Defense steps up as UNI hangs to beat Idaho State

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KCRG) - It wasn't the prettiest game, but Northern Iowa improved its record to 2-1 after knocking off Idaho State at home, 13-6.

The Panthers trailed 6-3 at halftime. Their offense wasn't able to find a rhythm for most of the game, but Will McElvain gave UNI the lead on a 17-yard touchdown throw to Isaiah Weston.

It was the defense that won the game for the Panthers. The unit collected five sacks, three of them came from junior defensive end, Elerson Smith. The Panthers also picked off Idaho State quarterback Gunnar Amos three times.

Northern Iowa closes out non-conference play next week at Weber State.