UNI football coach Mark Farley will be traveling to Chatanooga, Tennessee this week but the stay won’t be as long as he originally wanted. Farley will be at Thursday night’s ceremony for the Walter Payton Award and Panther quarterback Eric Sanders is one of three finalists.

The FCS national championship game matching Delaware and Appalachian State is Friday night. Farley says he will go to the banquet, but will not go to the game. “The only time we’re gonna go to that football game is if we’re there as a football team,” Farley says, “we’re going to be there, it’s just a matter of when.”

The Panthers ended the season 12-1 after falling to Delaware in the quarterfinals. UNI spent much of the season as the nation’s top ranked program and Farley says while interest in the program has grown, so have the expectations. Farley says other people are now starting to expect the same thing that they have expected all along. He says the program has grown, but there is still work to be done.

UNI played a number of games on television and Farley says the added exposure will help the program. He says across the state it will make a difference in recruiting, and Farley says it makes a difference in the surrounding states. Farley says being number one in the polls for so long will also have an impact on any national recruiting they do.