End Of 'Bear Week' Marks End Of UNI Seniors' Careers

By Jake Bemis, Reporter

Northern Iowa Panthers quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen (17) sits on the ground after being sacked by Iowa Hawkeyes defensive lineman Joe Gaglione (99) during the second half of their college football game Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Grant Burkhardt

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Sixteen seniors will take the field Saturday for the last time as members of the Northern Iowa football team.

The Panthers host former UNI coach Terry Allen and Missouri State in the final regular season game of the season. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.

UNI is 4-6 (3-4 Missouri Valley Football Conference) and with no playoff game awaiting, the seniors know this is it.

“This group has really responded to the fact that we play the game because we love the game,” Coach Mark Farley said. “We all try to win the game, but you play it because you love it. There’s just too much work to go with it just for Saturdays.”

The Panthers own a 27-5 record against MSU, including six straight wins and 12 of the last 13. UNI’s “Bear Week” used to be a week of preparing for their toughest game on the schedule, but due to MSU’s declining performance over the past decade, some say that the week has lost its excitement.

“I don’t think it’s lost its luster, I just don’t hang my hat on it,” Farley said. “We’re trying to treat everybody from South Dakota to North Dakota State as equals. Internally it’s still Bear Week because that’s how I grew up. That was a huge football game.”

UNI has given up just 10.5 points per game in the past two weeks, and it may be more of the same this weekend. MSU is averaging just 17.9 points per game this season, ninth in the conference.

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