UNI Faces Tough Early Schedule

Sports

August 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The U-N-I football team has their work cut out for them in the first month of the season. Over the course of their first five games, the Panthers will play two teams from the Big Ten Conference, and two of the top contenders in their own league. Head coach, Mark Farley, says the schedule breaks new ground. “I never thought, even as a U-N-I grad, coach or player, I never thought U-N-I would play two F-B-S teams in the same season. It was never even on the horizon,” Farley explained.

He says the idea was always to play one and always try to play Iowa or Iowa State. “But there was never an expectation to play two, and then the two that we play on top of that you’re you’re playing Wisconsin and Iowa. Those two will bring a whole other dimension, attitude if you will towards camp, towards how you approach the game.” Farley believes the Badgers are a top five team nationally. Farley says that playing at Wisconsin will be a big deal for his players, but they still have to use the game to get better.He says it’s a great opportunity to step on the field as he says there will be a lot of value to the experience. “There’s a lot of value to playing well too. So we have to find a way to line that up and to use our people to find a way to win that football game,” Farley says.

After the opener at Wisconsin, the Panthers have their home opener against Division II Central State, then play at Iowa. They open Missouri Valley Football Conference action September 22 at Youngstown State before hosting defending F-C-S champs North Dakota State. Farley says that will be a tough stretch, but the Panthers aren’t conceding anything. Farley says they will line up and prepare the team the same way not matter who they are playing. “I’ve never put my foot on a field I didn’t think I could win. I’ll put some thought into this one, but we’ll try to find a way,” Farley says. The Panthers have won a share of each of the last two Missouri Valley Football Conference championships.