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Liberty's defense delivers in Cure Bowl victory over Georgia Southern

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January 13, 2020
View full story in The News & Advance....ORLANDO, Fla. — Liberty football coach Hugh Freeze and defensive coordinator Scott Symons shared a recent flight to Chicago on a recruiting trip. It turned out to be a fruitful excursion to the Windy City, and not from a recruiting standpoint.

Symons put the finishing touches on his gameplan to stymie the Georgia Southern triple-option attack. Freeze saw the finalized scheme and gave his seal of approval before the plane touched down for the recruiting visit.

Symons’ plan to ground the Eagles’ offense worked nearly to perfection.
Georgia Southern was repeatedly forced into three-and-outs. Quarterback Shai Werts was harassed and continuously flattened into the Exploria Stadium turf. The Eagles’ methodical ground attack never found any traction.

And when Georgia Southern finally drove deep into Liberty territory three times in the second half, Symons’ unit answered the call each time.

It is the reason the Flames returned to Lynchburg late Saturday evening with the Cure Bowl trophy in hand.

The Flames built a big lead and relied on their defense to maintain the cushion down the stretch to claim a 23-16 victory over the Eagles before an announced crowd of 18,158 in the program’s first bowl appearance.

Liberty completed its first full-fledged season at the Football Bowl Subdivision level with an 8-5 record. The Flames also became the third team in the past 35 seasons to win a bowl game after not being a full FBS member the previous season, joining Appalachian State and Georgia Southern who both accomplished the feat in 2015.

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