UAlbany Mauled by Maine, 28-9

by Ryan McCarthy, BBM Staff Writer

The Maine Black Bears got off to a fast start on Saturday afternoon and never looked back on their way to a 28-9 win over the UAlbany Great Danes in front of a homecoming crowd at Alfond Stadium in Orono, ME. The Great Danes fall to 0-5 in the CAA and 2-6 overall.

The Black Bears (4-1 CAA, 5-3 overall) went up 7-0 on the first play of the game when QB Chris Ferguson found WR Earnest Edwards for a 77-yard touchdown pass. They would go up 14 on Ferguson sneak that took over 5 minutes off the clock. In the second quarter, Maine capitalized on a UAlbany special teams’ miscue and went up 21 with RB Ramo Jefferson’s touchdown. The Great Danes offense had seven total yards in the first half.

The Great Danes showed signs of life in the third quarter: LB Levi Metheny picked off a Ferguson pass to bring UAlbany inside of Maine territory for the first time all game. The interception would lead to points as K Ethan Stark brought the score to 21-3. The Great Danes found the endzone for the first time in the fourth quarter: aided by a targeting penalty that saw LB Deshawn Stevens ejected after a hit on Wil Brunson (who replaced Testaverde in the second quarter), freshman Jeff Undercuffler lead the rest of the drive and would throw a touchdown to WR Jerah Reeves on his first collegiate pass. The Black Bears would put the game out of reach on their next offensive possession when TE Drew Belcher threw a pass on a trick play to WR Julian Dunn.

What were some of the takeaways from the game?

Takeaway #1: Maine’s defense is as good as advertised. The Black Bears boasted one of the top defenses in the conference before the game and demonstrated that strength throughout the game. Maine held UAlbany’s offense to 113 total yards, racked up three sacks and 11 tackles for loss, and forced two turnovers (one interception and one on downs). Stevens had eight total tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss before his ejection. DL Kayon Whitaker lead both teams with 2.5 sacks, helping increase Maine's season total to 33.

Takeaway #2: The injury bug continues to bite key players for the Great Danes. Earlier in the season, injuries mounted in the secondary with Josh Wynn and Hayden Specht out multiple weeks. (Both safeties came back to the lineup this week.) Now it seems as if the injury bug has hit the quarterback position. Testaverde went down in the second quarter with a lower body injury after a sack and Brunson was knocked out in the fourth quarter. If neither quarterback can play next week, one of two underclassmen (Undercuffler or Nyc Burns) will make their first collegiate start against Delaware.

Takeaway #3: The Great Danes didn’t give up, but they need to capitalize on their chances. After Stark’s field goal in the third quarter, the defense forced a three-and-out from Maine’s offense and the offense went to work with a twelve-play drive. RB Karl Mofor touched the ball on seven of the twelve plays for 47 yards. The Great Danes would get to the Black Bears’ six-yard line, but on fourth-and-one, Mofor was stopped for no gain by the Black Bears’ vaunted run defense. They were able to get in the end zone on their next drive, but by then, the result was an afterthought.

Next Game: vs. Delaware; 11/3, 3:30pm.

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