Liberty Cure Bowl Beats Coastal Carolina


Liberty ruined 12 Coastal Carolina’s undefeated seasons on Saturday night.

The flames overcame Coastal Carolina’s Massimo Biscardi’s game-tying field effort over-the-time to beat the Chatricklers 37-34.

Liberty finishes the season at 10–1 while Coastal Carolina ends the year at 11–1 after being eliminated from the College Football Playoff and missing a berth in six bowls of the new year.

Liberty collapsed while trying not to score

Freedom should have won in regulation.

The Flames had 3 minutes left after Costal tied the game at 34–34 with a touchdown. Liberty quickly fielded the ball and scored the first and the goal with 1:35 left.

Instead of trying to score a touchdown, Liberty and coach Hugh Freeze decided to go for a game-winning field goal as time expired. And instead of kneeling, Freese called the running drama.

The first run play worked. Costal wanted to score Liberty and Joshua went down just 5 to Mack. In the next play, Mac unnecessarily ran towards the final zone. And thanks to a push from his linemen and the desire of the coastal defenders to score him, he made his way to the end zone.

And before reaching there he stumbled.

Coastal recovered the ball and ran out the clock in regulation to force overtime.

Liberty had to cancel December 12 game with Coastal Carolina

Both teams were scheduled for the Cure Bowl after forcing Liberty out of a game two weeks ago.

Liberty was set to move to CCU on 12 December, but did not play the game due to COVID-19 cases between the teams. The flames of the inability to run the game set up BYU’s last-minute trip to Myrtle Beach in a game that became one of the best of the 2020 college football season. CCU defeated the Cougars 22–17 after stopping an already undefined BYU short of the goal line when time expired.

It looked as if the spell of the goal was going to strike again for Coastal Carolina, following Mack’s burst and a field goal for Liberty to start overtime. But Grayson McCull threw three consecutive imperfections with the help of a sketch no-call of a possible pass interference penalty to set up a blocked field goal attempt.

Liberty quarterback Malik Willis had four participating TDS against Coastal Carolina. (AP Photo / Matt Steamy)

Liberty QB Malik Willis scored 4 TDs

Liberty QB Malik Willis provided coastal fits all night. The Auburn transfer repeatedly escaped from the pocket Saturday night for 137 yards and four rushing touchdowns. Willis and Mack joined the crowd for 242 yards as Coastal allowed Liberty to run for six yards.

Coastal was rushed for 165 yards, as Macal made 96 on 15 carries. He was 21-of-32 passing for 318 yards and three touchdowns and an interception.

Two Best Non-Power Five Teams?

With BYU considering the Power Five team for college football playoff purposes, it is fair to ask if Liberty and Coastal Carolina were the two best teams outside of the Power Five conferences in 2020.

The 15–14 slogan included Liberty’s only loss against North Carolina State. The flames defeated Virginia Tech and Syracuse from the ACC and also defeated Western Kentucky, a team that played in the Lendingtree Bowl earlier in the day.

Coastal Carolina landed Kansas to start the season and beat Louisiana and Appalachian State in addition to that win over BYU. The Sun Belt Championship game had a rematch of the Chantalists with the Louisiana set on December 19, but that game was not played because an entire position group at CCU was unable to play thanks to the possible performance of someone with COVID-19.

And while we got the most entertaining game of the Bowl season on Saturday night, when Liberty and CCU were able to make their canceled regular-season game, we also can’t help but wonder how much fun watching each one Will come The team takes on a team from a big conference. Ultimately, the Cure Bowl did not host a team with more than eight wins in a season until Saturday night, when these two teams entered the game with a combined 20 wins.

They both deserved a bigger stage. And also the chance to play many big teams.

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