At halftime I thought we'd gotten Liberty's best shot and that was going to be it for them. Mike Glennon finally started to look comfortable in pocket toward the end of the second quarter and made a couple nice throws down the middle of the field while leading the offense to its first touchdown of the game.
But the offense didn't turn a corner there like I hoped they had, and if not for an awesome fat guy touchdown and a short field situation set up by another long TJ Graham kick return, the third quarter could have been much scarier than it was. By the end of that period, Liberty had almost twice as many total yards as State did, which is something that may portend bad things down the road but wasn't so bothersome at the time given State's two-score lead.
The yardage totals say that the score probably should have been the other way around, and to their credit the Flames looked like a capable I-A team in stretches. They were so prone to big mistakes, though, that they just ended up with a load of wasted yardage. Mike Brown was fun to watch and helped his team pick up a lot of yards between the 20s; he was also volatile to an extreme that I haven't seen in a while. Liberty committed seven turnovers on the night--they threw four picks and lost three of four fumbles. Brown accounted for six of those giveaways. One play he's hitting a guy in the numbers and the next he's got his eyes locked on his receiver and forces it in there. They lived with Brown yesterday, and they really, really died with him.
Glennon's day was far quieter, his fumble excepted, and while there isn't much to love about his numbers, he completed a good percentage of his passes and didn't throw any to the other team. Baby steps. Any week you get out of alive is a good week.
-- A mixed bag for the special teams unit, as usual. Neither the kickoffs nor the kickoff coverage were very good, though that doesn't feel out of the ordinary anymore. Nik Sade made his lone field goal attempt but missed a pair of extra points. The second one was not even a tiny bit his fault, and might be my pick for most hilarious play of the game. From snap to the end of that try, I'm not sure the ball ever left the ground. The holder did his best to handle the ground ball sent his way but failed to get a handle on it, and Sade just launched it right back into the guys in front of him. TJ Graham ran like he'd taken it upon himself to make up for the mistakes.
-- The new videoboard looks great. However, the video feed wasn't in HD, which leaves me wondering why we even bothered to make this upgrade. I'm whining--it's still a nice improvement--it's just that I really was looking forward to seeing that thing in HD.