WHERE: Alfond Stadium, Orono

WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday

STREAMING/TV: FloFootball, WFVX Fox 22

ALL-TIME SERIES: This is the first game between these teams.

KEY STAT: 84.3, Maine’s average rushing yards per game, last in the Coastal Athletic Association.


Maine got its offense going in each of the last two games, scoring a combined 87 points. Now the Black Bears need to get the defense back on track after surrendering 487 yards in last week’s 42-31 loss at Richmond. With injuries, younger players are getting more playing time on defense. Sophomore linebacker Tyshawn Stewart will take on a larger role after he had a career-high 10 tackles last week. Xavier Holmes is a key player on Maine’s defensive line as the Black Bears try to slow down Long Island’s rushing attack, which gained 156 yards in last week’s 23-13 win over Sacred Heart. Pat Bowen leads the Sharks with 37 carries for 236 yards. Long Island averages just 106 yards per game through the air.

Maine quarterback Derek Robertson (1,311 yards passing, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions) left last week’s game in the second half because of an injury but has practiced all week and is expected to play. Freshman running back Tristen Kenan, who leads Maine with 312 yards rushing and five touchdowns, also left last week’s game because of an injury in the first quarter and is more of a question mark. The Black Bears did return running back Tavion Banks, who missed the first four games because of a shoulder injury. Banks caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Montigo Moss last week, and will factor into the game plan, whether Kenan can play or not. Joe Gillette, a transfer from Lafayette, has emerged as a top receiver for Maine. Gillette has 12 catches for 265 yards and five touchdowns over the last two games, and is now second in the CAA in touchdown catches. Linebacker Daylen Fuller leads the Sharks with 24 tackles. Long Island defensive end Eric O’Neill has three sacks.

OF NOTE: Maine hasn’t lost its homecoming game since 2015. … This is the third and final nonconference game on Maine’s schedule this season. The Black Bears lost at FBS opponents Florida International, 14-12, and North Dakota State, 44-7, to open the season. After this, Maine has four CAA games to close out the season. … Maine’s defense has forced at least two turnovers in five of six games. … Maine is 9-1 all-time against Northeast Conference opponents. … Long Island ranks 21st in FCS in passing defense, allowing just 180.8 yards per game through the air. … Maine is Long Island’s lone CAA opponent this season. Last season, the Sharks played CAA member Villanova, losing 38-21. … The Sharks made the jump from NCAA Division II to FCS in 2019.

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