After an undefeated regular season, UNI is the number one seed in the N-C-A-A’s Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. The unbeaten Panthers face New Hampshire in a first-round game in the UNI-Dome at 6:35 Saturday night. Coach Mark Farley says being the top seed gives UNI an edge, but it doesn’t give the Panthers a free pass to the championship game.
Farley says all the top seed gains you is the home field advantage, all the teams are still good. But he says the home field will be an advantage for his team. UNI is no stranger to the 7-and-4 Wildcats. The two teams met in the quarterfinals of the 2005 F-C-S playoffs in New Hampshire.
Quarterback Eric Sanders says its an interesting first-round match-up as they beat them when they were a top seed, and now the roles are reversed. New Hampshire is one of a record five Colonial Athletic Association teams selected for the playoffs and is one of only four teams in history to earn an at-large bid with four regular season losses.
Farley says, despite their record, the Wildcats are a tough first-round opponent. He says they still have a top quarterback, and it’s their third time in a row in the playoffs. Farley believes U-N-I has what it takes to win it all and believes this year’s team is more prepared to challenge for the championship than the 2005 team that played for the title.
Farley says this team is more consistent and has been more tested than that team, although he says the 2005 team got on a roll after having to win to get into the playoffs. The winner of Saturday’s game faces eight Delaware or Delaware State in the quarterfinals next week.