(STATS) - Liberty defensive end Chima Uzowihe batted down a pass on the second-to-last play of the game and then had a sack to close it out.
The 15th-ranked Flames, especially their All-American defensive standout, went full-throttle from start to finish Saturday night to post one of the bigger wins in school history, 31-21 over No. 8 Montana before a Williams Stadium record crowd of 22,551 in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Uzowihe took sole possession of the Big South's career sacks record, collecting two of Liberty's seven sacks to up his career total to 22 1/2, and coach Turner Gill's Flames (2-1) stymied Montana's fast-paced spread offense, which lost starting quarterback Brady Gustafson to an apparent broken leg.
Montana (1-2) opened the season three weeks ago with a victory over four-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State, but has dropped two straight games since then.
The Grizzlies trailed most of the game after Liberty quarterback Josh Woodrum (260 passing yards) threw touchdowns on his team's first two possessions, a 4-yarder to running back Desmond Rice and a 72-yarder to wide receiver Dante' Shells.
Montana closed within 17-12 by halftime, but Shells caught a 32-yard scoring pass from wide receiver Damian King on Liberty's first possession of the third quarter.
After quarterback Chad Chalich scored on a 1-yard run to pull Montana back to 24-19, D.J. Abnar's 40-yard touchdown run just 44 seconds into the fourth quarter provided the Flames with a 31-19 cushion.
Chalich, in relief of Gustafson, passed for 228 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown to Jamaal Jones in the second quarter. Tyrone Holmes had two of the Grizzlies' five sacks as well as nine tackles.
But it was too much Liberty, which is coming off its first appearance in the FCS playoffs compared to Montana's record 22 appearances.
STATS FCS TOP 25=
SATURDAY, SEPT. 19
No. 1 Jacksonville State (2-1, 1-0 OVC) 48, Tennessee State (2-1, 0-1) 13
A record crowd of 24,413 at Burgess-Snow Field watched Jacksonville State win its first game as the No. 1 team. The Gamecocks posted a 349-yard rushing attack and quarterback Eli Jenkins had 257 total yards and two touchdown passes.
Miles Jones added a pair of rushing touchdowns for the defending Ohio Valley Conference champion, while Joel McCandless led the defense with nine tackles, 2 1/2 tackles for loss and one sack.
No. 2 Coastal Carolina (3-0) 34, Western Illinois (1-2) 27
Coastal was outgained 546 yards to 349, but avoided an upset behind running back De'Angelo Henderson's 165 rushing yards and two touchdowns. His 3-yard scoring run with 7:55 to play reversed a 27-26 deficit before a Brooks Stadium record crowd of 10,311.
WIU quarterback Trenton Norvell passed for 370 yards and two touchdowns, while Nikko Watson rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns.
Lamar (2-1, 1-0 Southland) 49, No. 3 Sam Houston State (0-2, 0-1) 46
Lamar scored three consecutive touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 35-14 halftime lead, then held off Sam Houston.
Kade Harrington rushed for 230 yards, including 5- and 73-yard touchdowns, and Carson Earp passed for four TDs in the first half. Bearkats quarterback Jared Johnson accounted for 342 total yards and four touchdowns.
No. 4 North Dakota State (2-1) 34, North Dakota (2-1) 9
Carson Wentz passed for 262 yards and four touchdowns, including two to RJ Urzendowski, and North Dakota State limited UND to 61 yards in the first meeting between the intrastate rivals since 2003.
The Bison, the four-time defending FCS champions, didn't allow a first down until 4:45 remained in the third quarter.
No. 5 Illinois State (2-1) 34, Eastern Illinois (0-3) 31, OT
Illinois State won the Mid-American Classic on Sean Slattery's 32-yard field goal in overtime after Matt McCown recovered a fumble on EIU's possession.
Marshaun Coprich led the offense with 33 carries for 178 yards and two touchdowns. The Redbirds survived EIU's late missed field goal attempt that could have won it.
No. 6 Villanova (2-1) 28, Delaware (1-2) 21
Villanova is hoping All-America quarterback John Robertson won't miss additional playing time after being knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter with a right knee injury.The 2014 FCS Player of the Year is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday.
But the Wildcats came away loving what they saw in redshirt freshman Zach Bednarczyk. He threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Gulyas on his second play to pull the Wildcats within 21-20 with 6:18 to play, although they missed the PAT. He opened their next drive with a 34-yard pass to Gulyas and ended it with a weaving 21-yard scoring run with 2:35 left, adding a two-point conversion to push the lead to 28-21.
No. 9 Northern Iowa (2-1) 34, No. 17 Cal Poly (1-2) 20
UNI cruised to its second straight Top 25 win as quarterback Aaron Bailey rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another. The Panthers jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and forced three turnovers.
Cal Poly quarterback Chris Brown rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
No. 10 Chattanooga (2-1, 1-0 Southern) 31, Samford (2-1, 0-1) 21
Defending Southern Conference champion Chattanooga controlled the clock for 36 minutes, 42 seconds. Quarterback Jacob Huesman rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown, and passed for 181 yards and two scores.
The Mocs trailed 14-7 after the first quarter before scoring 24 unanswered points.
No. 14 Eastern Washington (1-2) 55, No. 11 Montana State (1-1) 50
In a duel of quarterbacks, Jordan West delivered Eastern Washington's first win, going 21 of 24 for 410 yards and six touchdowns. Montana State's Dakota Prukop was 29 of 46 for 353 yards and four touchdowns with one interception and rushed for 196 yards and one TD.
It helped West to have All-American wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who caught 12 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Jabari Wilson got the Eagles' running game going for the first time, rushing for 188 yards and two TDs on 17 carries.
The teams combined for 1,385 yards. Montana State had 718 yards and 40 first downs, while Eastern Washington collected 667 yards.
No. 12 James Madison (3-0, 1-0 CAA) 42, Albany (1-2, 1-1 CAA) 28
The run game of Khalid Abdullah (143 yards, one touchdown) and Cardon Johnson (134 yards, one touchdown) helped James Madison overcome a shaky performance by star quarterback Vad Lee. He threw for 275 yards and four touchdowns, but also had five interceptions and lost a fumble.
Stony Brook (2-0, 1-0 CAA) 31, No. 13 New Hampshire (1-2, 0-1) 6
Stacey Bedell carried the ball 21 times for 193 yards and a touchdown, Ray Bolden caught a pair of touchdowns and defensive end Victor Ochi had 3 1/2 sacks to spark Stony Brook.
UNH played without No. 1 quarterback Sean Goldrich, who was sidelined with an injury. Adam Riese (13 of 21, 111 yards, touchdown, interception) played the most, coming off the bench as the Wildcats used three quarterbacks.
No. 16 Youngstown State (2-1) 48, Saint Francis (1-2) 3
Youngstown State held a 471-87 advantage in yards as Martin Ruiz (103 rushing yards) and Jody Webb (93 yards, two touchdowns) helped the Penguins control the ball for 35:09.
No. 18 Fordham (2-1) 44, Columbia (0-1) 24
Fordham's Kevin Anderson was 22 of 30 for 330 yards and five touchdowns with one interception and added 70 rushing yards. He helped spoil Columbia coach Al Bagnoli's debut in the Liberty Cup, although the Lions (22 straight losses) trailed only 28-24 after three quarters.
Chase Edmonds had 180 yards from scrimmage, scoring on both a touchdown run and reception, while Phazahn Odom caught a pair of touchdowns.
Ohio (3-0) 35, No. 20 Southeastern Louisiana (2-1) 14
The visiting Lions fell to 0-20 against the FBS since returning to football in 2003. Donovan Isom was 21 of 31 for 174 yards and two touchdowns and added 65 yards on the ground.
No. 22 Richmond (2-1) 42, VMI (1-2) 10
Kyle Lauletta threw for 229 yards and three touchdowns and the Richmond defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions of VMI's Al Cobb.
Seth Fisher rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown in the win.
No. 23 Indiana State (2-1) 29, Southeast Missouri State (1-2) 28
Indiana State denied Southeast Missouri State a two-point conversion after Paul McRoberts' 26-yard touchdown reception as time expired pulled the visitors within 29-28.
The Sycamores overcame a 22-21 deficit on Matt Adam's 33-yard scoring pass to Gary Owens with 41 seconds left. Owens also had a 9-yard touchdown run.
Arizona (3-0) 77, No. 24 Northern Arizona (2-1) 13
Emmanuel Butler caught five passes for 119 yards and a touchdown in NAU's loss. The Lumberjacks were within 14-13 early in the second quarter before Arizona reeled off the final 63 points.
No. 25 Harvard (1-0) 41, Rhode Island (0-3) 10
A different player scored each of Harvard's six touchdowns in the Crimson's season opener. Scott Hosch threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns to spark their FCS-best 15th straight win.
No. 7 South Dakota State (2-0)
No. 19 Portland State (2-0)
No. 21 Eastern Kentucky (1-1)