Liberty dropped its second straight game on Saturday afternoon, falling to Virginia Tech, 23-22. The Flames are now 8-3 on the season. Here is everything head coach Hugh Freeze had to say following the game, beginning with his opening statement:
“Just disappointing. Obviously, yards look like about the same, you go down to the turnover column and that tells the story. Knew it was a pretty evenly matched game. You can’t turn it over and then them not turn it over and expect to win. We had way too many plays that resulted in us getting behind the chains. I think that’s the story.”
“Defensively, we didn’t play great the first half. They had a good plan. I think we played good enough defensively in the second half to win the game if we convert some drives offensively. We didn’t. That’s the story of the game. It’s disappointing, obviously, to drop the last two. Still have had a great year, but we need to bounce back and find a way to play better to end our regular season.”
2 STRAIGHT WEEKS A TURNOVER AT QB, BITES YOU.
“Yeah, we’re driving. It’s unfortunate for sure. You said it right, we’ve turned it over twice at the quarterback position.”
EXPLAIN HOW THE QB ROTATION IS WORKING RIGHT NOW, ARE YOU JUST LOOKING FOR A SPARK WITH KAIDON?
“We were really struggling to block him up front. They were good. They’ve been good all year on defense, look at their stats. I know it doesn’t show up in the win column but I thought it was the best defense we had played all year, up front. They put a lot of pressure on us. We were trying to find a spark with maybe somebody that could avoid maybe the first rusher and then create some explosive plays.”
SHEDRO LOUIS GAVE YOU SOME BIG PLAYS, BUT ITS HARD TO OVERCOME A LOSS TO DAE DAE?
“It changed our team for sure, Dae Dae is special. He is a special back, for sure. I thought Shedro played good today, I’m proud of him. We had to stay balanced. You’re not going to run it on them if you’re not somewhat balanced. We could never find that rhythm.”
HOW MUCH DOES THE TURNOVERS STING?
“It’s the difference in the game. We’re driving to go up two scores, or at least kick a field goal and make it an 8 point game at that point. We turned it over. Obviously, that last one, that last one was tough on JB. We had a lineman totally whiff, guys are on him right away. I think the turnovers are certainly a huge factor in the outcome.”
IS THERE ANY REGRET GOING FOR IT ON 4TH & 12?
“No, we stopped them and got it back. The book said go, I said, ‘Are you sure? He said, yeah. You think about it, if you punt it he’s going to have to sky it into the wind or either kick it in the end zone and you sure don’t want to do that. Again, we stopped them and got it back. I don’t have any regrets on that one.”
DID YOU TRY TO LET THEM SCORE AT THE END?
“Were you watching? We tried it twice. They did a good job coaching to lay down. We tried to carry him in the second time. That was the whole plan.”
COASTAL AND THE CURE BOWL IN REVERSE?
“Exactly. We were trying to carry him in after he laid down the first one. I told them to carry him in. They were coached well on it.”
QBs, WAS IT BASED ON WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WAS SHOWING?
“I knew I was going to play them both. We weren’t protecting very well. We were trying to play a more mobile one, that was it. It didn’t work.”
LOOKING FORWARD, WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO GET BACK ON THE RIGHT PATH?
“We’ve got to get better play at quarterback and OLine. I think if we can stay balanced, we can run the ball decently. They started putting an extra guy in the box some. We’ve got to get more consistent play at quarterback. I’ve got to settle in, probably, to just one.”
0 FOR VT HAD A GREAT DAY RUNNING THE BALL, WHAT DID YOU SEE FROM THAT?
“I thought we did good enough in the second half. They scored, what, one touchdown? That’s not terrible against a Power Five team, but he did run well. They blocked well. They had a good plan. Defensively I thought we played good enough to win the game. We’ve got to score more points than 22 points.”
SLOW STARTS HAVE BECOME A THEME, HAVE YOU FIGURED OUT WHERE THAT IS?
“I love our group. They’ve shown an enormous amount of grit and fight and toughness. We are all hurting right now, disappointed in the way the season seems to be unfolding so far for the finish. We have another opportunity next week to get 9 wins in a season which I would take that most any season any where you’re at.”
NICK BROWN SEEMS TO BE PLAYING WELL.
“I’m proud of Nick. I think he’s made his last 5 or 6, 6. Really proud of him.”
WELLS WAS ABLE TO FIND A LOT OF HOLES, WHAT DID YOUR DEFENSE DO TO TRY TO ADJUST?
“You’ve got to play your assignment, all 11 guys every single snap. Sometimes the offense wins with a good scheme, sometimes we missed tackles. The back fell a couple times, couldn’t get him on the ground. He’s a tough competitor. I thought we made some good adjustments at halftime, defensively, and played a solid half.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE THIS WEEK?
“Just the fight that we’ve shown all year. Come to work, let’s prepare the right way to win a game to end the regular season.”
WITH NO DAE DAE IS IT A DIFFERENT OFFENSE?
“Not really. It’s not a different offense. You’ve got to give some credit to them too, now, their DLine, go watch the tapes, they’re pretty good. They’ve only given up 350 yards a game this year. They’ve played a lot of Power Five guys. Got to tip your hat to them some on that too, but we definitely have to get some more consistency at quarterback.”