The Charleston Southern Buccaneers saw a three-game win streak come to an end with a 26-12 loss at Liberty on Saturday afternoon at Williams Stadium.
The Bucs managed only 122 yards rushing and were 3-of-15 on third down conversions in their first road game since September.
Liberty moves to 4-5 with the win and 3-1 in Big South Conference play, while the Bucs fall to 4-5 and 2-2 in league play.
Liberty's Aldreakis Allen was the difference in the game. Allen had 19 carries for 179 yards and three rushing TDs, one in each of the first three quarters, as the Flames built a 26-6 lead. Allen averaged 9.4 yards per carry and had one catch for eight yards as CSU saw its longest win streak in four years come to an end.
The Bucs' option attack, which had averaged 35 points points per game during the win streak, had only 122 yards and averaged only 2.9 yards per carry.
Bucs' senior quarterback Malcolm Dixon completed 10-of-15 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown, but the lack of a run game wore down the Bucs.
Liberty quarterback Josh Woodrum completed 12-of-19 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown, but Allen and the Flames did their damage on the ground. Liberty piled up 302 rushing yards to keep the Bucs off the field and control the line of scrimmage.
Liberty struck first on a 35-yard run by Aldreakis Allen to race to a 7-0 lead. Allen sprinted 35 yards up the middle of the field to cap the Flames opening drive. He had four carries for 47 yards to open the game.
CSU even things up late in the first as Dixon found Kirby Broome for a 41-yard touchdown pass. The Bucs rolled the play to the right as Broome dragged back across the field and rolled into the end zone untouched for his first TD of the year. The score capped an 8-play, 71-yard drive and was the only pass of the possession. Tyson Pryor missed the extra point to make it a 7-6 game.
The Flames would add to their lead late in the second quarter as Allen broke loose again. The junior ripped over the left side for 56-yards and his second touchdown of the game to move Liberty ahead 13-6.
Liberty would distance itself from the Bucs on the opening drive of the second half. The Flames put together a 9-play, 55-yard drive to extend their lead to 20-6 early in the third quarter. Sirchauncey Hollway would do the majority of the work on the drive, carrying six times for 26 yards. Quarterback Josh Woodrum did the damage on the drive. He was 3-of-3 for 29 yards and found fullback Nicky Fualaau for a 5-yard touchdown to cap the drive.
Allen added his third score of the day late in the third quarter, ripping through the middle of the Bucs' defense for 30 yards and the Flames' fourth TD.
The Bucs tried to cut into the Flames lead in the final seconds of the third quarter, but turned the ball over on downs at the Liberty 11. Dixon found Zac Frazier for a 10-yard completion and the Bucs moved the ball 46 yards on the drive before the Flames held.
Liberty would chew up almost five minutes off the clock before punting on its ensuing drive. Dixon found Larry Jones III for completions of 26 and 15 yards before scoring from five yards out for the game's final score. Dixon had a 15-yard run before and a 5-yard scamper for the TD to cap the scoring.
Safety Elijah Lee led the Bucs with 10 tackles, while defensive end Cornelius Sterling added nine and a tackle for loss.
Jones III had four catches for 93 yards, while Broome had two for 45 yards and the touchdown.
The Bucs host Gardner-Webb next Saturday afternoon in their home finale. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. at Buccaneer Field. The game will be available on ESPN3.