Cure Bowl – Dec 21, 2019: Liberty vs Georgia Southern

Liberty Flames (7-5)  vs  Georgia Southern Eagles (7-5)

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LIBERTY FLAMES | INDEPENDENT

Coach:  Hugh Freeze

Liberty Players to watch:

Senior WR Antonio Gandy-Golden  (6-4/220)

The Cure Bowl is the first-ever bowl appearance for the Flames. Wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden is Calvert’s top target and ranks first is program history in receptions (235), receiving yards (3,751) and touchdown receptions (32).

Gandy-Golden was recently selected as Virginia’s top Division I receiver/tight end by the Touchdown Club of Richmond. He has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl and was named a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award.

Senior QB Steven Calvert  (6-1/195)

Calvert is the Flames’ all-time career leader in passing yards (11,755), total offense (11,283) and passing touchdowns (91). Four-year starting quarterback, better known as “Buckshot,” is a Florida native and played his prep ball at Miami Carol City Senior High School.

Senior MLB Solomon Ajayi  (6-1/230)

The Liberty defense is led by Solomon Ajayi with 84 tackles followed by Elijah Benton and Jessie Lemonier with 79 and 72 tackles, respectively, while Lemonier paces the squad with 8.5 sacks.

Senior DE Jessie Lemonier  (6-3/240)

Lemonier, who is playing in his final game, has made his impact felt through his two seasons in a Liberty uniform after transferring from Ventura College. Flames coach Hugh Freeze raves about his motor, his football intelligence and ability to lead in the locker room.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Lemonier has racked up 123 tackles, 27 tackles-for-loss and 18.5 sacks through 24 games sporting the Flames’ red, white and blue uniform.

Senior RB Frankie Hickson  (5-8/190)

Liberty redshirt-senior running back Frankie Hickson had the best game of his career on Saturday as he helped lift the Flames toa 49-28 win over New Mexico State (Nov. 30) to become bowl eligible in the program’s first ever season as a full FBS member. Hickson ended the day Saturday with career highs in rushes (29), rushing yards (196), and touchdowns (4) as Liberty finished with a season high 317 rushing yards. 

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GEORGIA SOUTHERN EAGLES | SUN BELT CONFERENCE

Coach:  Chad Lunsford

Georgia Southern Players to  Watch:

Senior CB Monquavion Brinson (5-11/180)

Brinson leads the team with 10 pass break-ups in 2019.

As a sophomore, Monquavion Brinson led the Eagles with five interceptions. The following year he had one pick and nine pass break-ups. He was named second-team All-Sun Belt for those two season. During his senior season, Brinson anchored a defensive backfield that struggled at times. He was named third-team All-Sun Belt as a senior, credited with 38 tackles and 11 pass break-ups.

With NFL potential, Brison’s post-season will be important to evaluators.

Senior CB Kindle Vildor  (5-11/190)

Senior cornerback Kindle Vildor was again voted first-team All-Sun Belt Conference. This follows his 2018 first-team All-Sun Belt selection and second-team All-American selection. Like Brinson, Vildor is also a viable NFL prospect.

On the season, Vildor has 25 tackles, including three for loss. Despite missing time due to injury, he has four pass break-ups and an interception in 2019.

*Junior DE Raymond Johnson III   (6-3/260)

Junior defensive end Raymond Johnson III was voted onto the first-team All-Sun Belt Conference. Johnson was named honorable mention as a freshman and second-team last season. Johnson has 31 tackles, including 7.5 for loss, and 3.5 sacks on the season.

*Junior DAWG Randy Wade  (6-2/250)

The Eagles have six non-offensive scores in 2019, which includes two interception returns, a blocked field goal return, punt return, kickoff return and fumble return.

While, Wade doesn’t have a touchdown, he is responsible for two forced fumbles and has two fumble recoveries. He also has 12 tackles-for-loss and four sacks on the season.

*Junior RB Wesley Kennedy III  (5-10/175)

The Eagles run the triple-option offense with three rushers eclipsing the 650 yard mark, including J.D. King (776), Wesley Kennedy III (760) and QB Shai Werts (676). Kennedy paces Georgia Southern with 10 touchdowns followed by King and Werts with eight and five, respectively.

A Savannah native and Benedictine graduate, Kennedy was forced to miss the first four games of 2019 as the 2018 honorable mention selection was serving an NCAA suspension for academic reasons. In just eight games, the junior racked up his 760 yards and 10 scores. He finished the regular season ranked No. 4 in the SBC in rushing yards per game (95.1).

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Cure Bowl
Liberty 23, Georgia Southern 16
Exploria Stadium
Orlando, Florida
Dec 21, 2019 | 2:30 p.m. | CBSSN 

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2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl
Tulane 41, Louisiana 24

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