U.N.I. football coach Mark Farley says the Panthers are working to build segments this spring before putting all the pieces together. Thirteen starters need to be replaced from last year’s team that finished 7-4 and missed out on the national playoffs. To help the process, Farley says he is extending spring practice until the end of the month and spreading the practices out.

Farley says you have to build from the ground up and that means individual growth. He says they have to build groups, the segments like the offensive line, defensive line, and after those segments are built, then you can build the rest of the team. Farley says spring is even more important this year because U.N.I. does not even start the season until a September 11th game against North Dakota State.

He says they need to have a great understanding of what they are going to do offensively and defensively now with the late start as he believes that will factor into the way they start the season. The Panthers will play on 11 consecutive weeks so Farley says there will be no off-week to try and “fix things”.

Farley says that means they will have to be sound and have a good understanding of what they are going to do, and that is why they are having more meetings. The Panthers conclude spring workouts with an intrasquad game on April 30th.

By Elwin Huffman KOEL Oelwein