FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota State and the University of North Dakota are sister schools whose football programs are acting like twins with an illness.
Both are of sick of losing.
NDSU is 2-7 overall, UND 4-6. A loss by each team Saturday would set a record for most combined defeats by both teams.
The mark is 14, set twice. Each was 3-7 in 1948. NDSU was 0-10 and UND 5-4 in 1962.
The teams played predominantly nine-game schedules from 1924 through 1963. But the number of losses this year borders on incredible, considering the recent success of both schools.
"I know for us, we never fathomed that we would be in this position," said NDSU head coach Bob Babich. "It is unthinkable, but we need to figure out how to get to 3-7."
The Sioux won an NCAA Division II championship last year, while the Bison had almost everyone back from a semifinal team in 2000.
If it weren't for NDSU, UND would be a threat to go from first to worst in the North Central Conference.
"We knew there were going to be some question marks," UND head coach Dale Lennon said. "We just weren't sure how things would go."
The Sioux have lost four straight since beating the Bison in October. And they beat NDSU without a touchdown from their offense.
NDSU has lost six in a row.
Both losing streaks are similar in nature. In general, each team has fallen behind early and seen a rally fall short.
"We're not doing it offensively and defensively, where we line up and take it to them," Lennon said.
"Poor starts have hurt us," Babich said.
Each team has been blown out only once -- UND 43-7 to Central Washington and NDSU 35-7 at California Davis.
The Bison lost four games by seven points or less. Northern Colorado beat NDSU 29-7, but it was 12-7 in the fourth quarter with the momentum favoring the Bison.
The Sioux have dropped the last four games by an average of 3 1/2 points. They saw a potential game-winning touchdown pass against Omaha drop into the hands of a Maverick defensive back. They saw Minnesota State, Mankato go the length of the field, then successfully make a two-point conversion, in the last minute to win.
"We haven't had enough firepower to get over the hump," Lennon said.
The power cord has been unplugged by injuries, although UND's ailments pale in comparison to NDSU's.
The Bison have lost 14 players, 10 for the season.
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