Liberty football pic

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty scored three special-teams touchdowns and held ULM below 200 yards of total offense in a dominant 40-7 victory, Saturday at Williams Stadium. 

With the win, Liberty improves to 4-0 for the first time since opening the 2008 season with six straight wins. The Flames pushed their overall winning streak to a program FBS-era-record six games while winning at home for the eighth straight game. Sun Belt member ULM falls to 0-5 on the season. Liberty became the second 4-0 team in FBS football this season, as only SMU beat the Flames to four wins this year.

Malik Willis passed for 177 yards and rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown in his return to the lineup after missing late week’s win over North Alabama. Peytton Pickett also scored a rushing touchdown, while Treon Sibley (fumble recovery in end zone), Chancellor Smith (blocked punt recovery for TD) and Demario Douglas (punt return TD) all scored special-teams touchdowns.

Liberty stifled a ULM passing attack that came into the game averaging 265 yards per game. The Warhawks managed just 120 passing yards, while the Flames outgained ULM 400-198.

For the game, Liberty totaled twice as many first downs as the visitors (20-10), with four of ULM’s first downs coming in the fourth quarter. 

Box Score Highlights: 

Final Score: 40-7 Liberty

ULM (0-5)

Liberty (4-0)

Location: Williams Stadium (Lynchburg, Va.)

Attendance: 1,000

Turning Point: 

        Douglas’ 73-yard punt return touchdown pushed Liberty’s lead out to 40-0 late in the fourth quarter before ULM spoiled the Flames’ shutout bid with a touchdown. It was the second straight week in a row in which the opponent scored its lone touchdown in the fourth quarter. 

Play-By-Play Breakdown:

First Quarter

  • Douglas’ 38-yard punt return set up Liberty’s first score. Facing fourth-and-one at the ULM 15-yard-line, Pickett got Liberty on the board by rushing for a touchdown with 10:01 left in the first quarter.
  • Liberty converted on its next drive, capitalizing on a Scruggs interception. Willis capped a seven-play, 41-yard drive by scoring from six yards out.
  • The Flames dominated the opening 15 minutes, outgaining the Warhawks 166-18.

Second Quarter

  • Driving for a three-score lead, Willis’ pass was intercepted at the ULM 15-yard-line and returned to the Warhawks’ 48. ULM’s drive stalled at the Liberty 31 on a turnover on downs.
  • With ULM pinned back inside its own five-yard-line, Warhawks punter Daniel Sparks fumbled, with Treon Sibley falling on it for a Liberty touchdown and 21-0 Flames lead with 3:56 left in the half.
  • Haskins’ first career interception set Liberty up with great field position at the ULM 22 late in the half. Barbir made it 24-0 Liberty when his 42-yard field goal went through the goalposts.

Third Quarter

  • Sibley blocked a punt in ULM’s end zone, with Chancellor Smith recovering for a 31-0 Liberty lead.
  • The Warhawks threatened to score, but were held out of the end zone, turning it over on downs at the one-yard line.

Fourth Quarter

  • Liberty drove from its own one-yard line to the ULM 12 before tacking on a 30-yard Barbir field goal to extend its lead to 34-0. Douglas made it 40-0 Liberty with a 73-yard punt return.
  • ULM broke up the shutout bid with an eight-play, 58-yard scoring drive, capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jeremy Hunt to Kadyn Roach.

What’s Next: 

Liberty returns to the road for its next game, heading to the Empire State for a noon kickoff on Saturday at Syracuse, a game televised on the ACC Network. This will be the second meeting for the Flames and Orange, as they met at Williams Stadium in both teams’ 2019 season opener.

Date: Saturday, Oct. 17 2020

Location: Syracuse, N.Y. (Carrier Dome)

Radio: LFSN Radio (Flagship Station: The Journey 88.3 FM Lynchburg)

TV: ACC Network

Kickoff: Noon (EST)