Liberty locks down Georgia Southern in Cure Bowl win
Field Level Media
Dec 21, 2019
Senior quarterback Stephen Calvert threw two touchdown passes and the defense did the rest as Liberty triumphed in its first FBS postseason appearance with a 23-16 Cure Bowl win over Georgia Southern on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Orlando, Fla.
Calvert passed for 220 of his 270 yards in the first half and had scoring strikes of 57 yards to tight end Johnny Huntley and 14 to Antonio Gandy-Golden. He was intercepted twice in the second half but the Flames (8-5) held the Eagles (7-6) to just a pair of field goals following the turnovers.
The Eagles entered the game with the nation's No. 8 rushing offense, but the Flames held them to 194 yards on the ground -- 67 yards under their regular-season average.
Quarterback Shai Werts passed for a season-high 95 yards for the Eagles but threw his first interception since Dec. 2, 2017, ending a streak of 230 attempts without a pick. Running back Wesley Kennedy III rushed for 104 yards that included a 10-yard dash for the Eagles' only touchdown.
Up 16-7 at halftime, Liberty scored on its first drive of the third quarter on Calvert's second touchdown pass. The Flames then held the Eagles to just three field goals the rest of the way, the last being Tyler Bass' 35-yarder with 1:44 remaining.
The Flames then gained possession when Georgia Southern's onside kick was illegally touched before traveling the required 10 yards.
Liberty is in its second season as an FBS independent after moving up from the FCS ranks.
Neither team could muster much offensive consistency in the first half.
The Flames had 264 yards in the first two quarters, but 163 of that came on the two touchdown drives. The Eagles had only 115 yards in the first half on their way to 289 for the game. They went three-and-out on nine possessions.
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