LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) As Liberty prepares to go to Blacksburg this Saturday, like the Hokies, the Flames will march out a brand new offense lead by a new quarterback.
While that might be where the similarities end for both of these teams, one difference that certainly leans in favor of Liberty, is the motivation of coming into this match-up as 28-point underdogs.
"To the guys that are local, and to that guys that were passed up by FBS, which is all of us, we have a little bit more motivation to go against an FBS school like Virginia Tech, and try to go in their house and beat them," said Liberty Freshman Running Back, Frankie Hickson.
Liberty Freshman Tight End, Zac Foutz, know the feeling.
Foutz said, "Virginia Tech looked at us. Virginia Tech said, 'You weren't good enough,' and I know that put a chip on our shoulder as Virginia guys for that school to not look at us. For us to go up there and get a big win, would be something special."
In hopes of trying to pull off the upset, the Flames have been able to prepare for Justin Fuente's up-tempo offense, by going against their own newly revamped offense that has also picked up the pace.
"I think it's made our players realize how fast you really have to be locked in to see the call and then react to what you see on the field," said Robert Wimberly, Liberty Defensive Coordinator. "Then going against Stephon Masha, you know, he's a special athlete in himself. It's never going to compare to Saturday, but just having the opportunity to see that type of dual threat athlete, we've definitely had a good opportunity to see that in practice."
Turner Gill, Liberty Head Coach, said, "I think the excitement of playing here in the state of Virginia is very, very good. We know we're going to have a pretty good showing, as far as our fans. So you have the opportunity to do it. They're excited, and we just want to in control of the excitement, and being able to execute."
Though Liberty has played football now for 44 seasons, this will be the first time they've ever played Virginia Tech.