October 28, 2021

Maine battles Huskies today > Colby aiming for outright CBB title

Colby College of Waterville goes after a share of the New England Small College Athletic Conference football title and the outright Colby-Bates-Bowdoin series crown.

The University of Maine looks to be more opportunistic on the offensive end and earn its second Atlantic 10 victory during Saturday’s late-season action.

Northeastern (3-6) at Maine (3-6), noon, Alfond Stadium, Orono.

Coach Jack Cosgrove’s Black Bears will try to shake off the effects of last week’s 17-6 loss at Richmond, during which UMaine dominated offensively but didn’t convert its scoring chances because of turnovers.

The Bears, who are 0-5 against Top 20 teams this season and 0-4 on the road, will encounter neither of those factors today.

Northeastern has lost five in a row and two straight against the Bears. The Huskies had some extra time to prepare for today’s game as they were idle last week.

The Bears’ defense continues to more than hold down the fort. The unit has surrendered only 16 points per game over the last 14 quarters.

Sophomore linebacker Stephen Cooper continues to lead UMaine in tackles with 77. Senior ‘backer Jason Betts has 57 and soph LB Rob Kierstead of South Portland checks in third with 51 stops.

The Bears rank fifth in Atlantic 10 pass defense at 190 yards per game, but are eighth against the run (188 ypg).

Northeastern hasn’t had much success running the ball, but features balance behind the passing of quarterback Logan Galli (120 ypg). His most dangerous target is wideout Dave Klemic (54 catches, 682 yards, 8 TDs).

The UMaine offense has been moving the ball with a solid run-pass mix and an improving line. Last week, five turnovers, three inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, proved costly. Junior tailback Royston English (4.4 yards per carry) heads a sound but unspectacular ground game.

Sophomore QB Jake Eaton (159-for-245, 1871 yds., 12 TDs) has been efficient, but was intercepted three times last week. Senior wideout Dwayne Wilmot is coming off a 10-catch day and leads the Bears with 56 receptions for 746 yards. The 56 catches are the eighth highest single-season total in school history.

The NU defense is paced by linebacker Joe Garrola (87 tackles) and safety T.J. Hill (82).

UMaine placekicker Todd Jagoutz needs one point (PAT or field goal) to become the school’s all-time leading scorer. He is tied with Peter Borjestedt (1985-87) at 206 points, which ranks eighth on the A-10 career list.

Bowdoin (0-7) at Colby (6-1), 12:30 p.m., Seaverns Field, Waterville.

There is likely to be extra excitement in the air today for the White Mules, who are playing for two championships.

Coach Tom Austin’s team seeks its first outright CBB crown since 1996 and its 10th since the series began in 1966. However, the Mules also can claim the NESCAC title if they win and Williams beats Amherst.

Bowdoin leads the all-time series against Colby 62-41-10, but is struggling. The Polar Bears have allowed a league-high 28.7 ppg and are averaging only 10.

Colby boasts the NESCAC’s most potent offense, averaging 21.9 points and 373 yards per contest. The Mules feature the league’s top passing tandem in QB Pat Conley of Bath and WR Danny Noyes.

Conley has completed 120 of 217 throws for 1,746 yards and 13 TDs. Noyes has made 45 catches for 731 yards and 5 scores.

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