MAINE vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY
Time, site: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Records: UMaine 1-0, Western Kentucky 0-1
Series, last meeting: first meeting
Quarterbacks, UMaine: Chris Ferguson (21-for-31, 199 yards, two touchdowns); Western Kentucky: Drew Eckels (15-for-26, 167 yards), Davis Shanley (2-3, 14 yards)
Top rushers, UMaine: Joe Fitzpatrick (17 carries-80 yards, 1 TD), Ramon Jefferson (12-74); Western Kentucky: Eckels (9-38), Shanley 3-31), Gino Appleberry Jr. (7-27)
Top receivers, UMaine: Drew Belcher (5 receptions-34 yards), Earnest Edwards (4-54, 1 TD), Micah Wright (4-55, 1 TD); Western Kentucky: Xavier Lane (4-40), Lucky Jackson (4-22), Garland LaFrance (3-13)
Defensive leaders, UMaine: Deshawn Stevens (8 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Taji Lowe (7 tackles), Kayon Whitaker (5 tackles), Manny Patterson (4 tackles, 2 pass breakups), Charles Mitchell (4 tackles, 2.5 sacks); Western Kentucky: Masai Whyte (11 tackles, 1 sack), Devon Key (10 tackles), Drell Greene (7 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Ben Holt (6 tackles)
Game notes: UMaine will earn a $300,000 guarantee from Football Bowl Subdivision Western Kentucky, which lost its opener to No. 4 Wisconsin 34-3. The Hilltoppers went 6-7 a year ago including a 27-17 loss to Georgia States in the Autonation Cure Bowl. Former Notre Dame University offensive coordinator Mike Sanford is the Hilltoppers head coach and said his team was going to have to play well to beat the Black Bears. He was impressed with UMaine’s convincing 35-7 win over New Hampshire and said his offense is going to have to control an aggressive, blitzing UMaine defense that produced six sacks vs. UNH. UMaine linebackers Lowe and Jaron Grayer, and center Chris Mulvey are doubtful due to injury. The Hilltoppers are deep at the quarterback position, and the Black Bear defense is going to have to be wary of the running prowess of Eckels and Shanley. Ferguson is going to have to keep getting the ball in the hands of playmakers Edwards, Wright and WR Jaquan Blair, and hope the young offensive line can create holes for running backs.
HUSSON vs. UNIVERSITY of NEW ENGLAND
Time, site: 1 p.m. Saturday, UNE Blue Storm Stadium, Biddeford
Records: Husson 0-1, UNE 0-1
Series, last meeting: 1st meeting
Quarterbacks, Husson: Cory Brandon (20-for-30 passing, 171 yards, 2 interceptions); UNE: Brian Peters (21-35, 242 yds., 1 TD, 1 INT)
Top rushers, Husson: Solomon Hassen (18 carries, 86 yds., 1 TD); UNE: Devon Charles (5-35), Jack Mahoney (8-21)
Top receivers, Husson: Corey Moore (2 catches, 57 yds.), Kyle Gaudet (5-39); UNE: Ryan Gaboury (7-92), Jack Mahoney (5-47)
Defensive leaders, Husson: Elvin Suazo (10 tackles), Antonio Rocha (7 tackles), Tarik Smith (7 tackles), Jake Dobos (6 tackles, 2 pass breakups); UNE: Keegan Stanton-Meas (8 tackles, 2 pass breakups), Owen Berry (8 tackles), Joe Kucky (8 tackles)
Game notes: An historic day on the University of New England campus as the Nor’easters host their first varsity contest. This also marks the first meeting in what will become an annual event as UNE is a member of Commonwealth Coast Football while Husson will move to CCF from the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference next year. Husson’s season got off to a disappointing start with a 30-7 loss at Union College last Saturday. The Eagles must shore up a pass defense that yielded 370 yards to the Dutchmen against Peters and UNE, which had some success through the air in a 33-7 loss at Coast Guard last weekend. UNE similarly will need to address its pass defense, which yielded 330 yards to Coast Guard. Brandon, the two-time All-ECFC first-team quarterback, will attempt to take advantage of its passing game, while Husson also will seek to establish a rushing attack that averaged just 2.4 yards per carry at Union.
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