College Football News Preview 2020: Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Liberty Flames Offense
The offensive line has to settle in right away. Talent-wise, there isn’t too much of a big concern with three starters returning and several good new parts to challenge for jobs, but there’s a whole lot of responsibility on this group’s shoulders.
With the top skill position players gone and with battles still going on for spots, the front five has to be even more of a rock. There will be more mobility at quarterback, but overall the pass protection has to be stronger
Biggest Key To The Liberty Flames Defense
Don’t give up multiple rushing touchdowns. The Flames don’t have a whole ton of bulk up front, and there’s little to no weight in the linebacking corps, but getting around the ball isn’t usually a problem for this D. However, there’s a big issue when teams are able to pound the ball on this group in the red zone.
In the two years as an FBS program, Liberty has allowed two or more rushing touchdowns 11 times. It’s record in those 11 games is 1-10, only slipping by New Mexico two years ago. It’s record when it allowed one touchdown or none? 13-1.
Key Liberty Flames Player To A Successful Season
QB Malik Willis, Jr.
The Auburn transfer will have to battle for the job with several other options looking to take over for Stephen Calvert, but he’s got the tools and the talent to potentially take Hugh Freeze’s offense to another level over the next two years.
The 6-1, 195-pounder is a terrific dual-threat option who should add something different to the Flames’ mix – he’s a dynamic playmaker. He saw a little bit of time at Auburn – he ran for over 300 yards and hit 11-of-14 passes – and now it’s his time to own a starting gig all to himself.
Key Game To The Liberty Flames Season
FIU, Sept. 26
If all goes according to chalk, Liberty will lose at Virginia Tech to kick things off, beat North Carolina A&T, and have a 50/50 shot at WKU. After that, the home date against FIU will be the true measuring stick to see just how quickly the team has jelled with all of its new starting skill player parts.
With two FCS games on the slate, Liberty has to win five games against FBS teams to get bowl eligible. With road games at Virginia Tech, Syracuse, NC State, there’s not a whole lot of margin for error. Beating FIU at home would take the pressure off a bit before the final two months.
– Liberty Flames Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Liberty Flames Fun Stats
– Time of Possession: Opponents 32:16 – Liberty 27:44
– Punt Return Average: Opponents 8.20 yards – Liberty 0.53 yards
– 4th Down Conversions: Opponents 11-of-24 (45.8%) – Liberty 5-of-16 (31.25%)