Maine (1-0) at Connecticut (1-0)

7 p.m., Saturday

There’s a new measure of respect for teams from the Football Championship Subdivision (OK, if we all band together and insist on calling it Division I-AA, won’t the NCAA be forced to switch back?) And few teams have fared better against their annual I-A foe than the Black Bears, who won at Mississippi State (9-7) in 2004 and stayed in games against Nebraska in 2005 (25-7) and BC in 2006 (22-0) until the fourth quarter. Here’s a short step back in the caliber of competition before next year’s trip to Iowa. These New England rivals met 72 times back when they were on equal footing, with UConn owning a narrow 38-31-3 advantage in the series. The Huskies prevailed 34-20 in the most recent meeting, back in 1999. Two years earlier, Maine squeaked out a 49-47 win in triple-overtime. In the current decade, UConn moved into 40,000-seat Rentschler Field and the new-look Big East. The Huskies whacked dismal Duke on the road last Saturday, 45-14, with 487 yards total offense. Maine struggled past Monmouth, 21-14. Prediction: Connecticut, 27-6.


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