The place has this offense been all season lengthy?
That’s what UMaine soccer followers are questioning after the Black Bears racked up 56 factors in a 56-28 victory over Stony Brook on Saturday.
UMaine had scored simply 39 factors in its first 4 video games mixed en path to a second consecutive 0-4 begin.
Then the staff scored 42 factors within the first half alone in opposition to the winless Seawolves.
The query now could be can the Black Bears maintain the offensive momentum constructed from Saturday’s victory once they journey to Virginia to tackle Richmond this weekend? And whereas the Black Bear offense actually isn’t going to attain 56 factors per recreation, can it at the least transfer the ball persistently and rating sufficient factors to churn out wins?
UMaine’s no-huddle offense should proceed to have success on first and second right down to allow the Black Bears to increase the playbook on third down and be much less predictable. And the protection should restrict the massive performs. In the event that they do, they’re able to stringing collectively some wins.
Senior quarterback Derek Robertson had the perfect recreation of his profession, finishing 25 of 30 passes for 394 yards and 5 touchdowns. These had been each career-highs and he was named the Coastal Athletic Affiliation’s Co-Offensive Participant of the Week.
The 394 passing yards had been essentially the most posted by a Black Bear quarterback since 2019, whereas the 5 TDs had been essentially the most since 2018. The 56 factors had been essentially the most scored in a recreation since UMaine beat Bryant 60-12 on Sept. 9, 2017.
The Black Bears additionally exhibited some creativeness on offense with a flea flicker leading to a 41-yard landing go from Robertson to Montigo Moss and an end-around producing a 30-yard TD run from extensive receiver Trevin Ewing.
There have been two handoffs on the flea flicker earlier than the ball was tossed again to Robertson, who threw to a large open Moss behind the Stony Brook secondary.
UMaine head coach Jordan Stevens stated at Monday’s weekly convention coaches name that the staff’s effectivity on first and second down enabled it to “open up the playbook a little bit extra.”
“Exterior of the [Florida International University] recreation, we hadn’t gotten right into a rhythm on offense. These sure forms of performs are at all times there,” Stevens stated.
By means of the primary three intervals of the Stony Brook recreation, UMaine averaged 9.9 yards gained on first down and eight.9 yards on second down.
The coach was additionally happy to see Robertson get untracked after coming into the sport with no landing passes, 5 interceptions and a 56 p.c completion fee with every completion averaging simply 8.6 yards.
His 25 completions in opposition to Stony Brook averaged 15.8 yards.
“We bought him in rhythm early. That’s the important thing. He was actually environment friendly. I used to be actually completely satisfied for Derek. He’s a diligent employee. He watches movie on a regular basis and leads the staff by way of his strategy to the sport. I knew it was only a matter of time earlier than he bought his toes beneath him,” Stevens stated. “The offensive line did a fantastic job. They’ve improved rather a lot and proceed to enhance.”
It’s a youthful offensive line with sophomores Darius Bell, Joe Horn and Orland’s David Gross beginning at left deal with, heart and proper guard, respectively, and redshirt freshman Nicolas Cruji beginning at left guard.
Two graduate college students, Kevin Jones and Cooper Heisey, begin at proper deal with and tight finish, respectively.
Large receivers Moss and Joe Gillette every caught a pair of TD passes and Heisey caught one.
Moss had 5 catches for 108 yards and Gillette was certainly one of three who had 4 catches and lined 96 yards.
Moss, the staff’s main returning receiver with 35 catches in 11 video games a 12 months in the past, had simply eight catches on the season coming into the sport.
“That’s what we’re going to want transferring ahead. He could make these huge catches and people contested catches as nicely. It was nice seeing him carry out like that. He’s extra of a four-down receiver together with his progress as a blocker,” Stevens stated.
The second-year head coach was additionally happy together with his defensive unit though it allowed 479 yards and 28 factors. The protection had three sacks and compelled three turnovers that led to 14 factors.
The protection stopped Stony Brook on a fourth-and-two within the first half with UMaine main 14-0 and the Black Bears made it 21-0 two performs later.
“The protection has responded nicely to adversity all 12 months,” stated Stevens, whose protection was led by freshman linebacker Jabari Odoemenem’s 9 tackles.
“He began out on particular groups however his position on the linebacker place has elevated as he continues to get higher. I’m actually enthusiastic about seeing him the remainder of the season,” Stevens stated.
UMaine might be taking up a Richmond staff that’s 2-3 total, 1-1 within the Coastal Athletic Affiliation, and has used 4 totally different quarterbacks resulting from accidents. Recreation time is 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“They’re an excellent soccer staff. They’re actually sound, defensively. We’re going to need to do a fantastic job on offense,” Stevens stated. “Any time we’ve given up factors it has come off some kind of explosive inside a drive. It’s an enormous problem. It’s a tricky place to play in opposition to an excellent opponent that’s on the prime of the convention 12 months in and 12 months out.”
UMaine’s protection has surrendered 17 performs of 20 or extra yards with 11 going for 30 or extra yards. UMaine’s offense has produced 13 performs of 20 or extra years and 5 of 30 or extra.
UMaine was with out beginning safeties Shakur Smalls and Robby Riobe in opposition to Stony Brook resulting from harm. Linebacker and main tackler Darius McKenzie noticed restricted responsibility within the second half. Operating again Tavion Banks has but to play resulting from a shoulder harm.
“They’re all day-to-day. We anticipate the vast majority of them returning this week,” Stevens stated.