August 21, 2019
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National semifinal berth on the line as UMaine battles Weber State

Courtesy of Peter Buehner
Courtesy of Peter Buehner
Michael Gerace has emerged as a key member of the offensive line this season for the University of Maine football team. He earned the starting spot at center as a true freshman.

College Football


Time, site: Friday, 8 p.m., Stewart Stadium, Ogden, Utah

Records: UMaine 9-3, Weber State 10-2

Series, last meeting: first meeting

Quarterbacks, UMaine: Chris Ferguson (166-for-287, 1,877 yards, 19 touchdowns, 8 interceptions); Weber State: Jake Constantine (184-for-289, 1,933 yds., 16 TDs, 8 INTs)

Top rushers, UMaine: Ramon Jefferson (156 carries, 884 yds., 7 TDs), Joe Fitzpatrick (108-438-3); Weber State: Josh Davis (239-1,350-9), Treshawn Garrett (78-332-3)

Top receivers, UMaine: Earnest Edwards (46 catches, 722 yds., 9 TDs), Micah Wright (42-480-6), Drew Belcher (38-297-1), Jaquan Blair (37-492-4), Devin Young (29-198-1); Weber State: Rashid Shaheed (36-423-5), Darryl Denby (31-387-6), Devon Cooley (29-334-1), Josh Davis (28-198-0), Justin Malone (20-208-1)

Defensive leaders, UMaine: Deshawn Stevens (103 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries), Sterling Sheffield (73 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 1 INT, 3 FR), Taji Lowe (67 tackles, 12 TFL, 2 FR), Darrius Hart (62 tackles, 2 INT), Kayon Whitaker (43 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 2 FF), Manny Patterson (39 tackles, 21 pass breakups, 1 INT); Weber State: LeGrand Toia (79 tackles, 13 TFL, 6 sacks), Landon Stice (69 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 5 INT, 1 FR), Jawian Harrison Jr. (56 tackles, 1 INT, 2 FR), Adam Rodriguez (55 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 1 FR), Jordan Preator (54 tackles, 3 INT, 8 pass breakups, 1 FR), Kellan Benjamin (51 tackles, 5 INT, 1 FR)

Game notes: Davis and Jefferson are two of the best freshman running backs in the FCS, and Shaheed and Edwards are among the nation’s best kickoff returners and top big-play receivers. UMaine needs a strong start like it had in the win over Jacksonville State. They must limit Weber State’s big plays and try to create some themselves. The Black Bears rank second in FCS rushing defense (74.5 ypg) and want to make Wildcats one-dimensional. That would allow UMaine (3.67 sacks per game) to harass Constantine and force him to make hurried throws.

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