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Liberty Announces Slate for 2011 Season
An ACC opponent and three NCAA FCS Playoff participants spotlight the 2011 Flames football schedule, which was released today by the Liberty University Athletics Department.
“We are very excited about our 2011 football schedule,” commented head coach Danny Rocco. “The season opens in Raleigh against North Carolina State, who is coming off an impressive win in the Champs Sports Bowl over West Virginia.
“The schedule features three FCS playoff teams from 2010, as well as Colonial power James Madison. Additionally, we are excited about the possibility of setting a new home attendance record in 2011, with six games being played in newly expanded Williams Stadium.”
Liberty, who will be looking for an unprecedented fifth-straight Big South Conference title, will open the 2011 campaign in Raleigh, N.C., on Sept. 3 when the Flames square off against N.C. State.
The Wolfpack are coming off a 23-7 victory over West Virginia at the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 28 to close out a 9-4 season. N.C. State will be the second ACC opponent Liberty has faced in program history, after the Flames squared off against Wake Forest during Rocco’s inaugural season on Liberty Mountain in 2006.
The Flames will then return home for three of their next four games, starting with Robert Morris on Sept. 10. The Colonials finished the 2010 season 8-3 and advanced to the NCAA FCS Playoffs after claiming the Northeast Conference title.
Liberty will then continue its four-year run with James Madison, Sept. 17 at Williams Stadium. The Dukes posted wins over two nationally ranked FCS opponents in 2010, including No. 1 William & Mary, plus recorded a stunning upset of FBS-ranked No. 13 Virginia Tech.
The Flames then return to the road on Sept. 24 and travel to Bethlehem, Pa., to face Lehigh for the first time since 2004. The Mountain Hawks, winners of the Patriot League, posted a 10-3 record in 2010 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs after upending No. 16 Northern Iowa during the opening round.
Liberty will close out the non-conference portion of its schedule at home on Oct. 1 against Kentucky Wesleyan. The Panthers, who the Flames have not faced since a 47-7 win inside Williams Stadium on Sept, 20, 2003, are coming off their most successful season under Brent Holsclaw, the Great Lakes Football Conference Coach of the Year.
For the first time in three seasons, the Flames will open up Big South Conference action on the road, as Liberty squares off against Gardner-Webb on Oct. 8. The Flames will travel to Boiling Springs, N.C., a place Liberty has won its last two games by an average of 27 points.
The Flames will return home for their annual Homecoming game on Oct. 15 to face Big South rival Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers, along with Liberty and Stony Brook, shared the 2010 Big South title and were awarded the league’s first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs after a 5-1 Big South record.
Liberty will face its second South Carolina-based program in a row the following week when it travels to the “Palmetto State” to face Charleston Southern on Oct. 22. Liberty is 16-2 all-time against Charleston Southern, including a 7-1 mark at CSU Stadium.
Presbyterian College and VMI will close out the home portion of Liberty’s regular-season schedule on the last Saturday in October (29) and the first in November (5), respectively.
The Flames have posted consecutive 30-point victories over the Blue Hose inside of Williams Stadium, while Liberty will be looking to make it five wins in a row against the Keydets in the battle of Blue Ridge Mountain programs.
Following a weekend off from action, Liberty will travel to Long Island to face Stony Brook on Nov. 19 to conclude the regular-season portion of its schedule in what has proven to be a pivotal conference game in recent years.
The meeting between the Flames and the Seawolves the last two seasons has determined the Big South Conference championship, with each squad winning a title on its home field.
After the conclusion of another grueling 11-game schedule on the gridiron, the NCAA Selection Committee will release the 20-team field for the 2011 NCAA FCS Playoffs on Nov. 20. The 2011 season will be the second year the Flames have a chance to win the Big South’s automatic bid into the postseason tournament field.
The 20-team playoff bracket will begin with four first-round games at home sites on Nov. 26. The four victors will advance to the second round, where they will join the remaining 12 teams to complete the bracket and begin their match toward Frisco, Texas, where the NCAA FCS national champion will be crowned at Pizza Hut Park.
2011 Liberty University
Sept. 3 Sat. at N.C. State Raleigh, N.C.
10 Sat. ROBERT MORRIS LYNCHBURG
17 Sat. JAMES MADISON LYNCHBURG
24 Sat. at Lehigh Bethlehem, Pa.
Oct. 1 Sat. KENTUCKY WESLEYAN LYNCHBURG
8 Sat. at Gardner-Webb * Boiling Springs, N.C.
15 Sat. COASTAL CAROLINA * LYNCHBURG
22 Sat. at Charleston Southern * Charleston, S.C.
29 Sat. PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE * LYNCHBURG
Nov. 5 Sat. VMI * LYNCHBURG
(Military Appreciation Day/Senior Day)
12 Sat. Open
19 Sat. at Stony Brook * Stony Brook, N.Y.
26 Sat. NCAA FCS Playoffs (First Round) On-Campus Sites
Dec. 3 Sat. NCAA FCS Playoffs (Second Round) On-Campus Sites
10 Sat. NCAA FCS Playoffs (Quarterfinals) On-Campus Sites
16 Fri. NCAA FCS Playoffs (Semifinals) On-Campus Sites
17 Sat. NCAA FCS Playoffs (Semifinals) On-Campus Sites
Jan. 6 Fri. NCAA FCS Playoffs Frisco, Texas
National Championship Game
Pizza Hut Park
* - Big South Conference game
All Times are EST and are subject to change
By Liberty University Communications