College of Maine second-year soccer coach Jordan Stevens goes to stay with senior quarterback Derek Robertson — regardless of the actual fact the Black Bear offense is ranked 97th or worse amongst 122 Soccer Championship Subdivision groups in 5 main offensive classes.
The Black Bears, 0-4 total and 0-2 within the Coastal Athletic Affiliation, will host Stony Brook (0-4, 0-3) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Morse Area in Alfond Stadium in Orono.
The Black Bears are 116th in factors per sport (9.8), with different statistics together with complete yards, third-down effectivity, speeding yards and passing yards all coming in at 97th or worse. They’ve scored simply 13 second-half factors.
Whereas Robertson’s efficiency performs a component in UMaine’s tough begin, it’s simply one in every of a number of elements that the staff should enhance upon if it needs to win a sport this season. And there are methods the staff can pursue to maximise its potential shifting ahead.
Robertson has accomplished a good 56 p.c of his passes, however hasn’t thrown a landing go and has been intercepted 5 instances. He has thrown for 602 yards, which is a median of simply 8.6 yards per completion.
He’s additionally not a working quarterback. He has been sacked 9 instances for 58 yards and has a internet complete of minus-55 yards on 14 carries.
Stevens mentioned that Robertson, a staff captain, has been a “terrific” chief. The coach mentioned each participant is evaluated by the teaching employees after every sport and that Robertson wants to enhance his play.
“However our offensive line additionally wants to enhance and is working laborious in the direction of that. Plenty of areas round Derek are bettering and must proceed to enhance to assist him out,” Stevens mentioned throughout Monday’s weekly convention coaches media name.
Robertson actually isn’t the one motive for the Black Bears’ offensive woes and it’s unfair to level the finger simply at him.
There are occasions he isn’t getting the safety he wants from the offensive line. His receivers aren’t getting separation from the defensive backs, forcing Robertson to carry on to the ball longer than he ought to must and making him extra prone to sacks.
There have additionally been a handful of drops, together with one by Trevin Ewing that might have been a TD go towards William and Mary.
UMaine didn’t herald an skilled quarterback from the switch portal. Again-up quarterbacks Anthony Harris, a senior, and redshirt freshman Ayden Pereira, a superb runner, have mixed to throw only one profession go. That was by Harris this season, and it was an incompletion towards Florida Worldwide College.
UMaine’s play choice has additionally been questionable.
Trailing 14-12 with 4:37 remaining within the third quarter at FIU, the Black Bear teaching employees determined to go up a brief subject purpose and attempt to choose up a primary down on fourth-and-three on the FIU 6-yard line.
The Black Bears turned the ball over on downs after a 1-yard working play. That subject purpose would have proved sufficient to win the sport.
Going for it on fourth-and-one is one factor, however fourth-and-three in a stacked field close to the purpose line is an actual gamble, particularly whenever you name a working play.
However the largest impediment has been the schedule.
UMaine has misplaced to a Soccer Bowl Subdivision staff in FIU and three nationally ranked Soccer Championship Subdivision faculties. They embrace No. 2 North Dakota State, No. 4 William and Mary and Rhode Island, which had been ranked seventeenth earlier than dropping to Villanova final weekend.
Soccer Bowl Subdivision applications have 22 extra scholarships than Soccer Championship Subdivision groups and plenty of extra assets.
UMaine is without doubt one of the few faculties that usually performs such high-caliber competitors. The staff is 4-26 all-time towards Soccer Bowl Subdivision faculties.
Having a brutal schedule early within the season and getting off to an 0-4 begin might be demoralizing to a staff.
The excellent news is the play of the protection has been encouraging, with sophomore linebacker Darius McKenzie (team-high 34 tackles), junior cornerback Kahzir “Buggs” Brown (24) and Boston Faculty switch and deal with Izaiah Henderson (24) main the best way.
UMaine is 76th in yards allowed per sport (397.8) and 78th in factors per sport allowed (30).
It does have to enhance in third down conditions, the place opponents have profitable 52.6 p.c of the time. That’s tied for 113th worst within the Soccer Championship Subdivision.
The Black Bears have seven video games remaining on their schedule and they’re able to profitable all seven. They may additionally lose all of them, too.
In shifting ahead, they should set up a working sport to take stress off Robertson. True freshman Tristen Kenan is averaging 4 yards per carry and graduate scholar John Homosexual is averaging 6.1 per contact.
Main returning receiver Montigo Moss has simply eight catches and they should get him the ball extra — even when they must shorten his routes. Let him use his athleticism to choose up further yards after the catch on a fast route.
And don’t be afraid to throw a gadget play or two on the opposing protection to maintain them guessing.