After a hot start to their inaugural FBS season, the Flames were cooled by the tedious task of taming the triple option of the Army Black Knights. Liberty is no stranger to the option as former Big South rival Kennesaw State implemented it at the hands of a recent Georgia Tech coach. But we saw Liberty develop struggles against the option as the Owls gained traction in the FCS ranks. These struggles followed the Flames into the FBS ranks as observed by the results of Saturday’s contest. Though the Flames didn’t secure the win in West Point, there were a number of valuable performances during the game that should be highlighted.
MVP: WR DAMIAN KING
After missing the Old Dominion game due to a suspension, King kicked off his senior year with an impressive performance against a good Army secondary. Following a painful first half, King helped spark the offense with a 28-yard touchdown on Liberty’s opening drive of the 2nd half. This then led to a 14-0 run for the Flames bringing their deficit within 10 of Army and kindled hope of a comeback. Unfortunately, that flame dwindled out. One other note: Despite missing the first game, King is already the second leading receiver for the Flames.
MVP: DE Juwan Wells
Going up against the triple option is no easy feat and Liberty found little success slowing the Black Knights down. As it’s to be expected though, the Flames racked up tackles against run-heavy Army and Juwan Wells was at the center of it all. The veteran defensive end played a role in 13 tackles on the day. And now, despite missing the first half of the season opener, Wells leads the team in tackles.
MVP: K AARON PEART
Things got weird Saturday. Even though he didn’t attempt a field goal, back-up kicker…and punter, Aaron Peart got plenty of action, earning himself another MVP award on the season. After Aidan Alves decided to become a human torpedo in the 1st quarter, leading to a swift ejection, Peart took on punting duties for the Flames. This came on top of the kicking role he has inherited with Alex Probert sidelined due to a hammy issue. Apart from a shanked punt, Peart handled himself well, averaging 30 yards a punt with one inside the 20 and 2 touchbacks on 3 kickoffs.