Colby College head football coach Jack Cosgrove talks with a player before a recent game against Trinity in Waterville. Staff file photo by Joe Phelan

The record doesn’t show it, and Colby College football coach Jack Cosgrove knows that. Still, even though the Mules are 0-5, Cosgrove knows his team is improving.

“I certainly feel like we’ve grown in all phases of our operation. It’s just not showing in the win column. We’ve gone up against some really good, established football teams,” Cosgrove said. “We just haven’t played a 60 minute game against them and that’s where we have to get. That’s the ultimate goal.”

As usual, Colby’s schedule is front-loaded with some of the best teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Each of the five opponents the Mules have faced currently has a winning record. The remaining four teams on Colby’s schedule — Hamilton, Bates, Tufts and Bowdoin — are a combined 6-14. Tufts (4-1) is the only one of the four with a winning record. Bates and Bowdoin, like Colby, are winless through five games.

Saturday, the Mules host Hamilton. The Continentals appear to have found their offensive groove. In last week’s 62-27 win over Bowdoin, Hamilton scored more points than it had in the first four games combined, 56. Hamilton quarterback Kenny Gray was NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week after completing 74 percent (23 of 31) of his passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns. Cosgrove said Gray is just one of the players Colby’s defense must look out for. Receiver Will Budington has 23 catches for 283 yards and five touchdowns, and Joe Schmidt has 33 catches for 320 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“They’ve got some guys we’ve got to be worried about in the backfield and receivers,” Cosgrove said.

• • •

When Maine plays at William and Mary on Saturday, keep an eye on wide receiver Micah Wright. Not only is the senior coming off a strong 10-catch, 125-yard effort in last week’s last second win over Rhode Island, Wright has played well at William and Mary in the past.

Wright had a pair of touchdowns in the Black Bears last visit to William and Mary, a 35-28 win in 2016. Wright has a chance to move up the charts in a few of Maine’s all-time receiving categories this weekend. Wright is ninth all-time in receiving yards with 2,012, just 17 yards behind eighth place Gene Benner. Wright is 10th all-time in catches at Maine, with 147. He needs four receptions to catch Steve Roth for ninth place.

A win this weekend improves Maine’s Colonial Athletic Association record to 4-0. The Black Bears (4-2 overall) are tied with Towson for first place in the conference. Maine plays at Towson on Nov. 3.

• • •

Maine Central Institute graduate Eli Bussell is having another fine season at Plymouth State. A sophomore linebacker, Bussell has 18 tackles for the Panthers.

Bussell had five tackles and a fumble recovery in last week’s come-from-behind 29-28 win at Framingham State. Bussell and the Panthers are 3-3, 2-3 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference games. Plymouth hosts Massachusetts Maritime on Saturday.

Maine high school football fans may remember Bussell for his improbable touchdown on the final play of the 2016 Class D state championship play. Lined up to hold for a field goal try, Bussell dropped the snap, but picked up the ball and ran 20 yards for the game-winning touchdown as time expired in MCI’s 20-14 win over Lisbon.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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