When Liberty and Richmond square off this Saturday, the Flames will be looking to do something they haven’t done in a long time. Since 2000, Liberty is 1-12 against in-state Division I opponents not named VMI, and 1-15 against CAA opponents.
The Flames have dropped 9 consecutive games to in-state Division I opponents sans VMI. You have to go all the way back to 2003 for the last time Liberty beat an in-state opponent other than VMI when they dispatched Norfolk State 69-21. Of these 12 losses, 2 have come against Norfolk State, 4 against William & Mary, and 6 against JMU.
The last time Liberty beat a CAA opponent? Well, to be honest, the Flames have NEVER beaten a CAA team. When Liberty defeated Hofstra in 2003, the teams who now make up the CAA played in the Atlantic 10. There’s been 9 consecutive losses to CAA teams since that Hofstra win. As stated above, Liberty is 1-15 against CAA opponents since 2000 with losses to Hofstra, William & Mary, Towson, and James Madison.
Danny Rocco, Liberty’s head coach from 2006-2011, was 0-6 against CAA and 0-5 in-state Division I opponents not named VMI during his time at Liberty. Not being able to get over the “hump” in beating a rival and making the playoffs was one of Rocco’s biggest flaws while at Liberty. Turner Gill has yet to face a CAA opponent.
Liberty’s opponent Saturday, Richmond, is both a CAA member and Virginia opponent. It’s about time Liberty puts a stop to these streaks and makes a statement, and it couldn’t be sweeter than doing it against a familiar face in Rocco.