October 4, 2013

Black Bears find depth in their den

Redshirt freshmen Darius Greene and Pat Ricard capably fill what had been a vacancy at defensive tackle.

By Glenn Jordan gjordan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Pat Ricard

Darius Greene

DELAWARE (4-1) at MAINE (4-1)

WHEN: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Alfond Stadium, Orono

RADIO: WLOB-AM 1310

MAINE OUTLOOK: The Black Bears have come from behind in three of their four victories. Although they trail 23-9 in the career series against Delaware, they have won two straight, including 26-3 last year in Newark. QB Marcus Wasilewski shook off two end-zone interceptions in last week's 28-21 victory over Richmond and moved into eighth place in career passing yardage. TB Nigel Jones ran for 95 of his 115 yards in the second half last week and scored three TDs. DE Michael Cole needs 3.5 sacks to tie the career record. He had five against Delaware last year. This game marks the season midpoint for Maine, which has a bye next weekend.

DELAWARE OUTLOOK: The Blue Hens overcame a 12-point deficit last week against James Madison to win 29-22 and move into the Top 25 of Football Championship Subdivision schools. Delaware has been ranked at some point in every season since 1991. RB Andrew Pierce averages 68.4 yards per game. QB Trent Hurley averages 235.4 yards per game and has thrown for 13 TDs. LB Pat Callaway leads the team with 43 tackles -- 20 more than anyone else -- and two interceptions. Delaware's lone loss was 51-7 to Navy in Annapolis, Md. This is head coach Dave Brock's first year.

-- Glenn Jordan

A year spent in a college-level speed, strength, nutrition and conditioning regimen made a big difference for both Greene and Ricard, whose opportunity to play football last fall was limited to the scout team.

"With Darius, we wanted him to lose some weight and tone his body," Cosgrove said. "With Patrick, we wanted him to grow and get bigger, because we felt like he had the potential for growth in the chest, the legs, the butt. They both bought into it."

Their improvement became apparent in the spring and their continued development through training camp in August proved to be critical to Maine's fast start. The only other redshirt freshman with similarly significant playing time is middle linebacker Christophe Mulumba.

"We're talking about two redshirt freshmen starting inside for us, and being really productive for us, on a defense that requires great discipline," Cosgrove said. "A lot of what we do (on defense) is predicated on what the guys up front do, in terms of how they hit their gaps, because we're going to pressure you."

Ricard, with 17 tackles in five games, and Green, with 12, are more valuable than their statistics. Filling up space and tying up blockers frees teammates to make big plays. Among the chief beneficiaries of Greene, Ricard and Wilson toiling in the trenches are linebackers Cabrinni Goncalves, Troy Eastman and Mulumba, who has twice been named CAA Rookie of the Week.

"Those are the guys getting the sacks and the tackles for loss," Cosgrove said, "because of the work these guys are doing."

Still in progress, that work continues on Saturday afternoon.

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

gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

 

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