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2022 NCAA Football Preview: Liberty University Flames

Demario Douglas is one of the best young wide receivers in the nation. Can he help propel the Liberty Flames in 2022?
Demario Douglas is one of the best young wide receivers in the nation. Can he help propel the Liberty Flames in 2022?

Liberty University Flames 

Head Coach: Hugh Freeze (68-43, 25-10 at Liberty)

2021 Record: 8-5

Offense Analysis:

The Flames hope to keep it going in 2022 coming off a year where they were ranked 35th in the nation in total offense. The Flames offense averaged 33.6 PPG and 436 YPG in the prior season. However, most of that production came from QB Malik Willis, who left for the NFL in the offseason. The good news for Flames fans is that they weren’t left high and dry without a QB for the 2022 season. Utah and Baylor transfer Sr. QB Charlie Brewer comes to Lynchburg with plenty of experience and a history of winning football. In his 5 year career, Brewer has thrown for over 10,000 yards and 68 TDs. Willis’ favorite target, WR Demario Douglas, is also back for his sophomore campaign as well as Sr. RB T.J. Green. Brewer will be well protected behind a veteran o-line that features a crew with an abundance of experience. The hope for Liberty’s offense is that it does not miss a beat in 2022 and can pick up where Willis left off as one of the nation’s best units. 

Defense Analysis:

In the offseason, Freeze made some changes to his coaching staff. Josh Aldridge and Jack Curtis were named Co-Defensive Coordinators for the upcoming season. Last year, the Flames allowed 21.5 PPG and 320 YPG. Unfortunately, for the new DCs, they will have to operate after the loss of 4 of the 5 leading tackles for the Flames last season, including LB Storey Jackson who led the team with 102 tackles and 7 sacks a year ago. The Flames are able to rely on returning So. DT Kendy Charles, who was second on the team with 5 sacks last year, and Sr. S Javon Scruggs, who was the team’s third leading tackler and also brought it an interception. Working with an almost entirely new unit is never easier for a first year coordinator, or in this case coordinators. Liberty’s defense was just good enough last year to scrap by with help from their offense but they will need to limit big plays and long drives in the current year, if they want to be successful.


Hugh Freeze is entering his 4th year with Liberty and is hoping to keep his success going. Freezed has brought the program to 4 straight bowl games, winning 2, and there is no reason why this year should be any different. The loss of Willis hurts both from a talent and leadership standpoint but Brewer is a competent replacement with big game experience. The offense will take a small step back and the hope is that the defense can progress enough to make up for it. Liberty should continue to be a tough opponent week in and week out not just for its fellow independents but for some Power 5 schools as well. I look for Hugh Freeze to continue moving the Flames in the right direction.

2022 Liberty Football Schedule (Predicted W/L)

  • Sept. 3 – @ Southern Miss (L)
  • Sept. 10 – UAB  (W)
  • Sept. 17 – @ Wake Forest (L)
  • Sept. 24 – Akron (W)
  • Oct. 1 – @ Old Dominion (W)
  • Oct. 8 – @ UMASS (W)
  • Oct. 15 – Gardner-Webb (W)
  • Oct. 22 – BYU (L)
  • Nov. 5 – @ Arkansas (L)
  • Nov. 12 – @ UCONN (W)
  • Nov. 19 – Virginia Tech (L)
  • Nov. 26 – New Mexico St (W)

Projected 2022 Record: 7-5

Written By: Steve DeFruscio

Instagram: @redshirt_szn

Twitter: @redshirt_szn , @stevedefruscio


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