August 25, 2013

Black Bears gifted with sacks of Cole

Again healthy after last year's knee injury, the defensive end will resume torturing quarterbacks.

By Glenn Jordan
Staff Writer

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Although Michael Cole missed most of 2012, his seven sacks still led the CAA, giving him a three-year total of 21 that puts him within range of UMaine’s career mark of 27 1⁄2.

University of Maine Photo

"Football is his baby, and taking that away from him, he takes it personally."

Maine opens its 122nd season Saturday night in Virginia against Norfolk State of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The schools have never met.

"I can't wait to see what he does the first game," said senior teammate Justin Perillo, a tight end. "He looks great. He looks better than he's ever been before, coming off the ball."

That spells trouble for opposing quarterbacks. Maine senior Marcus Wasilewski, sacked twice by Cole on Tuesday, looks forward to seeing Cole chase someone else each weekend.

"It's just great to see Mike back in action," Wasilewski said after Wednesday's Meet the Bears night. "You never want (a season-ending injury) to happen to anybody, but to see it happen to somebody like Mike, who is so passionate about the game we're just really happy to have him back out there on the field."

Cole played 35 snaps in Tuesday's scrimmage, fewer than he expects in a game but a good test for his surgically repaired knee. He reported tightness, swelling and soreness Wednesday, "but it's not bothering me in the places that would raise a red flag," he said. "I've just got to keep icing it, keep the swelling down and everything's going to be all right."

Both Wasilewski and Cosgrove pointed to an additional benefit of Cole's return to action. Not only will he harass opposing passers on Saturday, he will also raise the game of Maine's pass blockers during the week. All that remains is to see whether his knee will hold up for a full game.

"He went 35 reps (on Tuesday)," Cosgrove said. "Is he capable of 60 (next weekend)? I don't know, but I feel good when he's on the field."


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

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


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