2021 FCS Season Preview: Maine

College Sports Journal Projection: 6th

Maine was an uneven 2-2 in the spring but enter the fall season with hopes of returning to the playoffs.

The early schedule does them no favors as they start by hosting #5 Delaware followed by a road game at #2 James Madison. Both of those teams made the semifinals in the spring.

The schedule slacks off after that and includes a winnable FBS game against Massachusetts.

In the spring, Maine struggled to score and gave up too many points – a recipe for disaster. The offense has shown in previous years that it can be better. But the defense has been porous in the two seasons since Joe Harisymiak and Corey Heatherton left Orono.

Andre Miller of the University of Maine secures the ball to complete a touchdown reception during Saturday’s Colonial Athletic Association football game at Alfond Stadium in Orono. (Ronnie Gillis | UMaine athletics)

Impact Players

QB Joe Fagnano took over halfway through the 2019 season and threw for 1835 yards in 8 appearances with 17 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions. He will need that kind of production again to help the Black Bears back to the playoffs.

WR Andre Miller exploded in the spring with 21 catches for 348 yards and six touchdowns. The senior captain will be a focal point of what Maine hopes is a solid passing attack.

LB Adrian Otero will look to fill the defensive leadership position vacated by Deshawn Stephens. He should lead the team in tackles.

Key Game: October 23 at Albany

Worst Case: The defense continues to be leaky and the Black Bears finish in the bottom half of the CAA

Best Case: Fagnano plays at an All-CAA level and the Black Bears sneak into the playoffs.  

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