Here are a few thoughts following Liberty’s blowout loss to #3 Jacksonville State, 48-19:
- It was a forgetful night all the way around. The attendance was underwhelming (15,354), and the team’s performance was even worse. Jacksonville State used 3 long scoring plays to race out to a 20-3 lead early in the 2nd quarter. It started with a 51 yard pass from Eli Jenkins to running back Roc Thomas on the Gamecocks’ 3rd play from scrimmage. There wasn’t a Liberty defender within 30 yards of Thomas as he walked into the end zone.
- The quarterback battle will continue to be a topic of discussion. After being tight-lipped all week, Stephon Masha got the start. After 2 very unsuccessful drives which resulted in 2 3 & outs, Coach Gill turned to Buckshot. The true freshman quarterback quickly led the team to a scoring drive on his first possession. His play was up and down all night though as Calvert finished the game 9-for-24 passing for 125 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. He was also sacked 6 times. Stephon Masha was 3-for-9 passing for 12 yards and he threw his 7th interception of the season.
- The defense played solid most of the night, but gave up several big plays. Many of those plays were the result of poor arm tackling. Jacksonville State finished the game with 563 yards and 8.3 yards per play.
- On JSU’s 3rd touchdown of the game, only 9 Liberty players trotted out to attempt to block the PAT. It didn’t really matter as the Gamecocks kicker botched the extra point.
- This was Liberty’s worse home loss since the Ken Karcher era. The Flames lost to Youngstown State, 42-0, September 17, 2005. That year, Liberty finished the season 1-10, and fired Karcher before the final game of the season.
- Hey, the team did set a record with the most team punt yards in school history!