Jack Cosgrove is an avid Boston Bruins fan.
Thus, it’s not surprising he used a hockey analogy when explaining why Warren Smith remains the starting quarterback for the University of Maine football team.
“It’s like that hockey goalie that lets in six [goals]. You want to get him right back in there, to get him the chance to get himself back on the [ice] to perform. We’ll go back to Warren and let him go back to work,” Cosgrove said Monday during the Colonial Athletic Association’s weekly coaches conference call.
Smith, a junior from Lacey Township, N.J., completed only five of 13 passes for 49 yards and was intercepted once — on his first throw of the contest — during the first half of the Black Bears’ 3-0 loss to Albany Thursday at Alfond Stadium.
“I thought Warren was completely out of character,” Cosgrove said. “That might be your last type of worry, for a guy who’s started eight football games for us, to come in and not have the type of production, performance, that you wanted.”
Although the Bears trailed only 3-0 at intermission, the performance elicited a quick response from Cosgrove. He lifted Smith in favor of Chris Treister of Cape Elizabeth.
It wasn’t a move Cosgrove planned, or wanted, to make after the coaching staff had allowed Smith and Treister to battle for the job during the offseason and training camp.
“I thought I had great reason, based on my observations, to make the change,” said Cosgrove, who prior to the season had expressed concern about playing “musical quarterbacks” or having the starter “looking over his shoulder.”
Even so, he knew he had to do something.
“We felt like he was rattled, his feet were feeling the rush, [he was] not getting his eyes down the field,” Cosgrove said. “It really was not what we expected from him and hadn’t seen from him, at all, so we made that change and hoped for a spark.”
Treister, a former Portland High star, played the entire second half, going 7-for-17 with 63 yards passing. Like Smith, he was unable to get the Bears into the end zone, or even into scoring position.
“I’m going to emphasize again that you need to capitalize and we didn’t [Thursday night],” Treister said after the game. “We came away with zero points, which is unacceptable. Obviously, you can’t win like that.”
UMaine wound up going 3-for-14 on third down and 0-for-4 on fourth down and committed three turnovers — in addition to its lackluster, all-around offensive play.
“It was really a frustrating game,” Cosgrove said. “It almost felt like we could have kept playing and playing and playing and we still were not going to get the consistency and execution that we needed to have.”
So Smith will line up behind center Saturday when UMaine travels to his native New Jersey when the Bears battle Monmouth University.
“We have what we think is a really good player there that we have to get back into action, back up on the horse,” Cosgrove said.
Despite the disappointing start, Treister said Thursday the Bears are moving forward with a positive attitude.
“First and foremost, I think that as a team you need to have a short memory,” he said. “ You need to be able to build off something like this, to turn a negative into a positive and that’s going to be our emphasis this week in practice.”
Turcotte nursing hip injury
Junior fullback Jared Turcotte is a question mark for Saturday’s game after sustaining an injury during the fourth quarter of the Albany contest.
Turcotte suffered what Cosgrove described as a “severe hip pointer” when he was tackled at the UMaine sideline on a running play.
A hip pointer is a painful bruise of the iliac crest of the pelvis (hip bone) or greater trochanter (bony protrusion at the top of the femur) and causes bleeding into the abdominal or back muscles. Rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications are suggested as treatments for such an injury.
“He hasn’t practiced over the course of the weekend,” Cosgrove said Monday. “We’re going to watch that and see what happens and he’ll practice up when he’s ready.”