The UNI Panthers face a key Missouri Valley Conference test this weekend when they host North Dakota State. The Bison were the pre-season favorite to win the league race.
Panther coach Mark Farley says they have 18 returning starters and says this is a big football game. UNI is one of four teams tied for the Valley lead at 2-1 and Farley says there is no "team to beat" at this point. Farley says the talent on the teams is very close and it will come down to who can execute and stay away from turnovers and errors, and win their home games.
North Dakota State is 3-3 overall and Farley says the Panthers expect to face a team that is fighting to keep its playoff hopes alive. He says it’s a team that knows how to win, and says it’s like looking in the mirror, as they never give up in any game.
UNI quarterback Pat Grace was named the conference offensive player of the week for the second time this season. Farley says Grace has quickly established himself as the leader of the offense. He says going into the season the quarterback position was the biggest question mark, and the offensive line was the second.
Right now he says both are grading out ahead of the curve. UNI is 4-2 overall.