Liberty leads GWU 14-0 at halftime
In the beginning, neither Liberty nor Gardner-Webb mustered much in the way of offense.
Unfortunately for the Runnin' Bulldogs, their offensive woes carried through the entire first half as Liberty held a 14-0 lead at halftime.
The Runnin' Bulldogs couldn't find success running the football — only getting into the positive column with 5 minutes, 10 seconds left in the half after Juanne Blount had a pair of rushes adding up to 14 yards.
For the half, the Runnin' Bulldogs managed minus-19 yards on the ground on 13 carries.
Gardner-Webb's offensive line allowed five first-half sacks of quarterback Lucas Beatty which led to a lackluster performance in the air as the Runnin' Bulldogs had 127 yards in the air.
The Runnin' Bulldogs got a quick start after Lucas Beatty hit tight end Seth Cranfill on a 31-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage but the running game had minus-1 yard on the ground on their first possession.
The run game continued to struggle on their second possession as J.J. Hubbard was dropped for a 3-yard loss on second down. Hubbard caught a swing pass on the next play, but slipped for a 3-yard loss, forcing GWU to punt.
Liberty started to drive on their third possession. Woodrum found tight end Brandon Apon over the middle for a 15-yard gain into Gardner-Webb territory at the 39.
The Flames managed just seven yards after the completion, setting up a 46-yard field goal attempt for John Lunsford that sailed wide right.
Gardner-Webb didn't fair much better, getting minus-6 yards on five carries in the first quarter. Beatty was more efficient in the passing game, going 5-of-8 for 58 yards.
Just as Gardner-Webb crossed midfield for the first time in the game, the running game was stuffed after Juanne Blount had no gain on a 4-and-1. The running woes continued for GWU as they amassed minus-12 yards on seven carries.
Liberty, with a short field, went to the pass on the subsequent drive. Woodrum connected with Apon for a 15-yard gain deep into Gardner-Webb territory.
Running backs Desmond Rice and Clifton Richardson took over from there after Richardson dove to the 2-yard line with a 16-yard pick-up. Woodrum capped the seven-play, 55-yard drive with a 3-yard dive to put the Flames up 7-0 with 10 minutes, 8 seconds left in the first half.
Following a 1-yard three-and-out by the Runnin' Bulldogs, Liberty went back to work in the air.
Woodrum connected with Gabe Henderson and Dante Shells for back-to-back catches amassing 32 yards. On the next play, Rice hit Darrin Peterson on a 33-yard half-back pass for Liberty's second touchdown of the game, bringing their lead to 14-0 in the first half.
Gardner-Webb finally got into the positive column after Blount had a pair of rushes for 14 yards into Liberty's territory.