WHERE: Alfond Stadium, Orono

KICKOFF: 6:30 p.m. Friday

STREAMING: FloFootball

ALL-TIME SERIES: Maine leads 62-35 with three ties.

KEY STAT: 29.6, Maine’s third-down conversion percentage (8 of 27) through two games this season.

OUTLOOK: The Black Bears open conference play a night earlier than scheduled. This game was moved to Friday night to avoid Hurricane Lee, which is expected to impact the state Saturday afternoon into Sunday. Maine has had success against Rhode Island in recent years, winning 14 of the last 15 games in the series. That loss came last season, however, and the Rams are coming off a big 35-14 win over Stony Brook. Ranked No. 21 in the FCS coaches poll, URI is Maine’s second straight ranked opponent.

Through two games the Black Bears have yet to find an offensive rhythm, totaling just 19 points. Quarterback Derek Robertson threw three interceptions in last week’s loss at North Dakota State, and has yet to throw a touchdown pass this season. A bright spot has been the play of senior wideout Jamie Lamson, who leads Maine with 12 catches for 90 yards. Linebacker Evan Stewart and defensive back Syeed Gibbs lead a Rams defense ranked third in the CAA, allowing 336 yards per game.

While Maine allowed 44 points and 456 yards to North Dakota State last week, Coach Jordan Stevens said there were some good things the team can build on, particularly in the first half when the Black Bears held the Bison to 16 points after giving them the ball with a short field. The Black Bears also had a goal-line stand early in the second quarter. Linebacker Darius McKenzie leads the Black Bears with 15 tackles. Maine’s defensive strength is the secondary, and it will be tested by group of URI receivers that boasts three of the top five in receiving yards in the conference: Kahtero Summers (202 yards), Darius Savedge (178 yards) and Marquis Buchanan (171 yards). Quarterback Kasim Hill has completed 63% of his throws for 707 yards and six TDs.

OF NOTE: This will be Rhode Island’s third straight game on a day other than Saturday. The Rams’ opener at Georgia State was on a Thursday, and they hosted Stony Brook last Friday night. … Eight of the last 14 URI-Maine games were decided by seven points or less. … URI’s last win at Maine was 25 years ago in 1998. … Maine freshman Tristen Kenan is ranked eighth in the CAA in rushing yards with 161. … This is the 101st meeting between Maine and URI. The Black Bears have only played New Hampshire more often, 109 games. … The Black Bears lost each of their last two home openers, to Delaware (34-24) in 2021 and Colgate (21-18) last season.

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