Liberty was unable to maintain pace with the Cavaliers, falling to Virginia, 45-24. It was a one score game into the 3rd quarter before UVA seized control of the game. The Flames were unable to overcome 3 turnovers and a missed 51-yard field goal.

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:

Stubbs unable to haul in a 3rd down pass – On its 2nd possession of the game, Liberty again moved the ball into Virginia territory. The Flames were facing a 3rd and 5 at the 34 yard line when Buckshot’s pass intended for an open D.J. Stubbs fell incomplete. The pass was slightly behind Stubbs, but he was still able to get his hands on the ball. With the Flames facing a 4th down, Turner Gill called on Alex Probert to attempt a 51 yard field goal which fell woefully short.

Buckshot intercepted, his first of 3 on the afternoon  The Flames were trailing 14-7 early in the 2nd quarter and were driving. Facing a 3rd and 7 in the red zone, Buckshot and AGG miss-communicated on the WR screen as the ball sailed over AGG’s head. The Hoos picked it off and were on their way to taking a 21-7 lead.

Bejour Wilson’s interception gives Liberty life – After a 37 yard Alex Probert field goal closed the gap to 11 late in the first half, Liberty’s defense desperately needed a stop, and it got one courtesy of Bejour Wilson. Wilson jumped in front of Bryce Perkins’ pass for the interception and returned it to the UVA 7 yard line. Frankie Hickson scored a touchdown on the next play to bring the Flames’ within 4 at 21-17.

Flames stopped on 4th and 1 deep inside their own territory – Liberty was down just one touchdown early in the 3rd quarter, and after Peytton Pickett fought for 7 tough yards on a screen pass, it was 4th down and less than 1 yard at the Liberty 14 yard line. Coach Gill decided to go for it, a debatable call in its own right. The play call was a run-pass option where Buckshot could determine pre-snap if he would audible into a pass or run play. Based on UVA’s formation, which stacked the box, Calvert elected for the pass play. His quick out intended for AGG was broken up and fell incomplete. Virginia was able to score 3 plays to take a 2 score lead, something the Flames were unable to bounce back from.

Buckshot intercepted when trying to find Farrow – While it was still a 2 score game, the Flames had a chance to make it a game again midway through the 3rd. Pickett rushed on 3 straight plays to pick up a first down before Buckshot targeted B.J. Farrow on a deep pass play. Farrow had a step or two on his defender, but Calvert put too much air under the ball, allowing the defenders to catch up to B.J. With two defenders on the play, the Cavaliers were able to break the pass up and intercept it while falling to the ground. It virtually ended any hope Liberty had of making a comeback.