The UNI Panthers face a difficult Missouri Valley football road test this weekend with a visit to 13th ranked Southern Illinois. The Panthers opened the league race with a 34-20 win over South Dakota State.
UNI coach Mark Farley says it was pleasing to play the game with a lot of emotion and intensity, the way fans expect them to play. The Salukis are led by first-year coach Dale Lennon. Farley says they are a totally different football team with a new defense and new offense.
Southern is 1-1 and has not played since a loss at Northwestern on September 13th. Farley says Southern is at the point his team was last week after playing two games with different results, but he expects them to make huge jumps in what they do after an open date.
Panther quarterback Pat Grace passed for 200 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 84 yards and a couple of scores in a 34-20 win over South Dakota State. He was named the Missouri Valley offensive player of the week. Farley says it was difficult to see what Grace could do in the first two games, but says they could see in the conference opener. Farley says grace is aggressive and has a good attitude, and they just need to work on his management of the game.