WHERE: Meade Stadium, Kingston, Rhode Island

KICKOFF: Noon Saturday

ALL-TIME SERIES: Maine leads, 59-34-3


LAST MEETING: Oct. 14, 2017, won by Maine, 51-27

LAST WEEK: Maine defeated Villanova, 13-10; Rhode Island defeated Brown, 48-0

WHEN MAINE HAS THE BALL: QB Chris Ferguson will be a game-time decision for the Black Bears. If he can’t go, look for Isaiah Robinson to start. Either way, the Black Bears are going to have to contend with another tough defense. Rhode Island ranks fifth in the CAA in total defense and second in sacks (behind Maine). The offensive line must give the quarterback time to find the playmakers – Earnest Edwards, Micah Wright and Jaquan Blair. When the Black Bears run, look for Joe Fitzpatrick to carry a heavy load. And expect TE Drew Belcher to play a bigger role this week.

WHEN RHODE ISLAND HAS THE BALL: Starting QB JaJuan Lawson is also a game-time decision. If he plays, Maine has to contend with his run-pass ability. His replacement, Vito Priore, threw for four touchdowns and more than 300 yards last week. The Rams like to get the ball to talented receivers Aaron Parker and Isaiah Coulter. Both are game-breakers. Marven Beauvais is also dangerous on the outside. And the Rams need to get more from Ahmere Dorsey, who leads the CAA in kick returns. He averages 15.6 yards per rush when he’s in the backfield.

KEY STAT: 11, number of consecutive wins by Maine over Rhode Island.

OUTLOOK: This one is going to come down to pass defense and offensive line protection. Maine, which is second in the nation with 22 sacks, has to force the issue no matter who is at quarterback. And the Maine secondary, which has given up some big plays, has to be able to cover Rhode Island’s dangerous receivers one-on-one. Rhode Island, meanwhile, has 16 sacks and is proficient at forcing fumbles; the Rams are sixth in the nation with seven fumble recoveries. Special teams undoubtedly will be a factor. Rhode Island’s Dorsey averages 37.5 yards on kick returns.

OF NOTE: Maine Coach Joe Harasymiak had his team practice on grass for much of the week to prepare for Saturday’s game. … Maine RB Ramon Jefferson is questionable for the game as he recovers from a hamstring injury suffered Sept. 29 at Yale. Defensive lineman Alejandro Oregon is also questionable as he continues to recover from a high ankle sprain. … Maine’s last loss to Rhode Island came in 2006, a 3-0 decision at Meade Stadium. … Rhode Island is ranked 16th and 15th in the Football Championship Subdivision polls; Maine is ranked 21st and 22nd.

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