MACOMB, Ill. (WGEM) -- The season started with promise with three wins in their first five games.
But ever since a 24-17 victory at South Dakota, Western Illinois has lost five consecutive contests and they've been outscored 167-27 during the skid.
The Leathernecks get one last chance to right the ship this weekend at Southern Illinois.
"We want each player to play the very best they've ever played this fall," head coach Mark Hendrickson said.
"We want them to play better than they did last Saturday and all the other Saturday's before that. That's our goal."
Senior Charles Chestnut says a victory would be a huge lift.
"For us to come out and win this last game against a difficult opponent that would make me proud of my teammates, the freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and redshirts," Chestnut told WGEM Sports.
"That would show that nobody gave up and still gave 110%."
Other than pride and a positive vibe heading to the offseason there isn't much on the line at Saluki Stadium.
But don't tell that to the players involved.
"We already know that nobody's job is safe," sophomore Jonathon Rollins said.
"We want to show, especially in this game, that we can do it and that we're the right people for the job, and to show the coaches that next year is going to way better than what we allowed this year."
Hendrickson added: "There's not a playoff game on the line in this ball game this year, but both teams are going to be very motivated to win this ball game."
As much as the offense has struggled Western's defense has had plenty of bright spots this fall especially in the secondary.
The Leathernecks rank third against the pass in the Missouri Valley and they're tied for second in the league with 15 interceptions.
"We know what we have ahead of us," Rollins mentioned.
"Even though this was a bad season for us, we know next year that everything will be OK."
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