Wednesday, March 12, 2014
BY KEVIN TRESOLINI
Special to the Maine Sunday Telegram
NEWARK, Del. -- Despite recent results to the contrary, University of Maine football coach Jack Cosgove had an inkling.
Maine defensive backs, from left, Khari Al-Mateen, Kendall James and Jamal Clay upend Delaware quarterback Trent Hurley, forcing a fumble in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game at Delaware Stadium in Newark, Del., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/The News Journal, William Bretzger) NO SALES
Cosgrove felt the Black Bears had ability that hadn't quite surfaced, and he'd seen the signs in practice and in games.
On Saturday, he saw it on the scoreboard at Delaware Stadium, and it was a pretty sight.
Maine sacked Delaware quarterback Trent Hurley nine times and handed the 16th-ranked Blue Hens a humbling 26-3 defeat before a stunned Parents Day crowd of 21,506.
Damarr Aultmann caught the first of his two touchdown passes from Marcus Wasilewski on Maine's first possession and the Black Bears were on their way to their fourth win over Delaware in the schools' last six meetings.
"I'm not a real animated guy pregame," Cosgrove said, "but I was in the locker room today and I was going to make sure if we had it in us, we were going to get it out of us today, and we did. Now it's easier for it to become part of our equation ... They got it in them, I know they do."
Cosgrove got both the execution and emotional effort he demanded as Maine improved to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association after dropping consecutive home games to Albany and Villanova. Delaware fell to 4-2, 1-2.
Wasilewski completed 12 of 18 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns for Maine, which outgained Delaware 331-224 in total yards.
"It was just a matter of time before we pulled everything together," the junior quarterback said.
David Hood picked up 103 yards on 14 carries and Rickey Stevens supplied 67 on 13 runs for Maine.
The nine sacks of Hurley tied the record allowed by Delaware set in a 35-25 loss to Villanova in 1997. Defensive end Michael Cole had five of them. Cole was unavailable for postgame comment because he was getting medical treatment.
"We thought this was a more inexperienced line than we've seen the last two weeks," Cosgrove said of a Delaware offensive front with one returning starter and no seniors. "The lines we saw at Albany and the line we saw at Villanova are darn good, and big. This was an inexperienced group, you could tell, and we saw some things New Hampshire did last week (in a 34-14 win). We hoped we would get that kind of pressure. We never envisioned nine sacks."
The Blue Hens missed All-CAA tailback Andrew Pierce, who was limited by a hamstring injury and carried twice for 10 yards. With backup David Hayes sidelined by a foot injury, Julian Laing handled the workload and gained 74 yards on 18 carries in his first college start. He also had 51 yards on five receptions.
Hurley, somewhat hobbled by an injured left foot, completed 22 of 35 passes for 177 yards.
The Black Bears led 16-3 at halftime and quickly padded their lead on their first possession of the second half. Maurice McDonald's 16-yard TD reception from Wasilewski closed an 89-yard drive that needed just five plays and was aided by a Delaware personal foul. It began with Stevens' 20-yard run and Hood's 30-yard run on the first two plays as Maine went ahead 23-3.
Delaware had a chance to close the gap on its next possession as it had a first-and-goal at the Maine 3. But on second down from the 1, quarterback Trevor Sasek, in as a situational substitute for Hurley, tripped over the leg of retreating center Jake Geiser and fumbled as he tried to hand the football to Laing. Maine linebacker Donte Dennis recovered.
The Black Bears later added Sean Lecloux's 34-yard field goal with 6:32 left.
(Continued on page 2)