Bowie State football coach Dave Dolch, whose team holds the nation's longest losing streak at 32 games, knew before the season started that the first two games, against Winston-Salem and Hampton, would not be easy ones. Game No. 3, however, against Cheyney (Pa.) University, appeared like a good one to circle on the calendar.

After all, the Wolves, 2-8 last year, have not had a winning season since 1975.

But when the Bulldogs travel to Cheyney for Saturday's 1 p.m. game, they will meet a much-improved team. Cheyney is 2-0 this season and has allowed only one touchdown in two games.

"I know every time we pick up a newspaper or hear it on television, they talk about it being 32 games, but as far as I'm concerned, only this year counts and we are 0-2," said Dolch, who admits to being an eternal optimist. "But we are seeing the progress, and the kids are seeing it."

The Bulldogs, who are now seven losses away from tying the all-time record for consecutive losses by a Division II team, have not produced an offensive touchdown this year, their only score coming on safety Rodney Belfield's 75-yard interception return in the 25-7 loss to Hampton. Dolch said freshman quarterback Mark Cowan will get his first start Saturday over Clarence Boykins.

"Last year, we didn't have the amount of talent to beat most teams and we didn't have the size to match up with them, which is why I think we just laid down in the second half of some ball games," said Dolch. "This year, though, it is different. All we need is that first win to get us going. I think we are on the brink."