#9/9 UNI vs. Drake
Site: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Date: Sept. 7, 2013
Time: 4:00 p.m.
TV: KCRG 9.2, CFU 15, WOI 5.2, KCAU 9.2
Radio: 1540 KXEL
Live Stats: www.unipanthers.com
The Basics: The University of Northern Iowa football team will make their return to the UNI-Dome on Sat., Sept. 7 when they kick off their home opener against the Drake Bulldogs for Family Weekend. The game is set to kickoff at 4 p.m. The game will be aired on the Panther Sports Network (KCRG 9.2, CFU 15, WOI 5.2, KCAU 9.2).
The Series: Drake currently holds an edge over UNI in the all-time series between the two teams. The Bulldogs lead the series 25-20-1 with UNI winning the last three games. Starting in 1900, the series between Drake and UNI is one of the oldest running series in the history of Panther football. The Panthers and the Bulldogs have matched up against each other 46 times.
What to Watch For: According to the statistics from the first week of the FCS season, both UNI and Drake are ranked highly in passing offense. Both teams threw for over 200 yards in week one and gained more than 10 first downs through the air. UNI’s sophomore quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen finished the 2012 season with 2,460 yards and 21 touchdowns while Drake’s quarterback Andy Rice is just in his first season as a starter.
About the Panthers:
16 appearances in FCS Playoffs
7 trips to FCS semifinals
2005 FCS National Championship game appearance
6 Top-5 rankings since 2001
16 Missouri Valley Football Conference championships
6 seasons of 10+ wins since 2001
186-47-1 all-time in the UNI-Dome
69 wins over Top-25 opponents
Tied the MVFC record for most consecutive weeks ranked in the Top-25 at 99 during the 2012 season.
Finished the year in the Top-25 in 10 of the last 12 seasons.
Has had 31 first-team All-MVFC selections since 2007, the most in the league.
Follow the Panthers Online: UNI fans can get all their Panther news and notes on UNIPanthers.com. Fans can also follow UNI on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uniathletics, Twitter at @UNIAthletics and YouTube at www.youtube.com/uniathletics. The UNI Football program also has individual accounts on Facebook (UNI Football) and on Twitter (@UNIFootball/@CoachMarkFarley).
Weekly Press Conference: UNI will host a weekly press luncheon at Pepper’s in Cedar Falls on Mondays at noon. All of the in-season sports’ head coaches will address the media with a weekly recap/preview of their team and then will be open to questions. All media and fans are welcome to attend the weekly luncheon.
Radio: In 2013-14 News/Talk 1540 KXEL will begin its 14th year as the flagship radio station of the University of Northern Iowa Panther Sports Network. UNI Athletics and The Radio Group of Waterloo have a broadcast agreement that carries the Panthers on the “Blow Torch” through this season. The Panther Sports Network will carry all regular and post-season Panther football games and the weekly Mark Farley Show. Panther Sports Properties works to coordinate the Panther Sports Network, which includes 12 stations.
The last time against Drake: The Panthers and the Bulldogs last meeting took place in 2007 when UNI defeated Drake 45-7. The Panthers piled up 524 yards of total offense, including 345 yards rushing and held the Bulldogs to just 40 yards on the ground.
UNI against the Pioneer Football League: UNI is currently 21-26-1 all-time against the current 12 members of the Pioneer Football League. UNI has only matched up against three schools from the league which includes Drake, Dayton and Morehead State.
Week One Awards: David Johnson was named the MVFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against Iowa State. He also was honored nationally by the College Football Performance Awards by being named the National Running Back Performer of the Week. Johnson received a third honor by being named the College Sports Madness Missouri Valley Offensive Player of the Week. Senior Collin Albrecht was named to the honorable mention list for the College Football Performance Awards National Defensive Lineman Performer of the Week.
Starting Right: The Panthers defeated the Iowa State Cyclones 28-20 in Ames, Iowa on Aug. 31 to open the 2013 season. Prior to the win, the last time UNI opened the season with a road win came in 2006, when the Panthers defeated Drake. The last time UNI opened the season with a road win over an FBS opponent came in 1998, when the Panthers tallied a 13-10 win at Eastern Michigan.
Panther State: Head coach Mark Farley is now 3-12 against FBS opponents. Two out of the three wins over FBS opponents has come against Iowa State. The game against Iowa State on Aug. 31 marked the Panthers’ first win over an FBS opponent since 2007 when UNI beat Iowa State.
Consecutive Numbers: David Johnson has now score in 10 consecutive games after his four touchdowns against Iowa State. The streak dates back to Sept. 15, 2012 against Iowa. He has also scored a rushing touchdown in 10 consecutive games. He notched his ninth career 100+ rushing game against the Cyclones with his career-high 199-yard performance and his seventh consecutive 100+ rushing game.
Mr. 2,000: David Johnson broke the 2,000 career rushing yards mark against Iowa State, giving him a total of 2,042 yards.
Moving Up: David Johnson is now tied for eighth all-time at UNI in career rushing touchdowns with former quarterback Tirrell Rennie at 24. He is also now tied for sixth in career total touchdowns with 34 along with Eddie Berlin and Terrance Freeney.
Twice is Nice: David Johnson tied the UNI record for touchdowns in a game with his four against Iowa State. This marks the 11th time that a Panthers has scored four touchdowns and the second time in his career that Johnson has achieved that number. He also scored four touchdowns against Youngstown State on Sept. 22, 2012.
Big Game is his Name: David Johnson has proved that he is one of the most talented running backs in the FCS, but he has also proved in his years at UNI that he is one of the most talented in NCAA Division I. In the three games against FBS opponents that Johnson has appeared in, he has now racked up 638 all-purpose yards. (Wisconsin 2012: 19 rush, 107 rec., 2 TDs; Iowa 2012: 77 rush, 77 rec., 1 TD; Iowa State 2013: 199 rush, 41 rec., 4 TDs).
Back to the Field: Kevin Vereen Jr. set a career high for catches tonight with 7 receptions. He had four in just the first quarter, passing his total of three from last season before suffering his season ending injury.
Sacks in Numbers: The Panthers notched five sacks against the Iowa State Cyclones after finishing the 2012 season with only 11. Collin Albrecht came away with two against Iowa State while Xavier Williams, Jordan Gacke and Deiondre’ Hall all grabbed one. Hall’s sack was the first in his career.
UNI against the FBS: UNI has an all-time record of 21-66-5 vs. FBS opponents. Most of the success has come in the last 26 years, with a 10-23 mark against FBS teams since 1985. Farley is 3-12 against FBS opponents with wins over Ball State (42-39, Sept. 22, 2001) and Iowa State (24-13, Sept. 8, 2007; 28-20, Aug. 31, 2013).
Opening Day: UNI is 58-50-7 all-time in season openers and 15-9 in the last 22 years. UNI is 7-6 in season openers under head coach Mark Farley.
This is a Panther State: On the 2013 roster, the Panthers have 67 student-athletes from the state of Iowa compared with the 49 and 46 state of Iowa student-athletes on the University of Iowa and Iowa State’s football rosters. UNI will wear a decal on its helmets this year featuring the state of Iowa and a Panther logo.
Home Sweet Dome: UNI is 186-47-1 in the UNI-Dome. The Panthers have gone undefeated at home in a season eight times since 1990. The Panthers have posted four perfect seasons at home under head coach Mark Farley. The Panthers are 73-13 in home Missouri Valley Football Conference games.
New Faces, Same Dome: UNI fans will see some new faces this season as the Panthers welcome 35 newcomers. The Panthers have three new additions to the coaching staff with defensive line coach Bryce Paup, defensive backs coach Brandon Lynch and tight ends coach Ryan Mahaffey.
All in the Family: The Panther football team has two father-son duos on the squad with defensive line coach Bryce Paup’s son Alex Paup joining the team this fall. Alex transferred to UNI after playing at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Last season, head coach Mark Farley’s son Jake Farley transferred in from the University of Kansas and led the team in tackles in his first year in purple and old gold.
100-Win Club: Head coach Mark Farley earned his 100th career win during the 2012 season against Central State during the 2012 season. He now has an all-time record of 105-46 in his 12 years at the helm. Stan Sheriff holds the UNI record with 129 wins when he was the head coach from 1960-82.
Numbers Speak: UNI is 74-5 in the Mark Farley era (2001-present) when holding the opposition to 20 points or less. The Panthers are 68-4 in the Farley years when scoring 30 or more points in a game.
Starting with Experience: The Panthers will be returning seven offensive starters and six defensive starters to the team this season. UNI fans will get to see the dynamic duo of quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen and running back/all-purpose performer David Johnson on the gridiron this fall along with experience at the defensive line position with Chris Jepsen, Xavier Williams and Mac O’Brien all making their return.
Finish at the Top: Senior placekicker Tyler Sievertsen had another successful year during the 2012 season. He begins the 2013 season as the active leader in career field goal percentage in the FCS (84.9). He also notched a career long field goal last year against Iowa when he kicked a 49-yarder.
Stats, Stats, Stats: Compared to their opponents, UNI came out on top in almost every offensive statistical category during the 2012 season. The Panthers outscored their opponents 333-235, averaging 30.3 points per game. UNI finished with 1,637 rushing yards compared to its opponents 1,565. UNI also had 2,594 total passing yards at the end of the 2012 season, which accounted for 435 more than its opponents.
Tough Slate: The Panthers will meet four teams that are ranked in the preseason Top 25 polls. North Dakota State is ranked first in both the Sports Network and the FCS Coaches polls while South Dakota State lands at No. 6/7. Illinois State came in at No. 13/10 and Youngstown State was ranked No. 24 in the FCS Coaches poll. Missouri State, McNeese State and Southern Illinois are all receiving votes in both polls.
Finishing Strong: UNI finished the 2012 season in the Top 50 in the FCS in 10 statistical categories. On the offensive side of the ball the Panthers finished ranked No. 36 in passing offense (234.91), No. 32 in scoring offense (30.27), No. 27 in passing efficiency (140.68) and No. 2 at kickoff returns (26.29). On defense, UNI was ranked No. 26 in sacks allowed (1.45) and No. 27 in scoring defense (21.36). UNI also had several players finish in the Top 25 in individual statistical categories including Sawyer Kollmorgen being ranked No. 25 in pass efficiency (141.88) and David Johnson finishing tied for fifth in the FCS in scoring (9.82 ppg).
Block that Kick: Junior defensive lineman Xavier Williams set a new school record last season in blocked kicks in a season. The Grandview, Mo., native notched five blocked kicks last season to set the new record. The 311-pound lineman blocked kicks against Wisconsin, North Dakota State, Southern Illinois, South Dakota and Missouri State.
From the Training Room, to the Field: Several players that were injured during the 2012 season will make their return this season, including redshirt junior captain Zach Cutkomp. Cutkomp suffered a season-ending injury against Iowa last season, but was able to rack up 10 tackles, 1.5 TFL and a 16-yard interception return for a touchdown. Collin Albrecht will also see the field again after getting injured against Southern Illinois. Evan Williams, who missed the entire 2012 season will also see action in 2013 after having a successful spring game where he notched 57 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Pride at Practice: In the game of football, the wide receivers and defensive backs have always had a fierce competition and it is no different at UNI. The Panther WRs have named themselves “The Bomb Squad” while the DBs are called “DB Nation” as they battle for pride and yardage at every practice and scrimmage. Wide receivers coach Todd Blythe says that it adds intensity anytime the two groups go up against each other in practice and pushes his players to be an explosive group that can make big plays when called upon.
Freshman No More: Sawyer Kollmorgen became the fifth freshman to start at quarterback in UNI history in 2012. Kollmorgen ended up earning College Football Performance Awards co-National Freshman of the Year, MVFC Newcomer and Freshman of the Year and finished second in voting for the Jerry Rice Award. The sophomore will come back to the field this season with 11 games under his belt after finishing the 2012 season second in the conference in total offense, averaging 228.4 yards per game and finishing second in passing average per game with 222.7.
Freshmen on the Line: Sophomore Deiondre’ Hall was one of only two true freshmen to start a game last season. The Blue Springs, Mo. native started six games in 2012 racking up 29 tackles during his freshman campaign. Tim Kilfoy started one game as a true freshman last season, but saw action in all 11 games as a defensive back.
2012 Players of the Week: The Panthers were honored several times last season for individual performances throughout the year. UNI came away with individuals winning MVFC Player of the Week honors, including Sawyer Kollmorgen winning twice. Garrett Scott, David Johnson and Dan Kruger all picked up one honor during the season. Kollmorgen was also honored nationally by the Sports Network and the College Sports Journal by being named National Freshman of the Week after his performance against Wisconsin.
Under the Lights: During the 2012 season, the Panthers didn’t play a single game later than 6 p.m. The game against Iowa State is the latest start on the 2013 schedule. Since the 2009 season, the Panthers are currently 7-3 in games that start at 6 p.m. or later.
UNI vs. the Big 12: The Panthers have only faced off against two other Big 12 teams other than Iowa State. UNI played Kansas State three times from 1985-1989, winning each game. The Panthers also played Oklahoma State twice (1990 and 2002). UNI is 8-22 all-time against current Big 12 programs after their 28-20 win over Iowa State on Aug. 31.
Off the Field Accolades: UNI landed 29 student-athletes on the MVFC 2012-13 Honor Roll for their performances in the classroom during the 2012 season. Collin Albrecht, Kyle Bernard and John Hubbard all received the highest academic recognition by the MVFC by being named to the President’s Academic Award. Kirk Harris, Ryan Dixon, Casey DeHoedt, Max Busher, Jarod Syndergaard, Jack Rummells, Daniel Kruger, Tim Sauer, Albrecht, Bernard, Hubbard and Jacob Rathmacher all also received the Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award.
2013 Roster: The Panthers have 13 seniors, 25 juniors, 25 sophomores and 39 freshmen (18 true freshmen/21 redshirts) on the 2013 roster. UNI returns 23 players that started at least one game last season. Senior offensive lineman Dan Kruger leads the team with 27 career starts.