The UNI football team will look to build on their win over Iowa State last weekend as they host another in-state rival this Saturday. The Panthers take on Drake in their home opener Saturday afternoon. UNI coach Mark Farley says the Bulldogs have a lot of personnel back from a conference championship team.
“They are a good football team, they won their league. If they win their league, that league now has an automatic bid to the playoffs,” Farley said. He says they have a lot of returning starters from the team that won the league and says they are good football players and a confident team.
Farley says that Drake’s strength offensively is in the passing game, which they use to strengthen their rushing attack. He says their running game is their throwing game as they throw 3 to 4 yard gainers and try to pick up more yards after the catch.
Farley says that UNI has to put the win over Iowa State behind them and use the Drake game to improve, as he says they’ve enjoyed the win enough and have to grow and get better and improve on the things they did wrong last week so they don’t get exposed.
Drake opened the season with a loss to Grand View. Bulldog coach Chris Creighton says the Panthers were dominant in their victory at ISU. “That’s a pretty big win, they ran the ball so well, protected their quarterback so well and schematically were just picking apart Iowa State,” Creighton says.
Drake has played scholarship FCS programs in the past, including a 2007 victory over a nationally ranked Illinois State team. The Bulldogs will be out to poost their first win over a team from the Missouri Valley Football Conference with Creighton as coach.
“We haven’t done it, yet we’ve played good football teams in the past. And ultimately it’s just going to be if we play to our potential and play really, really hard, we’ll feel good about what we accomplished,” according to Creighton. He says if they don’t do that, it will be a frustrating day.
The Panthers and the Bulldogs kick off at 4:00 inside the UNI-Dome on Saturday.
(Reporting by Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls)