The Liberty football team moves to 6-3 on the season and 4-0 in Big South play with a 16-0 shutout of the Presbyterian Blue Hose. The win sets up a huge game next week in Lynchburg against Charleston Southern where a Liberty win will clinch the Big South automatic bid and the program’s 2nd ever trip to the FCS playoffs.
Carrington Mosley: Mosley set a career-high with 137 rushing yards on 17 carries. It marks the first time the junior running back has rushed for over 100 yards in his career.
Todd Macon: Macon also rushed for 100 yards, finishing directly on the century mark on 20 carries.
Nick Newman: After missing last week’s game due to a suspension for a violation of team policy, the senior linebacker led the team with 7 tackles. He also had the team’s only sack and intercepted a Presbyterian pass.
RANKING THE TOP PLAYS FROM THE GAME
- Nick Newman intercepted Ben Cheek’s pass with less than 3 minutes left in the game to seal the win.
- Near the end of the first half, with the Flames leading 6-0 and the offense struggling, Carrington Mosley burst free for a big 55 yard gain to get Liberty into scoring position. Just a few plays later Alex Probert made a field goal to put the Flames up by 2 scores.
- Nick Newman and Erwin Dessources combined to block a Presbyterian field goal in the 2nd quarter. It ended up preserving the shutout and is the 2nd blocked field goal in as many weeks for the Flames.
- With the score still 9-0 in the 4th quarter, Dexter Robbins came up with an interception off a tipped pass. It set the team up with terrific field position and led to a touchdown which all but sealed the game a few plays later.
- The play immediately after Robbins interception, was a 17 yard run by Carrington Mosley which moved the ball inside the red zone. Just 5 plays later, Frankie Hickson leaped into the end zone for a touchdown.
WHAT IT MEANS
The win assures the Flames of at least a share of the Big South title, but we know none of us want to share.
The defense had one of its best games of the year, holding Presbyterian to 175 total yards, including just 53 on the ground. Liberty picked up its first shutout since 2014 and its first conference shutout on the road since 2013. The Flames held the Blue Hose to just 7 yards of offense the entire 3rd quarter. The defense forced 4 turnovers, 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles.
Liberty’s offense was able to rack up the yards on the ground, rushing for 264 yards on 54 carries. Carrington Mosley led the way with a career day, rushing for 137 yards on 17 carries. Todd Macon also rushed for 100 yards. Frankie Hickson rounded out the trio of Liberty runners with 36 yards on 12 carries. The passing attack was anemic, to put it lightly. Buckshot Calvert completed just 5 of his 15 passes for 51 yards, the Flames lowest passing yardage total of the season.
The Flames blocked their 2nd field goal in as many weeks, and there weren’t any gaffs in the punt return game. Alex Probert did miss an extra point and had 2 kickoffs go out of bounds. The true freshman kicker has hit somewhat of a mid-season slump, and Liberty needs him to be on his game against the Buccaneers next week.
The win sets up a huge showdown in Williams Stadium next Saturday. Liberty (6-3, 4-0) plays host to Charleston Southern (5-3, 2-1). A Liberty win would clinch the outright Big South Championship and secure the league’s automatic bid to the FCS playoffs. If the Buccaneers win, it throws a wrench in the plans. The Flames are already assured of at least a share of the Big South title, but the auto bid to the playoffs is the ultimate goal.
After Charleston Southern’s upset loss at home to Gardner-Webb on Saturday, it means Liberty would still have a chance of backing its way into the Big South’s auto bid even if the Flames lost to CSU. The week after the big showdown, in the regular season finale, the Buccaneers host Kennesaw State. If the Bucs beat Liberty and lose to KSU, the Flames would earn the conference auto bid, finishing 4-1 in Big South play, and tied with the Owls. Liberty would own the tiebreaker over Kennesaw due to LU’s head-to-head win last month.
This week’s game also marks senior day, where Liberty’s senior class will be recognized. We’re celebrating the senior class all week by recognizing one member of the class each day leading up to the big game. Be sure to stay tuned to ASeaofRed.com for all the details!
BY THE NUMBERS
264 | The Flames rushed for 264 yards against the Blue Hose.
100 | Both Carrington Mosley and Todd Macon rushed for 100 yards, Mosley finishing with 137 and Macon 100.
51 | Liberty finished with just 51 passing yards.
4-0 | The Flames move to 4-0 to begin conference play for the first time since 2011.
0 | Liberty had its first shutout since 2014 and first conference shutout on the road since 2013.