LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) Malik Willis threw for 345 yards and six touchdowns - five in the first half - and Liberty remained unbeaten after dominating Southern Mississippi 56-35 Saturday.

The Flames (6-0) piled up 537 yards of offense, racing to a 35-7 halftime lead as Willis found five different receivers with scoring strikes. Willis also ran for a 38-yard score, taking part in a school-record seven touchdowns.

Willis completed 24 of 31 passes without an interception and rushed for 97 yards on 12 attempts.

Southern Miss (1-4) rallied with a 21-point third quarter on three rushing touchdowns by Tate Whatley and came as close as 35-28. Whatley rushed for four touchdowns and passed for another, picking up 52 yards on the ground and 188 in the air.

With interim coach Scotty Waldren unable to travel with the team after testing positive for COVID-19 , the Golden Eagles were led by interim interim coach Tim Billings, who had last coached in 2005 at Southeast Missouri State.

The game was played before 1,000 fans.

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