Staff Writer

When asked if it’s a surprise to be one of the top two football teams in the Colonial Athletic Association standings, Maine coach Jack Cosgrove considered what he believes is the source of his team’s success.

“Yes and no,” Cosgrove said in Monday’s league teleconference. “I thought we had a very talented senior class coming in, and that’s the starting point with any type of success.”

Entering Saturday’s game at Richmond, the Black Bears (5-1, 3-0 CAA) are ranked ninth in The Sports Network/ FCS Top 25 and 14th in this week’s FCS Coaches Poll and are tied with No. 15/17 Towson for first place in the CAA.

Maine faces No. 18/21 Richmond (3-3, 0-3) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Robins Stadium in Richmond, Va., and the Black Bears know the chase for a potential FCS playoff berth comes with a degree of difficulty in the conference.

In Saturday’s 27-21 win over Rhode Island, the Black Bears took a 27-7 lead with 1:12 left in the third quarter but allowed the Rams to score two unanswered touchdowns to get back into the game. Maine needed a first-down from quarterback Warren Smith in the final 90 seconds to secure the win.

Furthermore, penalties plagued Maine. The Black Bears were called for 102 yards of penalties against Rhode Island.

“I do think there were parts in the game that we were, I’ll use the word lazy, with our technique on the offensive line,” Cosgrove said. “We’re going to address it and put a ton of emphasis on it. Some of the guys were mentally lazy, sloppy, whatever you call it. The focus wasn’t where it should be, and that inconsistency showed throughout the game.”

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