WHERE: Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant, Mich.

KICKOFF: 3 p.m. Saturday

WEB: ESPN+

ALL-TIME SERIES: First meeting

LAST WEEK: Maine had a bye; Central Michigan lost to Northern Illinois, 24-16

WHEN MAINE HAS THE BALL: The Black Bears are ranked in top 16 of both national FCS polls after impressive wins over New Hampshire and Western Kentucky. Sophomore Chris Ferguson has a quarterback rating of 133.5 after two games, tossing five touchdown passes with just one interception. Senior Micah Wright (6 receptions, 3 TDs) and junior Jaquan Blair (5 catches, 1 TD) each are averaging more than 15 yards per catch. Maine is averaging 172 yards rushing after two games, with junior Joe Fitzpatrick (4.3 yards per carry) and redshirt freshman Ramon Jefferson (5.6) leading the way. Jefferson also has a touchdown reception.

WHEN CENTRAL MICHIGAN HAS THE BALL: The Chippewas will have a new starting quarterback on Saturday. Junior Tommy Lazzaro gets the nod after replacing Tony Poljan during the second half of the loss at Northern Illinois last week. Lazzaro led the Chippewas on two second-half scoring drives. The 6-foot-7, 235-pound Poljan might see action at tight end. Junior receiver Cameron Cole leads the team with nine receptions and is averaging 12.2 yards per catch. Redshirt freshman Julian Hicks made his debut last week and had seven catches for 63 yards. Central Michigan’s top rushers are junior Jonathan Ward and sophomore Kumehnnu Gwilly, together averaging 75 yards per game.

KEY STAT: 21. That’s the deficit Maine faced five minutes into its last game, at Western Kentucky. The Black Bears came back to win, 31-28.

OF NOTE: Maine is facing its second consecutive FBS opponent. After their victory over Western Kentucky, the Black Bears are 3-18 all time against FBS schools. Maine will receive $400,000 for playing at Central Michigan. … Maine is off to a 2-0 start for the first time in five years. … The Black Bears lead all FCS schools in rushing defense (13.5 yards per game). … The Chippewas lost their home opener to Kansas 31-7 two weeks ago. It was the Jayhawks’ first road victory since 2009, snapping a 46-game skid. Central Michigan also lost to Kentucky and Northern Illinois on the road … Maine’s last game against a Mid-American Conference opponent was a 45-3 loss at Toledo in 2016. … Central Michigan Coach John Bonamego was an assistant at Maine from 1988-91.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.