MAINE (4-3, 3-1 CAA) VS. WILLIAM & MARY (3-3, 1-3)

WHERE: Zable Stadium, Williamsburg, Va.

KICKOFF: 3:30 p.m. Saturday

ALL-TIME SERIES: William & Mary leads, 7-4

LAST MEETING: Oct. 19, 2013, won by Maine, 34-20

WHEN MAINE HAS THE BALL: The Black Bears enter the game on a four-game winning streak. They did so in part by having greater offensive balance, an approach that might be a good idea against the Tribe. While Maine ranks third in the CAA in passing offense (214.6 yards per game), William & Mary is second in pass defense (154.1 yards). Maine’s running game has picked up the pace lately, averaging more than 185 yards the last three games. The Tribe ranks 11th of 12 teams in the CAA in run defense (215.6 yards). Maine will use three backs – Josh Mack (368 yards), Darian Davis-Ray (238) and Zaire Williams (238) – to soften the Tribe’s defense and open the passing game for Dan Collins and receiver Micah Wright (24 catches, 381 yards, four touchdowns).

WHEN WILLIAM & MARY HAS THE BALL: The Tribe, coming off a bye week, truly do strike the balance Maine is looking for between its running game and passing game. Senior Kendell Anderson is the leading rusher with 521 yards and is hard to bring down. He’s averaged 144 yards per game the last three weeks. Albert Funderburke is next with 294 yards. Anderson and Funderburke have combined for seven touchdowns. Quarterback Steve Cluley has completed 59.6 percent of his passes for 1,233 yards and six touchdowns.

KEY STAT: 5 (consecutive losses for William & Mary following a bye week).

OUTLOOK: The Black Bears face another challenge on the road. And once again, they want to force their opponent to be one-dimensional offensively. Maine will try to shut down William & Mary’s running game and make Cluley beat them in the air. Maine intercepted five passes in last week’s 28-21 win over Rhode Island. But stopping Anderson isn’t going to be easy. He breaks tackles and often turns short gains into big ones. Maine’s defense has to tackle well. The Black Bears’ offensive line is going to have to have a good game, too. Maine needs to open holes for its backs and give Collins time to find his receivers on Maine’s deep passing routes.

OF NOTE: The Black Bears will be without safety DeAndre Scott (sprained left foot) for the third consecutive game. Darrius Hart has stepped in nicely, with interceptions in consecutive games and a team-high three INTs… Maine is averaging 14.7 yards per pass play, 4.1 per run. … William & Mary is averaging 11 yards per catch, 4.6 per rush. … William & Mary is eighth in the nation in fewest penalties per game (4.6) and fewest penalty yards per game (40.7).

THEY SAID IT: “This is a team that is still maturing. To get that winning mentality and put teams away when we’re ahead is the next step.” – Maine Coach Joe Harasymiak

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