NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Joe Harasymiak’s assessment of the University of Maine’s 35-14 loss to Yale University at the Yale Bowl on Saturday afternoon was succinct and blunt.

“We got our ass kicked,” said the third-year Black Bears head coach.

It probably wasn’t a pleasant six-hour bus ride back to Orono.

Quarterback Kurt Rawlings threw three touchdown passes to Reed Klubnik as the Bulldogs controlled this one from the opening drive. Rawlings threw for 306 yards – two shy of his career high – as Yale made big play after big play against a Maine defense that entered the game as one of the nation’s best in the Football Championship Subdivision.

“Disappointing,” said Harasymiak. “We did not play well enough. We just got out-played, out-coached, out-everything today. That’s it.”

Maine, ranked 16th in both national FCS polls, dropped to 2-2 with its second consecutive loss. Yale, which has never lost to Maine in 10 games, improved to 2-1.

The Black Bears are back in Colonial Athletic Association play next Saturday, with a 3:30 p.m. home game against Villanova.

Against Yale, Maine was without starting quarterback Chris Ferguson (right shoulder) and left tackle Gunnar Docos to start the game, then lost running back Ramon Jefferson (hamstring), cornerbacks Manny Patterson and Jordan Swann and right guard Liam Dobson to injuries during the game.

But Harasymiak said, “It doesn’t matter who plays. We recruit kids to play.”

Redshirt freshman quarterback Isaiah Robinson showed flashes in his first collegiate start, with touchdown passes of 50 yards to Earnest Edwards and 63 yards to Jaquan Blair, who made a one-handed catch on a short route across the middle, sidestepped two tacklers and raced the final 55 yards untouched. But overall he was 10 for 27 for 179 yards.

Rawlings, meanwhile, was 22 for 34 and made every big pass he needed to make. The Bulldogs were 8 for 15 on third downs (Maine was just 3 for 13). Klubnik caught six passes for 85 yards and J.P. Shohfi caught 10 for 124.

“Overall we just weren’t executing,” said senior linebacker Sterling Sheffield.

Rawlings said the Bulldogs liked their matchups, often getting receivers on Maine’s linebackers. “And it’s easy to play with guys like this,” he said of Klubnik and Shohfi.

Yale scored on the game’s first drive, with Rawlings scoring from the 1. It stayed that way into the second quarter, when Rawlings found Klubnik for their first touchdown connection, with 12:26 remaining in the half.

Maine had a chance to make it close in the third with a third-and-1 from the Yale 29. Twice Joe Fitzpatrick (10 carries, 44 yards) ran to the left. Twice he was stuffed for no gain.

Yale took over at the 29 and Rawlings sliced through the secondary, completing four passes for 46 yards and scrambling for 10, before Trenton Charles rushed in from the 15 for a 21-0 lead.

The Black Bears got that right back, as Robinson found a wide-open Edwards down the left sideline on a niftily-diagramed play. But Maine couldn’t stop Rawlings. His second touchdown pass to Klubnik, this time from the 24, with 22 seconds left in third made it 28-7.

The Black Bears got the 63-yard scoring play by Blair on the second play of the fourth to cut it to 28-14. Then Rawlings made his lone mistake, an under-handed flip that was intercepted by Katley Joseph and returned to the Yale 17.

But Yale’s defense stood up and stuffed the Black Bears: an incompletion, 3-yard sack and two more incompletions.

“I told them to respond,” said Yale Coach Tony Reno. “And they did.”

That would be Maine’s last gasp.

“We looked terrible today,” said Harasymiak. “We were slow, we were tired, we were gassed. I’ve got to figure that out, it obviously falls on myself and the coaches for not having us ready.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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