Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Maine Offense vs. BC Defense: Stat Analysis
Considering that aside from UMass, the Eagles played Pittsburgh and USC — one of which is almost ranked and the latter of which was #9 in the country — the defense stats for the Eagles are pretty good. Not across-the-board great, but definitely acceptable.
Consider also that they will probably improve after this week.
Why do we say that? Look at Maine’s performances so far: against Norfolk State and Bryant, they scored ten points in each game. Those are bad numbers before even learning they played two at best average FCS teams. A good FBS defense would probably shut Maine out on the backs of games like that.
Each game exists in a vacuum and it is important to remember that, but so far, the Eagles have done a good job on defense and look like they’re beginning to click a little, while Maine’s offense is simply not viable. For example, Dan Collins, their quarterback, is 18-for-41 with two touchdowns in the first two games. If Maine fans are looking for a silver lining, he has thrown no interceptions.
Furthermore, Maine’s leading rusher, Nigel Jones, has 137 yards in two games. For purposes of comparison, Boston College’s quarterback, Tyler Murphy, had 155 yards in the second half last week against one of the best teams in the country.
As a possible explanation of why, Maine’s offensive line has 13 players listed on the roster, nine of whom are underclassmen and the other four of whom are juniors, with no seniors. That screams lack of experienced depth, and whether it’s them not holding up against opposing defensive lines, the playmakers not making plays, or a little of both, we’ll find out on Saturday.
Maine Offense vs. BC Defense: Key Matchup
Nigel Jones vs. Boston College front seven. Maine has handed Jones the ball 39 times so far, and not with a great deal of success, but he is a semi-productive playmaker for the Black Bears as that goes. If he and his offensive line do what USC couldn’t last week, then the game could be more competitive, but if not, Maine might not break double-digits on the scoreboard.
If the run is abandoned and/or Maine realizes passing is a better bet, look for them to throw to Damarr Aultman or Jordan Dunn. Aultman is the team’s leading receiver with 96 yards on just five catches. Again, they do not complete many passes.
Maine Offense vs. BC Defense: Final Analysis
The odds are heavily stacked against Maine in this matchup. On paper or in theory, not one category favors them, but the game is played neither on paper nor in theory.
Boston College’s defense is capable of lapses like any other team, but given how Maine has played so far this season, 14 points would be a lot for them. If the Eagles keep up the pressure the whole game, holding the Black Bears to under 200 yards is within the realm of possibility.