ORONO – Maine football’s playoff hopes have been flickering for the past month.
The final ember was put out courtesy of Delaware Saturday as the Black Bears fell to the Blue Hens 31-17.
“Once that whistle blew I guess it kind of made it reality you know it sucked. I think everyone kind of knew it right away but you’re not playing like that you’re playing for a win you’re playing like it’s another game. But when that’s on the line you kinda know at the end,” quarterback Chris Ferguson said.
For the redshirt freshman and the rest of the team it was much of the same.
Missed opportunities and crucial mistakes against Delaware, which has been the common denominator for Maine this season.
“You know on Saturday we made a critical error and we made some critical errors in the New Hampshire game, our other CAA game. And it’s just we gotta keep grinding, just gotta keep battling for it and I know the kids will work hard,” head coach Joe Harasymiak said.
All 129 FCS teams enter the season with one obvious goal, making the playoffs.
But what happens when that goal is no longer attainable and there are still games on the schedule.
“Now we’ll kinda see. My message to them this morning at the team meeting was just we’ll kinda see how much football is important to us and how much we care about each other and how hard we want to play for the seniors,” Harasymiak said.
That message has certainly resonated with the players.
“Everyone here is still high spirited you know we’re still putting the best foot forward finishing on a high note not only for ourselves but for moving on to the future especially the off season,” linebacker Deshawn Stevens said.