2021 LendingTree Bowl
23rd LendingTree Bowl
1234 Total
Eastern Michigan 37010 20
Liberty 1320167 56
DateDecember 18, 2021
Season2021
StadiumHancock Whitney Stadium[1]
LocationMobile, Alabama
MVPMalik Willis (QB, Liberty)[2]
FavoriteLiberty by 8.5
RefereeTrennis Livingston (Sun Belt)[3]
Attendance15,186
United States TV coverage
NetworkESPN
AnnouncersChris Cotter (play-by-play), Mark Herzlich (analyst), and Jalyn Johnson (sideline)
LendingTree Bowl
 < 2020 (Dec.) 2022 > 

The 2021 LendingTree Bowl was a college football bowl game played on December 18, 2021, and televised on ESPN.[4] It was the 23rd edition of the LendingTree Bowl, and was one of the 2021–22 bowl games concluding the 2021 FBS football season. Online lending marketplace LendingTree was the game's title sponsor. This was the first LendingTree bowl to be played at Hancock Whitney Stadium, following 22 editions at Ladd–Peebles Stadium.

Originally scheduled to kickoff at 5:45 p.m. EST (4:45 p.m. local CST), the start of the game was pushed back 15 minutes due to local weather conditions.[5] Liberty defeated Eastern Michigan, 56–20, to claim their third consecutive bowl victory.[6][7][8][9]

Teams

This will be the second meeting between Eastern Michigan and Liberty; the Flames defeated the Eagles (then known as the Hurons), 25–24, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on October 14, 1989.[10]

Liberty Flames

Main article: 2021 Liberty Flames football team

Eastern Michigan Eagles

Main article: 2021 Eastern Michigan Eagles football team

Game summary

2021 LendingTree Bowl
1 2 34Total
Eastern Michigan 3 7 01020
Liberty 13 20 16756

at Hancock Whitney StadiumMobile, Alabama

  • Date: Saturday, December 18, 2021
  • Game time: 5:45 p.m. EST (4:45 p.m. local CST)
  • Game weather: Overcast, humid • Temperature: 71 °F (22 °C) • Wind: N 7 mph (11 km/h)
  • Game attendance: 15,186
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Chris Cotter (play-by-play), Mark Herzlich (analyst), and Jalyn Johnson (sideline)
  • Box score
Game information
First quarter
  • 7:48 EMU – Chad Ryland 27-yard field goal. Drive: 14 plays, 66 yards, 7:12. Eastern Michigan 3–0
  • 3:08 LIB – DJ Stubbs 54-yard pass from Malik Willis, Brayden Beck kick good. Drive: 5 plays, 85 yards, 1:32. Liberty 7–3
  • 2:27 LIB – Skyler Thomas 27-yard interception return, Brayden Beck kick failed. Liberty 13–3
Second quarter
  • 13:01 EMU – Samson Evans 2-yard run, Chad Ryland kick good. Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 4:26. Liberty 13–10
  • 12:07 LIB – T. J. Green 24-yard run, Brayden Beck kick failed. Drive: 3 plays, 75 yards, 0:54. Liberty 19–10
  • 6:22 LIB – Johnny Huntley 20-yard pass from Malik Willis, Brayden Beck kick good. Drive: 12 plays, 88 yards, 3:32. Liberty 26–10
  • 0:16 LIB – Malik Willis 2-yard run, Brayden Beck kick good. Drive: 6 plays, 63 yards, 1:56. Liberty 33–10
Third quarter
  • 11:02 LIB – Malik Willis 35-yard run, conversion run failed. Drive: 2 plays, 52 yards, 0:34. Liberty 39–10
  • 7:08 LIB – Brayden Beck 43-yard field goal. Drive: 5 plays, 19 yards, 1:32. Liberty 42–10
  • 2:44 LIB – Demario Douglas 2-yard pass from Malik Willis, Brayden Beck kick good. Drive: 9 plays, 73 yards, 3:22. Liberty 49–10
Fourth quarter
  • 10:58 LIB – Kevin Shaa 64-yard pass from Johnathan Bennett, Brayden Beck kick good. Drive: 1 plays, 64 yards, 0:08. Liberty 56–10
  • 5:26 EMU – Chad Ryland 43-yard field goal. Drive: 12 plays, 58 yards, 5:32. Liberty 56–13
  • 4:29 EMU – Jeff Hubbard 34-yard interception return, Chad Ryland kick good. Liberty 56–20

Statistics

Statistics EMU LIB
First downs 23 21
Plays–yards 84–379 61–528
Rushes–yards 39–125 35–223
Passing yards 254 295
Passing: comp–att–int 28–44–1 14–26–1
Time of possession 37:23 22:37
Team Category Player Statistics
Eastern Michigan Passing Ben Bryant 23/36, 200 yards, INT
Rushing Samson Evans 13 carries, 52 yards, TD
Receiving Hassan Beydoun 11 receptions, 83 yards
Liberty Passing Malik Willis 13/24, 231 yards, 3 TD
Rushing T.J. Green 8 carries, 88 yards, TD
Receiving Kevin Shaa 3 receptions, 94 yards, TD

References

  1. ^ "LendingTree Bowl Moving to Hancock Whitney Stadium". LendingTreeBowl.com. 2021-11-12. Archived from the original on 2021-11-12. Retrieved 2021-12-04.
  2. ^ @CregStephenson (December 18, 2021). "Malik Willis is your game MVP after accounting for 289 yards & 5 TDs" (Tweet). Retrieved December 18, 2021 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ "2021-22 bowl officiating assignments". footballzebras.com. December 2021. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  4. ^ "2021 College Football Bowl Schedule". FBSchedules.com. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  5. ^ @CregStephenson (December 18, 2021). "Due to a short weather delay, the LendingTree Bowl between Liberty & Eastern Michigan will kick off at 5 p.m. (rather than 4:45 as originally scheduled)" (Tweet). Retrieved December 18, 2021 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ Sordelett, Damien (December 18, 2021). "Willis shines as Liberty wins LendingTree Bowl". The News & Advance. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  7. ^ Wickliffe, Greg (December 19, 2021). "Eastern Michigan can't contain Liberty QB Malik Willis in Lending Tree Bowl loss". MLive.com. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  8. ^ Stephenson, Craig (December 18, 2021). "Eastern Michigan football burned by Liberty, QB Malik Willis, 56-20, in Lending Tree Bowl". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  9. ^ Stephenson, Creg (December 18, 2021). "Liberty QB Willis accounts for five touchdowns in rout of Eastern Michigan". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  10. ^ "Winsipedia - Liberty vs. Eastern Michigan". Winsipedia.com. Archived from the original on 2020-12-02. Retrieved 2021-12-05.