UNI Earns No. 5 Seed for NCAA Division I Football Championship
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Friday 11/20/2011

The University of Northern Iowa football team will be the No. 5 seed for the NCAA Division I Football Championship and host Wofford in the second round on Dec. 3, the selection committee announced Sunday morning.

Game time on Dec. 3 in the UNI-Dome is 4 p.m. (CT)

The winner of the UNI-Wofford matchup will face the winner of Montana and either Tennessee Tech/Central Arkansas in the quarterfinals on Dec. 9 or Dec. 10.

Sam Houston State was named the No. 1 overall seed. North Dakota State, Georgia Southern and Montana came in at Nos. 2, 3 and 4, respectively.

With a 9-2 overall record and a 7-1 mark in Missouri Valley Football Conference play, UNI claimed a share of the MVFC title with North Dakota State. The Panthers are ranked No. 2 in The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25 poll released early Sunday morning.


Quotes from the UNI press conference on Sun., Nov. 20

Head coach Mark Farley:

"We're just excited to be in, and we got a bye week on top of it. Our players are excited and we're looking forward to it. We're going into our second season and we feel comfortable with our football team no matter where we play."

On the team's defensive performance against Illinois State and the upcoming challenge against Wofford:

"We gave up some yards yesterday, but we only gave up six points in the first half and (Illinois State) didn't get that first touchdown until the end of the game. I feel our team does what we need to do to win, and when their backs were against the wall yesterday, they came out and played."

On receiving a bye:

"To have a chance to win it all, I think getting the bye was critical. First and foremost, we've got to play Wofford, but if you're going to make a run in the playoffs, that bye is essential to get a fresh football team and a healthy football team."

On playing at home:

"I think for our program, for this team, for our fans, it's an awesome deal. We've got Thanksgiving weekend off and we're playing at home. I couldn't be more excited. Our team is excited."


Senior linebacker L.J. Fort:

On receiving a first-round bye:

"Extremely important. We had a lot of guys banged up, and this bye week is what I think we needed to recover mentally as well as physically."

On the chance to play for a national championship:

"We've won conference championships, and to be honest, we're tired of conference championships. We want more. We want the national championship and this is the year to do it. These seniors have three rings and now we want a national championship. I think our experience can get the job done this year."


Senior defensive lineman Ben Boothby:

On the matchup with Wofford:

"I'm happy with the matchup. I thought we'd be a higher seed, but the five seed is good. Wofford is a good team - they're averaging 33 points a game and have a great rushing offense. It's definitely going to be a challenge for us, but it's also an opportunity."

On the No.5 seed:

"We felt a little bit disrespected not getting a better seed, but the fact that we're the No. 5 seed definitely motivates us to push on and try to beat some teams that are seeded ahead of us."

On the chance to play for a national championship:

"At Northern Iowa - you can go look on the board - we're known for winning conference championships, but one thing we've never done is win a national championship. We have a great bond and a great team chemistry going this year."

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