Liberty loses it’s season opener to Virginia Tech, 36-13. Here are some quick takeaways from the game:

  • After Liberty took the 13-10 lead in the 2nd quarter, Virginia Tech finished the game scoring the final 26 points.
  • It was a sloppy game by both teams, particularly in the first half. The Flames and Hokies combined for 6 turnovers and 10 penalties in the first half. Virginia Tech cleaned things up a bit in the 2nd half, but the Flames would finish the game with 13 penalties.
  • Speaking of penalties, Liberty had 8 false starts in the game, most of them came on the same drive early in the game. Sam Isaacson, making his first career start, had 3 consecutive false starts himself.
  • So, do we have a quarterback controversy? Coach Gill said postgame, that there is no quarterback controversy. Stephon Masha struggled big time. At one point late in the 3rd quarter, he had just 26 passing yards. Masha finished the game 9/25 for 70 yards passing with 2 interceptions. He added 9 rushes for 13 yards. Buckshot Calvert saw playing time on a possession in the 3rd quarter. He was incomplete on his first play, then scrambled for 1 yard, before throwing an interception on 3rd down.
  • True freshman kicker Alex Probert made his debut by missing a first quarter extra point. He rebounded to convert on his 2nd PAT. He had 3 kickoffs and his leg looked pretty strong on each. His first was to the 1 yard line, 2nd was 7 yards into the end zone, and his 3rd was 2 yards into the end zone.
  • Not sure if it was Masha making the incorrect reads or poor play calling, but on several 3rd and 7+ occasions, Masha would throw it to a receiver running a 4 yard crossing route. Regardless of if the receiver makes the catch, it’s not going to move the chains.
  • The defense performed very well on the afternoon. They did what was needed to keep the team in the game despite the offense’s inability to move the ball and all the miscues. The defensive line was able to force pressure on the Hokies’ quarterbacks, and the secondary performed well against the most talented skill players they will face all season.
  • The final line on the game closed at Virginia Tech -32. The Flames improve to 7-0 against the spread against FBS opponents under Coach Gill.
  • The Flames finish the game with less than 200 yards of total offense for the first time under Coach Gill and the first time since 2009. Liberty also finished with less than 100 passing yards for the first time since 2009.
  • The final score isn’t terrible, but the penalties, miscues on offense and special teams, and poor offensive production, leave plenty to be desired.

Stay tuned as we’ll have much more coverage from the game and where the Flames go from here.