AUBURN, Ala. – The Alabama A&M Bulldogs dropped their first-ever game against a BCS-conference opponent on Saturday, falling to the Auburn Tigers, 51-7, at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn rolled up 341 rushing yards and finished with 512 total yards, as the Tigers picked up their third win of the year and posted their highest scoring total of the season.
Quarterback Deaunte Mason led the way for the Bulldogs (7-4), finishing 17-of-28 passing for 186 yards and an interception in the losing effort.
"We came down here and had the chance to compete," said Alabama A&M head coach Anthony Jones. "It was a great experience for our student-athletes, our coaches and our Alabama A&M family, our alumni.
It was amazing to me how supportive our fans were. They came out in numbers.
"I'm proud of Alabama A&M University."
The 74,832 fans in Jordan-Hare Stadium was the largest crowd the Bulldogs' played in front of all season.
"It was a good experience," said Mason. "I think, as a team, we played well. We played with a lot of energy. Unfortunately, we came out on the short end of the stick. That's a hard way to lose your senior season, last game. But it was also a good opportunity for us to get exposure and play top-level competition."
The loss was the final game in the careers of 19 Bulldog seniors, including running back Kaderius Lacey, the all-time leading rusher in Alabama A&M history. Lacey finished with 41 yards on 12 carries in the loss.
"It feels great," said Lacey of the distinction. "That's one of my goals, to be a leading rusher. Hopefully one day Brendan Johnson, my backup, will break it. He's a good running back. I also wanted to win a SWAC championship. To go back to it, sometimes things just don't go your way. It feels good to be the school's top rusher."
Trailing 35-0 at halftime, the Bulldogs got on the board on the opening drive of the second half, scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run by Mason.
"I believe we accomplished something today," said Mason. "People said we wouldn't score, and we went out there and scored. We wanted to put more points on the board, but sometimes things don't go your way."
The Tigers (3-8) were led by sophomore running back Tre Mason and senior running back Onterio McCalebb, who combined for three touchdowns in the first quarter to give Auburn an early lead, including an 86-yard touchdown run by the sophomore.
Tre Mason finished with 181 rushing yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers, while McCalebb added another 104 yards and two more scores.
After a McCalebb touchdown in the third quarter, the Aggies gave up a team safety when an errant snap went over punter Chance Wilson's head, and was batted through the end zone.
Auburn sophomore Trent Fisher returned an Alabama A&M interception 60 yards for a touchdown with just under three minutes to play to give the game its 51-7 final score.
The Tigers' 512 total yards were the most by an Auburn team since the Tigers' national championship team totaled 519 yards against Oregon in 2010.