ORONO — Playing against the Villanova offense is a sprint, not a marathon.

You can only run stride for stride with the No. 6 Wildcats for so long before finding yourself gasping for air.

For Maine, the race lasted 26 minutes and 41 seconds Saturday. That’s how long the Black Bears kept pace before Villanova burst clear for a 41-20 victory before an announced crowd of 5,173 at Alfond Stadium.

Maine (2-3, 1-1 Colonial Athletic Association) trailed 14-13 after Dan Collins connected with Jordan Dunn for a 2-yard touchdown with 3:19 left in the second quarter.

Villanova scored the next 20 points on a quick drive before halftime, then its opening two possessions of the second half.

John Robertson, as usual, led the way, throwing four touchdown passes for the fourth consecutive game.

“It was up to us. We knew that we were going to have to keep scoring,” Robertson said. “We always emphasize coming into the half when we’re getting the ball, we’ve got to score, set the tone right there to make sure they know that we’re not sleeping on them.”

Villanova (4-1, 2-0) scored 40 points for the fourth consecutive game and avenged a 37-35 loss to Maine a year ago.

Robertson finished 16 of 25 for 285 yards, gaining another 58 yards on the ground. He was sacked four times but constantly frustrated the Black Bears by slipping out of harm’s way to extend plays and buy time for receivers to find open space.

“He makes the plays when it matters. He makes the throws when he needs to make them and he breaks tackles; he keeps his feet running,” Maine safety Khari Al-Mateen said. “It’s just like having another running back in the backfield that can throw.”

Said Villanova Coach Andy Talley: “If you have a normal quarterback in some of the situations that we were stuck in today? No points on the board. He’s a difference-maker for us right now. And players around him offensively are rising to the occasion.”

Meanwhile, the first five Black Bear drives of the second half netted only 34 yards, and resulted in four punts and a fumble by Collins.

Maine took over three times in Villanova territory after a pair of turnovers and a bad snap on a punt attempt. The Black Bears only capitalized on the final occasion when Collins lofted a 30-yard scoring pass to Arthur Williams in the right corner of the end zone, the second scoring connection for those two in the game.

But it came with only 3:27 left and, after Villanova recovered the onside kick, the Wildcats put the game away.

“The offense has got to break that momentum with a drive and they didn’t do that,” Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove said. “And defensively, after a setback and giving up one, they’ve got to dig their heels in and come back, and maybe prevent that. It’s a shared responsibility for the whole football team.”

Maine managed only 59 yards rushing on 29 carries and was outgained in the second half 237-87. It continued a season-long trend of futility after intermission for the Black Bears, who have been outscored 62-17 in second halves.

“I thought we did enough in the run game to keep it honest and make them respect the play (action) pass in the first half,” Cosgrove said. “In the second half we didn’t help ourselves, but when the game gets away the run becomes less of a threat anyway.”

Collins finished 20 of 35 for 210 yards and three touchdowns, but faced increasing pressure in the second half. He was sacked five times.

Damarr Aultman caught nine passes for 88 yards but only two came in the second half.

“They played a better game than us today,” Aultmann conceded. “But that still doesn’t change the fact that as a team we went out there and we made a few mistakes here and there that cost us.”