8:39 AM By Greg Logan
Photo credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke
Liberty University hope to “Fill The Bill,” as 19,200-seat Williams Stadium is known, for its Big South Conference game against Stony Brook at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Lynchburg, Va. If the Flames succeed, it will help fund relief efforts for superstorm Sandy.
School officials announced that $1 from every ticket sold will be donated to a Virginia-based non-profit called Gleaning for the World, which needs money to transport supplies that already have been gathered to areas affected by Sandy. Obviously, the Seawolves come from one of the areas devastated by Sandy, so, the message from both schools is one of concern for those who were displaced or damaged by the storm.
Average attendance this season at Williams Stadium is 16,698 through six home games, and if the Flames (4-5, 3-1 Big South) match that figure, it will put them over 100,000 in season attendance for the first time in school history. As part of the promotion for the game, it will be Military Appreciation Day, and the first 12,000 fans will receive “Thundersticks,” so, it will be a noisy, hostile environment for Stony Brook (9-1, 5-0).
Although the Flames have a mediocre overall record thanks to a difficult early-season non-conference schedule, they have an 18-game home winning streak in Big South play. Their last Big South loss was to Gardner-Webb on Oct. 21, 2006. During that span, the Seawolves, who are ranked No. 6 in the Sports Network FCS poll and No. 8 in the Coaches poll, have lost twice. They fell 33-0 in 2008 and 54-28 in 2010.
If Stony Brook wins, it clinches the conference’s automatic berth in the FCS playoffs. The Seawolves already are assured of a tie for the league title, but a loss to Liberty would create the possibility of a three-way tie in which the tiebreaker would go to Coastal Carolina or the possibility of a two-way tie with Liberty, which would get the bid based on head-to-head results. So, it’s a classic “win-to-get-in” scenario for SBU at tough Williams Stadium.