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DAWGS PREVIEW: VRBO FIESTA BOWL LIBERTY VS. OREGON



 

The Liberty Flames (13-0) and the Oregon Ducks (11-2) travel to State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ to meet in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl. This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

 

Oregon -16.5 O/U 67.5

 

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

 


- Monday, January 1, 2024, 1:00 PM Eastern Time Kickoff on ESPN

- Bob Wischusen and Robert Griffin, III will be on the call for ESPN, and Kris Budden will be on the sideline.

- On the Liberty side the radio broadcast will be on FM 88.3. On the Oregon side, the radio broadcast will be on FM 95.3.

 

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

 

If Liberty wins the Flames will finish the season 14-0, not too shabby for a team who only moved up to the FBS ranks in the 2018 season. If Oregon wins the Ducks will have 12 wins in a season for the fifth time in program history and first since 2019.

 

KEY PLAYERS

 

Liberty

 


QB Kaidon Salter – 60.9% passes completed for 2,750 yards with 31 TD and 5 INT. Salter was also the Flames second-leading rusher with 1,064 yards and 12 touchdowns. Salter is currently 3rd amongst quarterbacks in yards rushing this season.

 

CB Kobe Singleton – 34 tackles, 4 INT, 1 forced fumble, and he is tied for seventh in the nation with 16 passes defended.

 

Eight Liberty players have entered the transfer portal since the end of the regular season.

 

Oregon

 


QB Bo Nix – Led the country with a completion percentage of 77.2%, was second in the country in both yards passing with 4,145 and passing touchdowns with 40, and he only threw 3 interceptions. Nix also had 6 rushing TD.

 

WR Troy Franklin – 81 receptions for 1,383 yards, which is sixth in the country, and is tied for third with 14 receiving touchdowns.

 

10 Oregon players have entered the transfer portal since the end of the regular season.

 

KEY MATCHUPS

 

Liberty’s No. 1 rushing attack against the Oregon run defense. Liberty averages 302.9 rushing yards per game, which is 21.4 yards more than No. 2 Air Force averaged! The one-two punch of quarterback Kaidon Salter and running back Quinton Cooley have combined for 2,386 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns. However, the Oregon defense only gives up 97.5 rushing yards per game, No. 9 in the country. If Liberty can dominate with the run game it will limit the possessions that Bo Nix and the Oregon offense have, which will keep the game within striking distance for the Flames.

 

Oregon’s passing attack against the Liberty pass defense. Oregon is No. 2 in the country with 342.8 passing yards per game. Unfortunately for Liberty, their pass defense is ranked No. 99, giving up 244.8 passing yards per game. Oregon has so many weapons on offense that they are going to embarrass Liberty’s defense. Bo Nix, in his final game as an Oregon Duck, is playing against the 99th-ranked pass defense. Think about that, fireworks are coming!

 

PREDICTION - Fiesta Bowl

 

For Liberty to win this game they need to limit the amount of possessions Oregon gets by effectively running the football. In this game, Oregon will punt maybe once. Liberty has a powerful offense, but is it powerful enough to match Oregon score for score? I don’t think so. I see Oregon winning this game 47-33. Liberty will cover the spread and take that over.

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