ORONO — On Maine’s first possession Saturday, quarterback Dan Collins connected on a 41-yard pass to fleet wide receiver Darmarr Aultman.

On its opening drive of the second half, Collins launched a pass that tight end Jeremy Salmon flagged down with one hand for a 45-yard gain.

There wasn’t much else to brag about in the Black Bear passing game – just 66 more yards in a 13-10 loss at Bryant. But those two plays at least offer a tantalizing look at what could be for Maine’s struggling offense.

“It came down to not recognizing coverages properly,” Coach Jack Cosgrove said after Collins completed just 10 of 21 pass attempts. “We’re going to take a step back to make sure we get that right. Because I think if we’ve been too complex, then shame on us. We’re going to simplify it and make it easier.”

Aultman and Salmon can be two vital cogs in that offense when Maine tries to regroup Saturday at Boston College. The team also is expected to get senior wideout Arthur Williams back from injury for that game, which could be a big boost.

Aultman is Maine’s most dynamic playmaker. He caught only one pass in a season-opening 10-6 win against Norfolk State, although it was good for a 33-yard touchdown. On Saturday, after that initial burst of fortune, he caught just three more passes for 22 yards. He also is a dangerous kickoff returner and had a 61-yarder in the fourth quarter nullified by penalty.

There’s no question Maine wants to get the ball into his hands more frequently. Cosgrove said the game plan last week was designed to do just that but Collins didn’t always seize those opportunities. Still, he said, there’s no intention of handing the ball off to Aultman or finding other ways to get him involved. It comes down to finding him space downfield and letting him run.

Aultman, a senior, professed no frustration at his lack of activity. He said he’s working to perfect his own role on the team, running better routes, being a better blocker on running plays, and he was happy to see his teammates weren’t trying to place blame for a sluggish offense.

“We were definitely hurt by the loss but there was no finger-pointing. It was, ‘We need to get better and that includes everyone,’ ” Aultman said. “I felt like our defense is playing great. For us to only score one touchdown, I really felt like I was letting down my brothers, honestly. We just have to get better, simple as that. If we want to win, we need to score more than a touchdown, and we will get better.”

One of the most improved players on offense was Salmon, a sophomore who is getting his first extensive playing time. He is 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, but showed Saturday he can get downfield in a hurry. On the long pass play, his first college reception, Salmon was in the middle of the field with Aultman to his right. The safety hesitated while deciding which receiver to cover, and Salmon ran him over, then extended his body as far as he could to snare the ball with one hand, landing at the Bryant 4.

He said Tuesday he actually was running a yard too far to the outside of the field and it never should have come down to having to make a highlight-reel catch. He regretted not scoring on the play. Maine ended up having a bungled exchange on its field-goal attempt and failed to score on the drive.

But Cosgrove was excited about Salmon’s effort and future.

“He’s a tall, lean kid who can run,” Cosgrove said. “He can stretch the field as a tight end. His blocking was better. He did his job better. His was probably one of the most improved performances from Week 1 to Week 2.”

Salmon had one other catch, for 10 yards. He said he still has much to learn about tight end after playing fullback at Cumberland Valley High in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He also played primarily fullback last year at Maine.

“Just getting the right footwork, getting the technique down. It’s basically like being an offensive lineman except you’re not as big, you’re not as slow. And sometimes you get to catch a pass,” Salmon said.

Aultman and Salmon both lamented Maine’s inability to prosper in the red zone.

“The defenses, they’re bringing everybody and it seems like there’s just one guy (on offense) breaking down and they’re making a play. It’s not the same guy every time. We’re not on the same page,” Salmon said.

“This week we’re going to be more enthusiastic. I’m definitely more excited for this challenge. I can’t wait to get going.”