WHERE: Fenway Park, Boston

KICKOFF: 4 p.m. Saturday

ALL-TIME SERIES: Massachusetts leads, 41-15-1

LAST MEETING: Sept. 7, 2013, won by Maine, 24-14, at Gillette Stadium


WHEN MAINE HAS THE BALL: The Black Bears (4-4) have found an effective formula that calls for sophomore RB Josh Mack to pound away at opposing defenses and open up the play-action passing game for QB Chris Ferguson. Mack leads the FCS with 144 rushing yards and 166.5 all-purpose yards per game. Massachusetts (2-7) allows an average of 200.7 rushing yards per game, so look for the Black Bears to use their veteran offensive line and try to control the clock and tempo with the ground game. The Minutemen also favor man-to-man coverage in the secondary, so don’t be surprised to see Ferguson take some deep shots to Jaleel Reed, Earnest Edwards or Jared Osumah.

WHEN MASSACHUSETTS HAS THE BALL: The Minutemen have an explosive passing game, which averages 288.1 yards (23rd in FBS). QB Andrew Ford has thrown for more than 300 yards three times this year but missed last week’s game because of an injury. In his absence, Ross Comis threw for 223 yards and a touchdown against Mississippi State. UMass will look to put a lot of pressure on Maine’s secondary, with receivers such as Andy Isabella, who has five touchdown receptions. But if Maine drops back into coverage, TB Marquis Young is dangerous. In his last three games, he has gained 324 yards with three touchdowns.

KEY STAT: 6, the number of 100-yard rushing games Josh Mack has this year.

OUTLOOK: This is an interesting matchup for the Black Bears. UMass has a strong passing game, but Maine’s pass defense (ranked second in the CAA with 180.8 yards per game) has been at its best lately, holding opponents under 130 yards in each of its last three games. On offense, Maine’s strength is its running game, which matches up well with the Minutemen’s shaky run defense. But in any game between an FCS team (Maine) and an FBS team (Massachusetts), depth often comes into play – especially late in the game. If Maine is going to win, it needs to jump out to an early lead and then unleash its pass rush.

OF NOTE: Maine will be without junior WR Micah Wright, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Delaware. RT Cody Levy, who suffered a back injury three weeks ago, could be a game-time decision. … UMass senior FB Andrew Libby is from Saco and played at Thornton Academy. He’s the Minutemen’s primary holder on kicks and is a special-teams standout on kickoff and punt coverage and returns. … Massachusetts lost its first six games by an average of 6.3 points. After winning two in a row, the Minutemen lost 34-23 to No. 21 Mississippi State last week.