The U.N.I. Panthers prepare for a Missouri Valley Football Conference showdown this weekend when they visit North Dakota State. The Panthers are 5-0 in the league race and second ranked nationally while the Bison are 4-0 and ranked third.
U.N.I. coach Mark Farley says it’s a huge challenge and an exciting time, which is what “college football is all about.” The Panthers average nearly 30 points per game and a big reason is the improved efficiency of senior quarterback Terrell Rennie, who has 10 touchdown passes and no interceptions this season.
A year ago Rennie had eight touchdown passes but was picked off 11 times. Farley says Rennie worked all summer and spring on techniques, but the improvement also comes with more experience. He says Rennie has developed as any player would with more action.
Defensive lineman Ben Boothby had eight tackles in a victory over Southern Illinois last weekend but just getting on the field was a surprise as it came just five days after he underwent athroscopic surgery on his knee. Farley says Boothby is a good defensive linemen who has a work ethic and a desire to play that has made him into a great football player.
North Dakota State coach Craig Bohl says the Panthers are strong on both sides of the football and play fast and aggressively.
Bohl says the build up to this game has been “huge” as he says it is the biggest game they have played in his 9 years there.
Bohl says it is a pivotal game in the Valley race but it also carries national implications, even though there is a lot of season left. He says the MVC is stacking up favorably against the rest of the country.
U.N.I. is 6-1 overall while the Bison are 7-0.