UNI's Defense Still Standing, Even With Panthers Eliminated

By Jake Bemis, Reporter

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By Grant Burkhardt

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Although the playoffs are out of the picture for UNI football, the Panthers keep setting a higher standard, especially on defense.

UNI shut out Western Illinois Saturday – the team’s first shutout against an FCS opponent since 2009 and their second shutout of the year.

“There’s no question it’s an offensive game right now,” Coach Mark Farley said about college football. “The tempo of the game is different. I’ve always said most of the rules are geared towards scoring. It’s fan based, but it’s exciting.”

“I think that’s a huge accomplishment anymore to keep anybody out of the end zone. To shut out anybody that’s equal to you is very difficult to do. Odds are something is going to happen, whether it be a turnover or they make a play.”

Although the Panthers have won two of their last three games, outscoring their opponents 88-27, they were eliminated from playoff contention after losing five of their first six games.

“If you get in you want it to mean something. Even at twenty (teams) now, it’s getting to be a lot of teams,” Farley said about expanding the playoffs. “When I was playing, it was eight (teams). If you made it, it meant something. Part of being in the playoffs is that you play the whole season at a very high level and not just get hot at the end.”

The Panthers will try to win back-to-back games for the first time all season when they face South Dakota this weekend.

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