Liberty Will Present Multiple Test For WVU
By Jeff Vickers
Tony Gibson and his coaching staff prepared 6 months to stop the option attack of Georgia Southern. The result of all of the preparation was a 44-0 shut out.
This week, the Mountaineers coaching staff face a much more versatile attack in the high powered offense of Liberty. At certain positions, Liberty is just as talented and experienced as any opponent that WVU will face this season.
QB Josh Woodrum is the FCS active leader in Passing yards (7,682 yards), he leads a Flames offense that returns 6 starters and 388 of 448 points scored from a season ago. In the season opener versus Delaware state he lead the Flames offensive unit to 417 yards of total offense, the 7th time since the start of the 2014 season that the Liberty offense has topped the 400 yard mark in total offense. Woodrum completed 19/32 passes against Delaware State for 188 yards and 2 touchdown passes, numbers would have been higher if his receivers could have held onto some key passes.
WR Darrin Peterson had 8 receptions for 83 yards and 2 touchdowns against Delaware State. With 22 career touchdown receptions, Peterson is 2nd All time at Liberty and 5th all time i Big South History in Scoring receptions. Currently Peterson 3rd on the FCS active receiving yards (2,347) and 4th on the career receptions list (155).
Both Peterson and Tight End Kendall Couamin status’ remain question marks for Saturday’s contest against the Mountaineers. Couamin left the game in the 1st quarter after making a 30 yard reception. He was later seen on the sideline with a heavily bandaged let knee and did not dress for the 2nd half. Former Mountaineer Will Johnson will likely take Couamin’s place in the game Saturday against WVU. Less is known about Peterson’s status, the star receiver was carted from the sidelines during liberty’s Final drive. Liberty’s Head coach Turner Gill played it off as nothing major in his post game Interview.
Perhaps the most impressive player n Liberty’s roster is Senior defensive lineman Chima Uzowihe. Uzowihe stands 6’2″ and weighs 250 pounds, has made 27 career starts and led the Big South Conference with 14 tackles for loss in 2014. In his career, Uzowihe has 5 Forced Fumbles, over 100 tackles, 19.5 sacks, and nearly 30 tackles for loss. Uzowihe leads a Flames defensive unit that returns 5 starters from a season ago. Against Delaware State, the defensive unit had 9 tackles for loss that resulted in a total of 51 yards loss.
The Special Teams unit for Liberty is just that, Special. The Punter, Place Kicker, and Long Snapper all return from last Season. Punter Trey Turner averaged 41.5 yards per punt, as a Freshman, last season. Turner has averaged over 40 yards per punt in 10 of the 15 games he has played in his career at Liberty. Kicker John Lunsford is a pro caliber kicker. In his career, Lunsford is 9/14 on Field Goals of 50 + yards, and has the 2nd most made Field Goals (39) in FCS.
As a unit against Delaware State, the offense played sloppy but was effective.
15/26 of Liberty’s 1st downs came via the run
Liberty was 7/14 on converting 3rd downs