ORONO – There was a easy-going, but confident vibe at Alfond Stadium Tuesday morning at University of Maine football media day. Despite the positive mentality, the Black Bears still have a ways to go in order to get ready for the season opener against University of New Hampshire. The Black Bears are in the midst of a four-man quarterback battle, have three key players suspended, and need to solve their kicking woes from 2016.
After the team’s first scrimmage on Monday, head coach Joe Harasymiak believes the team is headed in the right direction.
“It went really well, I thought in the beginning it was more of a defensive dominance and then I thought towards the middle and the end the offense picked it up and rebounded. I think overall the execution level what we’ve talking about has been pretty good we got a long way to go, but I thought for the first scrimmage it was what we wanted,” Harasymiak said.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Chris Ferguson caught Harasymiak’s eye during the scrimmage. Ferguson completed five of his seven pass attempts’ including a touchdown throw to sophomore Jaquan Blair. The redshirt freshman believes he is ready to lead the team after sitting for a year.
“It’s everything to me it’s why I’m here it’s why I play, it’s kinda like everything I think about every night being the guy.”
Harasymiak says he hopes to have his signal caller set after the second scrimmage and that as of now the job is up for grabs. “That battle is completely wide-open right now and we’ll continue to evaluate, this week will be key it’s third down and red-zone which are a lot of situational thing that we have to get better at.”
In the backfield, sophomore running back Josh Mack is relishing the opportunity to take command of the running game. After the suspension of Darian Davis-Ray, Mack now has the chance to show that he is the lead back. “It’s a great feeling to be that guy at a division one program, somebody to count on I just have to mature more as a person it all came fast, still maturing but it’s something great to have.”
UMaine has two more scrimmages before its opener against UNH.