WHERE: Alfond Stadium, Orono

KICKOFF: Noon Saturday

TV: WPXT/Fox College Sports


LAST MEETING: Nov. 14, 2015, won by Elon, 27-22

LAST WEEK: Elon lost to Towson, 41-10; Maine defeated Richmond, 28-9

WHEN MAINE HAS THE BALL: Chris Ferguson threw four touchdown passes last week at Richmond. But he also suffered a shoulder injury that could affect his ability to throw the deep pass on Saturday. So look for the Black Bears to try to control the clock with a tough running game and quick passes to their wide receivers. Ramon Jefferson and Joe Fitzpatrick figure to get most of the carries. Ferguson has been spreading his targets lately, with every receiver showing the ability to break a big gain. Earnest Edwards leads Maine with eight touchdowns, seven on passes.

WHEN ELON HAS THE BALL: It’s pretty simple. The Phoenix are going to run the ball. Since starting QB Davis Cheek went out with a knee injury, Elon has relied almost solely on the run. In the last three games, Elon has rushed 145 times for 780 yards and six touchdowns while throwing only 38 passes for 270 yards. Freshman Jaylan Thomas has gained 445 of those rushing yards. Elon has an experienced offensive line, allowing just 14 sacks all year. The Phoenix are excellent in the red zone, scoring on 28 of 29 chances inside an opponent’s 20, including 17 touchdowns.

KEY STAT: Elon has turned the ball over six times this season, fewest in the CAA. Maine has 16 turnovers.

OUTLOOK: This is a match between the irresistible force (Elon’s running game, tops in the CAA with 221.1 yards per game) and the immovable object (Maine’s run defense, first in the CAA with 65.4 yards per game). The Black Bears will try to force the Phoenix into long-yardage situations where they have to throw. While Elon prefers to run, you can expect it to attack Maine’s secondary with some deep shots, if only to loosen up the front seven. Maine has had a decent balance between the run and pass all year, but is coming off its worst running game of the season, a 57-yard effort against Richmond. Maine’s defense leads the CAA with 38 sacks; Elon is second with 32.

OF NOTE: A victory gives the Black Bears the CAA championship and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. An Elon win will force the CAA to go to its tiebreaker system, in which Maine could still win the league but would need help from other teams. … Maine is ranked 16th and 19th in the two major national FCS polls; Elon is ranked 14th and 12th. … Maine left guard Migel Garcia, who missed last week’s game with a sprained knee, is expected to be back in the lineup.