It was a high scoring affair as the Flames and the Lobos nearly put up 100 points combined. Liberty did most of its damage in the first half, scoring 42 points in the first 30 minutes. New Mexico scored 33 points in the 2nd half. The Flames jumped out to a 42-10 halftime lead, but New Mexico kept it interesting until the final minutes.
Throughout every game, there are several moments or plays that go unnoticed, or could be overlooked. Still, they play a huge role in the eventual outcome.
Let’s look at five plays that changed the direction of this game:
B.J. Farrow comes down with the jump ball early – On Liberty’s first drive of the game, Farrow was able to haul in the reception for a 37 yard gain. It came on a 3rd and 9 play from the UNM 41 yard line. With Liberty losing 7-0, a short drive with no points could have been a back breaker. However, Farrow got the big reception, and Liberty tied the game up just a couple plays later.
Bailed out by the refs – With the game still tied at 7 and both teams trading punts, New Mexico got a huge punt return down inside the Liberty 5 yard line. But there was a penalty on the play. The Lobos were called for running into the punter, a call that would give the Flames the first down. Liberty wouldn’t score on that possession, but switching field position was critical early in the game.
Hickson does it again on 4th down – Just like he did against Old Dominion in week 1, Frankie Hickson was able to pick up a first down on a 4th and 1 run at the UNM 40 yard line. After a trick play with DJ Stubbs to AGG to the 1 yard line, Peytton Pickett was able to run it in from 1 yard out to give Liberty its first lead in over 70 minutes of game action.
Buckshot to AGG sets up a huge scoring drive – The Lobos had all the momentum, having cut Liberty’s lead to 13 at 42-29. Buckshot was fighting through cramps. It looked bleak. Buckshot made his way out on the field, and he came out firing. His first play back from a brief absence was a connection with AGG for 26 yards. Tack on a roughing the passer penalty, and the Flames were well into UNM territory. A few plays later and Liberty scored its first points of the 2nd half to push its lead to 49-29 with 12 minutes left in the game.
Buckshot to AGG, again – New Mexico cut it to a one score game with 5 minutes to play in the game. With the Flames’ defense struggling, it was imperative for the offense to move the ball. Facing a 3rd and 4 with 3 minutes left in the game, Buckshot went to his man, AGG, again to convert for a first down and much more. The play went for 50 yards and set the Flames up in the red zone. Aaron Peart’s short field goal sealed it, as Liberty went on to win 52-43.