The U.N.I. Panthers will try to stay unbeaten in the Missouri Valley Football Conference race this weekend when they host Southern Illinois. The Panthers lost to the Salukis in overtime last seasson but coach Mark Farley says revenge will not be a motivation for his team.
Farley says they’ve approached this week as they have the last six and have empasized what they have to do to win and don’t talk about what happened in the past. Southern Illinois is 2-4 on the season but Farley says the Salukis have a number of weapons.
He says he looks at the team schematics more than individual players, that said, he says they have a couple of good runningbacks that are tough. U.N.I. quarterback Terrell Rennie has become a more effective passer in his senior season. He tossed four touchdown passes in last week’s victory at South Dakota State.
Farley says the key to Rennie is they understand how he learns and they are playing and teaching more to that now after finding out how he thinks and they can set up the system that way.
Southern coach Dale Lennon says the Panthers deserve their number-two national ranking as they are playing as good a football as he has seen them play in his time. He says defensively they are solid and the front line makes a lot of plays and that has given them a plus 15 turnover margin.
Lennon says Rennie’s nine touchdown passes and 60 percent completion rate are examples of how much improvement he has made, as well as the fact that he hasn’t thrown an interception yet this season. He says that’s not because they aren’t throwing the ball
U.N.I. is 5-1 overall.