The Maine football team is beginning to strike a balance, particularly on offense.

After rushing for only 37 yards Sept. 10 in a 35-29 loss at FBS opponent Pittsburgh, Maine rebounded in Saturday’s 31-15 win at Albany. The Black Bears ran for 197 yards and passed for 202 yards – the Black Bears’ highest combined output in three games.

In the season opener Sept. 3 against Bryant, the Black Bears (2-1) had 322 yards – 128 rushing and 194 passing. In the loss at Pitt, the Black Bears threw for 334 yards on 27 completions by quarterback Warren Smith.

“Anybody wants to be able to show some balance,” Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove said. “Everybody has different percentages of it in their offensive philosophy. We ran well against Bryant but we didn’t throw the ball. We went to Pitt and didn’t run the ball well, but we didn’t like what we saw in terms of execution.”

In preparation for Albany, the Black Bears emphasized creating an offensive balance and a week after finishing with 18 yards on 10 carries, Maine tailback Pushaun Brown led all rushers with 125 yards on 19 carries against the Great Danes – almost two-thirds of Maine’s rushing yards.

“That’s not what we thought it would end up, but it does show that we did work and we accomplished a goal of getting more balance,” Cosgrove said of his team’s rushing yardage. “We came into the game wanting to throw the football.”

The Black Bears aren’t the only CAA team seeking that equilibrium, but not every team is able to find it.

In a 36-27 win over Rhode Island, Massachusetts had only a 58-yard differential between rushing (201) and passing (259). UMass Coach Kevin Morris said getting 200 yards passing and rushing in each game is his team’s goal.

“We certainly work for that game,” Morris said. “That’s when we think our team is best, but we have a long way to go.”

Conversely, Rhode Island finished with only 56 yards rushing but 279 yards passing in the loss to UMass.

URI Coach Joe Trainer said the Rams must continue to develop their passing game, but also develop their backfield in the absence of tailback Ayo Isijola, who has missed the first two games because of injuries.

In the loss at UMass, Anthony Baskerville led five rushers with 26 yards on two carries.

“We’re not going to win games as a one-dimensional team, throwing the football,” Trainer said.

“We missed that big back that we needed in physical games like (UMass and Syracuse). We’re going to continue to emphasize the run game. We’re not going to be someone that wins the game throwing the ball 50 times.”

But, Trainer added, “When you can’t run the ball, it limits the play-action (pass).”

In William and Mary’s 13-10 win over New Haven on Saturday, the Tribe finished with 147 yards rushing and 119 yards passing.

In order to contend with the wet weather in Williamsburg, Va., the offense had to be toned down.

“We were conservative in what we were going to do,” Tribe Coach Jimmye Laycock said. “We felt like we needed to run the football and I wanted to take the pressure off the quarterback. We held the ball well and tried to play field position and go from there.”

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be contacted at 791-6415 or at: [email protected]

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