Maine’s young safeties were torched repeatedly in a 48-17 loss at Richmond on Saturday, and if you think things can only get better, well, maybe not.

“We’ve got the best we’ve got in there,” Black Bears Coach Jack Cosgrove said on Monday. “We’ve got to play through it, it’s just all we can do. They were overmatched.”

Sinmisola Demuren and Jason Matovu each made four tackles for Maine, but it was the plays the first-year starters didn’t make that allowed the Spiders to romp in the rain. Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta threw for 311 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another score. Wide receiver Brian Brown, questionable to play entering the week with a back injury, responded with 177 yards and two touchdowns. His counterpart, Reggie Diggs, gained 96 yards with another pair of scores.

The news got even worse for Maine when it was revealed that strong safety Darrius Hart will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered in the opener at Boston College.

The Black Bears were already minus last year’s starters at safety, Khari Al-Mateen (graduation) and Davonte Burke (knee injury). Redshirt freshman Mozai Nelson was lost for the year when he tore his ACL during practices last week.

Demuren, Matovu and Spencer Carey of Fairfield figure to get the bulk of time at safety when Maine (1-3, 1-1 Colonial Athletic Association) visits Albany (2-3, 1-1) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The Great Danes are coming off a 37-0 loss at Holy Cross.

Cosgrove said the problems for Maine were hardly limited to the defensive secondary. The front four couldn’t put pressure on Lauletta, recording no sacks as the Spiders used extra blockers to give their quarterback time to find receivers.

Both of Maine’s quarterbacks, Dan Collins and Drew Belcher, threw interceptions.

“In a game where we had to play extremely well, that position didn’t ante up,” Cosgrove said.

Still, how to protect a green trio of safeties will be of major concern the rest of the season.

“We’ve got to keep coaching those young men and make them better,” Cosgrove said. “We’ve got to be more conservative. We just have to be. We learned a hard lesson in that regard. A little of it showed up the week before against Rhode Island (a 27-17 win). We weren’t making plays on the ball. That concept there was a concern. This one, we got flat-out beat in some coverages, double moves, those kind of things.”

THE OUTLOOK is much better for Maine’s biggest rival. New Hampshire is up to No. 21 in the polls this week after blowing out Elon 37-14 despite the continued absence of quarterback Sean Goldrich and star safety Daniel Rowe.

Junior running back Dalton Crossan ran for 140 yards and scored four first-half touchdowns as the Wildcats made quick work of the Phoenix.

“He ran with authority,” New Hampshire Coach Sean McDonnell said of Crossan. “He hit some holes, he broke some tackles early on some guys who were unblocked and made them miss. … He’s also seeing things better, I think. I think he’s seeing his cuts a little bit better.”

Adam Riese, making his second start at quarterback while Goldrich recovers from a high ankle sprain, has proved he isn’t a liability.

“We can win with this kid now. We feel comfortable,” McDonnell said.

The Wildcats have a bye this week and then travel to William & Mary. McDonnell said Goldrich, who suited up for the Elon game, may be able to play in that one.

DELAWARE GOT a last-second field goal to beat William & Mary 24-23 on Saturday.

Redshirt freshman running back Thomas Jefferson led a ground attack that racked up an incredible 347 yards. Jefferson had 174 of them on 28 carries, a week after gaining 163 in a loss to North Carolina.

“We’re trying to become what I think Delaware should be, which is a line-of-scrimmage football team,” Coach Dave Brock said. “Schematically, we’ve got three guys we feel like can run the football (Kareem Williams ran for 106 yards against William & Mary and quarterback Joe Walker added 63). We play them by series, so they’re in and out. … Thomas has made the most of his opportunities, certainly.”

The Blue Hens started 18 freshmen and sophomores Saturday.

Brock said they’re starting to figure out how he wants them to play.

“We’re physical, we have good backs. We’re committed to the run game,” he said. “There’s not a lot of thinking.”