ALBANY, N.Y. – Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove claims his team hadn’t overlooked the University at Albany in the past, but losses in each of the past two seasons to an opponent from a lower-rated conference appeared to have gotten the attention of his players.

The Black Bears avenged two years of losing to the Great Danes of the Northeast Conference with a 31-15 victory at University Field Saturday night.

“We certainly didn’t disrespect Albany by overlooking them in the past,” said Cosgrove, whose team improved to 2-1 before beginning its Colonial Athletic Association schedule when it hosts Delaware on Oct. 1. “But this year’s team has a maturity level at where it should be.

“We didn’t have that type of team maturity (in the past two years). We were definitely ready to play this game. We knew Albany beat us the past two years (3-0 at Maine last year, 20-16 at Albany in 2009) and we came here to win. Our guys have been through the experience of losing to Albany the past two years, so that put a marker on this game for us.”

Not only does Albany (which gives a maximum 36 football scholarships compared to the 63 allowed to CAA teams) play in a conference considered a step below Maine’s, but Saturday’s game had the makings of a “trap” game for the Black Bears.

Maine played with considerable emotion in a 35-29 loss at Pittsburgh of the Big East seven days earlier and after an off week will host defending Football Championship Subdivision defending national champion Delaware on Oct. 1.

“This was no trap game for us,” said senior quarterback Warren Smith. “They got us the last two years. We came in here looking to take care of personal business. We put in a great week of practice and it showed.

“For whatever reason, we just came out flat against Albany last year. They just played tougher than us last year. We were really pointing to this game, not only because it was against Albany, but because it gives us a 2-1 record and now we can go and take care of business in the CAA.”

Maine led Albany 21-0 by halftime, piling up a 280-78 edge in total yards while limiting the Danes to four first downs.

Maine added a quick field goal to take a 24-0 lead with 7:44 remaining in the third period.

Albany finally got on the board with 13:05 left in the game to cut the lead to 24-7, and Maine responded less than three minutes later when reserve running back Terrel Walker scored on a 2-yard run for a 31-7 lead with 10:22 left to play.

Albany pulled within 31-15 with 8:22 left, but Maine’s defense didn’t allow another first down over the Danes’ final two possessions.

Maine handled Albany, which has a string of five consecutive winning seasons, with a balanced attack. The Black Bears accumulated 399 total yards, 202 through the air and 197 on the ground.

Smith was 21 of 32 with two touchdowns and no interceptions and connected with seven receivers. Justin Perillo, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound sophomore tight end, caught six passes for 57 yards.

Senior tailback Pushaun Brown had a game-high 125 yards on 18 carries against the Danes.