We are just a couple days from the end of the 2021 Liberty football season, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait to begin to look ahead to 2022. Here’s our very early 2022 football predictions for the Flames who will be looking to make a 4th straight bowl appearance.

Week 1: @ Southern Miss

This won’t be an easy game to open the season for the Flames, especially as Liberty begins to try to find a replacement for one of the best quarterbacks in program history in Malik Willis. Southern Miss’ new offensive coordinator is Liberty offensive line coach Sam Gregg, and USM is Hugh Freeze’s alma mater. We will give the edge to the Flames in this one, but by a close margin.

Liberty’s record: 1-0

Week 2: vs UAB

What a tremendous home slate for Liberty in 2022. Not only do Virginia Tech and BYU visit, but the Flames also welcome one of the better Group of Five programs in the country in UAB. We all got a good look at the Blazers in 2021 as Liberty helped open their brand new stadium in a decisive Flames’ win. Another challenging game, but Liberty comes out on top.

Liberty’s record: 2-0

Week 3: @ Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons have had a terrific 2021 season, winning 10 games, advancing to the ACC Championship Game, and earning a bid to the Gator Bowl. Outstanding quarterback Sam Hartman and head coach Dave Clawson should return as Wake Forest looks to return to the top of the conference. The Flames will be underdogs, but don’t count Hugh Freeze and Liberty out in this one, though we will give Wake the victory in a close game.

Liberty’s record: 2-1

Week 4: vs Akron

The Zips finished 2-10 overall and 1-7 in the MAC this past season, and we all saw what Liberty did to a MAC team as they walloped Eastern Michigan in the Lending Tree Bowl. This will be an easy win at home for the Flames.

Liberty’s record: 3-1

Week 5: @ Old Dominion

The combined score of Liberty’s two wins over the Monarchs since joining the FBS? 97-27. Ricky Rahne appears to have things headed in the right direction for Old Dominion and they do get the Flames at home this time, but Liberty should be favored to win this one.

Liberty’s record: 4-1

Week 6: @ UMass

The Minutemen have been one of the worst FBS teams in the country over the past few seasons. Don Brown is their new head coach and they get Liberty at home, but the Flames should roll in this one.

Liberty’s record: 5-1

Week 7: vs Gardner-Webb

Easy win for Liberty at home against the FCS and former Big South rival.

Liberty’s record: 6-1

Week 8: vs BYU

The schedule takes a hard turn in difficulty for the last half of the season beginning with BYU coming to Lynchburg. The Flames and Cougars played a very competitive game in Utah during Freeze’s first season in Lynchburg. The future Big 12 member, BYU will likely be favored in this one, but don’t count the Flames out. Liberty falls in a close one.

Liberty’s record: 6-2

*Liberty has a bye in week 9

Week 10: @ Arkansas

Head coach Sam Pittman has built Arkansas into a challenger in the SEC early during his tenure. The Razorbacks will have the more talented roster, and Liberty has not proven they can compete with and defeat an SEC team yet. Arkansas gets the win here.

Liberty’s record: 6-3

Week 11: @ UConn

Jim Mora will be taking over at UConn this off-season, and he has a large rebuild on his hands. Freeze will be in his fourth season at Liberty, and he has the program much further along than Edsall will at this point. Easy win for the Flames.

Liberty’s record: 7-3

Week 12: vs Virginia Tech

This will be a winnable game at home for Liberty against the ACC and in-state opponent. Obviously, the Flames knocked off the Hokies in 2020, and now Virginia Tech will have a first year head coach after Justin Fuente was fired. Virginia Tech will be looking for revenge from that loss at home in 2020. The game will be the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and Liberty’s students will likely be at home, minimizing the impact of the home crowd for the Flames. Virginia Tech gets the edge.

Liberty’s record: 7-4

Week 13: vs New Mexico State

New Mexico State continues to be an FBS bottom feeder. Easy win for Liberty to close out the regular season and to get to 8 wins for a fourth consecutive season.

Liberty’s record: 8-4