preview2Liberty (6-4 overall, 3-1 Big South) steps out of conference play for the final time in 2013 as they face the Brevard Tornados (3-7). This is Brevard’s final game of their season.

Why Brevard can win this game
“This is their bowl game.” That’s what Coach Gill said earlier this week, and it makes sense. This is Brevard’s final game of the season, and they are playing their highest profile game of the season. The Tornados will come to Lynchburg looking to get the bad taste of a 3-7 season out of their mouths with an impressive showing.

Brevard runs a triple option, and, as Coach Gill described it, it’s very similar to Georgia Tech’s triple option with regards to their formation. Because the Tornados run the option, it definitely skews their stats. They have 2,595 rushing yards on the season compared to just 593 passing yards. Brevard has rushed the ball 570 times compared to just 70 pass attempts. 12 different players have carried the ball for the Tornados this season led by Jordan Ollis’ 738 yards and 11 touchdowns on 174 carries.

Turnovers. The Tornados have a 2-1 turnover advantage over their opponents this season. Brevard has forced 20 turnovers while coughing the ball up 10 times. If they have any shot of keeping this game close, Brevard must win the turnover battle.

Quarterback Tanner Wright is 20 of 38 passing for 305 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions this year.

Jacob Hagen & Liberty's defense has been stout this season

Jacob Hagen & Liberty’s defense has been stout this season

Why Liberty can win this game
Liberty is 16-0 against Division II opponents this millennium including a 73-7 win over Kentucky Wesleyan earlier this year.

Given Brevard’s propensity to run the ball, Liberty ranks #18 in all of FCS in allowing just 118 rushing yards per game. As good as the Flames’ defense has been this season, a Division II team that is one-dimensional doesn’t stand much of a chance at putting up a lot of points.

Brevard is 3-7 this season. Not against Division I competition, but primarily against Division II foes. Liberty and the Tornados have one similar opponent this year – Presbyterian. The Flames just beat the Blue Hose 35-14 last Saturday. Presbyterian beat Brevard 42-24 back on September 7th. Other losses for the Tornados this season include a 41-0 shutout against Lenoir-Rhyne and a 41-14 defeat to Carson Newman.

The Tornados have allowed 31 points per game to their opponents this season; Liberty is scoring over 43 points per game at home this year. Expect more of the same.

X-Factor for this game
Liberty being Liberty.

If the Flames come out focused for 60 minutes, this game will be a rout. Liberty can not be looking ahead to next weekend’s showdown with Charleston Southern, or be scoreboard watching to see what Coastal and CSU are doing in their respective games.

Score Prediction
Liberty 49 Brevard 7