Liberty head football coach Hugh Freeze met with the media Monday afternoon on the heels of Liberty’s loss at Rutgers. Here are some of the main takeaways from his press conference.


“One of the greatest things about football, I believe, is just the challenges that it presents you. I think how you handle those makes you into part of the man you’re going to be. It was disappointing to not go on the road and get a 6th straight win in a game that you had a chance to win. I certainly knew there was a differential in depth with a Big Ten roster as opposed to ours and definitely a difference in size and girth, and that certainly showed up with them being able to control the clock for 41 minutes of the game and hold the ball that long and us not able to get off the field on 3rd down. If we just get off the field on two or three 3rd downs that game is different. I think those and us fumbling a kickoff were really critical moments in that game. When you’re in the status of a program like we are right now, those few plays can certainly matter, and they did.”

“We would have had to play extremely flawless offensively and we were pretty good. Of the 8 offensive possessions we had, 8 possessions in a game is not a lot, we would have had to score every time and not fumble that kickoff and score that time also.”


“We played really, really bad at linebacker. I thought during the game that we were really getting it taken to us on the line of scrimmage. After watching the film, I didn’t think that any longer. I didn’t think that was the major issue, but we were not playing down hill at linebacker. We missed Brandon Tillmon, he was made for that kind of game. We just didn’t play downhill at linebacker, and runs that should have been 1 or 2 yard gains were 5-6. It kept them in 2nd and medium and resulted in 3rd and short, that was the major issue. They came out and played an extra o-lineman a decent a mount of time in the first half. We hadn’t seen that other than 3 plays of goal line. We probably should have gone to some type of goal line package when they came in with that to try to win first down and get them behind the sticks some. Looking back that’s the only thing I think we could have added to it.”


“I loved the response of our kids yesterday. I think they’re hungry, and they’ve got a coaching staff that I assure you has a decided heart of where we will stay fast. I believe these times where you are disappointed, you’re ability to be able to bounce back from that are critical for life, for team. I think we can prepare them very well for that with our life experiences along with our coaching experiences. That’s our task this week, and I’m confident we will get that done and go back on the road and perform well this Saturday.”


“Our theme this week is I have a decided heart. One of my favorite history stories is Christopher Columbus. I can imagine after 64 days on sea what he’s experiencing with the food running out, people wanting to abandon ship or return to where we came from. He had a decided heart – ‘we’re going to the west and we’re going to discover new land.’ That’s the same thing I told them, we don’t have an option. One of the worst things in life is to live in the past. We’re not going to allow that. It’s not going to happen. If you need some extra giddy up in your step, passion in your step, I need you to see me Monday, and I’ve had two come in and see me, and I’ve given it to them.”

“We’ve known all along…its one thing to play 3,4 FBS games or 5, but when you have a 10 game stretch of teams whose rosters have had more time to develop in FBS talent, you know you’re going into a game there’s a chance they can beat you.”

“I heard somebody, I won’t say who it is because they know it irritated me, I heard somebody say, ‘Oh, we’ve got to stick together.’ To me, that’s not even a question. I don’t even think that way. I can’t imagine, because we lost to a Big Ten team, that there would be people in and around the program that would not still believe, particularly after watching the film. I can’t think that way. I don’t allow myself to. If I caught myself thinking that way, I would want to run and jump off the balcony here or something. I can’t operate that way. I didn’t sense any of that yesterday, but I don’t give that any time really to consider.”


“We’ve got our hands full. They’ve moved the ball and scored points against almost everybody they’ve played with the exception of FIU. Defensively, struggled. I would expect us to be able to score some points. That’s what our goal will need to be. We will have to score a considerable amount of points to win this game, I believe.”


“Every one of those will be day-to-day (LB Solomon Ajayi, LB Brandon Tillmon, WR Damian King, KR Shedro Louis). There’s nobody in that list that is ruled out, they will just be day-to-day. All have either sprained MCL or ankles or a foot.”

On S Javon Scruggs – “He took a vicious hit on that onside kick which was not a clean play. He’s in concussion protocol.”

On WR Khaleb Coleman – “Dislocated shoulder, it was popped back in. We will have to see how he responds to the tenderness of it.”

“Austin Lewis is in concussion protocol too which makes us a bit shorthanded there at defensive end.”

“We’re beat up a bit, particularly defensively.”