#5/5 UNI vs. #9/9 McNeese State
Site: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Date: Sept. 28, 2013
Time: 4 p.m.
Radio: Panther Sports Radio Network (Flagship - 1540-AM KXEL)
Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=26238
Live Video Stream: http://www.unipanthers.com/liveEvents/liveEvents.dbml?SPID=90703&db_oem_id=26200
The Basics: The University of Northern Iowa football team make its return to the UNI-Dome on Saturday when they face off against the McNeese State Cowboys at 4 p.m. The game will be the first ranked opponent that UNI has faced this season.
Pink Weekend: The UNI department of athletics will think pink on Sat., Sept. 28, as the Panthers take to the court and the field. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to both the UNI football game vs. McNeese State at 4 p.m. and the UNI volleyball match vs. Missouri State at 7 p.m.
The Series: UNI holds a 7-4 lead over the Cowboys in the all-time series between the two teams. The two teams have faced off 10 times, with the last meeting coming in 1999. The series between the Cowboys and the Panthers started in 1986.
What to Watch For: McNeese State is the first ranked team that the Panthers will face off against this season. The Panthers haven’t started 4-0 since the 2007 season. The last time there was a top-10 battle in the UNI-Dome was in 2009 when No. 2 UNI faced off against No. 5 Southern Illinois.
About the Panthers:
16 appearances in FCS Playoffs
7 trips to FCS semifinals
2005 FCS National Championship game appearance
7 Top-5 rankings since 2001
16 Missouri Valley Football Conference championships
6 seasons of 10+ wins since 2001
187-47-1 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.
The Last Time Against McNeese State: The last time the Panthers and the Cowboys met was in 1999 when UNI defeated McNeese State 41-17. The last time McNeese State came to Cedar Falls, the game was moved to Memorial Stadium in Waterloo because the UNI-Dome was under repair in 1998, counting as the last time the Cowboys had a win in the series.
UNI against the Southland Conference: UNI has only faced off against four teams from the Southland Conference (McNeese State, Nicholls State, Stephen F. Austin, Northwestern State). The Panthers currently holds an all-time record of 14-7 against the conference.
On the Road Again: UNI has won four consecutive road games for the first time since the 2008 season. The Panthers won their last two road games of the 2012 season (Western Illinois and South Dakota) and have begun the 2013 season with road victories (Iowa State and Northern Colorado). UNI’s school record for consecutive road wins is six in a row set in the 2007 season (Iowa State, South Dakota State, Drake, Illinois State, Western Illinois, Missouri State).
Tackling Machine: Jake Farley has notched 10+ tackles in all three games this season. He finished with a season-high 13 tackles against Northern Colorado (9/21). It is also his fourth consecutive game with 10+ tackles, including his 10 tackles against Missouri State to close last season.
Week Four Awards: Senior Placekicker Tyler Sievertsen was named the MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against Northern Colorado. Junior linebacker Jake Farley was also named the College Sports Madness MVFC Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. Sievertsen (Placekicker), Logan Bieghler (Punter), David Johnson (All-Purpose), Farley (Linebacker) and Collin Albrecht (Defensive Line) were all honored as Performer of the Week honorable mention in their respective positions.
In the End Zone: Chad Owens scored his first touchdown of the season against Northern Colorado. He notched a seven-yard reception from Sawyer Kollmorgen in the first quarter to put UNI up 7-0.
Big Boot: Logan Bieghler set a new career high for his longest punt, punting a 66-yarder in the second quarter of the game.
Defensive Plays: Charles Brown notched his first career interception against Northern Colorado (9/21). He also grabbed the Panthers first interception of the season. Deiondre’ Hall also caught an interception against the Bears.
Accuracy at its Best: Tyler Sievertsen scored a career high four field goals (28, 25, 31, 27) against Northern Colorado. The last time someone kicked four field goals for UNI was in 2010 when Billy Hallgren scored four against South Dakota. Sievertsen has made 24-of-25 career field goals of 40 yards or less.
Active Leaders: Sawyer Kollmorgen ranks No. 2 in the nation among active FCS career leaders in passing efficiency. Kollmorgen has an efficiency rating of 146.83 and trails only Mason Mills (San Diego) at 147.95. David Johnson ranks No. 3 in the nation among active FCS career leaders in touchdowns scored with 36. Johnson also ranks No. 3 in the nation this year among FCS rushers at 154.3 yards per game. Collin Albrecht ranks No. 3 in nation this year among FCS quarterback sacks at 1.7 sacks per game. Jake Farley ranks No. 5 in the nation this season among FCS tacklers at 12.3 tackles per game.
Team Numbers: UNI ranks No. 3 in the nation in quarterback sacks with a 4.67 per game average. UNI’s defense also ranks as the third-best team in the nation in third-down conversion defense. UNI is allowing only 23.8 percent of third downs to be converted into first downs. The Panthers trail only Yale (18.2 percent) and Charleston Southern (22.4 percent in the national rankings.
UNI against the Big Sky Conference: UNI is 49-23-1 all-time against the current 13 members of the Big Sky Conference. The Panthers’ longest running series against Big Sky teams is against North Dakota who has faced off against UNI 38 times.
Week Two Awards: Junior linebacker Jake Farley was named the MVFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Drake (9/7). He was also named the College Sports Madness Missouri Valley Football Defensive Player of the Week.
Good Time for TDs: Jake Farley, Brion Carnes and Tyvis Smith all scored their first career touchdowns against Drake (9/7). Farley recovered a fumble and ran 20-yards into the end zone for his first score. Carnes rushed for a one-yard touchdown on his way to helping the Panthers to their 45-14 win. Smith scored the last touchdown of the game after breaking through the Drake defense for a 30-yard rushing TD.
He Has Dozens: Jake Farley’s lucky number appears to be 12. He notched 12 tackles in the season-opener against Iowa State (8/31) and repeated the number again against Drake (9/7). He also came away with his first career touchdown against the Bulldogs after recovering a fumble and returning it 20 yards into the end zone.
Multiples: UNI scored four or more touchdowns in the first two games of the season. The Panthers finished with four against Iowa State (8/31) and six against Drake (9/7).
Sack Attack: UNI has already passed their number of sacks from the 2012 season with the 14 they have accumulated this season. The Panthers notched six against Iowa State and six against Drake. UNI finished the 2012 season with 11 sacks.
Iowa Domination: UNI is 3-0 for the first time since the 2007 season. In 2007, the Panthers opened with wins over Minnesota State-Mankato, Iowa State and South Dakota State. The Panthers went 12-1 that season.
Hall of Excellence: On October 18, 2013, head coach Mark Farley will be inducted into UNI’s HPELS Hall of Excellence as part of the 2004-2013 inductees. During the “Walk of Excellence” President Ruud, Provost Gibson, Dean Watson, Dr. Corbett and Dr. Crawford will be congratulate Farley on his professional accomplishments.
UNI against the Pioneer League: UNI is currently 22-26-1 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 (8/31). 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.
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 scored in 12 consecutive games. The streak dates back to Sept. 15, 2012 against Iowa. He has also scored a rushing touchdown in 12 consecutive games. He notched his 11th career 100+ rushing game against Northern Colorado with his 121-yard performance and his ninth consecutive 100+ rushing game.
Mr. 2,000: David Johnson broke the 2,000 career rushing yards mark against Iowa State and now has a total of 2,310 yards. He is just 87 yards shy of cracking the top-10 all-time at UNI in career rushing yards.
Moving Up: David Johnson is now seventh all-time at UNI in career rushing touchdowns with 26. He is also tied for sixth in career total touchdowns with 36 with Adam Benge.
Twice is Nice: David Johnson tied the UNI record for touchdowns in a game with his four against Iowa State (8/31). This marks the 11th time that a Panther 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 against Iowa State 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 187-47-1 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 107-46 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 76-5 in the Mark Farley era (2001-present) when holding the opposition to 20 points or less. The Panthers are 69-4 in the Farley years when scoring 30 or more points in a game.
Starting with Experience: The Panthers returned 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.