The Miami University football team holds the nation's longest active FBS losing streak with 17 straight losses. It's a fact not lost among players or coaches, but Miami might have its best chance at ending this streak this Saturday against Eastern Kentucky University.
EKU is an FCS school that hasn't beaten an FBS team since 1985, when it knocked off the University of Louisville 45-21.
"It's weird. Where we're at as a program, I'm not even really concerned about EKU and our chances," head coach Chuck Martin said. "Someone on the conference call asked me 'anything less than a win?' I mean I guess that's a really good question, but I guess I'm not really at that point with my brain for wins and losses … I'd love to beat Eastern Kentucky, I'd love to break the losing [streak], I got that. But that's not … My focus is on where this team is going to be here in the next one to two to three years and how we can keep developing kids and you still wanna make the best decisions for winning games."
Senior wide receiver Dawan Scott thinks the streak will be broken soon.
"It's gonna be broken real soon," Scott said. "It's going to be broken soon. Real soon."
If last Saturday's 42-27 loss to Marshall was any indication, Miami will lean heavily on fifth year senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix.
In his first career start, Hendrix threw for 318 yards, three touchdowns and picked up 46 yards on the ground on 20 carries. He completed only 24 of 49 passes, but the majority of his incompletions cam from him being forced to throw the ball away.
Miami's offense looked vastly improved over anything the team trotted out last season and Scott is a big fan of the new spread look.
"It's like a receivers dream," Scott said. "It's everybody's dream actually. We throw the ball a lot … It's just perfect basically."
EKU is a run-first, run-second and run-third type of team, if the Colonels' stat line from their Robert Morris University is to be trusted.
EKU ran all over RMU, racking up over 400 yards on the ground against a team that hasn't posted a winning record since 2010.
Junior University of Kentucky transfer Dy'Shawn Mobley led the way for the Colonels, picking up 142 yards on 25 carries. Mobley might be slightly familiar to Miami fans, as he had two carries for 12 yards in UK's 41-7 blowout of the RedHawks.
Redshirt sophomore University of Cincinnati transfer Bennie Coney started at QB against RMU for the Colonels, but he split time with senior Jared McClain.
Coney struggled throwing the ball, completing six of 13 passes for 83 yards and three interceptions. However, he did have EKU's only TD pass of the game and chipped in 28 yards on the ground.
McClain was more effective; completing 11 of 17 passes for 134 yards. He also added 90 yards and a score on eight carries.
"[It's] definitely a tricky offense," senior cornerback Quinten Rollins said. "I think they had 400 rushing yards last week, so we'll definitely need to be on top of that. But also not being asleep in the secondary [is important]."
Rollins played in his first career college football game, after spending the previous four years playing basketball at Miami. He was credited with a game-high two pass breakups against Marshall, but isn't satisfied.
"I felt pretty good," Rollins said. "Obviously I could have made some plays out there that I wish I could have made to help the team. Overall I felt good but definitely not satisfied. There were some things I could have done better, little things I can improve, whether it was my technique, breaking on the ball better. Just little things that add up to being a great player."
Martin hates losing, but he's also focused on building, and building the right way, at Miami.
"We're not going to get out of this hole by somebody throwing us down a rope, climbing down there, strapping us by our waist and pulling us out of this hole," Martin said. "If we're gonna wait for that to happen it's not going to change. That's the tough thing with where we're at. Yeah, we're trying to win every football game, but we're also trying to make some drastic changes with who we are and how we approach things."
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Yager Stadium. Fans unable to attend the game can listen live at redhawkradio.com.