University of Maine quarterback Chris Ferguson has passed for 1,110 yards through three games. That ranks first among 124 Football Championship Subdivision teams.
That is of little consolation to the junior, who threw a career-high four interceptions in Saturday night’s 45-23 Colonial Athletic Association loss to Towson University at Alfond Stadium in Orono.
“That stuff [statistics] is so down on the bottom of the totem pole for me. At the top is winning,” Ferguson said. “I want to see my guys make plays. I want to see them score touchdowns. I want to see us succeed as a team. We’re not winning. So I’ve got to change something.”
Ferguson completed 28 of 49 passes for 401 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, but the Tigers converted three of his interceptions into touchdowns.
He has dissected his performance after watching the game on video and expects to learn from his mistakes as he and his teammates prepare for Saturday’s noon nonconference game at Colgate.
“It was good for me to see those mistakes. I know I can’t make them again,” Ferguson said.
“I’m going to change a little thing that makes me better every day and that makes my life better,” he said.
Twelfth-ranked UMaine (1-2) has lost two in a row, while Colgate of the Patriot League is 0-3.
Ferguson has completed 74 of 125 passes (59 percent) with five TDs and five interceptions, but he’s willing to do whatever is necessary to convert the numbers into wins.
“[Whether] It’s meeting with guys more often, getting here earlier or staying later. Things like that. Those are things I think I do a really good job of but you can always get better at,” Ferguson said.
UMaine head coach Nick Charlton said Ferguson needs to do a better job of executing.
The Black Bears’ inability to establish a running game has resulted in Ferguson averaging 48 passes per game in his past two outings, including the 26-18 loss to Football Bowl Subdivision team Georgia Southern.
“That’s a very high volume of throws, close to 50 a game. Chris can handle a lot but that’s too many,” Charlton said. “We’ve got to do a good job of running the ball to balance it out. That will make it easier for everybody.”
UMaine has run the ball only 40 times for 160 yards combined in the past two games.
Place-kicker Kenny Doak said there is no doubt in his mind Ferguson will return to form this weekend.
“He is an elite athlete. He’s a great leader. People go up and down. He’ll be fine,” Doak said.