Liberty (3-3) hosts Coastal Carolina (6-0) Saturday at Williams Stadium. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN3.com.
LU has already faced some challenging teams (Kent State, Richmond, Old Dominion) this season but this time their tester is at home. Additionally it's a Big South Conference game so this is the one that matters the most because this is a game the Flames will likely need to win in order to reach their desired destination - the FCS playoffs.
NOTES FROM TUESDAY'S NEWS CONFERENCE WITH COACH GILL AND SELECTED PLAYERS
-Coastal is ranked 4th in the FCS coaches poll and 6th in the Sports Network poll.
-Liberty is 18-1 in conference home games since 2006. Their last loss was former coach Danny Rocco's first conference game at home.
-In three previous home games against top 4 ranked teams, Liberty has lost all three games against Western Illinois in 1988 (36-35), Appalachian State in 1999 (28-12), and Appalachian State again in 2002 (29-22).
-In the ten times these two teams have played, each team has won five games.
-Coach Gill has placed on emphasis on making plays in the 4th quarter when his players are tired. To incorporate that thought into practice the Flames are doing conditioning drills (normally reserved for the very end of practice) before they complete their final offensive plays.
-Gill said the keys to the game will be playing more physical than Coastal, putting points on the board early, and finishing. "We have to finish the game," he said.
-Lorenzo Taliaferro is Coastal's main offensive threat. He ran for 144 yards against Gardner-Webb last week. Gill said one of the reasons he is so good is because he keeps his pad level low and he's always squared up.
-Liberty's defense is ranked third in the FCS in red-zone defense. They intercepted ODU's QB twice in the red-zone and overall the Flames have been impressed when backed up against their own goal line. Gill said that was an area in which LU had to improve upon this season. Coaches impressed upon the players that the red-zone is "Our Backyard." That mantra has worked through six games.
-Last year LU lost 36-12 at Coastal. Gill said, "They simply out-executed us." LU QB Josh Woodrum threw three interceptions in that loss. Needless to say it would be difficult for the Flames to win Saturday if that statistic is duplicated.
-Francis Bah is once again listed as OUT for the game. So is Aldreakis Allen.
-D.J. Abnar is now listed as the co-number 2 running back along with Clifton Richardson.