Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Running back Nigel Jones, shown breaking free against Georgia State last year, hopes to improve upon his 2012 totals of 358 yards on 49 carries.
The Associated Press
UMAINE'S SEASON OPENER
WHO: Maine vs. Norfolk State
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Norfolk, Va.
RADIO: WJJB-FM (96.3), WLOB-AM (1310), WREB-AM (1440)
LIVESTREAM: nsuspartans.com/showcase/ ($8 fee)
NEXT GAME: Maine vs. UMass, 2 p.m. Sept. 7 at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
How well they play will go a long way toward Maine's efforts to stop a Norfolk State running game that includes Boston College transfer Rolandan "Deuce" Finch, who rushed for 90 yards in last year's 34-3 opener over the Black Bears at Chestnut Hill, Mass.
The Spartans also have transfers from Florida (linebacker Lynden Trail) and Michigan (via Bowling Green, wide receiver Je'Ron Stokes).
Another linebacker new to Maine's starting lineup is sophomore Cabrinni Goncalves, which means veteran Troy Eastman will be counted on for stability.
"He's the veteran," Cosgrove said. "Those two guys (Mulumba and Goncalves) are inexperienced, yeah, but we've watched them in spring and watched them in preseason and we feel like they're ready to play. I'm excited about both of them."
Can quarterback Marcus Wasilewski pick up where he left off?
Wasilewski led the Black Bears to 106 points in the final two games of 2012 and had a firm grasp on the offensive tiller. He threw for 21 touchdowns and was intercepted only 11 times. He is the CAA's top returning passer in terms of yards per game (214.9).
The only significant receiver lost to graduation is Maurice McDonald, but the turnover on the offensive line remains a concern.
"It's not solely on me and it's not solely on any one of them," Wasilewski said. "It's just being able to work together. That's what we focused on this summer. As long as that goes smoothly during game time, then we'll be successful."
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: