The Colby College football team is among the top teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference in terms of turnover margin, at plus-2. The Mules are among the conference leaders in time of possesion, and are the least penalized team in the league.

So why are the Mules 0-4 heading into Saturday’s home game against Amherst, and last in the NESCAC in scoring (five points per game) and yards (196.5)?

Injuries are a part of it. In last week’s 41-7 loss at Wesleyan, the Mules (0-4) finished the game with five healthy linemen. Colby had a pair of defensive tackles playing guard, and a center snapping for the first time in a college game. Even so, coach Jonathan Michaeles said the Mules have to start playing four quarters of football.

“We’ve had leads in the last three games. We’re doing some good things strategically. We have to spin it together,” Michaeles said. “We have to create momentum for ourselves as we come out of the locker room in the second half and answer the bell knowing the other team is making adjustments. They’re executing their adjustments better than we are at this point.”

In Amherst, Colby faces an opponent this week that’s among the top defensive teams in the nation, allowing just 269 yards and 18 points per game. With the season at the halfway point, Michaeles said the Mules have to start turning the positives into results.

“We’ve done a great job taking care of the football. We’re not penalizing ourselves. We’re doing a lot of good things we can control. We’ve got to finish the drives in the red zone and put points on the board,” Michaeles said.

• • •

With 528 yards rushing in his last two games, Husson running back John Smith is now ranked fourth in the nation in rushing yards, with 949. Averaging 189.8 yards per game, Smith is third in the country in yards per game. Saturday, Smith and the Eagles (4-1) host Castleton (3-2) in an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference game.

Castleton comes to Bangor with a three-game win streak. The Spartans offense is led by Cony graduate, quarterback Mitchell Caron. A junior, Caron was named ECFC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday for his effort in the Spartans 35-31 win over Mt. Ida. Caron completed 12 of 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns. It was the highest completion percentage of Caron’s career, and he also ran for a five yard touchdown. For the season, Caron has 661 yards pasing with four touchdown throws.

• • •

Maine Central Institute graduate Eli Bussell was the hero of the Class D state championship game last season, running for the game-winning touchdown when he dropped the snap for a field goal hold as time expired. Now, Bussell’s college football career is off to a strong begining as a linebacker at Plymouth State.

Bussell has 17 tackles for the Panthers, including 10 solo. Bussell has been a key member of a defense allowing a Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference fewest 10.7 points per game. The Panthers are ranked seventh nationally in scoring defense.

Plymouth is 5-1, 3-1 in MASCAC play. Saturday’s game against Framingham State will determine first place in the conference.

• • •

Maine will induct Mike Flynn into the football program’s Ring of Honor at halftime of Saturday’s Homecoming game against Rhode Island.

Flynn played offensive line for the Black Bears from 1992-96. After Maine, Flynn had an 11-year NFL career and was a starter for the Baltimore Ravens in their Super Bowl-winning 2000 season. In his NFL career, Flynn appeared in 134 games with 115 starts.

At Maine, Flynn earned all-conference first team honors as a senior.

“My time at UMaine was probably the most enjoyable in my football career,” Flynn said in a university press release. “I was young and very raw in terms of my football ability. I was lucky to have coaches in Jack Cosgrove, Joe Giibert and Kirk Ferentz who understood the game and had the ability to teach the game. Most of what I learned at UMaine carried my through my pro career.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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