MAINE (6-4, 5-2 CAA) vs. NEW HAMPSHIRE (6-4, 5-2)

WHERE: Alfond Stadium, Orono

KICKOFF: 1 p.m. Saturday

ALL-TIME SERIES: New Hampshire leads, 53-43-8

LAST MEETING: Nov. 21, 2015, won by New Hampshire, 22-6

WHEN MAINE HAS THE BALL: The Black Bears and QB Dan Collins have the CAA’s second-best passing offense at 217.3 yards per game. And UNH has the league’s 10th-best passing defense, allowing 218 yards per game. But Maine has had its greatest success with a strong running game. Maine is 5-1 when gaining at least 150 rushing yards. Freshman Josh Mack has emerged as the leading rusher, with 635 yards and six TDs. Look for Maine to pound at UNH’s run defense.

WHEN NEW HAMPSHIRE HAS THE BALL: The Wildcats have one of the most balanced offenses in the CAA, ranked fifth with the run (169.8 yards) and fifth with the pass (193.6). QB Trevor Knight is a dual threat, throwing for 1,642 yards and 14 TDs while rushing for 406 yards and four touchdowns. Senior Dalton Crossan leads UNH with 842 rushing yards but suffered a concussion last week against Albany. Backup Trevon Bryant rushed for 112 yards and could be a factor. Leading receivers Malik Love and Neil O’Connor have combined for 96 catches, 1,001 yards and five TDs.

KEY STAT: 6 (defensive touchdowns this year by UNH, tops in FCS)

OUTLOOK: The longtime rivals have added incentive for this year’s matchup, as an NCAA playoff berth is probably on the line. The winner will finish 6-2 in the CAA – tied for second place – which should be enough to get in. Maine is going to have to control the clock. The Wildcats use a lot of formations and can strike from anywhere, and often get a scoring lift from their aggressive defense. Maine has to stop New Hampshire’s running game first and then hope its secondary holds up against a very talented pair of receivers. An effective pass rush would help Maine. The Wildcats have given up 28 sacks, second-most in the CAA.

OF NOTE: New Hampshire has won six in a row against Maine and 13 of the last 14. … New Hampshire has two Maine natives on its roster – senior DE Cam Shorey of Calais (31 tackles, two sacks) and junior RB Donald Goodrich of York and Cheverus High (42 rushing yards). … UNH freshman DB Prince Smith has returned an interception for a touchdown in two of the last three games. … Maine’s leading wide receiver, Micah Wright, was limited in practice this week because of a foot injury sustained last Saturday.

THEY SAID IT: “This is what you want. If we could have signed up at the beginning of the year for this (game to mean so much), we would have. It’s always a big game, but now it’s bigger. I can’t wait to get out there on Saturday.” – Maine senior quarterback Dan Collins

— Mike Lowe

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