Liberty Flames 2021 College Football Preview
Created July 19, 2021
Record – 10-1
ATS – 9-2
That was one heck of a season as the Flames rattled off 10 (!) wins including a victory over previously undefeated Coastal Carolina in the Cure Bowl (W 37-34 OT). They also took down the Hokies on the road and came within one point (!) of an undefeated campaign. HC Hugh Freeze has booked an outstanding 18-6 record in Lynchburg and it’ll be interesting to see what they do for an encore in 2021. Let’s go!
Liberty Flames 2021 Outlook
The Flames were fantastic on offense LY thanks in large part to the play of superstar QB Malik Willis (64%, 20-6 TD to INT; 944 rush, 14 TD). They were the #9 rushing offense in the FBS and ranked #22 in passing efficiency. Willis is back for one more season before his NFL career kicks off and leads a potent offense. Almost everyone that caught a pass returns this year including #1 WR DJ Stubbs (38-523, 13.8, 3 TD) and #2 WR Kevin Shaa (18.0 YPC, 4 TD). TE Johnny Huntley averaged an impressive 13.4 YPC LY (3 TD). Two of the Flames’ top-three RBs are back including Joshua Mack (797, 5.7, 4 TD). They also add Utah transfer RB TJ Green to the group. THE HITS KEEP COMING when you consider that everyone’s back up front and they did a great job in 2020.
Liberty made fine strides on defense LY and allowed just 20.5 PPG after yielding 28.1 in 2019. They also allowed just 318 YPG (#11 FBS) which was close to a 100-YPG improvement from the previous year. They were equally stingy vs the run (#29) and vs the pass (#26 pass efficiency D). They return 9 starters this year and look like a really strong unit. It all starts up front with a wicked DL that has size inside and a pair of nasty DEs (Treshaun Clark, Durrell Johnson) who combined for 14 sacks and 12 QBH LY. They return #1 tackler and rover Javon Scruggs and add a talented LB from ULM through the transfer portal (Rashaad Harding; #4 tackler in 2019). The back end is experienced and they add a small handful of talented transfers to the mix.
All the key components return this year and they’ll hope for a bit more consistency from PK Alex Barbir (13-20 FG, 4-8 40+). PR Demario Douglas booked a TD LY.
Overall – It doesn’t look too bad. The three-game November schedule is tough and note that Hugh Freeze returns to Ole Miss on November 6th.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at UAB (October 2nd)
This will be their 3rd road game in four weeks and the Blazers are mighty tough.
Season Win Total
per 5Dimes July 19
Over 9 -105
Under 9 -115
We have them pegged at 8-10 wins. If you can find a rogue 8.5 out there it’s probably worth a stab at the ‘over’.
The Flames haven’t had a losing season since 2005. That’s a FACT CHECK TRUE.
WHOA NELLIE. Hugh Freeze has built a LYNCHBURG MONSTER and just might have his best team on paper heading into 2021. The offense will be lethal and the defense has talent and the proven ability to get after the quarterback. Another double-digit win season is very possible.
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