VILLANOVA, Pa. — The good news for Maine Coach Joe Harasymiak is things can only get better. But then, it would be hard to get worse.

Maine committed six turnovers and broke down in every phase of the game Saturday in falling to 12th-ranked Villanova 31-0 in a Colonial Athletic Association football game.

One turnover came on a 99-yard fumble return just as the Black Bears (1-3, 0-3 CAA) appeared on the verge of tying the score.

Maine gained exactly as many yards as the Wildcats (4-2, 3-1) while controlling the ball for 15 more plays.

“That’s the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever been a part of in my life,” said Harasymiak, who thought that his team was ready for the game, even though it had played just once in the previous three weeks because of a bye, then a cancellation at Central Florida caused by a hurricane.

“It was disgusting. Embarrasing. And it all starts with me as the head coach. I’ve got to fix it. I know we’re a better team than that, but this will make you question everything you do. Now we’ll see what we’re made of and what kind of kids we have.”


Freshman Chris Ferguson was intercepted three times and backup Max Staver once. The Black Bears also lost two fumbles, botched snaps on punts, had one punt partially blocked and were tagged for 92 yards in penalties.

But this might have been an entirely different game if not for that 99-yard scoop and score early in the second quarter by Jaquari Amos of Villanova after Drew Belcher was hit and coughed the ball up.

Instead of a tie game, Villanova’s lead suddenly became 14-0. It added another score just 1:49 later following Ferguson’s first interception to make it 21-0, and the rout was on.

“That (fumble) probably had a lot to do with the rest of the game,” said Harasymiak, who also saw Josh Mack, the CAA’s leading rusher at 167 yards per game, manage just 22 yards on 18 carries.

“We fumble the ball going in for a TD to make it 7-7, they go 99 yards and we just never recovered from there.

“That’s a 14-point swing.”


While there was still plenty of time to come back, the Black Bears instead continued to hurt themselves.

“There’s a reason they’re the top-ranked rushing defense in the league,” said Harasymiak of the Wildcats, who played conservatively on offense with Jack Schetelich filling in for injured starting quarterback Zack Bednarczyk.

“We just never got anything going, and obviously with the way the game was going, we had to put it in the air a little more. And when you have six turnovers against a team like that on the road, you’ll get chewed up and spit out every time. That’s what happened today.”

Harasymiak promised that things will be different for the Black Bears by the time that Rhode Island arrives in Orono for a conference game next Saturday.

The Rams are 1-4 following a 24-21 loss Saturday at Brown.

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