When asked if it’s a surprise to be one of the top two football teams in the Colonial Athletic

Association standings, Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove considered what he believes is the source of his team’s success.

After all, he’s been asked about it quite a bit as of late.

“Yes and no,” Cosgrove said in Monday’s league teleconference.

“I thought we had a very talented senior class coming in and that’s the starting point with any type of success.” 

The Black Bears (5-1, 3-0 CAA) are ranked ninth in The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25 poll and are tied with No. 15 Towson for first place in the CAA.

Maine faces No. 18 Richmond (3-3, 0-3) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Robins Stadium in Richmond, Va., and the Black Bears know the chase for a FCS playoff berth comes with a degree of difficulty in the conference.

In Saturday’s 27-21 win over Rhode Island, the Black Bears took a 27-7 lead with 1:12 left in the third quarter, but allowed the Rams to score two unanswered touchdowns to get back into the game.

Maine needed a first down from quarterback Warren Smith in the final 90 seconds to secure the win.
Furthermore, penalties plagued Maine. The Black Bears were flagged for 102 yards against Rhode Island, many of those for holding.

“I do think there were parts in the game that we were, I’ll use the word lazy, with our technique on the offensive line,” Cosgrove said.

“We’re going to address it and put a ton of emphasis on it. Some of the guys were mentally lazy, sloppy, whatever you call it. The focus wasn’t where it should be and that inconsistency showed throughout the game.”

Towson (5-1, 3-0) eked out a late 39-35 win Saturday at Old Dominion.

Maine plays Towson on Nov. 5 in Orono.

Down 35-32, Towson recovered its onside kick and on fourth-and-29 from their own 37-yard line with less than two minutes left in regulation, Towson quarterback Grant Enders connected with Tom Ryan for a 63-yard touchdown.

With Old Dominion defensive back Paul Morant clinging to him, Ryan fell into the end zone for the touchdown. 

“We would never, ever lay down,” Towson Coach Rob Ambrose said.

“We’re going to keep playing until they tell us we can’t play football anymore. There was frustration at times but there was never an ounce of quit or give up. There was plenty of time left in the game.”

Ambrose believed the win was indicative of the quality of play in the CAA.

“If you can escape the conference and get into the playoffs, that’s where you truly appreciate the difficulty of the league,” Ambrose said.

“It’s a quality opponent week after week after week. They just change (uniform) colors and towns.

“You have to have the mindset that there isn’t a day off. Hell, there’s never a play off or half a play off. It’s a difficult existence.”

NOTES: Cosgrove said linebacker Donte Dennis will not play this season. Dennis underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in the spring and has not played a game this season. … Maine punter Jordan Waxman was named the CAA’s special teams player of the week.

Against Rhode Island, five of Waxman’s seven punts came within the Rams’ 20-yard line, including one that set up Vinson Givan’s interception that resulted in a 2-yard touchdown return. 

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