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Flames Football squashes Orange, 38-21, for first win over an ACC program

Flames Head Coach Hugh Freeze celebrates with junior tight end Jerome Jackson after Saturday’s historic triumph over ACC member Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. (Photos by Isaac Apon)

Liberty University’s football team earned its first-ever win over an ACC opponent, rolling to a 38-21 victory at Syracuse, Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.

One year after rushing for -4 yards in a 24-0 season-opening loss to the then-No. 22 Orange, the Flames registered 338 yards on the ground in today’s historic win.

Liberty came into the game ranking seventh in the nation in rushing yards per game (250.8), while Syracuse allowed 237.5 rushing yards per contest.

With the victory, Liberty improves to 5-0 for the first time since opening the 2008 season with six straight wins. The Flames pushed their winning streak to seven games, their longest since a program-record 11-game winning streak spanning Oct. 20, 2007 through Oct. 11, 2008.

Sophomore running back Shedro Louis had a breakout game for Liberty, rushing for 170 yards on 10 carries, scoring touchdown runs of 75 and 52 yards. Red-shirt senior running back Peytton Pickett rushed 23 times for 115 yards and a score, giving Liberty two 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time since the season opener at Western Kentucky. Red-shirt junior quarterback Malik Willis passed for 182 yards (16-for-20) and a touchdown while adding 58 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Liberty red-shirt junior quarterback Malik Willis finds running room as he accelerates through the Syracuse defense.

Syracuse quarterback Rex Culpepper passed for 211 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception, while Sean Tucker rushed for 111 yards on 21 carries.
For the game, the Flames outgained the Orange, 520-308 in total yardage from scrimmage. Syracuse led the nation with 14 takeaways coming in, and the Orange won the turnover battle, 2-1. However, Liberty scored seven points off of its lone takeaway and Syracuse came up empty on two tries after turnovers.

The Flames will play at home for the fourth time in five weeks against Southern Miss next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Williams Stadium. Liberty is currently in the midst of an eight-game home winning streak and will host Head Coach Hugh Freeze’s alma mater for the first time.

 

>> Read the complete game report on Liberty’s Athletics website.

 

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