The ingredients were all supposed to be in place.

A veteran quarterback. A 1,000-yard rusher. A talented group of receivers and a veteran offensive line.

That’s what Alabama A&M’s offense had coming back this season.

Deaunte Mason returned at quarterback. Kaderius Lacey was back at running back after rushing for almost 1,200 yards a year ago. Montaurius Smith, Reshaad DeJarnett and Terrance Pride returned at receiver, while Jamaal Johnson-Webb, Justin Goodrich and Joaquenssi Eugene spearheaded an offensive line that was among the best in the Southwestern Athletic Conference last season.

The unit was expected to resemble some of the units of the past when quarterback Kelcy Luke, running back Ulysses Banks, wide receiver Thomas Harris and a veteran offensive line helped A&M post some of the most prolific offensive numbers during A&M coach Anthony Jones’ tenure.

Those numbers weren’t eye-popping in last Saturday’s season opener against Tuskegee, especially the ones on the scoreboard.

The Bulldogs finished with 320 yards of offense, but scored only one measly touchdown against the Golden Tigers in a 7-6 victory.

“It was disappointing that we didn’t score more points,” said Mason, who accounted for 217 yards of total offense, including 171 through the air on 19 completions. “We should have put up a lot more points. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot and the score reflected that. We got our bad game out of the way and hopefully this week we can get it going.”

A&M had a hard time getting it going against Tuskegee and a number of things contributed to that. However, penalties appeared to be the biggest thing as the Bulldogs were flagged nine times for 129 yards.

“We expected to score more points,” Jones said. “We were about three plays away from having a a 400-yard game. We had some opportunities we didn’t connect on and those penalties were huge against us and they took away some big plays and hurt us in terms of giving us opportunities to score.

“We had five personal foul penalties and a couple of holding penalties. Those are hard to overcome. We got in the red zone once time. We drove it down there three or four times, but penalties took us out of there.”

Wide receiver Montaurius Smith, who had a game-high seven catches for 62 yards and the game’s only touchdown, said the Bulldogs have to play smarter if they’re going to be more effective.

“We moved the ball well, but every time we got close to the red zone, we got a dumb penalty that pushed us back,” Smith said. “We killed ourselves with stupid plays and we’ve got to stop that if we’re going to be as good as we think we can be.” read more…