Liberty opens conference play with a 36-21 win over Kennesaw State. Here’s a few quick-hit notes:
- Alex Probert was the player of the game. The true freshman kicker was a perfect 3-for-3 on his field goal kicks. He made one kick from 50 yards and the other two both came from 47. His 3rd and final kick was midway into the 4th quarter and put the Flames ahead by 8 points.
- Buckshot Calvert moves to 2-0 as a starter picking up a win on his first career road start. The true freshman QB finished the game 22/30 for 211 yards and 1 touchdown. He was very efficient and showed tremendous poise on the road for a freshman quarterback. He didn’t make any mistakes and did a great job managing the game. Calvert completed passes to 11 different receivers on the night.
- The offense did a much better job running the football against the Owls. Liberty finished with 203 rushing yards on 40 carries, good for 5.1 yards per carry. The Flames did this behind its 6th different starting offensive line unit in 6 games this season.
- It was the special teams story in the first quarter. Kennesaw State muffed the punt after Liberty was forced into a 3 & out on the game’s first possession. The Owls were fortunate to fall on their own fumbled punt. Liberty’s defense then forced a Kennesaw State punt that was recovered by the Owls and converted into a touchdown a few plays later. Frankie Hickson took the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. On KSU’s following possession, they drove into the red zone, but missed a 26 yard field goal. Liberty also had a punt partially blocked early in the game.
- Hickson’s kick return for touchdown was the Flames’ first kick return for a score since 2011 when Kevin Fogg returned a kickoff for a touchdown against VMI.
- Liberty’s defense gave up nearly 500 yards of total offense, but they made the stops when they needed to. KSU’s offense scored just once on 4 red zone trips. Twice the Flames’ stopped the Owls on 4th and goal at the 1 yard line.
- The Flames’ offense put together two of it’s most productive, consecutive drives on its final drive of the first half and first drive of the 2nd half. Trailing 14-13 with just 2 minutes left in the first half, Buckshot led the Flames on a 10 play, 73 yard drive that ended on a touchdown pass from Calvert to Farrow to put the Flames ahead, 20-14 at halftime. On their first drive of the 2nd half, Liberty drove 87 yards and scored a touchdown to go up by 2 scores for the first time in the game.
- Maybe the Flames can play all their road games in Georgia from now on. Liberty’s only win in 6 tries on the road last season came in Atlanta against Georgia State. Since then, the Flames have lost 5 straight games on the road, including its first 2 games this season, until beating KSU tonight.
- The Flames return to action next Saturday at Williams Stadium for homecoming against Monmouth.