With one of the MVFC’s top offenses, UNI focusing on execution, improvement in 2023

UNI’s offense has high expectations this season, led by one of the top returning quarterback’s in FCS football, Theo Day.
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 7:07 PM CDT
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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KCRG) - UNI’s offense has high expectations this season, led by one of the top returning quarterbacks in FCS football, Theo Day.

“Theo’s in a good spot right now coming from last year, but he’s gotta prove himself every day,” said UNI head coach Mark Farley. “He’s gonna be the target of every other locker room and we know that.”

Day threw for over 3,000 yards in 2022, ranking fifth in UNI single-season history.

His accolades range from ones he tries to ignore like Phil Steele preseason all conference, to ones he takes pride in, like team captain.

“It is a sense of pride, and I feel like it’s only made me work harder,” Day said.

Day and the UNI offense had great numbers, but the Panthers missed the playoffs thanks to an 0-3 start, plus a couple more one-possession losses.

“It’s something that hurt at the time, and you still kind of felt it a little bit after the season,” Day said. “But at this point, you’re so focused on the new season and what that can be that you just kind of forgot about that.”

“It’s a new start, you can’t hang your head on last season,” said redshirt senior Sam Schnee. “We’re gonna fix those problems, were already on that right now.”

The Panther defense gave up 25.73 points per game last year, still top 50 in FCS, but for UNI’s standard, a down year.

“I feel like it’s just finishing, that was our biggest thing last year,” said redshirt senior defensive lineman Khristian Boyd. “Especially on the defense, we just couldn’t finish. We couldn’t get off the field on third down situation.”

They’re confident they’ll turn it around, especially with Boyd leading one of the deepest defensive line units in the nation.

“I really do think we can be one of the top defensive lines in the FCS for sure, we’ve got too many guys that are committed hard-working that wanna be better.”

UNI takes on Iowa State in Ames on September 2nd.