ORONO — There’s something about Bryant University that brings out the best in Josh Mack, the University of Maine sophomore running back.

Mack rushed for 255 yards and three touchdowns Saturday afternoon to lead the Black Bears to a 60-12 victory over the Bulldogs at Alfond Stadium. A year ago, in a 35-31 comeback win over Bryant, he rushed for what was a career-high 151 yards and three touchdowns.

Mack and the rest of the starters came out of the game with 4:24 left in the third quarter; otherwise, he might have had a shot at Maine’s single-game rushing record – 302 yards by Lorenzo Bouier on Nov. 1, 1980, in a 35-24 home win over Northeastern.

Mack scored on runs of 66, 13 and 60 yards in the first half.

“I trusted my (offensive line) in front of me,” said Mack. “I was patient and let my blocks develop and the hole open up.”

Mack ran for 103 yards in a season-opening loss to New Hampshire, but he had a couple negative plays when he tried to change directions.

Saturday, he went straight ahead, much to the pleasure of Coach Joe Harasymiak.

“I think he was more aggressive,” said Harasymiak. “We emphasized all week on those outside zone plays (on which he scored), you’ve got to put your foot in the ground and get north. That’s how the best teams in the NFL run it and at our level run it.

“I think Josh took a step forward today.”

AS GOOD as Maine played, Harasymiak said there were two areas where the team needs to improve: penalties and the kicking game.

Maine was called for 11 penalties, after having 10 against New Hampshire.

“We just have to cut those out because they’re going to beat us,” said Harasymiak.

And while freshman Kenny Doak kicked two field goals, he also had two PATs blocked, one of which was returned for two points but Bryant.

Brandon Briggs kicked one PAT, but was wide left on a 39-yard field-goal attempt.

“Extra points in Division I should be automatic,” said Harasymiak. “I shouldn’t have to think about it.

“We’ll probably go into it this week with it open and we’ll see who kicks better, because that’s the only thing we can do now. We’ve got to be fair to both guys.”

MAINE’S 60 points were its most since Oct. 5, 2003, when the Black Bears scored 62 against Delaware (62-28 win). The 43 points in the first half were the most by the Black Bears in a half since they put up 49 in the second half of a 77-24 win over Morgan State on Nov. 8, 2003.

THE 1992-93 UMAINE men’s hockey team was honored on the field during a television timeout in the second quarter. That team went 42-1-2 and won the school’s first NCAA championship. Among the players on the field were Paul Kariya, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November, Jim Montgomery, Cal Ingraham and Garth Snow.

Players from Maine’s first football playoff team in 1987 were also honored.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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