When the UNI football team takes the field at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, it will mark the 15th straight season that the Panthers have faced a team from the FBS level. Over their last four such games, the Panthers have one victory and each of their losses have been by a single digit margin.
The Panthers say they are no longer fazed by playing against higher competition. “I always like playing those types of games with a redshirt senior group, redshirt junior group, because they’ve been through other battles similar to it. But first-time experience is impactful…hopefully the foundation can override the youth,” UNI head coach Mark Farley says.
Panther quarterback Brion Carnes transferred to UNI from Nebraska and says that size of the stadium shouldn’t impact how the team plays. He says it doesn’t matter what conference or division you are in, football is football. UNI defensive tackle Xavier Williams says the one thing the Panthers won’t be is intimidated. “The football field is the same no matter what,” Williams says.
Williams adds that the Panthers are used to playing the role of the underdog. “This is a violent game and you can’t play scared, no matter who you play against,” Williams says.
(Reporting by Jesse Gavin KCNZ Cedar Falls)