Rugged start for Maine coach Harasymiak

(STATS) - New Maine coach Joe Harasymiak won't ease into his rookie season in 2016.

The Black Bears will open against two FBS opponents and one of the defending CAA Football champions as part of an 11-game schedule announced Friday.

Harasymiak, a Maine assistant the last five seasons before he succeeded the retired Jack Cosgrove, will make his debut at Connecticut on Sept. 1 - the first meeting between the former Yankee Conference rivals since 2007.

The Black Bears will then visit Toledo for a first-ever meeting Sept. 10.

After a bye week, Maine will play its CAA and home opener Sept. 24 against James Madison, which earned a three-way share of the conference title this past season.

The Black Bears will play four other games at Alfond Stadium - against Bryant (Oct. 1) as well as CAA opponents Albany (Oct. 15), Villanova (Nov. 5) and New Hampshire (Nov. 19), which will be the 105th meeting between the rivals.

Maine, which finished 3-8 last season - 3-5 in CAA - will visit Delaware (Oct. 8), Rhode Island (Oct. 22), William & Mary (Oct. 29) and Stony Brook (Nov. 12) in conference action. William & Mary also was a 2015 CAA champion.

Richmond also shared the title. Maine won't play the Spiders, Elon and Towson in the 12-team CAA's unbalanced schedule.

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2016 Maine Schedule=

Sept. 1, at Connecticut

Sept. 10, at Toledo

Sept. 24, James Madison*

Oct. 1, Bryant

Oct. 8, at Delaware*

Oct. 15, Albany*

Oct. 22, at Rhode Island*

Oct. 29, at William & Mary*

Nov. 5, Villanova*

Nov. 12, at Stony Brook*

Nov. 19, New Hampshire

* - CAA Football game

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