The U.N.I. football team enters Missouri Valley Football Conference play as the #2 team in the country according to two separate polls, but Panther coach Mark Farley says he still isn’t 100% sure how good his team is. Farley says that it’s tough to gauge just how good the Panthers are against teams they don’t play against outside of the postseason.
He says you never know that until line up in the playoffs as there have been years when they were not ranked very high and he thought they could match up. Farley says it is hard to weigh other teams against each other unless they are playing each other, so you never know how strong they are.
The Panthers open their conference schedule with their first home game of the season against Western Illinois on Saturday. Farley says that regardless of where the Panthers are ranked, he knows that winning the conference is the most reliable way to reach the playoffs. He says being ranked highly is good, but everyone knows everyone else in the league and it comes down to making plays and winning the home field games.
Western got thumped last Saturday, losing 69-0 against Missouri. Farley says that given the differences between U.N.I.’s scheme and Missouri’s, the tape from that game has provided a more limited scouting report on Western Illinois. He says you can look at the personnel, but Missour’s offense is so much different, it is hard to tell how their offense will work against Western’s defense.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 4:00 at the UNI-Dome.
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls