(WDBJ7) -- In a season in which Liberty dazzled fans as an offensive juggernaut, it was the Flames' defense that shined brightest in the Cure Bowl against Georgia Southern.
"They just really harped on us to be consistent. That was the biggest thing for us, to be consistent and just putting the work in. They gave us the gameplan, they gave us the blue print, and we just had to go out there and execute. Big ups to the coaching staff and big ups to all the guys on defense doing their job and getting the job done," said Solomon Ajayi, redshirt senior linebacker for Liberty.
The Flames bent, but never broke under the Eagles' high-powered triple option offense. They held Georgia Southern to just 4-of-17 on 3rd down conversions and allowed only one touchdown in the second half.
And with two sacks and eight total tackles, defensive end Jessie Lemonier was named the Cure Bowl MVP.
"It's just for my teammates because all I do, I do it for my teammates, and every day I struggle, I grind as hard as I can, and I just look around me when I'm down and it's like, it's for these guys," Jessie Lemonier said. "It feels great having a big role and stepping up just for my team."
LU becomes just the third program ever to win a bowl game in its first season of eligibility after moving to the FBS.
The win capped off a historic year in many ways that this group alone can claim forever.
"Having that trophy in our hand just shows all the hard work and dedication that we put in just to get to this point and, like you said, I didn't want to let it go. Coach Freeze gave me the honor to be the one to bring it in the locker room," said Liberty's senior quarterback Stephen "Buckshot" Calvert.
"They're the first, and no one can ever repeat i," said first-year Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze. "It's the DNA of this football team and this coaching staff that was together for this time. They're trailblazers and forever will be regarded as the measuring stick."
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