U.N.I. coach Mark Farley says his team needs to do a better job of finishing games in the upcoming season. Farley will have a defense loaded with seniors and juniors to accomplish that goal, and he says they will need to do a couple of things.

Farley says they need to be very sound and very aggressive, “and those two things are hard to do side-by-side.” But he says they have experience and should have enough talent to execute in a way where they can have success, even though the opponent will know what they are doing.

Farley says they are deep enough that they don’t have to rely on one player to be successful. “It’s deep enough that there’s always a pair and spare out there, so if we can play at a very high level — roll the extra player in there — we can stay at the same tempo in the fourth quarter as we do in the first, and the 10th game as good as the first game,” Farley said.

The coach wants to see his team be strong throughout. “We have to start well and we have to finish well, and that takes a lot of depth, talent and aggression,” Farley says. On offense, quarterback in Tirrell Rennie, will be in his second season after transferring in last year. Farley was asked about Rennie’s development.

Farley says beauty is in the eye of the beholder and he expects a lot from Rennie, because he expects a lot from his quarterback. He says to be the type of team they want to be, they have to be good at passing and good at defending the pass. Farley says Rennie has to improve to reach their overall goals.

He says Rennie needs to be a good passer and understand timing, but says he did a good job coming in and learning a tough offensive system. Farley says Rennie should be better with a year of the system and nobody expects more out of him than he does. The Panthers have experience on offense too as they need to replace just one starter on the offensive line. The Panthers open the season on the road at Iowa State.

By Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein