Despite this being the final game of four-game road stand, UAPB head football coach Monte Coleman said he saw his guys play with a lot of pride.



"It was definitely hostile there in Alabama A&M, it was their homecoming," Coleman said.

Several factors went into the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions (2-3, 1-1) dropping their game this past weekend to the Alabama A&M University Bulldogs (2-3, 2-0) by a final of 27-14.

During the weekly media luncheon on Tuesday, UAPB Head Coach Monte Coleman addressed the loss head on.

"Disappointing day for us," Coleman said. "We traveled down there hoping to come out with better success in the end. If you look at the game, it wasn't so much of what they did, it's what we didn't do. We shot ourselves in the foot on several occasions in the first half. The third play of the game we threw an interception for a touchdown, and it never stopped spiraling from there. The one thing that I was happy with is the guys never stopped playing, and the confidence was still there. We didn't make the plays when we had the opportunities. On defense, we have to play a little more aggressive and tackle. On offense, we have to protect the football, we can't turn the football over."

Prior to the game, both teams sat in second place in their respective divisions in the Southwestern Athletic Conference standings.

Not only was this the SWAC game of the week, it was the Bulldogs’ homecoming.

Despite this being the final game of four-game road stand, Coleman said he saw his guys play with a lot of pride.

"It was definitely hostile there in Alabama A&M, it was their homecoming," Coleman said.

"They were in second place in the East, and we're in second place in the West. Both teams were 1-0 in the SWAC, and they just made more plays. Our guys played extremely hard, and I was proud of them for playing as hard as they did."

Losing running back KeShawn Williams to a hip pointer injury hurt the Golden Lions on offense, creating an imbalance.

Against AAMU, the Golden Lions rushed for 50 total yards and a touchdown combined between five ball carries. In their previous SWAC outing, Williams rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown all by himself.

"He was held out with an injury," Coleman said. "He'll play this week, he had a hip pointer that he sustained in the Jackson State game. He wasn't 100 percent this past week, so Coach Saine held him out."

Although they played hard, the Golden Lions began the game with a turnover for a touchdown. It forced UAPB to adjust on the fly, and the game plan that they constructed before the competition took a hit. Coleman preaches that they want to win the turnover battle week-to-week, and in this game, the fact that they didn't showed in the end.

"That's one thing we try to pride ourselves on ... winning the give-away take-away," Coleman said.

"The last few weeks we haven't won that category. This particular game against A&M, you know, the first turnover was an interception for a touchdown. The percentages of you winning a game after throwing an interception for a touchdown go down tremendously. You can still do it, and we tried to do it. Jamal Odom had a great interception, and then we had a fumble on a punt return. There was one that wasn't called, and that's the importance of having instant replay in the SWAC."

Arguably the biggest sequence that turned the game happened midway through the second quarter. Coleman gambled and decided to go for a 4th and 2 on

the AAMU 16 yard line instead of taking the field goal attempt.

Duncan was denied the first down, and the Bulldogs took over on downs. The UAPB defense then forced a punt after the Bulldogs went three-and-out.

On the return, UAPB's Kevin Crayton was stripped, and the Bulldogs recovered the fumble near mid-field. AAMU then went on a seven-play drive that was capped by a 19-yard touchdown run by Trevon Walters to put the Bulldogs ahead 17-0.

"I took a chance, which I will take some chances," Coleman said. "I have all the confidence in the world and in our coaching staff, so I took a chance. We were in field goal range, we debated whether kicking or not kicking. At that time we were down 10-0, so I took a chance. Last week we were successful on those first downs, but this time we didn't make it."

However, after getting down by 17 points, the Golden Lions’ offense responded with a quick strike, five-play drive capped off by Brandon Duncan hitting Jaelen Collins for a five-yard touchdown pass.

At halftime, UAPB trailed 17-7, but they were still confident that the game was theirs to win.

The Bulldogs struck first in the second half with a 22-yard field goal by Nick Carden to push their lead to 20-7.

With 9:03 left to play in the fourth quarter, the Golden Lions started a drive on the AAMU 32 after a bad punt.

From there it only took the Golden Lions four plays to get in the end zone on a 20-yard run by Christian Jordan. At that point, the Golden Lions had pulled within six points of the lead, and things were swinging their way.

However, the Bulldogs would put this one out of reach with a 10-play drive, covering 75 yards, while using 5:34 of the clock. This was capped off with Walters’ second touchdown run of the game.

According to Coleman, the score at the end didn't translate to the fight his guys showed this past Saturday.

"That's the one thing that I'm the happiest with, the guys aren't giving up," Coleman said. "Regardless (of) what the score says on the scoreboard they're going to play hard. These guys are working hard. We practiced this morning at 6 a.m. We put them in the weight room and the enthusiasm was extremely well. We've got to carry that over into practice today, tomorrow and polish up on Thursday. We pride ourselves working for 60 minutes of the game, and it was obvious we just didn't make plays when we had to and that was the tale of the tape."

Junior safety Jamal Odom and freshman wide receiver Robert Sims III were the two UAPB Golden Lions who were alongside Coleman during the luncheon. Odom came up with UAPB's only turnover with an interception in the A&M game while leading the team with seven tackles. Sims has continued to make his presence on the team hard to go unnoticed, and as he grows in the system his trajectory is high.

Q&A

Q: Were they able to open up the run game from what they were doing through the air?

Odom: "I feel like we played the pass pretty well," Odom said. "We just had a few missed tackles on the touchdowns runs that they did get."

Q: Being a freshman in the offense, talk about how you plan to continue to become a factor going forward.

Sims: "Going forward, yeah I want to make plays, but it's also coming in practicing hard and doing what I need to do for my team, and also for myself to better myself."

Notable Stats

AAMU:

Ageel Glass 26/43 passing for 291 yards

Trevon Walter 16 carries for 89 yards, two touchdowns

O. Miles 5 receptions for 100 yards

Devonte King 23 yard interception return touchdown

UAPB:

Brandon Duncan 15/22 passing for 83 yards, one touchdown, and one interception

Christian Jordan 7 carries for 44 yards, one touchdown

Jamal Odom 7 tackles, one interception