Fresh off one of the biggest wins in program history, your Liberty Flames (5-5 overall, 4-1 Big South) face off this Saturday against the Keydets of VMI (2-8 overall, 1-4 Big South). This game has major implications for the Flames, as they will clinch at least a three-way tie for the Big South Championship, which would be their fifth. As has been reported previously, with a win and a Coastal Carolina loss, Liberty will receive the Big South automatic bid to the playoffs, which would be a first for the program. Don’t expect this VMI team to lay down for the Flames, as they will no doubt be looking to end their season on a positive note at home on Senior Day.
The Flames come into this Saturday’s match up with an 8-3 all time record against the Keydets. Liberty has won 6 consecutive meetings, with the last loss to VMI coming in, you guessed it, Ken Karcher’s final season of 2005. The series has featured some exciting contests over the years, including a dramatic 4th quarter comeback in front of a Williams Stadium crowd in 2003. Last season’s match up ended with the Flames taking home a 37-31 victory.
What You Need To Know
Coming off of an emotional performance against Stony Brook, Liberty will have to avoid a let down against a lesser, but motivated opponent in VMI. The Keydets rank #117 in total offense, #82 in total defense, and are allowing more than 30 points per game. Despite turning in less than impressive numbers, VMI will no doubt come out motivated to pull off an upset on Senior Day. Liberty’s opponent will bring a different look than Stony Brook did, as the Keydets utilize multiple personnel packages featuring 3 and 4 WR sets. The Flames will have to play a disciplined game on defense, and eliminate big plays as VMI will no doubt be throwing everything but the kitchen sink at them. On offense, Liberty will need to get the run game going early with Aldreakis Allen and Sirchauncey Holloway to allow Josh Woodrum some time and space in the play action passing game.
#14 Eric Kordenbrock
6’4″ 220 Lbs.
Has completed 55.2% of his passes for 6 TD’s and 9 INT’s. Averaging 178.8 yards passing per game.
#21 Jabari Turner
6’0″ 210 Lbs.
Has rushed 104 times this season, averaging 3.6 yards per carry, with 4 rushing TD’s, and 2 receiving TD’s on the year. He’s the teams second leading receiver.
#57 Weston Reber
6’3″ 235 Lbs.
Has come back from injuries the past two seasons to lead the team in tackling, with a total of 75 on the year.
TSN National Player of The Week Nick Sigmon and the Flames’ defense will have to keep the intensity turned up against a different type of offense this week. VMI comes into the game passing more than rushing, which no doubt requires a different game plan than Stony Brook did. How the Flames’ man scheme holds up will determine how competitive this game is.
The Long and Short of It
The name of the game here is consistency. Liberty is coming off a huge, emotional win, but cannot afford to let their guard down against a conference opponent playing their final home game of the season. A flat start could force the Flames into a tougher game than they hope for. If Liberty can avoid the big mistake, and play with the sort of intensity and attention to detail they did last week, they win this game easily and can turn their attention to the Charleston Southern vs. Coastal Carolina scoreboard.
Liberty plays a solid game on both sides of the ball, and turns the Coastal game into high drama.