Week 2- September 9th: VS. Morehead State
Coach: Rob Tenyer
2016 Record: 4-7
Following the season opener in Waco, the Flames will come home to Williams Stadium where they will host Morehead State. The Eagles, coached by Rob Tenyer, will be making the trip from the Daniel Boone National Forest of northern Kentucky where the school is located. In 2016, they went 4-7 on the year and 3-5 in the Pioneer Football League, arguably the weakest conferences in the FCS. Looking at their offensive stats, one would be surprised by their losing record. The Eagles averaged an impressive 446 yards and 32 points a game. But their defense struggled heavily against the run, giving up 230 yards along with 35 points a game.
Liberty has become familiar with the teams that make up the PFL. Last year they hosted Jacksonville, winning that game 55-7. In their 16 year history, the Eagles have never won a conference championship and have had just one winning record since 2009.
The most pressing issue the Eagles face going into the 2017 season is replacing QB Austin Gahafer. The four-year starter broke a plethora of records during his tenure in Kentucky including passing yards and completions in the PFL. He also set a school record with 85 career touchdowns. With his graduation, three redshirt players are fighting to take over for Gahafer: Senior Jack Sherry, junior Lawson Page, and freshman Ethan Jeffers. Of the three, Page has the most game experience. In 2016, he was used as a wildcat QB, rushing for 7 TDs, but did not throw a single pass. With this in mind, it appears that this battle is wide open.
The Flames will be coming off of an away game against a BIG 12 opponent. They typically bounce back from FBS games without quandary, but depth is poised to be an issue for Liberty. How will the defense feel after taking on the likes of Baylor?
Morehead State lost their top two receivers at the end of last season. Considering this, and the need to replace Austin Gahafer, the passing game could be an issue for the Eagles.
As previously mentioned, the PFL isn’t that intimidating. Should Liberty’s history with the conference continue, this game could be over by halftime.
Morehead State Players to Watch
RB Trevor Jones-As a redshirt freshman, Jones led the team in rushing. Now as a sophomore, he looks to continue his of the backfield.
DE Colt Briggs-This All-PFL edge rusher will keep the Flames’ O-line busy.
Kickoff VS. Morehead State