Upper Iowa football coach Mike Knoll expects to have an improved team this season and they will need to be. The Peacocks were 3-8 in 2007 and with the expansion of the Northern Sun Conference the schedule will be even more demanding this year.

Knoll says the caliber of football teams has improved, and when that happens you have to step up the level of competition. He says the great thing is the players and the program is looking forward to the change. Winning the close games could get the program over the hump.

The Peacocks lost four games by six or fewer points in 2007. He says they were competitive last year, and the next step is to win those games and you can go from 3-8 to 7-4. Knoll says the main goal this season is to win more games than they lose.

Improvement will start with a defense that gave up 33 points per game a year ago. He says they will be better defensively and will have to create more turnovers. Upper Iowa opens the season August 28th at Drake.