An Independent team will get a chance to go up against a team from the Sun Belt on December 21 for the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl. Both teams are 7-5 and will be hoping to end the season on a high note with a bowl win. Here is the 2019 FBC Morgage Cure Bowl Preview.
Liberty Flames (7-5)
Liberty had a solid season under Hugh Freeze to get to seven wins as an independent. They only beat one bowl-eligible team though this season: Buffalo. The only team they lost to that didn’t make a bowl game was Syracuse.
The Flames have a good offense that scores 33.7 points per game, ranking 31st in the country. They have an average rushing offense at 152 yards per game, which puts them at 73rd in the FBS. Liberty does pass the ball well ranking 21st with 290.5 passing yards per game.
Stephen “Buckshot” Calvert has led the great passing attack. So far this season, he has thrown for 3,393 yards, 26 touchdowns and five interceptions on 58.8 percent completion. The Flames have four receivers who have over 200 receiving yards, but one player stands out above the rest. Their star receiver, Antonio Golden-Gandy, is an NFL Draft prospect who had 74 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns.
Two running backs do most of the damage for Liberty. Frankie Hickson leads the team with 921 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Joshua Mack has also rushed for 749 yards and six touchdowns this season.
They are a middle of the pack defense, ranking 77th as a scoring defense with 29.1 points allowed per game. Their run defense is 100th in the country, giving up 192.7 yards per game on the ground. Liberty surrenders 229.8 passing yards per game, which locks them in at 73rd in the FBS. Defensive lineman Jessie Lemonier has led the team this season with 8.5 sacks.
Georiga Southern Eagles (7-5)
Georgia Southern started the season at 1-3, but finished the season with just two more losses to comfortably make a bowl game. They beat two bowl-eligible teams, most notably Appalachian State who won the Sun Belt this year. The only loss they suffered to a non-bowl-eligible team was against Troy.
The Eagles have an average scoring offense, ranking 64th in the country at 29.2 points per game. They rush for 261.5 yards per game (ranked eighth) and pass for 72.8 yards per game (ranked last), due to their triple-option attack.
When they have to throw the ball, Shai Werts is the one responsible. He has thrown for 704 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions on 52.8 percent completion. Mark Michaud and Malik Murray are the ones who receive the majority of the targets in the passing game, with Michaud leading the team with 218 receiving yards.
The running game is the focal point of the offense. Five players have over 200 rushing yards this season. J.D. King, Wesley Kennedy and Werts each have over 675 rushing yards and at least five rushing touchdowns. Depending on how a defense goes up against the Eagles, any of these players could be the key to the game.
Their defense is near the middle of the pack, as they allow 28.6 points per game. Georgia Southern gives up 136.7 yards per game on the ground (ranked 38th) and 240.6 passing yards per game (ranked 91st). Monquavion Brinson has been a good corner for them with 10 passes defended.
Georgia Southern’s triple-option isn’t easy to stop. What makes it easier is that Liberty does not have a good run defense. The Eagles will control the clock and the ball to help give them a bowl victory.
Georgia Southern Eagles 26 Liberty Flames 22
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