Maine Preview
Courtesy: Mat Schlissel,  
Release: 10/11/2012
It's supposed to get easier. When you make it through the toughest five-game stretch in the history of the program, the road is paved with fewer potholes. But in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), there's never a layup. Once you think a team looks vulnerable, they do something to shock the league.
On Saturday, #17 Towson (2-3, 1-1 CAA) takes on Maine (2-3, 1-1 CAA) at 7 p.m. at Unitas Stadium. The Tigers defeated Maine last year on the road, 40-30, and that win broke a five-game Black Bears' winning streak. The last time Towson defeated Maine at home was back in 1982.
The Black Bears opened their 2012 season with a 34-3 loss at Boston College. They bounced back with a win on Sept. 15 over Bryant on the road, 51-7. On Sept. 22, Maine fell at home to future CAA member Albany, 30-20. The team's first conference game took place on Sept. 29, when they lost to Villanova at home, 35-14.
But last week, Maine sent shockwaves through the CAA with an impressive upset of #15 Delaware on the road, 26-3. Maine recorded nine sacks and forced two turnovers, while holding Delaware to just 224 total yards. Maine's defense is a major concern for the Tigers, considering they have a -9 turnover ration this season.
In five games, Maine is averaging 22.8 points per game, while rushing for 142.4 yards per and passing for 242.2 yards per game. They have committed nine turnovers, while forcing nine. Defensively, Maine allows an average of 21.8 ppg, while surrendering 175.2 yards per game on the ground and just 148 yards per game in the air.
On offense, senior Matt Wasilewski (6-1, 205) has taken every snap for the Black Bears. He has thrown for 1,212 yards (59.2 percent completion) with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. He has some mobility as well, with 52 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
At running back, junior Rickey Stevens (5-9, 175) leads the team with 352 yards (6.1 ypc) and can also be dangerous as a receiver (six catches for 79 yards). Sophomore David Hood (5-10, 170), who had 103 yards last week against Delaware, is second on the team in rushing with 269 yards.
At receiver, senior Maurice McDonald (6-0, 180) leads the team with 33 catches for 289 yards and one score. McDonald was named to the All-CAA First Team last season. Junior Derrick Johnson (5-11, 180) is second on the team with 27 catches for 335 yards and two TDs.
On the offensive line, senior left tackle Josh Spearin (6-4, 290) leads a solid offensive line. Spearin was named to the second team All-CAA last year.
Defensively, Maine took a major hit after the Delaware game. Junior defensive end Michael Cole was coming off one of the best games in the history of the CAA for a defensive lineman. Cole, who had nine tackles and five sacks last week, sustained a torn quadriceps tendon in his left leg. He leads FCS with seven sacks and was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Week and National Co-Defensive Player of the Week from The Sports Network.
Even without Cole, Maine has some talent on their defensive line. Sophomore Matthew Wilson (6-3, 270) has 23 tackles and one sack.
At linebacker, Donte Dennis (6-0, 220) leads the team in tackles with 49 and has two fumble recoveries. He took a medical redshirt last season, and in 2010, Dennis earned third team All-CAA honors with 108 tackles.
The secondary is led by sophomore strong safety Khari Al-Matteen (6-1, 200), a Baltimore native, who ranks second on the team with 35 tackles, adding one pick. Junior cornerback Kendall James (6-0, 175), a third team All-CAA selection last year, adds 22 tackles, two picks and six pass breakups.
Punter Jeffrey Ondish has a strong leg, averaging 41.7 yards per attempt, while kicker Sean Decloux has nailed one of two kicks.

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