Liberty was deemed the top Group of Five program after being the lone G5 squad to go undefeated so far this year. The Flames won the Conference USA Championship over New Mexico State before being chosen to compete in a New Year’s Six bowl.
But now the Flames (13-0) have their toughest challenge yet. They will take on Oregon (11-2) in the Fiesta Bowl.
The Ducks have two losses, but those were both against Washington, which is competing in the College Football Playoff. Those two games were both decided by three points.
However, Liberty is extremely well-balanced and has won many of its games against G5 teams in convincing fashion. The Flames are absolutely poised to deliver an upset.
Here’s more info about the Fiesta Bowl.
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Fiesta Bowl Betting Odds
Oregon is a -18.5 college football betting odds favorite against Liberty, with the Over/Under being 71.5.
The moneyline for Oregon is -1000, while it’s +625 for Liberty.
Fiesta Bowl On TV
The Fiesta Bowl matchup between Liberty and Oregon will be televised on ESPN.
The game will kickoff at 1 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 1. It will be played at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Liberty vs. Oregon Prediction
I’m picking Oregon to win but for Liberty to cover the spread at +18.5. I also am predicting the game will go Over 71.5 total points.
By several metrics, Liberty had one of the worst schedules in the country. But the teams the Flames played are competing at the FBS level nonetheless, and Liberty consistently dominated them on both sides of the ball.
Liberty has the HERO Sports Group of Five Player of the Year, Kaidon Salter, and the Co-Coach of the Year, Jamey Chadwell, as well as other G5 All-Americans. Some may not believe CUSA is a strong conference, but the Flames are loaded with talent and have been consistently great.
And they don’t rely on their offense or defense to win, either. While the Flames were top five in the country in scoring offense (40.8 points per game) and total offense (514.9 yards per game), they were also among the two best teams in CUSA in scoring defense (22.7 points per game allowed) and total defense (356.5 yards per game allowed).
All of this makes me believe Oregon won’t win in a blowout. That said, the Ducks have defeated a number of nationally-ranked teams. With Oregon quarterback Bo Nix reportedly playing, I think the Dukes will score enough to avoid an upset against Liberty.