No. 16 UMaine vs. Richmond
Time, site: Saturday, 3 p.m., Robins Stadium, Richmond, Virginia
Records: UMaine 6-3 (5-1 in Colonial Athletic Association), Richmond 3-6 (1-5 CAA)
Series, last meeting: tied 13-13, Richmond 48-17 on 10/3/15
Quarterbacks, UMaine: Chris Ferguson (128-for-219, 1,438 yards, 10 touchdowns, 7 interceptions); Richmond: Kevin Johnson (87-156, 1,274 yards, 5 TDs, 7 INTs), Joe Mancuso (74-128, 1,121 yards, 6 TDs, 10 INTs)
Top rushers, UMaine: Ramon Jefferson (87 carries, 515 yards, 5 TDs), Joe Fitzpatrick (98-373, 3 TDs); Richmond: Joe Mancuso (60-332, 3 TDs), Deontez Thompson (54-225 1 TD)
Top receivers, UMaine: Earnest Edwards (35 catches-568 yards, 5 TDs), Micah Wright (34-377, 4 TDs), Drew Belcher (31-224), Jaquan Blair (27-391, 2 TDs), Devin Young (25-169, 1 TD); Richmond: Cortrelle Simpson (36-651, 5 TDs), Tyler Wilkins (34-516, 2 TDs), Caleb Drake (23-297, 2 TDs), Jarmal Bevels (17-224, 1 TD), Stephon Jacob (13-215, 1 TD)
Defensive leaders, UMaine: Deshawn Stevens (73 tackles, 11.5 tackles-for-loss, 7 sacks, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble), Sterling Sheffield (59 tackles, 12 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 FR, 2 FF), Taji Lowe (52 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 FR), Darrius Hart (47 tackles, 2 INT), Kayon Whitaker (28 tackles, 8 TFL, 7 sacks); Richmond: Daniel Jones (71 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FR), Billy Caughell (65 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 FF), Justin Rubin (60 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 FF), Colby Ritten (47 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 FR, 1 FF), Maurice Jackson (35 tackles, 9 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 1 FR)
Game notes: The Black Bears have a showdown with Elon next Saturday but can ill afford to look past Richmond this weekend. The Spiders lead the CAA in passing yardage (279.8 yards per game), and quarterback Mancuso is their leading rusher. The Spiders are expected to regain the services of injured wide receivers Cortrelle Simpson and Tyler Wilkins, who are game-breakers. But Maine is second in the country in sacks per game (4.11) and Spider quarterbacks have thrown 17 interceptions, including five last weekend in a 45-21 loss to Villanova. The Spiders have been haunted by turnovers and their turnover margin of minus-1.22 is the worst in the league. The Spider defense has given up 44.6 points per game over their past five games. Nobody in the CAA gives up more points per game than Richmond (36.1). UMaine’s defense has allowed a league-low 261.6 yards per game, and it has the nation’s second best rush defense (71 ypg allowed). The Spiders are 11th among 12 teams in rushing defense, allowing 170.2 yards per game. UMaine redshirt freshman running back Ramon Jefferson has averaged 98 yards per game over his past three games, including a career-high 121 yards on 21 carries in the 35-28 win over Towson last weekend. It would behoove UMaine to control the football and keep the Spider offense off the field.
Husson vs. Plymouth State
Time, site: Saturday, noon, Currier Memorial Field, Plymouth, New Hampshire
Records: Husson 7-2 (6-0 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference), Plymouth State 6-3 (5-3 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Association)
Series, last meeting: Plymouth State leads 2-0, Plymouth State 21-19 on 10/22/05
Quarterbacks, Husson: Cory Brandon (143 of 219, 2,112 yards, 25 TDs, 6 INTs); Plymouth State: Zach Edwards (111-215, 1,358 yards, 14 TDs, 8 INTs)
Top rushers, Husson: Miece Loureiro (129 carries, 793 yards, 8 TDs), Solomon Hassen (122-782, 10 TDs); Plymouth State: David Hamilton (154-829, 7 TDs), Nick Lancia (72-290, 2 TDs)
Top receivers, Husson: Kyle Gaudet (51 rec., 863 yards, 11 TDs), Keyshaun Robinson (25-406-7); Plymouth State: Jacob Szulc (23-455), Terrell Lewis (20-199)
Defensive leaders, Husson: Elvin Suazo (67 tackles, 6 sacks), Derek Barden (39 tackles, 6 sacks), Jake Dobos (39 tackles), Frank Curran (37 tackles, 6 sacks), Quan Soyini (26 tackles, 3 INTs, 7 pass breakups); Plymouth State: Matt Shea (72 tackles), Grant McGregor (57 tackles), David Salazar (46 tackles)
Game notes: Fresh from clinching its third straight ECFC championship in its final year in the conference, Husson faces a solid nonconference test before it advances to the NCAA Division III playoffs next weekend. This matchup came about after Mount Ida College closed its doors in the spring, leaving both schools with a vacancy on its schedule. Husson clinched the ECFC title with a 63-2 victory over Gallaudet last weekend. Brandon earned conference player of the week honors for the fourth time this year after completing 15 of 21 passes for a school-record 404 yards and five touchdowns. His favorite target was Gaudet, who made seven catches for 249 yards and four touchdowns to earn a berth on the D3football.com Team of the Week. This game against a solid Plymouth State team will boost the Eagles’ strength of schedule and a victory could impact who Husson draws as a first-round NCAA foe as coach Gabby Price’s club seeks to win a postseason game for the second straight year. Plymouth State, ranked fourth in the MASCAC standings, has won four straight games, the first a 29-28 decision over conference co-leader Framingham State. The Panthers qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago, losing to Brockport State 66-0 in the first round.
Maine Maritime vs. Catholic
Time, site: Saturday, noon, Cardinal Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Records: Maine Maritime 0-8 (0-6 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference), Catholic 0-9 (0-6)
Series, last meeting: Catholic leads 1-0, Catholic 33-14 on 11/11/17
Quarterbacks, MMA: Bailey Sawyer (72 of 163 passing, 930 yards, 7 TDs, 7 INTs); Catholic: Brady Berger (152 of 254, 1,567 yards, 9 TDs, 6 INTs)
Top rushers, MMA: Cooper Chiasson (95 carries, 272 yards); Catholic: Bryan Mekra (41-176), Nick Esposito (33-109)
Top receivers, MMA: Dominic Casale (37 rec., 479 yards, 5 TDs); Catholic: Trey Carson (26-304, 4 TDs)
Defensive leaders, MMA: Derek Breunig (73 tackles), Terrell Thomas (72 tackles), John Bennett (54 tackles, 2 INT); Catholic: Andrew Funaki 68 tackles)
Game notes: Maine Maritime Academy heads to the nation’s capital in a quest to snap its 11-game losing streak. The Mariners are coming off a 44-7 loss at NEWMAC co-leader Springfield last week. Catholic, also winless this season, fell 44-10 to another NEWMAC co-leader, Merchant Marine, last Saturday. Both teams have struggled to run the football throughout the season, with Maine Maritime averaging 33.6 rushing yards per game and Catholic at 54.9 yards per game. Two MMA juniors, Spencer Baron of Mariaville and Jacob Wolfe of Hiram, on Thursday were named to the NEWMAC All-Academic Football Team.