A state opponent has been removed from future Liberty football programs as part of the Flames’ arduous process to prepare for joining Conference USA.
Liberty and Virginia have signed a Mutual Cancellation of Football Deal that cancels the last four games of the six-game series the Programs signed when the Flames moved to FBS.
Cancellations release matches in the Flames’ 2023, 2027, 2029, and 2030 calendars.
The agreement was necessitated by Liberty’s decision to join Conference USA on July 1, 2023.
The Flames, who currently play as an Indie, had to complete full 12-game schedules when they joined the Subdivision in 2018, and they had full schedules completed through 2025.
Liberty is due to cut its non-conference list to four games from 2023 and the cancellation deal with Virginia is the start of that process.
The Flames and Cavaliers opened the six-game series with games in Charlottesville in 2018 and 2019.
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The 2023 and 2030 games were to be played in Charlottesville, while the 2027 and 2029 competitions were to be played in Lynchburg.
Flames coach Hugh Freeze said his ideal non-conference schedules at the US Conference would include a Power Five opponent, two regional Group of Five opponents and an FCS foe.
South Carolina is now the Flames’ only P5 opponent in 2023, and Virginia Tech is the P5 opponent on the 2029 and 2030 calendars.
Duke and Virginia Tech are the last P5 enemies in 2027.
Another move to create scheduling flexibility has been to move a 2025 home game with Appalachian State to November 8, 2031. This gives Liberty two next games for this season with the Flames playing on September 6 in North Carolina. .
Aldridge and Curtis promoted to defensive co-coordinators
Freeze worked quickly to fill the void left by the departure of defensive coordinator Scott Symons for Southern Methodist.
Defensive line coach Josh Aldridge and safety coach Jack Curtis were promoted to co-defensive coordinators four days after Symons was officially named EMS coach Rhett Lashlee’s choice to lead the Mustangs defense. .
The decision to elevate Aldridge and Curtis to lead the defense maintains the continuity of a defense that entered Tuesday’s bowl games, ranked 13th nationally in total defense and 27th in scoring defense.
Hunley joins Symons at SMU
SMU announced Tuesday that Liberty cornerback coach Rickey Hunley is joining Symons on par with the Mustangs.
Hunley’s cornerbacks helped Liberty to place eighth in 2021 and 12th in 2020 in pass defense.
Hunley is the third field assistant to leave for a new position following the Flames’ LendingTree Bowl victory over Eastern Michigan.
In addition to Symons and Hunley, offensive line coach Sam Gregg will travel to Southern Miss to take over as offensive coordinator.
Liberty picks up two, loses four to transfer the portal
Liberty received commitments from Colorado midstate Cam Reddy and Southern Utah cornerback Kobe Singleton in the transfer portal, while losing four players at the portal since the Flames’ 56-20 victory. .
Reddy has two more seasons of eligibility and could easily replace Thomas Sargeant at center.
Singleton has three more seasons of eligibility and is helping fill the gaps for the cornerback position. Isaiah Avery entered the transfer portal, while Duron Lowe and Jimmy Faulks exhausted their eligibility.
Wide receiver / tight end Stetson Moore, defensive tackle William Green and running back Frank Boyd also entered the gate.
Honors arrive for two of the first signatories
The two junior college transfers that signed with Liberty earlier this month won Division I All-America honors from the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Mississippi Gulf Coast sophomore Mike Smith Jr. became the MGCCC’s first NJCAA All-American linebacker, while Iowa Center offensive lineman Reggie Young was named in the second All-American team.
McGhee wins the weekly honor
Senior men’s basketball goalie Darius McGhee capped an impressive week in Honolulu with a second prize.
McGhee, named Diamond Head Classic MVP, won his first ASUN Conference Player of the Week award this season. He averaged 30.7 points, evidenced by a career-high 41 against BYU, in all three games of the Flames tournament.
McGhee set tournament records with 92 points and 15 to 3 points.
Dobbs enters the transfer portal
Second-year point guard Drake Dobbs entered the transfer portal on Monday after appearing in 39 of 43 games during his time with the schedule.
Dobbs, who served as Chris Parker’s replacement in the 2020-21 season, has appeared to come off the rotation in the first 14 games of this season. McGhee and Kyle Rode share the role of playmaker in the starting lineup, and rookie DJ Moore’s red shirt has been removed and he serves as the main playmaker.
Dobbs started two games in his time with Liberty.