At the end of practice, when the Colby College football players meet with their position groups, head coach Jack Cosgrove paces and keeps his own counsel. He’s thinking about the practice that’s wrapping up and if the Mules achieved their goals for the session.

“The biggest thing we have to do in practice is (help) each other. We’re trying to mimic, in this case Middlebury. Offensively, defensively. They’re a really good team. You see a lot of cards out there. It’s really important we get that right. I’m a big organizational (guy). Our cards are very detailed. That’s a starting point for even having a chance to make the rep realistic,” Cosgrove said.

And what did Cosgrove think of Thursday’s practice?

“I always kind of retrace it. I look at my notes. I felt like we did a good job of that today,” he said.

Saturday’s game at undefeated Middlebury (4-0) is a test for the winless Mules (0-4). Last week’s 17-0 loss at home to Williams started out poorly for Colby, with the Ephs scoring on each of their first three drives. The Mules defense tightened after that, but offensively, Colby couldn’t get much going. On Thursday, the Mules worked on improving red zone (inside the opponent’s 20-yard line) efficiency.

“Last week we failed in the red zone. We missed a couple field goals. We were 0 for 4 in the red zone last week against  (Williams). Defensively we were 2 for 5, which isn’t bad. We forced some field goals, they missed them. There’s an opportunity there for the defense to help the offense get better, and the offense to help the defense get better,” Cosgrove said.

In Saturday’s loss, Moises Celaya missed field goal tries from 34 and 30 yards, his first two misses of the season for Colby. With an injury to kicker Walter Thilly, punter Celaya was pressed into kicking for the Mules.

“Our kicker was in his own head, I think. He’s doing all three (place kicking, kickoffs and punts) because Walter’s not healthy. He’s our best guy, and it just didn’t go well for him,” Cosgrove said.

 

• • •

 

Coming off the bye week, the University of Maine will look for its first Colonial Athletic Association win of the season when it hosts Richmond on Saturday at noon.

The Black Bears (2-3, 0-2 CAA) are still ranked 18 in the country in the STATS FCS poll. This game features the top two pass defenses in the conference. Maine has allowed 164.8 yards per game in the air, while Richmond has allowed only 195.2 yards per game passing. However, the Spiders (2-3, 1-1)  have allowed 14 touchdowns through the air in five games, so opponents have made those limited passing yards count. Averaging 331.8 yards per game in the air, the Black Bears will need to capitalize through the air.

A key for Maine will continue to keep quarterback Chris Ferguson upright. Maine has allowed just five sacks, second-best in the league.

 

• • •

 

Colby isn’t the only Maine school in the NESCAC looking for its first win. All three of the conference’s Maine schools are winless a month into the season. Bates will host Trinity (2-2) on Saturday, while Bowdoin plays at Amherst (3-1).

It’s been a struggle for Maine’s three NESCAC teams this season. They rank as the bottom three in the conference in yards per game, as well as yards per game allowed.

There’s something to look forward to for each program, with the start of the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin rivalry series on Oct. 26, when Bates plays at Colby. The Mules are the defending CBB champions.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

 

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