WHERE: Delaware Stadium, Newark, Delaware


WEB/TV: FloSports

ALL-TIME SERIES: Delaware leads, 24-11

LAST MEETING: Nov. 5, 2017, won by Delaware, 31-17

WHEN MAINE HAS THE BALL: With a veteran offensive line that includes four players who have been starters, Maine should have the ability to have a balanced offense. Sophomore quarterback Joe Fagnano (1,835 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, three interceptions in eight games) is settled in and senior wide receiver Andre Miller (44 catches, 816 yards, five touchdowns in his career) is back, so the Black Bears are still going to try to throw deep. They averaged a CAA-best 296.5 passing yards in 2019. But a four-pronged rushing attack, led by sophomore transfer Elijah Barnwell (Rutgers) and freshman Freddie Brock, should bring balance to the offense, especially behind that experienced offensive line.


WHEN DELAWARE HAS THE BALL: The Blue Hens like to be physical and run the ball. That’s no secret. In 2019, they averaged 156.1 rushing yards per game, fifth-best in the CAA. Seven starters return from that group. DeJoun Lee was the second-leading rusher in 2019 with 463 yards and two touchdowns. Junior quarterback Nolan Henderson (933 passing yards and nine touchdowns in 2019) isn’t flashy but gets the job done. He only threw one interception in 126 attempts, and set the program record with 116 pass attempts without an interception to start his career. He has his top two receivers back in sophomore Thyrick Pitts (41 catches, 647 yards) and senior Gene Coleman (32 catches for 325 yards).

KEY STAT: 100 rushing yards – Maine is 14-4 in its last 18 games when it rushes for more than 100 yards.

OUTLOOK: The Blue Hens are ranked 25th nationally, based on having 15 starters back from 2019. But the Black Bears shouldn’t be overlooked. The offense certainly has the capability to put up points. Although there’s some inexperience at wide receiver, Maine has some talented freshmen, including Trevin Ewing and Montigo Moss. If the running game can get going, that will make it easier for Fagnano in the passing game. He just has to be wary of Delaware safety Kedrick Whitehead, a preseason All-America selection. Defensively, Maine’s strength is its experienced core of linebackers, bolstered by the return of middle linebacker Deshawn Stevens, who was injured in the 2019 season opener and missed the rest of the year. He is a tackling machine. If Maine can slow down the run and force Henderson to throw, that’s a plus, even with a new group in the secondary. Cornerbacks Rich Carr and Jordan Swann have starting experience for Maine, while transfer Fofie Bazzie (Maryland) will provide leadership.

OF NOTE: Maine is only 6-15 all-time at Delaware but has won five of the last six games there. … Defensive backs Katley Joseph and Erick Robertson and wide receiver Devin Young have opted out of the spring season for Maine because of coronavirus concerns. … Delaware closed out the 2019 season with six consecutive games of rushing for at least 160 yards. … Barnwell appeared in 10 games for Rutgers in 2019, rushing 10 times for 81 yards.

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