U-N-I coach Mark Farley felt depth would be a strength heading into the season and he was right on the mark. Despite a number of key injuries the Panthers are 5-1 and 11th ranked nationally heading into Saturday’s Gateway Conference game at Southwest Missouri State. Farley credits the play of several freshmen who have been forced into action. He says it was an exceptional class of players and he says there may be more freshmen who play if they have injuries. One freshman who played a major role in Saturday’s win over Indiana State was place-kicker Brian Wingert who was pulled out of his redshirt season just ten minutes prior to kickoff to take the place of the injured Brian Stegell. Wingert ended up with three field goals. He says he was happy the first kick was an extra point and not a field goal.Another freshman, Dre’ Dokes made the game saving interception in the endzone in the final minute of the game. Farley says they felt Dokes had the ability to play, and they knew there would be mistakes. Farley says Dokes comes right back if he’s been beat, and he learns about his mistakes.
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