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The Liberty Flames lose 13-7 to the St. Francis Red Flash as the offense goes nowhere

The Flames turn the ball over four times and waste a strong defensive effort in extending their losing streak.

NCAA Football: Liberty at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Liberty Flames lost at home to the St. Francis (PA) Red Flash on Saturday September 30th 13-7. The Flames lose their first game at home on the season while continuing a losing streak that started last week against Jacksonville State.

What was a promising offense to start the season, the Flames have now scored just 17 points in their past two games. To be fair, Jacksonville State and St. Francis have strong defenses, but the Flames need to find ways to overcome adversity, which they haven’t in the past two weeks.

At the top of the list of things that need to change, Liberty has started turning over the ball at an alarming rate, which is the leading cause of what sank the Flames against the Red Flash. Stephen Calvert threw two interceptions and lost a fumble, which ended the game, while the Flames’ leading rusher Kentory Matthews (five carries for 50 yards) lost a fumble as well. In addition, the Flames were just 1-for-3 in converting fourth downs (one on St. Francis’s 2-yard line). The defense gave a strong performance despite nabbing zero turnovers, which resulted in the Flames having a -4 turnover margin; its lucky the score was as close as it was.

The Red Flash held the Flames to just 4-17 on third down conversions and a 50% completion percentage for Calvert. The Flames outgained their opponent 338 yards to 275, but due to the turnovers, lost out on time of possession 35:33 to 24:27.

Defensively, Chris Turner led the Flames with 10 tackles (eight solo), two for a loss including one sack, and a pass breakup. In a rare occurrence, the Flames out-sacked the Red Flash four to two. Once again, the Flames blocked a kick, this time an extra point but unfortunately for the home team, this did not make the difference between winning and losing.

Liberty resumes their season October 14th at home against Kennesaw State. Will they be able to stop the bleeding and get back into their winning ways? There has to be some intense self-reflection going on within the program. Liberty has really deteriorated on offense since the early games this season and wasted a rare strong effort by the defense. They need to turn things around before they limp into FBS play.