There isn't a prime Maine Football blog so I went to their student newspaper to find a source that could tell us about the Black Bears. Joe Sturzl covers the team for the Maine Campus and answered my questions regarding this weekend's matchup and the future of Maine Football. Check out the Maine Campus for more on Maine sports.
ATLEeagle: You have multiple starters returning. What can BC expect when Maine is on offense?
Joe Sturzl: Maine is returning a veteran group on the offensive line, as well as All-Conference receiver Maurice McDonald and tight end Justin Perillo. Damarr Aultmann and Arthur Williams showed some promise as freshmen on the receiving corps as well. Sophomore running back David Hood received considerable playing time last year when Pushaun Brown was injured. It is an experienced group of guys who made it to the 2nd round of the FCS playoffs last year. The highest profile new face will be Junior Quarterback Marcus Wasilewski, who earned the starting job in pre-season. Coach Jack Cosgrove made it clear that he earned the starting job, and it was not by default. He is a smart guy who waited his turn and is now ready to lead the offense. This will be the first game of the year, so this will be the first time we will get to see how the offense does. They will be up for a challenge against a tough FBS opponent.
ATLEeagle: BC had more than 500 total yards against Miami. How do you expect Maine to try to slow down the Eagles this week?
Joe Sturzl: Like the offense, Maine has a few key defensive players who are returning. Both starting cornerbacks that are back from last year, a defensive line lead by defensive end Michael Cole, and a Linebacker core lead by Arron Achely will have to lead this team to play at its highest level. This defense will have to lock down the receivers as best they can, and play a tough, physical, hard-nosed game. Boston College turned the ball over four times against Miami, including a pick-six and a defensive stand at the goal-line late in the game. If Maine's defense can keep the BC passing game in check, rush the quarterback, prevent big-yardage plays and creative turnovers, it will help their chances.
ATLEeagle: Many New England FCS teams are either building up their programs or deemphasizing football. What's the future of Maine football?
Joe Sturzl: During the past few years there has been a lot of conference shifting, and the CAA and FCS have not been immune. The conference has seen its central base shift south, and it was looking like Maine and rival New Hampshire were going to be alone in
the Northeast. However, Rhode Island, who was considering leaving for the NEC, has decided to stay in the CAA. SUNY - Albany is joining the CAA from the NEC, and SUNY- Stony Brook is joining from the Big South. That will make 12 teams in the CAA for 2013 (Georgia State is leaving after this year, its only year in the CAA). Even with the two Massachusetts CAA departures (Northeastern dropped football altogether after '09, UMass played its final full year in the CAA in '11) in recent years, the New York replacements will give the conference a balance of North and South. With all of this being said, after hockey, football is arguably the 2nd highest profile sport at Maine, there has always been strong community support behind the team, and Coach Cosgrove and his staff has consistently put a competitive team out. The future of Maine football is a bright one.
ATLEeagle: What is your prediction for the game?
Joe Sturzl: There is no doubt who the underdog is in an FCS vs. FBS match-up. Boston College has a high powered offense, and it will take a great effort for Maine to stop it. It will come down to whether or not Maine finds a way to slow down BC's offense, hope BC repeats some of its same mistakes it made against Miami, and then capitalizing on each and every one of those mistakes. Maine stayed close with their lone FBS opponent Pittsburgh last year because they played up to Pitt's level and Pitt turned the ball over twice while Maine turned it over zero times. Another factor is that this is going to be the offenses first time playing with Wasilewski under center, and he will have to preform well in his first ever collegiate start. BC will also be looking to get to 1-1 after dropping its first game of the year, something the team cannot be happy about. Maine will have to hope a lot of things go their way and capitalize on BC mistakes if they want to leave Alumni Stadium with a W on Saturday afternoon.