Despite an impressive win over Maine in the opening round of the national playoffs UNI coach Mark Farley would like to see the Panthers shore up special teams play as they get set for Saturday night’s quarterfinal round contest against New Hampshire.
Billy Hallgren missed two field goals and the Panthers also had a punt blocked. Farley says those things "will get you beat" in a close football game. He says special teams kept Maine in the game and those are things they have to shore up.
This will be the third time in four years that UNI and New Hampshire have met in the playoffs and Farley says these two programs have developed a "playoff rivalry." Farley says you have two great programs playing each other, and even though the names of the players change, you still have a great rivalry.
Farley says this group of players deserves credit for pulling things together and he still thinks they are getting better. Farley says the Panthers to continue to make improvement each week. He says they still have a lot to learn, but the way they are playing, shows they have depth and talent.
The Panthers edged New Hampshire 38-35 in a thrilling opening round contest last year. New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell says they are more balanced on offense this year and that’s due to four senior offensive linemen. He says the Wildcats are not relying on outscoring their opponents as much as in the past, as they are a little better defensively.