Home Liberty D gets key stops in fourth quarter to cap wild 42-35 win over Middle Tennessee State

Liberty D gets key stops in fourth quarter to cap wild 42-35 win over Middle Tennessee State

Chris Graham
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Liberty, playing on a Tuesday night, because that kind of thing happens in Conference USA, got the stops it needed in the fourth quarter, holding Middle Tennessee State scoreless to secure a 42-35 win.

The win keeps the Flames (7-0, 5-0 CUSA) unbeaten in 2023.

Liberty gained 401 yards on the ground. QB Kaidon Salter had 160 rushing yards, and was 12-for-20 for 140 yards and two TDs through the air.

It was a back-and-forth battle. Neither team led by more than seven points in a game that would get tied up on the scoreboard a total of five times.

Liberty took the lead for good 23 seconds into the fourth quarter on a 37-yard TD pass from Salter to CJ Daniels.

From there, a game dominated by the offenses turned into a pitched defensive battle.

MTSU (2-6, 1-3 CUSA), which gained 428 yards on the night, punted on the two drives following the Liberty TD, then Nicholas Vattiato, who passed for 332 yards, was intercepted in the end zone after a botched Flames punt that had set up the Blue Raiders on the edge of the red zone.

The final Middle Tennessee State drive got to the Liberty 36 with 1:04 to go, but another Vattiato pass was intercepted to seal it.

Liberty had come into the game ranked #1 nationally in fourth-quarter defense, and the D flexed its muscles in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night, allowing just 45 yards and four first downs.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].