A tough stretch to begin the Missouri Valley Football Conference race begins this weekend for the UNI Panthers when they visit fourth ranked Illinois State. The Panthers are 2-1 and ranked sixth in the latest FCS Coaches Poll.
UNI was idle last week and this will be the Panthers’ third meeting with the Redbirds in less than a year. UNI won the regular season game 42-28 in Cedar Falls before the Redbirds rolled to a 41-21 win in the FCS playoffs.
“Last time they had the open date before we played them and they did a number on us down there and beat us pretty good”, said Panther coach Mark Farley. “When we had them up here we had an opportunity and won that game. Now we both have an open date going into the third one.”
It starts a brutal stretch for the Panthers who follow Illinois State with games against North Dakota State, Western Illinois and South Dakota State and three of them are on the road.