Gill quickly moved on from Auburn
Each week in his opening remarks, Coach Gill usually gives a recap from the previous game before moving on to the upcoming week’s opponent. After Liberty’s 53-0 loss at Auburn, he was quick to move on to the next game.
“The positives from this ball game, not a whole lot,” Gill said when recalling the Auburn game. “But I think the things that we can take is we’re playing at home. I’m looking forward to this next ball game.”
When asked about his evaluation on the team after film review of the Auburn game, he said, “Our guys competed very hard. Obviously, there were just mismatches. They played better than we did. There were things that maybe they out-coached us, but the bottom line is they were a better football team. They were better athletes than we were, and they won all those battles, as far as the interior, as far as the offensive line and defensive line, the receivers against DBs. They were better than we were, simple as that.”
This late in the season and coming off 3 straight losses, it would be easy to understand a letdown. The coaching staff says they don’t believe that will happen, highlighting several things that still lie in front of the team including a 6-6 record,a 5-1 mark at home, and getting revenge from a loss against NMSU earlier this season. Getting to 6 wins, would mark the 13th consecutive season that Liberty has won at least 6 games in a season.
“Our young men are motivated,” defensive coordinator Robert Wimberly said. “Coach Gill, as well as our staff, have done a good job of explaining how this season was going to be. Each week it’s going to be a tough battle. It’s going to be no easy games at the FBS level. Everybody is going to work their tail off in order to get a win. Regardless of their record you’re going to work to get a win.”
An unconventional in-season rematch
As has been discussed previously, Liberty and New Mexico State are set for their 2nd of two meetings this season. This in-season home and home will occur again in 2019. The Flames lost to the Aggies, 49-41, in New Mexico in October. It was a wild game that saw both teams combine for nearly 1,100 yards of total offense. Since that time, NMSU has gone 1-4 with their only win coming b y 10 points against FCS Alcorn State.
“I kind of call it a chess match versus a checkers game,” Gill said. “Preparation wise, it makes ita little bit simpler, just watch the games that they have played since and try to evaluate what they’re doing differently, what they’re doing the same, and then try to figure out how we’re going to attack it offensively, defensively, and special teams.”
Damian Bounds, who was injured at Auburn and carted off the field, is out this week. “He is fine, he’s ok,” Gill said of Bounds. “They did an MRI yesterday, waiting on the results.”
Safety Cheapell Morris is also out after having surgery on Monday.
Tight end Zac Foutz, wide receiver Damian King, and offensive lineman Ethan Crawford are all questionable.
Wide receiver Khaleb Coleman is doubtful.
Kicker Alex Probert is expected to play Saturday against New Mexico State. If he does, that will be his 4th game played this season. He would then have to sit out the season finale against Norfolk State to be eligible for a redshirt.