The UNI Panthers open the national playoffs at home on Saturday against Maine. The Panthers are making their third trip to the playoffs in four years and coach Mark Farley hopes that experience is a plus. Farley says the team has been through it before, so it’s something they can lean on to get through it. He says the players have the week off, so the will know what to do.

Farley says it’s the same excitement being in the playoffs as it was the first time they were in, and there’s extra excitement with playing at home. Farley says the key has been a mix of some experienced players with some newcomers who have made a big impact.

He says that’s the combination that made the team come together like it has. The Panthers made it to the quarterfinal round a year ago before falling to Delaware.

Senior offensive lineman Bob Swift says they’ve been working hard since that loss and had a sour taste over being knocked out. The Panthers would like to make a deep run into the playoffs. Swift says every year at UNI the expectations are high and that motivates you to play hard.

The Panthers are 10-2.