The UNI Panthers will host Southern Illinois on Saturday in a battle of unbeatens.The Panthers are 5-0 and have not played since opening the Gateway Conference race with a win at Illinois State nearly two weeks ago. UNI coach Mark Farley says they will have their hands full against a Southern Illinois squad that is 6-0 and seventh rated nationally.
Farley says this is a team that expects to win, and that separates them from other teams. He says the team feels it can go into anywhere and win. Farley says the Salukis won’t be intimidated by the sellout crowd of more than 17,000 fans. He says they have talent and size like his team has, and will also have a feeling that they can win the game. Farley says it will be a great game.
Farley says the Salukis have a great defense and will come in and hammer at you with their running game, which he says describes his team as well. Farley says the magnitude of the game and the large crowd will make this a very special homecoming. "It’s pretty cool, when you look at it from an alumni, from a player standpoint, and from just everything that’s been a part of this program for so long," Farley says.
Southern Illinois coach Jerry Kill says it is a great opportunity for his team. He says they’re approaching it as go in, have fun and let it all hang out as they play what they believe is the best team in the country.
Kill says the Salukis need to keep the UNI-Dome crowd out of the game, as they have tremendous tradition and fan base. Kill says they will have to handle two or three rushes by UNI, where the Panthers make a run and the crowd get behind them.