ORONO — One field goal. One touchdown. One bright spot.

The Maine football team has been punchless on offense while starting the season 0-2. But somehow the Black Bears have the leading receiver in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Redshirt freshman Micah Wright has 13 catches for 135 yards, and a growing belief that this is not a fluke.

“I love going man-to-man,” Wright said of his ability to repeatedly get open against single coverage in losses at Boston College and Tulane. “I like to think that I have a 90 percent chance of winning those routes, because I know what I’m doing.

“I want to exceed the standards and the roles of a freshman. I want to help my team the way a senior would.”

Wright will try to jumpstart an offense that has produced a mere 10 points – all in the first quarter – when conference play begins for Maine at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against another team struggling to reach the end zone, Rhode Island (0-3, 0-1 CAA).

No other Black Bear has more than four catches, but Wright has shown an early chemistry with junior quarterback Dan Collins. After grabbing five passes for 28 yards in a 24-3 loss to Boston College, Wright made the biggest play of Maine’s opening drive at Tulane last Saturday, gathering a short pass on a curl route over the middle and wiggling that into a 35-yard gain. On the first play of the second drive, he turned a naked screen pass into a 17-yard pickup.

There weren’t many offensive highlights in that 38-7 loss, but Wright’s eight catches for 107 yards qualified as one.

“He certainly has demonstrated an ability to play the game the way we want it to be played,” Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove said. “And if that’s the case, we’re going to try to get him the ball.”

Wright appeared in three games as a true freshman before a shoulder injury on a punt return ended his season. He was granted a medical redshirt, and spent the summer back home in Newark, New York, working on his speed and on getting better releases off the line of scrimmage.

Wright plays bigger than his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame because of long arms and huge hands. He also has a sharp mind that is constantly probing, asking Black Bear cornerback Najee Goode for insight into how a cornerback’s thought process works.

It’s all translating onto the practice field, and then into games. Wright was criticized for being inconsistent in his effort during spring practices, and he took that to heart.

Last week was his best stretch of practices since arriving at Maine, he said, and the coaches noticed. Collins did, too.

Hence, the eight catches, and a couple passes that Wright blamed himself for not hanging on to.

“Dan finds me if I’m open, which right now I seem to be open a lot,” Wright said.

Getting open against Rhode Island, and then getting into the end zone, would be a huge lift for Maine, whose defense took a step backward last week but remains the strength of the team. The Rams have scored only 17 points in three games, which suggests that Maine’s defense could be in for a fruitful afternoon.

Last year, Maine rallied to win 20-14 against a Rhode Island team that finished 1-11. The defense, and a strong running game, were the keys in that physical contest.

“It will be a little fun in the trenches,” Maine guard Daniel Burrows said, looking forward to a similar style of game in the rematch.

Rhode Island Coach Jim Fleming, like Cosgrove, is desperate to see his young offense sustain drives.

“Our issues are putting enough points on the board,” Fleming said.

“We can drive it on down there, and then we’ll do something that prevents us getting into the end zone.”

Maine scored on its opening drive in both losses, then struggled to find any footing.

Wright could be the key to changing that.

“We go down, we score some points and then we start to relax, which you can’t do in a football game,” he said.

“We can’t be complacent. The defense can’t go out and win games for us; we have to contribute as well.”