Liberty (3-4, 0-2) returns home for the first time in 5 weeks to face Kennesaw State (5-1, 1-0). The annual homecoming game is scheduled to kickoff at 7pm.
Why Kennesaw State can win this game
The Owls are in their first-ever football season and have gotten off to a great start thanks primarily to their triple option attack. Their head coach, Brian Bohannon, is a disciple of Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson. Bohannon served as an assistant under Johnson at Georgia Southern, Navy, and Georgia Tech from 1997 until he left a couple years ago to start the KSU program. Bohannon’s club ranks 4th in the country in rushing offense with 324.5 yards per game, 15th in the country in scoring offense at 37.8 points per game, and 3rd in the country in 3rd down conversion percentage at 53%. The Owls have 4 players averaging 60+ rushing yards per game.
Liberty is 0-2 this season when facing teams with quarterbacks that lead their team in rushing. Enter Trey White. The Owls’ signal caller leads the team and is 18th in the country in rushing yards with 610. White is also a capable passer throwing for 751 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions this season.
As good as Kennesaw has been on offense, their defense has been equally impressive. The Owls are 5th in the country in scoring defense and total defense allowing just 14.7 points per game and 272.3 yards per game. They are also 12th in the country in 3rd down conversion percentage holding their opponents to a 30.8% conversion rate.
Liberty is reeling. The Flames are having their worst season since 2006, and have lost consecutive conference games for the first time in nearly a decade. With their season virtually over, it will be tough for LU to conjure up the motivation to beat a confident KSU team.
Why Liberty can win this game
As great as all the above stats for Kennesaw State look, they racked up most of those statistics playing one of the weakest schedules in the country. The Owls own wins over 2 NAIA programs, a Division 2 program, and an ETSU team who was playing their first game since restarting their program.
It has been 5 weeks since Liberty has played at Williams Stadium, making this weekend’s homecoming contest sweeter than usual. The Flames were 1-3 on their 4 game road trip and will certainly be happy to be playing at home in front of their fans. Liberty is 2-0 at home this season.
The Flames should be ticked off and ready to prove everyone wrong with an “us against the world” mentality. The team is no longer ranked, is virtually eliminated from playoff consideration, and everyone has written them off this season.
X-Factor for this game
Time of possession.
Both teams have excelled at controlling the ball this season. Liberty ranks 3rd in the country whereas Kennesaw State ranks #16 in time of possession this season. Whichever team is able to control the ball, and the clock, should have the upper hand.