Competition remains at quarterback position as Panthers put an emphasis on improving offense

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 10:03 PM CDT
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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KCRG) - The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) football team made it to first round of the FCS Playoffs last season finishing with a 6-6 overall record. With fall camp around the corner, the Panthers are happy to have some consistency of where they are practicing heading into the season.

“We’d been practicing at the SportsPlex for the COVID year. We practiced at Waterloo West, a high school here, because of construction going on. For the past two seasons, we really haven’t practiced on a football field at our facility,” explained UNI football head coach Mark Farley.

Farley said he is happy to be starting the fall with a sense of normalcy. Especially as the Panthers, who were picked to finish fifth among the Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason poll, decide who will be starting at quarterback on September 3.

“We’ll come into fall the same way we left spring. We’ll take a good solid two weeks to install [everything] and make sure that everybody gets the knowledge they need to show the talent they have,” said Farley.

Junior Theo Day started in 10 of 11 games last season throwing for over 2,000 yards and recorded 16 touchdowns. He and redshirt sophomore Matt Morrissey took most of the reps at the Panthers open spring practice.

In addition to choosing who will lead the purple under center, Farley added new personnel as the Panthers put an emphasis on improving their offense.

“We’re probably recognized for our defense her over the years. Having a top ten defense year in and year out,” said Farley. “Your offense helps your defense no question a lot of times, but at the same time, if you can get ahead by a couple possessions, it makes you a whole better defensive coach of how you call a game,” he added.

With less than a month until their season opener, Farley hopes to put the right pieces together before his team hits the road to open up their season against Air Force.

“They are going to have to grind. There’s a lot to do and a short amount of time to do it,” said Farley. “Ultimately, you want to play with the spirit that you need to play the game with in order to be great at it.”

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