RUN GAME DOMINANT
Led by Shedro Louis and Peytton Pickett, the Flames dominated the Orange on the ground Saturday afternoon. Liberty entered the game 7th in the nation in rushing yardage, and that should improve following the team’s performance against Syracuse.
The Flames ran for 338 yards at 7 yards per carry with both Louis and Pickett reaching 100 yards for the game. Louis is as fast as any player on the field on any given Saturday, and he showed it against the Orange with touchdown runs of 75 and 52 yards, respectively.
It was impressive for Liberty to put up the rushing yards they did in the first four games, but to be able to do so against an ACC opponent is another matter.
MEGGINSON DELIVERS HIMSELF A BIRTHDAY PRESENT
Chris Megginson celebrated his 20th birthday Friday, and he helped celebrate on Saturday with his first career interception against the Syracuse Orange.
His interception came with Liberty leading 28-14, and following his turnover the Flames scored to take a commanding 35-14 lead.
“I was like, ‘Man, I got to make a play today,'” Megginson said about playing the day after his birthday. “It happened. It was real special.”
FLAMES MAKE STATEMENT WITH WIN
Liberty’s first four wins this season came against teams who have a combined one win. Not very impressive.
It doesn’t get much better with the win over Syracuse who is now just 1-4 on the season, but the Orange are an ACC program despite their record. It’s obvious the Liberty football players were out to make a statement in the game.
“We were doubted,” Liberty defensive end TreShaun Clark said following the win. “No one thought we would really win. It feels amazing because we knew that we had the potential to win the game, and we went out there and did what we had to do. Plan A worked and that’s all we had.”
Coach Freeze spoke to the team all week about burning the boats and leaving no way back except for Plan A, which was with a win.
“It was a statement game,” Megginson said. “We came out with only a Plan A and that’s the win.”
3RD DOWN DEFENSE DOMINATES AGAIN
In what is becoming a reoccurring theme this season, the Liberty defense dominated on 3rd down, or money down as defensive coordinator Scott Symons calls it.
The Flames held Syracuse to 3 of 14 on 3rd downs and the Orange were also stopped on two of their four 4th down tries. The defense was able to create pressure all afternoon on new starting quarterback Rex Culpepper, finishing the game with 6 TFLs and 3 sacks.
Led by the 3rd down defense, Liberty held Syracuse to just 97 rushing yards and 308 yards of total offense.
MACK & YARBROUGH LATE SCRATCHES
Liberty running back Joshua Mack and wide receiver CJ Yarbrough were expected to play all week. Both went through warmups and looked as though they would play, despite Yarbrough being listed as doubtful pregame, but both missed the game.
“CJ just couldn’t go,” Freeze said. “He wanted to. He dressed out for pregame. He took a hit in practice this week on that same shoulder and it just flared back up. Expected he will be able to go next week. We sure need to get healthy at the receiver position. Hopefully with he and Noah (Frith) and even CJ Daniels was hampered but gutted it out today.”
“Josh got sick yesterday afternoon, not COVID or anything, but with a stomach bug, just felt really, really week this morning. I just decided we were going to go with the other two as long as we could and see if we could rest him.”
*photo courtesy Liberty Athletics