Continue to take the vicious Maine Black Bears football team lightly, if you must, Iowa Hawkeye fans. But if you think those Bears aren’t going to bring Bad News to Kinnick Stadium, guess again.
Fact: Maine returns 94.7 percent of its rushing yards from last season. That would be 1,878 out of 1,984.
Fact: Iowa returns 2.2 percent of its rushing yards from last season. That would be 33 out of 1,515. The Hawkeyes’ leading returning rusher isn’t even a running back. It’s receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, who had two carries for 19 yards. Reserve quarterback Ricky Stanzi is second with 13 yards on one carry.
Iowa, in fact, doesn’t have a running back who had a rushing attempt for the team a year ago. Maine, meanwhile, returns Jhamal Fluellen, who had 1,052 rushing yards in 2007.
Crafty Jack Cosgrove had a team with a 4-7 record last year, a team that lost to Stony Brook. But for years, he’s been nurturing a squad that could come together all at once on one big day. That day is Aug. 30. That place is Iowa City. The Maine Black Bears are approaching, and they may be the ones bringing the traps.