In the Colonial Athletic Association, three or four plays each game often are the difference between winning and losing.
Saturday’s contest between the University of Maine and William & Mary pits two teams that have not made enough plays to stay in the win column consistently this fall.
“They’re a team that, in a lot of ways, probably has suffered some of the same fate that we have,” Black Bears head coach Jack Cosgrove said of the Tribe. “This is a good team.”
Maine Black Bears (2-5) at William & Mary (2-5), 3:30 p.m., Zable Stadium, Williamsburg, Va.: The Tribe appears to have some advantages in this matchup. Not only is William & Mary coming off a bye week, it had won its previous two games before dropping a 27-26, double-overtime decision to James Madison on Oct. 13.
UMaine’s defense hopes to hold in check a Tribe offense that has managed only 22 points and 317 yards per game. Keith McBride has netted 72 ypg on the ground, while Raphael Ortiz is an up-and-comer who has a dangerous receiver in Tre McBride (5.4 catches, 89 yards per contest).
The Bears continue to rely heavily on linebacker Donte Dennis (10 tackles per game) and safety Khari Al-Mateen to spearhead a defense that is giving up 23 points and 365 yards a game.
W&M ranks in the top third of Football Championship Subdivision defenses while holding opponents to 22 points and 330 yards per outing.
Luke Rhodes leads a balanced unit that will try to keep UMaine from unleashing a balanced attack with tailback Rickey Stevens (67 ypg), quarterback Marcus Wasilewski (147-for-250 passing, 1,645 yds., 10 touchdowns, 7 interceptions) and wideout Maurice McDonald (6 catches per game).
The Black Bears also have begun to fall victim to some injuries. Sophomore tailback David Hood, redshirt freshman receiver/kick returner Isaiah Jones and senior fullback Sam Shipley all have been ruled out for the remainder of the season with undisclosed injuries.
Defensive tackle Matt Pellerin of Turner is questionable after incurring a concussion against New Hampshire.
Husson Eagles (1-6) at SUNY Maritime Buccaneers (3-4), 1 p.m., Throggs Neck, N.Y.: Husson continues its quest for improvement as it looks to halt a four-game losing streak.
Statistically, the Eagles rank among the worst teams in all of Division III. Husson ranks 235th out of 240 in scoring (9.7 ppg), is No. 234 in total defense (506 ypg), 234 in total offense (210.6 ypg), 230 in rushing defense (253 ypg) and 221 in scoring defense (39.6 ppg).
Maine Maritime Mariners (0-7) at Bridgewater State Bears (7-1), noon, Bridgewater, Mass.: The Mariners will have to put together a gem to end their losing streak.
MMA contends with a Bridgewater squad that ranks ninth in the nation in total defense (251 ypg) and 14th in scoring defense (13.6 ppg).
The Mariners have run the ball well, but have surrendered an average of 41.3 points and 418 yards.
Today’s other games, 1 p.m.: Colby (1-4) at Bates (2-3), Bowdoin (1-4) at Wesleyan (4-1).