Charleston Southern clinches auto-bid
The Buccaneers clinched the Big South Championship’s automatic bid to the FCS playoffs with their win over Kennesaw State this past Saturday. Charleston Southern will be making the program’s first ever appearance in the playoffs. With a win over Liberty, CSU will win the championship outright for the first time in program history. They also have an opportunity to play their way into a top 8 national seed and first round bye. robbins

Football notes:

  • CSU opened as a 14 point favorite over the Flames.
  • The team leading at halftime has won all 9 of Liberty’s games this season.
  • Liberty has a huge opportunity the next two weeks as they face top 10 opponents back to back. This week, the Flames head to Charleston to take on #8 Charleston Southern, and next Thursday night LU hosts #4 Coastal Carolina. Including the matchup with #8 Montana back in September, the Flames will face 3 top 10 opponents this season. Liberty has only faced 3 top 10 opponents one previous time, in 1993 when they went 0-3 against #3 Troy State, #4 Youngstown State, and #9 N.C. A&T. Liberty is 3-15 all-time against FCS Top 10 opponents, with all 3 wins coming under Coach Gill. LU is 3-2 in their last 5 games against Top 10 opponents. 

Football commits update

  • Carol City and Buckshot Calvert won 42-10 to win their district last week. They take on Dillard this weekend in the playoffs.
  • Rud Yearick and Metrolina Christian lost in the 1st round of the playoffs to end their season. According to sources, Yearick does plan on enrolling in January to be able to compete in Spring ball.
  • Ethan Crawford was selected to the GASC Border Bowl which is an all-star game featuring the best players from Georgia against the best players from South Carolina. Crawford and his team Aquinas won the regional championship with a 48-28 win over Stratford last week.
  • Jalen Camp helped lead his team to a regional championship last week.
  • Damian Bounds and his team are regional champions. 

Changes at LCA
Frank Rocco, the long-time head coach and athletic director at LCA, announced he is resigning from his role as head coach. He will continue as the school’s athletic director. LCA’s defensive coordinator, Frank Rocco’s son and Liberty alum, Chris Rocco will take over as LCA’s head football coach beginning in the 2016-17 season. Chris, who played at Liberty under his uncle Danny Rocco, is currently LCA’s defensive coordinator. 

Photo courtesy

Flames in the NFL update
Rashad Jennings had 13 carries for 48 yards against Tampa Bay. The New York Giants are 5-4 and in 1st place in the NFC East. Walt Aikens recorded 1 tackle for the Dolphins against the Bills.

MBB Signing period opens
The men’s basketball signing period opened on Wednesday, and Coach McKay was able to ink all 3 of his verbal commits. Xzavier Barmore, Josiah Talbert, and Brock Gardner all signed on the first day they were able to. Coach McKay had high praise for this recruiting class: “When we were at Liberty the first time, we had a class that ended up being highly acclaimed. And although that class achieved much, this is as excited as I have ever been about a recruiting class in their overall fit for our university, their playing ability and their character as a whole.” 

Women’s basketball opens season this weekend
Preseason Big South favorite Liberty women’s basketball opens the season Friday at Appalachian State with an 11:30AM tip. The Lady Flames have their home opener on Monday against Elon and then host NC State on November 20th at 7pm in the Vines Center. 

Women’s soccer wins Big South
The Lady Flames won the Big South regular season and tournament championship. They will advance to the NCAA Tournament where they face #3 seed North Carolina tonight at 6:30. They clinched a berth to the tournament by defeating Campbell to capture the program’s 5th Big South Championship. Liberty will face the Tar Heels for the 2nd time in program history. 

Other Sports update
Your weekly non-football Fall sports update:

  • The women’s field hockey team concluded their season with a 12-0 rout of Appalachian State last Saturday. The Lady Flames finish the year with a record of 12-6. Despite their top 15 national ranking and tough schedule, Liberty was left out of the NCAA Tournament.
  • The women’s volleyball team beat High Point before falling to Campbell last weekend. The Lady Flames conclude their regular season this weekend at UNC-Asheville and Gardner-Webb.

FlameFans thread of the week
This week’s FlameFans thread of the week is Survey about the last two games of the season.