The Liberty Flames defeated Arkansas 21-19 this past weekend to record its first win against an SEC opponent.
This game marked the Flames’ third attempt at a victory against an SEC powerhouse, and this time they stamped their ticket. This extends the Flame’s winning streak to six games, the team’s longest streak since the 2019 and 2020 seasons. This also extends the Flames’ road game win streak to four.
Aside from the winning season, it must be added that this improves the Flames’ all-time record to 4-1 when playing as a Top 25 team. Amazing right?
Liberty was the first to score Saturday night, with quarterback Jonathan Bennett starting a five-play 59-yard drive with a 31-yard pass to Douglas. This drive was completed by a 16-yard touchdown pass to Noah Frith.
On the offensive side, wide receiver Demario Douglas caught seven passes for 145 yards and one touchdown. Douglas’s performance solidified his sixth 100-yard receiving game and third this season. He finished the game with 158 all-purpose yards.
Running back Shedro Louis rushed for a team-high 57 yards on 17 carries. Wide receiver Treon Sibley caught two passes for 27 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown catch that leveraged Liberty to a 21-0 lead late in the second quarter.
Liberty’s defense had more great performances tonight as well. Defensive end Durrell Johnson recorded a career-high nine tackles, including 3.5 tackles for a loss (tying career high) and two sacks. Johnson now has 33 career sacks for a loss and 15.5 career sacks.
Safety Javon Scruggs, linebacker Tyren Dupree, and defensive tackle Kendy Charles all registered seven tackles each, combining for four tackles for losses (TFLs) and 1.5 sacks between them.
Cornerback Daijahn Anthony picked off his second interception this season, making this his fifth career interception. In addition to the stellar defensive performance, Safety Robert Rahimi made five tackles and added another interception to his list (he now has five interceptions, which is the most by a Liberty Flames player since 2016 (Tyrin Holloway-five).
That was a lot of statistics, huh? But it was necessary. The Flames’ performances continue to improve week by week, as Head Coach Freeze declared earlier in the season. Liberty has proven that it can compete under pressure AND against powerhouses. At the beginning of this season, there were questions surrounding the team’s longevity because of needing a new starting quarterback.
It is safe to say that everyone from quarterbacks to safeties and linebackers have all stepped up and taken accountability to become better each week.
The Flames will travel to Connecticut for next week’s matchup at noon. The game will air on LFSN Radio (The Journey 88.3 FM) the CBS Sports Network.
The last two games will be at home against in-state rival Virginia Tech and a “cross the country (RIP Takeoff)” opponent, New Mexico State.
- NCAAFNovember 30, 2022Flames drop last regular season game 49-14 against New Mexico State
- FootballNovember 22, 2022Liberty Flames fall to Virginia Tech 23-22 at home
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- AAC FootballNovember 8, 2022The Liberty Flames Defeat SEC Opponent Arkansas on the Road, 21-19