Turner Gill is 0-4 at Liberty and 25-43 in his career.

Liberty enters its bye week at 0-4. Certainly not where they wanted to be at this point. The good news: Liberty still has a chance to gain the Big South Conference’s auto-bid to the 2012 FCS playoffs. The road to that auto-bid begins October 6 in Williams Stadium against fellow 0-4 Big South member Gardner-Webb.

Looking at the stats alone, one would think Liberty would have a much better record than 0-4. Inopportune penalties, turnovers, and missed assignments have led to this dreadful start. Liberty’s offense has amassed 1,521 yards of total offense in comparison to its opponents 1,233. It has dominated the time of possession 33:29 to 26:31. But Liberty has 8 turnovers while only creating 1, has 5 sacks while allowing 13, and has been called for 33 penalties for 229 yards compared to its opponents mark of 22 penalties for 167 yards. Liberty has also been outscored in the 4th quarter 42-19. These areas must be shored up for Liberty to improve its 0-4 record and make a run at the Big South championship and auto-bid.


The offense has been the weak link thus far. Averaging 20.2 points a game just will not get it done (good for 82nd out of 121 FCS teams). Whether it’s been penalties or turnovers, the offense has been unable to sustain long drives for scores. This did improve remarkably against Lehigh. Coming into the Lehigh game, the Liberty offense had only been able to sustain 2 drives of 50 yards or more. In the Lehigh game alone, the Liberty offense had 4 drives of 50 yards or more all of them going for points.

Liberty QB Josh Woodrum

Coming into the season, and even each game, everyone wants to know who will be the starting quarterback. Both quarterbacks have started 2 games a piece thus far, and both have had their high points and low points. Josh Woodrum is 58/79 for 581 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Brian Hudson is 33/60 for 418 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Coach Gill sounds like he has made up his mind with Josh as the quarterback for the rest of the season. In order for Liberty to make the playoffs, he must play more like a veteran than a Redshirt-Freshman.

The running game had its best game of the season against Lehigh as both Aldreakis Allen and Sirchauncey Holloway broke the 100 yard mark. On the season Allen has 48 carries for 281 yards while Holloway has 57 carries for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns. After a couple of key injuries to the offensive line, perhaps this group has finally come together to give Liberty the rushing attack it needs to help its inexperienced quarterbacks.

Coming into the season, Liberty only had one receiver which was established, Pat Kelly. After 4 games, not much has changed. Kelly leads the team with 34 receptions and 315 yards. Ryan Ferguson is 2nd on the team 2ith 14 receptions for 129 yards. Other receivers have also made contributions such as Elliott Dutra and Gabe Henderson, and tight ends Justin Gunn and Brandon Apon. The team really needs a 2nd or even 3rd receiver to step up and be a reliable weapon on offense.


The Liberty defense was supposed to be the strength of the team. Through 4 games, it has been the strength, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. The defense is currently ranked 22nd in Total Defense and 66th in Scoring Defense. Teams have seldom been able to sustain long drives for points against Liberty, but turnovers have led to short fields and quick scores against. The defense has done a poor job thus far in creating turnovers as they rank #103 (out of 112) in forcing turnovers. Opponents are only converting 33% of their 3rd down opportunities on the Flames’ defense.

Liberty CB & kick returner Kevin Fogg

The pass defense has been the strength of the defense as they rank #13 in the country for pass defense. This has been highlighted by the superb play of corner backs Kevin Fogg and Walt Aikens. The rush defense has been hit or miss. They struggled mightily against Norfolk State, but have rebounded nicely against Montana and Lehigh. Aside from a few big plays here and there, the defense has lived up to its preseason billing.

The Flames should get defensive tackle Francis Bah back from injury following the bye week. Bah has missed the last 3 games after getting injured against Wake Forest. This should be a huge boost to the defensive line as Liberty’s coaches touted Bah as having “next level potential” in training camp.

Liberty’s leading tacklers are Scott Hyland and Greg Schuster who have 25 and 22 tackles respectively.

Special Teams

Liberty’s two new kickers, John Lunsford and Grant Bowden, have done admirably in their first 4 games on the job. John Lunsford is 4/7 on field goals and perfect on his PATs. Grant Bowden is currently averaging 40.2 yards per punt.

The return game has been highlighted by Kevin Fogg who led the nation in kick returns for touchdown last year with 3. Fogg has one punt return for a touchdown so far this year, and has done a solid job on kickoffs when give the opportunity. I highly doubt he is kicked to much more this season. As teams have begun kicking away from Fogg on kickoffs, Special Teams Coordinator Mike Minter has begun placing RB Aldreakis Allen on the kickoff return team.

Reserve cornerback Ryan Ayers got the reps as punt returner against Lehigh. Not sure why Fogg was not back there, but Ayers did a solid job in his place.

The road ahead

10/6  vs Gardner Webb (0-4)*
     L, 34-7 vs Wofford
     L, 41-8 @ Richmond
     L, 44-23 vs Samford
     L, 55-10 @ Pittsburgh
     This week: BYE

10/13 @ Presbyterian (1-3)*
     W, 45-10 vs Brevard
      L, 59-3 @ Georgia Tech
      L, 58-0 @ Vanderbilt
      L, 31-21 vs Furman
     This week: @ Davidson

10/20 vs Concord (2-2)
      W, 24-21 vs Lenoir-Rhyne
       L, 30-22 vs Winston-Salem State
       L, 17-14 vs University of Charleston
      W, 23-16 @ West VA St

10/27 @ Coastal Carolina (2-2)*
     W, 29-13 vs NC A&T
     W, 47-45 @ Furman (3OT)
      L, 35-17 vs Eastern Kentucky
      L, 38-28 @ Toledo
     This week: @ App State

11/3   vs Charleston Southern (1-3)*
      L, 49-14 @ The Citadel
      L, 31-10 vs Jacksonville
      L, 44-0   @ Illinois
      W, 23-20 @ Shorter
      This week: BYE

11/10 vs Stony Brook (3-1)*
      W, 49-17 vs Cent Conn St
      W, 77-7   vs Pace
       L, 28-17 @ Syracuse
      W, 32-31 vs Colgate
      This week: @ Army

11/17 @ VMI (1-3)*
     L, 17-10 @ Delaware State
     W, 24-17 vs Chowan
     L, 47-6 @ Richmond
     L, 41-3 @ Navy
     This week: BYE

*denotes conference game