UNI’s magical season came to an end with a 39-27 loss to Delaware in the quarterfinal round of the FCS national playoffs in Cedar Falls. After jumping out to an early 10-0 lead the Panthers saw Delaware score three second quarter touchdowns to take the lead, including one on a Panther fumble.
The UNI defense had trouble getting off the field as Delaware converted on numerous third down opportunities. Panther coach Mark Farley says the screens and the scrambles really hurt them, as he says defensively they held down their rushing. He says the turnovers also hurt.
UNI senior linebacker Brannon Carter said the Delaware offense had a solid game plan. Carter says when anyone has 11 games to watch, they find holes in your defense and that’s what Delaware did. It was a heartbreaking end to a brilliant career for UNI quarterback Eric Sanders, who led the Panthers to 35 victories during his four years as a starter.
Sanders says, " It was the last time walking off the field in this uniform, it’s gonna hurt, it’s gonna hurt for a long time. But you know, it’s been a great ride, I’m proud of my teammates and coaches for everything they’ve done. We worked so hard and everything to get to this point. It’s not the outcome we wanted, but it wasn’t because of lack of effort." UNI ends the season with a record of 12-1.