UNI football coach Mark Farley was pleased with the team’s progress during the first week of spring drills but feels the defense and special teams need improvement. Oelwein native Eric Sanders is leading the offense as he prepares for his second season at quarterback for the Panthers. Last year Sanders was pressed into duty when four-year starter Tom Petrie suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the fourth game. Sanders responded with a strong effort as he went 6-1 as a starter and finished third in NCAA One-Double-A in passing efficiency. He says Sanders is a very coachable, self disciplined young man who finds a way to make himself better.One area of concern for coach Farley going into spring drills was finding overall team depth. He says he’s not ready to say yet if they’ve found the depth. Farley says they’re looking for the travel team, the 56 guys who go on the road, as he says those are the people who make up the special teams, and he says he’s not pleased with the special teams right now. UNI finished 7-4 last season and will open their season September 1st at home against intrastate rival Drake.
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