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The next team on our countdown is one that has seen little success against the Flames in recent years. It is a game Liberty is accustomed to seeing on their schedule, but one that brings little excitement or flare.
Presbyterian College comes in at #9.
Presbyterian, an FCS program, is apart of the Big South Conference. They are located in Clinton, South Carolina.
While they would not be considered rivals, Liberty and Presbyterian have seen much out of each other. Liberty is 9-1 against Presbyterian since 2007. Their only win against the Flames in that span came in 2008. The Blue Hose finished the 2015 season with an overall record of 2-9 and picked up just one win in the Big South Conference against newbie Kennesaw State. Presbyterian struggled offensively, averaging 12 points a game. They relied heavily on the run game as their passing attack generated little for the team, averaging 82 yards a game and providing just 3 total touchdowns on the season. Of the 3 QBs that saw the field for the Blue Hose, Ben Cheek is the only one returning. Cheek started 5 games, but saw the field in 3 others where he threw for a total of 277 yards on the season. 31 of those passing yards came against the Flames where he threw a total of 18 times, completing just 3 of those passes. As previously mentioned, Presbyterian’s offensive strength came from their running game. Their top RB Darrell Bridges returns, who had a great sophomore season, running for over 1100 yards. Expect this to be where the majority of their offense comes from again this season.
Presbyterian’s strongest position group in the coming season would have to be their defensive line. Obinna Ntiasagwe, Kamren Mack, Curtis Bey, Khari Rosier each return making up a veteran defensive front.
This game does carry a greater level of importance considering it is a conference game. Liberty’s priority is to win the conference and get the automatic bid for the FCS playoffs. But Presbyterian has struggled to hold their own in the Big South which is why this game comes in at #9 on the countdown.
Some other things to keep in mind:
Presbyterian played great football against the top three teams in the Big South last year. Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, and Liberty all got a scare from the Blue Hose, but managed to win by a touchdown or less. It is very possible the Flames travel to Clinton and get another scare.
It was difficult for the Flames to run the ball against Presbyterian last season. With the mix of a dysfunctional run game and a stout defensive line, Liberty put together 73 rushing yards. It should be mentioned that all 3 of the Flame’s touchdowns came on the ground that game though.
Players to watch:
RB Zola Davis-Davis is listed as a TE/WR on the team’s roster, but it seems he has been getting a lot of action at tailback. It looks as though he will be a ‘jack of all trades’ man for the Blue Hose. It is very possible the Flames hear his name called a lot.
DE Obinna Ntiasagwe-Ntiasagwe had 7 sacks last season, which was second on the team. He will cause chaos for opposing offenses this coming season.
Liberty kicks off against VPI in 50 days!