UNI football coach Mark Farley does not want to even talk about the Panthers’ playoff chances. Winners of four straight the Panthers close out the regular season at home against Missouri State on Saturday and with a victory should land an at-large berth in the FCS playoff field.
Farley says they’ve been “buried so much in the season” that they haven’t had time to think about the playoffs and they will continue to do that with the sole focus must be on Missouri State. “We can’t assume anything, on the punt team, on the offense, we can’t assume anything right now, we have to go earn it. And we’ll have to go earn this football game,” Farley says.
The turnaround this season began with a defense that has shut down the run game and intercepted 9 passes in the last 4 games. Farley says it starts with the defensive line which is getting a good pass rush and forcing the quarterback to throw early. Farley says the defense is playing with a lot of confidence. “They are in a good spot, they are playing very confident and they want to be on the field…they are just having fun right now,” according to Farley.
Missouri State is 4-7 and this will likely be former UNI coach Terry Allen’s final game as the Bears’ coach. Farley says their long time rivals would love to spoil UNI’s post season plans. Farley says he’s concerned just because it is Missouri State.
(Reporting by Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein)