We are less than 24 hours from the end of the 2019 Liberty football season, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait to begin to look ahead to 2020. Here’s our very early 2020 football predictions for the Flames who will be looking to make a 2nd bowl appearance.
Week 1: @ Virginia Tech
After starting a disappointing 2-2, the Hokies rebounded with wins in 6 of its next 7 games before a regular season finale loss at Virginia. VT is 8-4 ahead of their bowl game against Kentucky. With a lot of new starters on both sides of the ball, including at quarterback for the first time in 4 years, the Flames will be underdogs in the season opener.
Virginia Tech 35, Liberty 24
Liberty’s record: 0-1
Week 2: vs North Carolina A&T
The Flames take care of business in the home opener to pick up the first win of the season.
Liberty 56, North Carolina A&T 10
Liberty’s record: 1-1
Week 3: @ Western Kentucky
Out of the Conference USA, the Hilltoppers finished 8-4 this season despite a loss to FCS Central Arkansas in the season opener. Their other losses came to Louisville, Marshall, and Florida Atlantic as they defeated Arkansas. They will play Western Michigan in the First Responder Bowl later this month. This will be a tough test on the road early in the year for the Flames, but it is a game that could go either way. We’ll give the nod to Western Kentucky at this point.
Western Kentucky 31, Liberty 27
Liberty’s record: 1-2
Week 4: vs Florida International
FIU will be the first FBS opponent to travel to Williams Stadium in 2020 and will be the second C-USA team Liberty will face during the year. The Panthers finished 6-7 following its 34-26 loss to Arkansas State Saturday in the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl. Their best win of the season was over Miami FL. The Flames will come out victorious in this one.
Liberty 38, FIU 24
Liberty’s record: 2-2
Week 5: @ Bowling Green
Bowling Green was one of the worst FBS teams this season, finishing just 3-9 on the year. This is a game Liberty will need to win to have a good chance at going bowling once again.
Liberty 35, Bowling Green 14
Liberty’s record: 3-2
Week 6: vs Louisiana-Monroe
UL Monroe finished the season at 5-6 and came just one point shy of making it to a bowl game as they fell to Louisiana, 31-30, in the regular season finale. They lost to Georgia Southern, 51-29. This is another game Liberty will need to win.
Liberty 31, ULM 21
Liberty’s record: 4-2
Week 7: @ Syracuse
The first of only two games next season where the Flames are playing an opponent for the second consecutive season as the Flames and Orange will get a rematch from the 2019 season opener that Syracuse won, 24-0. It’s safe to say Liberty’s offense will fare much better this season.
Syracuse 38, Liberty 27
Liberty’s record: 4-3
Week 8: vs Southern Miss
Southern Miss finished 7-5 in the regular season out of C-USA in 2019 and they will be one of the better teams to visit Williams Stadium in 2020. The Golden Eagles have a strong tradition of strong football teams. This will also be an interesting matchup for Hugh Freeze as its the first team from Mississippi he’s faced since he resigned from Ole Miss a few years ago.
Liberty 27, Southern Miss 21
Liberty’s record: 5-3
Week 9: @ UConn
UConn is the newest addition to the schedule as they were brought in to replace Virginia as Liberty looked to help the new Independent football team. The Huskies decided to leave the AAC and join the Big East which doesn’t sponsor football. UConn will become a familiar name on future Liberty football schedules. In 2019, the Huskies were one of the worst FBS teams in the country. The Flames should take care of business as Liberty becomes bowl eligible before the calendar turns to November.
Liberty 42, UConn 24
Liberty’s record: 6-3
*Liberty has a bye in week 10.
Week 11: vs Western Carolina
The 2nd FCS opponent for the Flames and it’s another win.
Liberty 51, Western Carolina 17
Liberty’s record: 7-3
Week 12: @ NC State
The third ACC opponent on the schedule for Liberty in 2020, it was supposed to be four until UVA was moved to a later date. The Wolfpack were 4-8 this season. The Flames will definitely have a chance to pull off this win, but we will give the nod to NC State right now.
NC State 34, Liberty 27
Liberty’s record: 7-4
Week 13: vs UMass
UMass was downright awful this year. Certainly, they won’t be improved enough in one season to beat Liberty in Lynchburg.
Liberty 56, UMass 17
Liberty’s record: 8-4