No Rima Reason – The Numbers Behind a Heartbreaking 20-19 Loss to Indiana State

It was a matchup of two top twenty five ranked teams in Division one FCS football when #10 UNI traveled to #25 Indiana State for their MVFC opener. All week I had been warning listeners on my radio show, ON PRESS ROW with The Sportsguy on Newstalk 1540 KXEL, that this was not your older brothers Indiana State Sycamore team.

ISU blue, during a four year span between 2006 and 2009, had lost 33 games in a row, but they are much better now, and they proved it on Saturday in a 20-19 upset win of the Panthers.

Here are some of the “numbers” coming out of that game.

1, 2, 3: It’s the second year in a row that UNI opened up MVFC conference play with a one point loss and the third year in a row that UNI lost their conference opener. Last year the Panthers dropped a heartbreaker on the road to open up conference play when they lost to North Dakota State 24-23. in 2012 UNI lost to Youngstown State 42-35. All three games were also road losses to start conference play.

3: That is how many times UNI got into the red zone and did not score a touchdown. The Panthers were 4 for 4 in red zone scoring but on three of the four trips inside the Sycamore 20 the purple and gold had to settle for Michael Schmadeke field goals.

courtesy UNI Athletics Media Relations

courtesy UNI Athletics Media Relations

3 more: That is how many takeaways the UNI defense had in this game. The Panthers had one interception and two fumble recoveries. The interception by UNI’s Deiondre’ Hall was the first interception that the Sycamores quarterback Mike Perish threw this year. He entered the game with 160 passes thrown, 9 touchdowns and no interceptions.

6: That is how many yards per carry David Johnson is averaging after Saturdays game. He gained 127 yards on 24 carries. Combine that with his 63 carries going into the game and 395 total yards rushing he now has 522 yards rushing on the year on 87 carries. That figures out to an even 6 yards per carry 5 games into this season.

12: How many years ago it was that UNI lost a football game at Indiana State.  In Mark Farley’s second year as the Panther head coach in 2002 UNI lost at Indiana State 21-19.

14: That is how many tackles UNI senior linebacker Max Busher had as he led the Panther defense in that department Saturday.

16: That is how many field goals Michael Schmadeke made in a row this year before he missed his first kick. He was called on to try a 53 yard field goal into the wind with less than 30 seconds left to play in the game on Saturday with UNI trailing 20-19 and it fell about 5 yards short of being good. Earlier in the game Schmadeke connected on field goals from 21, 48, 30 and 31 yards in that order before missing from 53 yards out.

104: That is how many yards rushing per game that senior running back David Johnson is averaging after rushing for 127 yards on 24 carries this past Saturday in that 20-19 loss to Indiana State.

Comparing some other numbers from the one point loss will show you just how close the game was beside the one point difference in the score.

UNI would convert on 7 third down plays. Indiana State converted 6.

UNI would pick up 20 first downs. Indiana State converted 16.

UNI would amass 320 yards of total offense. Indiana State had 313.

UNI threw one interception and so did Indiana State.

UNI possessed the football for 30 minutes and 35 seconds. Indiana State had it for 29 minutes and 25 seconds.

UNI punted 5 times in the game while Indiana State punted 6 times.

But no matter how the numbers added up in this one it was a heartbreaking punch in the gut one point loss for this UNI Panther football team that now has to go back out on the road and play at South Dakota this coming Saturday.