WHERE: Rhodes Stadium, Elon, N.C.

KICKOFF: 2 p.m. Saturday

WEB: FloFootball.com

ALL-TIME SERIES: Maine leads, 2-1

LAST MEETING: Nov. 17, 2018, won by Maine, 27-26

LAST WEEK: Maine defeated Albany, 47-31; Elon lost to William & Mary, 31-29, 5 OTs

WHEN MAINE HAS THE BALL: The Black Bears (2-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association) have been on a roll offensively the last three weeks under freshman QB Joe Fagnano. He has 12 TD passes in three starts, opening up the running game. Maine has rushed for more than 160 yards each of the last two games. Elon has the fourth-best pass defense in the CAA (210.4 yards per game), but it is unlikely to slow the Black Bears. Look for Fagnano to get the ball to WRs Earnest Edwards, Jaquan Blair, Devin Young and Andre Miller as much as possible. Those four have combined for 21 touchdown receptions this year and average at least 14 yards per catch.

WHEN ELON HAS THE BALL: Elon (3-3 in the CAA) ranks last in the 12-team league in total offense with just 324.4 yards per game, and next-to-last in rushing offense (125 yards per game). The Phoenix will need to run the ball, because Maine’s pass defense is ranked second in the CAA, allowing just 206.2 yards per game. Elon QB Davis Cheek had a big game last week (28 of 42, 247 yards, 2 touchdowns) and has thrown for more than 200 yards five times this season. WR Cole Taylor has 21 catches for 264 yards over the last four games.

KEY STAT: 41.7 – average points for Maine in Joe Fagnano’s three starts.

OUTLOOK: This really comes down to Elon’s pass defense against Maine’s passing game. The Phoenix have perhaps the nation’s best cornerback in senior Greg Liggs Jr., who leads FCS in interceptions (seven, all in the last four games) and passes defended (12). Elon’s run defense ranks 11th in the CAA, giving up 174.9 yards per game, so perhaps the Black Bears will try to get Joe Fitzpatrick and Emmanuel Reed going again. If that happens, Maine’s passing game will become even more effective. Maine’s defense has come on strong lately. Last week, the Black Bears had five sacks and forced three turnovers while holding Albany to 67 rushing yards.

OF NOTE: Maine has won consecutive CAA games to keep its FCS playoff hopes alive. … The Black Bears will be without their best cover cornerback, as Manny Patterson suffered a season-ending knee injury in last week’s game. And they’ll probably be without LB Jaron Grayer, who has been battling assorted injuries all season. … Maine punter Derek Deoul was the CAA Special Teams Player of the Week after averaging 46.2 yards on five punts at Albany. … Elon’s three CAA victories have all been routs, by 22 points over Richmond, 35 over Delaware and 25 over Rhode Island. Its three CAA losses have been by 35 points (James Madison), 16 (New Hampshire) and two (William & Mary).

Comments are not available on this story.