ORONO — The 2010 University of Maine football season got off to a inauspicious start Thursday night at Morse Field.

The Black Bears changed quarterbacks at halftime, saw their star fullback go to the sidelines with an injury late in the fourth quarter, and never got untracked offensively.

A 21-yard field goal by Herb Glass midway through the first quarter was all Albany needed to pull off a stunning 3-0 upset over Maine that 18-year Black Bears head coach Jack Cosgrove called “as disappointing a performance, in some aspects, as I’ve (had) around here.”

“We didn’t respond the way I thought we could, especially on the offensive side of the football. I thought we were better equipped than we were today,” Cosgrove said.

Maine’s offense, which hoped to be bolstered by the return of Lewiston fullback Jared Turcotte from an injury-decimated 2009 season, tallied 240 total yards and just 11 first downs.

Turcotte showed flashes of power and speed, totaling 90 yards on 18 carries and catching two passes for 17 yards, before being sidelined with 5:49 remaining in the game. He did not return.


“He took a good pop just below the rib cage,” Cosgrove said. “There’s some bruising already, but exactly what it is, I don’t know yet.”

Warren Smith emerged from an intense preseason battle with former Portland High star Chris Treister for the starting quarterback job, but was lifted in favor of Treister after completing five of 13 passes for 49 yards and one interception in a listless first half for Maine’s offense.

“It took me about five seconds to get to (Treister at halftime),” Cosgrove said. “I thought that the ball (out of Smith’s hand) was dramatically low. I didn’t feel that the quarterback play that we needed was taking place and we made a change. There was a surge of momentum in the second half a little bit, but we just didn’t finish the plays.”

The Black Bears moved the ball a bit better with Treister (7-for-17, 63 yards), but never pushed past the Albany 30.

“Albany is a team that has a very stout defense,” Treister said. “They weren’t doing anything crazy. They didn’t have any magical scheme that was out-smarting us. We just needed to stick to the basics.”

“We got a little pressure. We knocked down a few passes and in all honesty, I thought they dropped a few passes. The ball was wet because of the heat,” Albany coach Bob Ford said. “I think they dropped quite a few passes that were catchable.”


Maine’s offense couldn’t have been much sloppier in the first half. The Bears’ first play from scrimmage was a one-yard carry by Turcotte, his first in nearly two years.

It went downhill from there.

Safety Jakes Ciccarello picked off Smith on the next play, giving Albany the ball at Maine’s 39 for its second series. On 4th-and-7, Albany QB Dan Di Lella (16-for-33, 117 yards) avoided four Maine rushers to complete an 11-yard pass to Ryan Kirchner and extend the drive, which ended with Glass’ game-deciding field goal.

Maine’s defense, brought to life by excellent pressure from Omar Jacobs and Donte Dennis, stiffened. But the offense, which went to Turcotte on six of its first 10 plays, managed just one first down on its first four possessions and three for the entire first half. Punter Jordan Waxman boomed punts of 59 and 49 yards, which kept Albany from completely dominating field position.

Maine averted a deeper deficit after Derek Session fumbled and Albany’s Rob Cervini recovered at the Bears’ 45. The defense held and Glass came up a couple of yards short on a 49-yard field goal attempt.

“The defense played hard, battled hard,” Cosgrove said. “It only gave up a red zone field goal after a turnover. It was early in the game. We felt like we’d get those points back eventually.”


The Black Bears’ best series came late in the second quarter. Turcotte nearly broke a run up the middle for a touchdown, but was tripped up after a 12-yard gain. An offfsides penalty on Albany pushed them across midfield for the first time all game, but Smith was stopped for no gain on 3rd-and-4.

Albany had another chance to improve its lead after Turcotte’s fumble to start the second half. The Great Danes had 1st-and-goal at Maine’s 6 when Tramaine Wilson fumbled and Dennis emerged from the scrum with the ball.

“We put (the defense) in a tough spot all night long,” Cosgrove said. “Our defense really had to do a great job preventing points and not giving up big plays.”

After a 20-yard completion to Tyrell Jones moved the Bears from the shadow of their own end zone, they went to Turcotte on six of eight conseccutive running plays to Albany’s 34. The Danes turned Maine away again, stoning Treister on a 4th-and-1 QB sneak.

“That was big, and we put a tremendous lick on him somehwere around the last few series. He was coming up the middle and couldn’t get a first down,” said Ford. “They just coninued to rise to the occasion.”

The Danes’ defense rose to the occasion again after Treister connected with Derek Buttles (4 catches, 38 yards) on 22-yard pass that put Maine into Albany territory with under eight minutes left in the game. A 13-yard run by Pushaun Brown advanced the Bears to the 30, but Albany stymied them there on two Turcotte runs for no gain and two Treister incompletions.

Maine’s last possession stalled at its own 46, and Albany ran the clock out with Andrew Smith (27 carries, 135 yards) to secure a win in the lowest-scoring game of the Great Danes’ 37-year history.

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