We’ve already previewed the Flames’ first few opponents, and now we turn our attention to the start of conference play. Liberty travels to Boiling Springs as they take on Gardner-Webb on October 10th.


2014 record: 4-8, 0-5 in Big South.

Coach: Carroll McCray, in his 3rd season.

Starters returning: Four on offense, ten on defense.

Offensive system: Spread.

Defensive system: 3-4.

Three significant stats last year:

  1. Gardner-Webb scored just 18 points per game.
  2. The Runnin’ Bulldogs were outgained on the ground by their opponents, 2,073 to 862.
  3. They only converted 32% of their 3rd down opportunities.

Key starters returning:

  • LB Aaron Cook led the team with 92 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks.
  • O.J. Mau added 10 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.

How does Gardner-Webb match up

The Runnin’ Bulldogs return 4 starters on the offensive line, but no one at the offensive skill positions. It might be a good thing though, as their offense was dreadful in 2014. As always, GWU returns a talented group of defenders headlined by Aaron Cook and O.J. Mau, but will their offense be able to score enough points to keep them in the game? If the Flames are healthy entering this game after a challenging nonconference slate, they shouldn’t have much problem with the Bulldogs.