October 18, 2013

UMaine tailback steps up

Once well down the depth chart, the Black Bears’ Nigel Jones is running strong.

By Glenn Jordan gjordan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

DEFENSE

LINE: Matt Wilson, Darius Greene, Pat Ricard, Michael Cole, Trevor Bates, Erwin Roach and Jonathan Louis have filled one of the biggest question marks coming into the season. Maine is sixth in the CAA in rushing defense and third in sacks (16). Grade: A-minus.

LINEBACKER: Redshirt freshmen Cabrinni Goncalves and Christophe Mulumba (recently named to the Jerry Rice Award watch list for the outstanding FCS freshman) joined with veteran Troy Eastman to form an impressive trio. Arron Achey has been excellent in a supporting role. Grade: A.

SECONDARY: Corners Axel Ofori and Kendall James have been stellar. Safeties Jamal Clay and Khari Al-Mateen have been ably backed by Mike Mangiarelli and Lamar Fitzgerald, whose endzone interception secured the Richmond victory. Maine leads the CAA in defensive pass efficiency. Grade: A.

SPECIAL TEAMS

PUNTING: Maine is last in net average (32.1 yards) but four pooch punts by Wasilewski skews that number. Even so, Jeffrey Ondish has lots of room for improvement. Grade: C.

PLACE-KICKING: Sean Decloux is 4-for-7 on field goal attemps and missed twice inside 40 yards. His long is 41. He is 25-of-26 on PATs. His kickoffs often show power, but need more consistency. Grade: C-plus.

PUNT AND KICKOFF COVERAGE: Maine ranks third in kickoff coverage and has done well in punt coverage. Grade: A-minus.

PUNT AND KICKOFF RETURN: Ranked fourth in kickoff return (22.2 average) but ninth in punt return (3.8). Grade: B-plus.

OVERALL

Maine is 4-0 against fellow FCS opponents and 1-1 against the bigger bowl-eligible programs. Even a split of the final six games is likely to result in an NCAA tourney bid. Grade: A.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

Gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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