As we begin to look ahead to the 2015 football season, here’s a breakdown of the 2015 football schedule which was released earlier this week.
09/05 vs Delaware State
I hate to say any game is a “definite” win since anything can happen on any given Saturday, but Delaware State is bad. The Hornets finished 2-10 in 2014 with their only wins coming against a winless Savannah State and an offensive anemic Norfolk State. They lost to Monmouth, 52-21, to open the season, and lost to MEAC champion Morgan State, 69-7, to close the season. You may remember Morgan State advanced to the FCS playoffs where they lost to Richmond, 46-24, in the first round. In the home and season opener, the Flames should roll.
10/03 @ Georgia State
Yes, Liberty against an FBS team is a should-be win. Georgia State is bad. They finished the 2014 season 0-8 in the Sun Belt and 1-11 overall with their only win coming in the season opener against Abilene Christian, 38-37. The Panthers lost to App State 44-0. Georgia State is 2-33 over the past 3 seasons.
10/10 @ Gardner-Webb
The Runnin’ Bulldogs may be the new VMI of the Big South.
10/17 @ Monmouth
The only reason this game is even the lightest bit of a question is because its in New Jersey. Even still, the Flames shouldn’t have much problem with Monmouth. Liberty beat the Hawks by a combined 79-39 the past 2 years.
10/24 vs Kennesaw State
They are a brand new program, so it’s no telling how good they will or won’t be, but the Flames shouldn’t have any problem with the Big South newcomer at home.
11/07 vs Presbyterian
The Blue Hose were much improved in 2014, but at home Liberty is 4-0 against PC winning by an average score of 41-17 since they joined the Big South.
09/19 vs Montana
It’s the first of 3 FCS playoff teams coming to Lynchburg. Montana returns the visit Liberty made from Coach Gill’s first season where the Grizzlies dominated the Flames, 34-14. It’s the 2nd largest defeat Liberty has suffered against an FCS opponent under Coach Gill. Montana finished the 2014 season 9-5. They advanced to the playoffs where they beat San Diego in the first round before falling to Eastern Washington. The Griz will be breaking in a new head coach and new quarterback in 2015.
09/26 vs James Madison
How about following up the Montana game at Williams Stadium with JMU? It will be homecoming and the new Williams Stadium attendance record will surely be shattered. Liberty’s playoff win in Harrisonburg over the Dukes will stoke the fire when Vad Lee & company roll into Lynchburg.
11/14 @ Charleston Southern
It pains me to put CSU in the “toss-up” category, but it’s hard not to. The Bucs just put an end to Liberty’s 8 game win streak against Charleston Southern, and the game is played in South Carolina. It’s a game Liberty will be favored in, but penciling in a win against Jamey Chadwell’s team is far from a given.
11/21 vs Coastal Carolina
It’s the last game of the season and will likely decide the Big South’s auto-bid once again. After the last two classics between the two, you have to expect more of the same.
09/12 @ West Virginia
Liberty should be competitive against Big 12 member WVU as they were when they made the trek to Morgantown in Mike Brown’s come out party. Expecting a win is not likely though. The Flames are 0-6 all-time against Power 5 schools.
This is arguably the best schedule the Flames have ever faced. You have 2 FBS opponents and 3 FCS playoff participants. The program will be facing higher expectations than it has ever seen and should enter the season ranked comfortably in the top 25. With home games against Montana, JMU, and Coastal, ticket records should be rewritten all season. Liberty should win the 6 games they’re supposed to, and could realistically expect to go 3-1 in the toss-up category with 3 of the games at home. A 9-2 record with this schedule could be good enough to be seeded when the FCS playoffs start.