|MAINE PLAYED TOUGH DEFENSE ALL NIGHT, BUT THE OFFENSE STOOD STILL|
"As disappointing...a performance..as I've (seen since I've) been around here." Those post game words from Jack Cosgrove, currently in his 19th season as Head Football Coach at Maine. Tough to argue, Maine dropped its home opener 3 - 0 to the Albany Great Danes.
After a much publicized QB battle in training camp, Coach Cosgrove had much confidence in his decision to start JR QB Warren Smith. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for Smith to start hearing murmurs from the stands. Smith planted his 1st throw in the arms of Albany Safety Jake Ciccarello.
Things didn't improve much after that, as throw number two was well short of a wide open Derek Buttles. Smith finished the 1st Half at 5 - 13 for 49 yrds and 1 interception.
The only bright side of the offense for the 1st Half was returning RB Jared Turcotte. Turcotte missed the entire season last year with a sports hernia. The Turcotte of old showed up, getting those tough, physical yards between the tackles. Turcotte's highlights of the half were two back to back runs in the 1st quarter, one for 6 yards and one for 12, getting Maine as close as they would get to the Albany goal line in the 1st Half. The drive stalled 5 plays later at the Albany 47.
The only score of the half was a field goal by Albany off Smith's interception.
Coach Cosgrove was uncharacteristically quick to pull the plug on Warren Smith in favor of Cape Elizabeth's Chris Triester. Cosgrove said "What did it take me (Chris) five seconds, to get to you at halftime?" Triester took over for Smith the rest of the way.
Things started substantially better for Maine in the 2nd Half, Turcotte broke a game long 21 yrd run to the Maine 46. Unfortunately on the next play, the stout Albany defense forced Turcotte to couch up the ball. Albany's Ocieka Bakou recovered the Turcotte fumble for Albany.
Maine dodged a huge bullet after the fumble, as Albany drove all the way to the Maine 6 yard line, couching up a fumble of their own for the turnover. Maine's Donte Dennis recovered for Maine.
Turcotte got Maine the deepest they would get in the 3rd, with 6 consecutive runs for a total of 21 yards to the Albany 35. Unfortunately, Chris Triester got stuffed 1 yrd short of the 1st down by Albany LB Raymond Dorcely.
The 4th Quarter was not much better for Maine. Not only did Maine not score, they may have lost Jared Turcotte. Turcotte was injured on a 3rd and 9 play at the Albany 30. Turcotte tried to turn the corner on Maine'\s side, but was blasted by Albany's Kareem Cooper. Coach Cosgrove said Turcotte took a shot right below his right side rib cage, but was uncertain to the severity and exact nature of the injury. Triester was stuffed on the next play as Maine turned the ball over on downs.
That was as close as Maine would get to scoring the rest of the way.
Triester did not fare much better, going 7 for 17 for 63 yards.
Maine travels to Monmouth next Saturday.
COACH COSGROVE POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE