WHERE: Zable Stadium, Williamsburg, Virginia

KICKOFF: 3:30 p.m. Saturday

STREAMING: FloFootball

ALL-TIME SERIES: The series is tied 8-8.

KEY STAT: 13.3%, the third- down conversion rate allowed by William & Mary’s defense, which is the best in Football Championship Subdivision.

OUTLOOK: About the only way the first month of the schedule could have been tougher for the Black Bears is if they played Oklahoma. That comes next season. Now they have William & Mary, the preseason favorite in the Coastal Athletic Association and the No. 5 ranked team in the FCS coaches poll, and Maine’s third straight ranked opponent. For the Black Bears to have a chance, the defense has to do a better job on third down. Rhode Island converted 13 of 18 third-down tries last week in a 34-17 win over Maine. The Black Bears also must improve at limiting big plays. Rhode Island’s first two touchdowns last week came on plays of 35 and 37 yards. A Tribe offense led by running back Bronson Yoder (245 yards and three touchdowns on the season) and quarterback Darius Wilson (571 yards and three touchdown passes with one interception) will be a tough test for Maine’s defense. Sophomore linebacker Darius McKenzie leads the Black Bears with 26 tackles, seventh-most in the conference. Defensive lineman Izaiah Henderson has 17 tackles, including four for a loss, for Maine. William & Mary’s defense is arguably the best the Black Bears will face all season, and that’s not encouraging for a Maine offense struggling to find consistency. The Tribe have allowed an average of just 181 yards per game, which leads the nation. William & Mary held Charleston Southern to 77 yards in last week’s 15-7 victory. Opponents average 12 points per game against the Tribe, which is Maine’s scoring average through three games. Linebacker John Pius leads the conference with seven tackles for a loss, including three sacks. Defensive lineman Nate Lynn has been a disrupter on the line of scrimmage, with six tackles for a loss, including four sacks. Safety Marcus Barnes leads William and Mary with 19 tackles and an interception. Tristen Kenan has run the ball well for the Black Bears. His 243 rushing yards is second among FCS freshmen, and his three touchdowns lead the Black Bears. With a 29% conversion rate on third down (11 of 38), Maine hasn’t been able to sustain drives. With more consistency in the passing game, that should improve. While quarterback Derek Robertson has completed just over 58% of his passes for 517 yards, Maine has yet to record a passing touchdown this season. Jamie Lamson leads the Black Bears with 14 catches for 110 yards.

OF NOTE: With Tropical Storm Ophelia nearing the Virginia coast, there’s potential for heavy rain and wind throughout this game Saturday afternoon. … Maine’s previous ranked opponents this season were No. 2 North Dakota State and No. 21 Rhode Island. The Black Bears opened the season against Florida International, an FBS opponent. … William & Mary has won eight consecutive conference games. … The Tribe has gone two straight games without allowing a touchdown. … This is Maine’s first trip to William & Mary since 2018. The Black Bears lost that game 27-20, their only conference loss on the way to the FCS semifinals that season. … Maine has won six of the last seven games against William & Mary. The last meeting came in 2021, a 27-16 Black Bears win in Orono.

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