No Rima Reason – UNI Wins Homecoming – Now That’s More Like It!

Photo by UNI Athletics Communications

UNI Panther football won their homecoming game Saturday whipping Northern Colorado 46-7. The Panthers looked like the team we all thought they could be this year. Especially in the running game. UNI had averaged just 40 yards rushing in each of its first two games against Iowa and Hawai’i two FBS opponents. Saturday they faced their first FCS division one foe and UNI ran all over them.

If you remember in my preview of the homecoming game I said this:

Knowing this coaching staff the way I do I can tell you in complete confidence that there was a focus in practice, in the film room and in the coaches meetings to get the ground attack firing on all cylinders”.

Well 310 rushing yards later UNI proved me right.

David Johnson looked the David Johnson of old. He zigged and zagged his way to a 173 yard rushing day averaging a whopping 9.6 yards per carry and scored his first rushing touchdown of the year and his 46th career touchdown.

courtesy UNIPanthers.com

courtesy UNIPanthers.com

With the running game hitting on all cylinders it allowed the passing game to also be more efficient and effective. Quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen completed 11 of 19 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Nine different Panthers caught passes. Brett LeMaster led the way with 3 receptions. And there were no interceptions. UNI was averaging nearly 40 passes per game in their first two losses so only throwing 19 times and completing nearly 60% was more like it.

As impressive as the offense was, especially the running game, the UNI defense was equally good on this Saturday.  The Panther defense would get a season high 8 sacks and numerous TFL’s or tackles for a loss. 14 tackles for a loss to be exact! The X-man, Xavier Williams recorded 2 sacks and had 2 1/2 tackles for a loss. Adam Reth, a sophomore defensive lineman, came off the bench to collect 1 sack and 2 TFL’s. One of the goals this week for the defense was to pitch a shut out and they just about did. Northern Colorado was able to muster one touchdown and that came with 3:31 left in the third. But the Panther defense was really impressive in the win. Northern Colorado was just 2 of 12 on third down. The UNI defense also held the Bears to just 199 yards of total offense. (think Mulligan’s in Cedar Falls second pizza price on Monday on that effort..$1.99)

Speaking of impressive performances, and I say this with hopes I don’t jinx him, Junior place kicker Michael Schmadeke has been “auto-schmadic” all year and Saturday night in the UNI Dome was no different. Schmadeke made all three of his field goal attempts hitting on distances of 33, 43 and 24 yards in that order. The Waterloo Columbus High School alum was also 5 of 5 in point after kicks. On the year Michael is now 7 of 7 in field goals and 10 of 10 in PAT’s. Yes, so far he has been “auto-schmadic”!

All in all it was an impressive win and a much needed win for this 11th ranked UNI Panther football team. It was a solid all around effort in all phases of the game. Offense, defense and special teams all looked good. It’s just what the doctor ordered. Some home cooking on homecoming, evidently it was just what this team needed.

OTHER NOTES: Two players had their redshirt taken off of them on Saturday. True freshman linebacker Jared Farley, younger brother of senior linebacker Jake Farley and son of Head Coach Mark Farley, played the first time this year in the homecoming win. Also true freshman defensive lineman Preston Woods of St. Paul, Minnesota saw action in this game.

courtesy http://boxscorenews.com/northern-iowa-football-fall-in-doubleovertime-at-sdsu-p66248-100.htm

courtesy http://boxscorenews.com/northern-iowa-football-fall-in-doubleovertime-at-sdsu-p66248-100.htm

On his post game radio interview on the Panther Sports Network Coach Farley talked about taking the redshirt off those two players saying:

We got to play some young players and pulled the redshirt off Jared and Preston. I was on the sideline and said you know what, we are going to need these guys this year, this is a good football team, let’s just put ‘em out there. It’s a great game to get them in and those guys could start for us in the future. So I said lets just do it. And it will make the decisions that much easier next week.”

Defensive end Isaac Ales did not play on Saturday. He was held out after having concussion like symptoms coming off the game at Hawai’i. That meant that Karter Schult a Sophomore from Tripoli got his first collegiate start.

Kansas transfer running back Darrian Miller scored his first rushing touchdown as a UNI Panther. He had a receiving touchdown at Hawai’i but hadn’t rushed for a touchdown until Saturdays win over Northern Colorado.

Iowa transfer running back and former Cedar Falls Tiger star Barkley Hill got his first carries as a UNI Panther. Hill carried the football 8 times for 25 yards averaging 3.1 yards per carry. He also caught his first pass good for a 4 yard gain.

It was the first UNI game in the dome this year so that means it was the first time the new 100′ video board was used. It was impressive to say the least. UNI was hoping to enhance its game day experience for its fans and the new video board certainly helps do that. And how about the audio and video of Coach Farley which played before the team came out of the tunnel? It was filmed when UNI played at Iowa and Coach Farley’s talk to the team before they took the field. That had to fire you up Panther fans!

With it being the first home game it also was the unveiling of the “instant replay” capabilities at UNI home football games. There is a “replay” official and a “communcations” official in a booth on press row on the east side of the dome. If they see a play that needs to be reviewed they page the officials on the field to let them know the previous play is under review. There was only one play all day that was under review and it was the David Johnson 41 yard touchdown run in the second quarter for UNI.  And after further review the touchdown call on the field was confirmed!

  • Beef

    Relieving, I believe is a word that can best describe the result of yesterday’s game against Northern Colorado. I think the thought that getting the Panthers confidence moving forward is very important. It shows that the hard work on the practice field and the tedious hours of watching film actually does pay dividends.

    I want to warn about overconfidence though. Yes, a 46-7 romp is nice, but you have to remember who it was against. Northern Colorado has been a bottom feeder for two or three seasons now. Although, it appears they are beginning to turn things in a positive direction, they are nowhere near a playoff caliber opponent. The late touchdown surrendered in the 3rd quarter knocks just a smidge of the luster off this victory. Really, a shutout would have made a much larger statement.

    Moving forward, Northern Iowa gets Tennessee Tech. Here’s another team who’s not really in the conversation as far as postseason aspirations go. So this is a team the Panthers need to come “roaring” out of the tunnel and punch them in the mouth.

    The Golden Eagles were 5-7 last season, but one of those victories came against a D-II or D-III opponent. The three teams they played from the OVC that made the playoffs last season, they lost by an average of 25 points. This season has started very similar. They soundly beat a D-II or D-III opponent then lost their next two. The first of which was Indiana State, who pounded them 49-14. So this game should offer us a pretty good barometer as to where we stand to the Sycamores. TTU did play much better last weekend against Tennessee State, losing 10-7.

    Bottom line, this week really only offered us a win. It’s not going to boost the Panthers’ resume come playoff time, neither in notoriety or as far as computer numbers are concerned. The game against Tennessee Tech will be similar, to a lesser degree. But Indiana State, ironically enough, is the first team on the conference docket after this Tennessee Tech game. Coming out and dominating these next four quarters will be a much bigger boost to the confidence than these last four.

    That being said, the Panther train has finally left the station. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a huge head of steam preparing them for conference play.

    Growl Loud!
    Bleed Purple!
    Go Panthers!