This is not a good week for the U.N.I. football team to be without defensive players, but that’s exactly the situation the Panthers are facing as they prepare to open Missouri Valley Football Conference action against Youngstown State. U.N.I. has a very beat-up linebacking corps following their loss to Iowa last Saturday.
Youngstown has one of the most high-powered offenses in the conference, with a lot of personnel back from last season. “They’ve got 10 returning starters on offense, they are very solid at what they are doing, they’ve had the same group of players the same coaches from what they’ve been doing, and they’ve added a few weapons,” Farley says.
One of Youngstown’s returners is quarterback Kurt Hess, who is in his 3rd year as the Penguins’ starter. Farley says Hess is very comfortable with the Youngstown offense.
“He stays in the pocket and he throws and he does a nice job running the offense, because every play is called from the sideline, because it’s a no huddle offense, not a hurry up,” Farley says.
U.N.I. is in the rare position of having a losing record going into their conference schedule, and Farley says that things certainly don’t get any easier at Youngstown. He says their backs are against the wall and that is something he knew coming into the season and they are going to have to find a way to win.
Youngstown is currently ranked #3 in the FCS division, while UNI is #8 in the latest poll.
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls