Charleston Southern's football team has one final chance to secure a victory in the 2011 season as the Buccaneers visit Presbyterian in the season finale today.
CSU is trying to avoid only the second winless season in the program's history, which began playing football in 1991.
The Buccaneers are 0-10 overall and 0-5 in Big South Conference play, though the team has shown some positive signs in recent weeks.
Three of CSU's five league losses have come by seven points or less, including a 45-38 loss to Coastal Carolina in the home finale last week.
CSU coach Jay Mills continues to be impressed with how hard his winless team is playing down the stretch and attributes the improved play to getting some personnel back.
"As we get more players back, players we expected to be there all season, the continuity has improved and that is helping us compete," said Mills, who is coaching his 100th game with CharlestonSouthern today, with a 43-56 record at the school.
"The injuries have been like nothing I have had before and I guess the positive in all of this is that we are getting a lot of younger guys some experience.
"The season has not gone the way we had hoped, but I am very pleased with our effort and our leadership all year.
"If you didn't know our record and saw this team's effort, you would think we were contending for a conference championship. I really tip my hat to this team for their effort and determination."
CSU's effort in last week's game even impressed Coastal Carolina coach David Bennett.
"Those kids played their tails off," said Bennett. "I saw no signs of a team that has quit on the season."
Excuse or not, injuries have played a major part in the lack of success.
The list of starters that have missed three or more games is too long to list and has affected all areas of the game.
However, if there is a silver lining to the season, it is the fact that CSU will return more players with significant playing experience than it has in recent years.
The team's top two quarterbacks are underclassmen, as is the team's leading rusher. The top seven receivers are underclassmen and five of the top seven tacklers are underclassmen.
A total of 54 players on the roster have at least two years of eligibility remaining after this season.
Another bright spot late in the year has been the development of junior quarterback Richard Mounce, who in the last 3 1/2 games as the starter has 1,101 passing yards and 10 touchdowns.