ORONO – Only three months ago, Joe Fagnano just a freshman happy to be on full scholarship. With the starting quarterback in a walking boot, he had no choice but to step in.
“It’s tough seeing your captain go down, but he’s done a great job teaching me the ropes, and like I said the offense adjusted well to me, really coming in there thinking this is big time but it’s football and it’s what you’ve been doing you’re whole life,” said Fagnano.
Starting quarterback Chris Ferguson left last Saturday’s game against Richmond in the second quarter, with what would later be diagnosed with a mid-foot sprain. Fagnano, Ferguson’s fellow Pennsylvania native, stepped in to try and win the game for Maine. The Black Bears lost that game, but Fagnano completed 10 of 16 passes for 187 yards, one touchdown, one interception.
“Overall, he ran the offense, he operated it, we moved the ball, he was able to score some points, and I thought he handled it pretty well, obviously it wasn’t good enough at the end of the day, but that wasn’t just Joe but he did a nice job,” said head coach Nick Charlton.
In his first real game action, Fagnano impressed in an offense that isn’t catered for a mobile quarterback. This week the Maine coaching staff can tailor the game to his skills.
“He’s able to run the offense but there’s going to be somethings we do different to tailor to his strengths ’cause ultimately it’s a quarterback friendly offense, and that’s the biggest thing is making sure he feels comfortable,” said Charlton.
In spite of having a new player leading the offense, the senior leaders on offense don’t expect the dynamic to change against Liberty. “We’re the same group at the end of the day, maybe sprinkle a little spread offense but other than that we’re the same group so it’s nothing different honestly,” said senior wideout Jaquan Blair.