Liberty’s game Tuesday against Middle Tennessee could be characterized as a typical trap game. The Flames are coming off two very emotional victories, beating Sam Houston with a last second goal line stand and then facing the team’s toughest challenge of the season at Jax State last week.

Now, the Flames play host to a 2-5 team and are a double digit favorite. This comes a week before the most anticipated game of the season as Liberty travels to face Western Kentucky, the two Conference USA favorites dating back to the preseason. Can Liberty stay focused on the task at hand this week?

“This is a big week for us from a mindset and a preparation standpoint because I think anytime you come off a big game it’s easy to feel like you’ve arrived,” said Liberty head coach Jamey Chadwell. “We’re nowhere close to being the team we are capable of doing. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got a team coming in that is very talented. They’ve had a tough schedule. We’ve got to be ready to go.”


Liberty is off to a 6-0 start to the season, the best start for the program since 2020 when the Flames won their first eight games. Liberty has started 6-0 or better just four times in program history. This is also just the second time that a first year head coach has guided the Flames to a 6-0 start, as Jamey Chadwell joins Sam Rutigliano who also did so in 1989. In addition to 1989, 2020, and 2023, the Flames also started 6-0 in 2008.

On Tuesday night against Middle Tennessee, the Flames are trying to become the first team to ever win their first five conference games as CUSA members. Liberty is also looking to start conference play at 5-0 for the first time since opening the 2011 Big South slate at 5-0. The Flames are also seeking their fifth winning streak of seven or more games all-time and longest since winning 10 in a row, Nov. 30, 2019 through Nov. 14, 2020.


Quinton Cooley and Billy Lucas were both back in the lineup for the Flames last week at Jacksonville State, as was wide receiver Noah Frith. Both Lucas and Frith missed the game against Sam Houston with an injury while Cooley was injured during the game and missed the third quarter.

Liberty corner Amarian Williams missed last week’s game at Jax State while Jerome Jolly was limited.

“Mo Williams he got hurt in pregame and so he wasn’t able to go,” said Chadwell. “Then, Jolly came in injured from the previous game. So, he was limited with some of that. He did play but he was limited, decided to roll with Joe (Carter) the majority of that game. Some of it was package based but obviously with Jolly being limited didn’t want to put him out there in positions where he could hurt himself worse.”

Chris Boti, who filled in as a starter on the defensive line while Charles was out the first three weeks, missed the FIU Sam  Houston, and Jax State games with an illness. He could potentially return this week.