The U-N-I football team begins the season tonight against Wayne State of Michigan with high expectations compared to last season. The Panthers return 14-starters from last year’s team that went 11-3, won the Gateway Conference and advanced to the Division-One-Double-A semi-finals. Northern Iowa has been ranked either 2nd or 3rd in the nation in many of the pre-season ratings. UNI starting quarterback Griff Jurgens likes the recognition the Panthers are getting, but he knows the team has to do the job on the field. He says the ranking does bring confidence, not cockiness to the team.Running back Richard Carter downplays the high rankings. Carter says they were picked fifth in the conference last year and went all the way to the semifinals. He says that could happen with another team if they don’t stay focused for each game.Defensive lineman Terrell Morgan, a returning starter, says the rankings are nice, but it won’t affect how the team plays. He says they know people are coming after them and that makes them work harder.UNI is in its second year under head coach Mark Farley.
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