The College Football bowl season kicks off this weekend and Liberty is set to take on Georgia Southern this Saturday. As we look at the 2019 Cure Bowl preview, both teams have experienced mixed success but are focusing on a good finish to the season. For Liberty, they’re in the first season of the Hugh Freeze era and morale is high after reaching a bowl game. On the other hand for Georgia Southern, this is year three for Chad Lunsford. After only winning two games in his first year, the Eagles won 10 games last season. This year, Georgia Southern got off to a rocky start opening up the season 1-3. They would win four straight games after that including a win over #24 Appalachian State. That stretch during the season put Georgia Southern in position to be bowl eligible.
This game will be a matchup of two completely different offensive styles. Liberty is the more modern spread attack with quarterback Stephen “Buckshot” Calvert throwing it downfield. Conversely, Georgia Southern is more of a spread option attack with quarterback Shai Werts leading the offense. The Eagles are committed to running the ball as they have three players with more than 100 attempts rushing. Werts on the season has run the ball more than he has thrown it. The rushing attack is headed by J.D. King and Wesley Kennedy who have combined for 18 rushing touchdowns.
Showdown In Orlando
The teams will face off in Orlando, Florida at 2:30 PM eastern time. Georgia Southern hasn’t lost a bowl game since transitioning into the FBS in 2014. This is Liberty’s first bowl game since leaving the FCS, something that both teams share. For the Flames to come out with a victory, they’ll have to dictate the pace. Calvert leads an offense that is averaging over 440 yards per game and is scoring over 33 points per game. If the Eagles are to come away with a win, they’ll also play the game their way. Keeping the ball on the ground and leaving the clock running. Werts leads an option attack that averages over 260 yards rushing, which is good for top ten in the nation.
Both defenses have their work cut out as the two opposing offenses are total opposites. The option attack can pop at any moment with one lapse of judgment. Georgia Southern will have its hands full trying to slow down Antonio Gandy-Golden. As Liberty’s main offensive weapon, Golden has amassed 145 catches over 2000 yards and 19 touchdowns the past two seasons.
The winner of this game will be decided mainly by who is able to execute their offense. Liberty has a chance to pull away if their offense gets clicking because Georgia Southern will have less explosive plays. If the offense does stall and the Eagles are able to get their option attack rolling late in the game, it helps limit any explosive plays that Liberty could have. As for my prediction, I expect Liberty’s offense and “Buckshot” Calvert to have a career day in his final collegiate game.