovers gained have been interceptions, which has the Flames tied for fourth in the country in passes intercepted. Five different players had added to Liberty's interception total, led by cornerback Tyrin Holloway, who ranks No. 6 in the country with three interceptions.
Liberty's other defensive star in 2016 has come from the defensive line. Sophomore Juwan Wells continued where he left off in 2015 and he currently leads the team with 48 tackles after five games. He ranks No. 1 in the country in tackles per game by a defensive lineman and has recorded 9.5 sacks in 13 career games played.
Following the Flames' annual bye week, Liberty begins Big South play on the road when the Flames travel to Kennesaw, Ga., to face Kennesaw State. Kickoff from Fifth Third Bank Stadium is set for 7 p.m. on Oct. 15.