Sports Spectrum Draft Special

Liberty Flames 'fired up' for FBS football debut vs. Old Dominion

Liberty University’s longtime goal of competing at the highest level of college football came true in 2017, but it will be experienced for the first time this Saturday.

That’s when the Flames will make their Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) debut.

To no surprise, as Damien Sordelett reported for The News & Advance, Liberty is fired up about it:

“We’re kind of picking fights with people from all over the country. Every single week we’re going to be somewhere new or taking on an opponent that’s not familiar,” offensive coordinator Joe Dailey said. “For us, that’s exciting just because it’s some new faces and not the traditional Big South opponents. I know our guys are fired up and excited about the opportunity to play up and down, left and right, coast to coast, and it’s a phenomenal challenge that we’re excited for.” …

“I think playing against more FBS teams, it’s definitely lit a fire under everybody, and you have to come to work every day,” (senior linebacker David) King said.

The challenge begins on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. ET, when Old Dominion will travel to Lynchburg, Virginia, to welcome Liberty into the FBS. The Flames won’t technically be a full FBS member until 2019 since this season was granted to them as an independent team in transition. But their 2018 schedule, starting this Saturday, nonetheless fulfills the vision of original president Jerry Falwell, who wanted Liberty to reach the height of college football competition. They’ll even have an outside shot at early bowl eligibility, per Sordelett noted, thanks to a deal with the Cure Bowl.

Before their move, the Flames played in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division I-AA. Now, they’re scheduled to take on bigger programs like Army, New Mexico State, Virginia and No. 9-ranked Auburn this season alone.

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