WHERE: Alfond Stadium, Orono

KICKOFF: Noon Saturday

TV/WEB: WPXT, FloSports

ALL-TIME SERIES: Villanova leads, 13-10

LAST MEETING: Sept. 28, 2019, won by Villanova, 33-17

LAST WEEK: Neither team played

WHEN MAINE HAS THE BALL: The Black Bears always talk about balance and they’re slowly achieving it this year. Maine is passing for 186.7 yards per game and rushing for 115 yards. Look for Maine to try to establish a run game early, but also take shots deep against Villanova’s secondary. Elijah Barnwell and Freddie Brock have emerged as the leaders in Maine’s running game, though QB Joe Fagnano is dangerous as well and presents another problem for the defense with his ability to take off. Fagnano and WR Andre Miller form the most dangerous passing combo in the league, connecting for six touchdowns in Maine’s last two games.

WHEN VILLANOVA HAS THE BALL: Villanova has the type of balance that coaches dream of. The Wildcats have the Colonial Athletic Association’s third-best offense, with 402 yards per game. Villanova’s passing offense leads the CAA with 210.5 yards per game, while the running game is third at 191.5. That offense is fueled by dual threat QB Daniel Smith, who has thrown for 358 yards in two games and has rushed for 120. RB Justin Covington leads the Wildcats with 151 rushing yards.

KEY STAT: Villanova has yet to allow a touchdown pass.

OUTLOOK: Villanova hasn’t played since a 40-37 overtime loss to Rhode Island on March 13. The Wildcats had a bye the next week and had their game with New Hampshire postponed last week. So Maine, coming off a bye week, should look to get out fast against the Wildcats. That has been a problem for the Black Bears, however. They have yet to score in the first quarter. Look for Maine to try to exploit the Wildcats’ secondary early. Villanova gives up 201.5 yards passing per game.

OF NOTE: Villanova is ranked 16th nationally in all major polls; Maine is ranked 22nd in the Athlon FCS Power Poll. … Maine has a two-game winning streak … The Black Bears will get back starting left tackle Matthias Staalsoe, who missed the Stony Brook game because of a leg injury. But Maine will be without starting safety Fofie Bazzie, who is out for the season because of an arm injury. He’ll be replaced by freshman Austin Ambush. … Villanova has won five of the last six games between the schools, the lone Maine win coming in Orono in 2018 when Kenny Doak kicked a last-play field goal to give the Black Bears a 13-10 victory. Maine is 6-5 against Villanova in Orono.


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