University of Northern Iowa - Official Athletic Site
1 UNI to Take on #17 New Hampshire in NCAA FCS Playoffs
The Panthers bring in the nation's best scoring defense (13.18 points/game).
Junior Johnny Gray and the UNI Panthers will take on the New Hampshire Wildcats on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. in the UNI-Dome.
HEADLINES Tickets Still Available for UNI-New Hampshire NCAA Playoff Game
#1 UNI to Take on #17 New Hampshire in NCAA FCS Playoffs #1 UNI Draws New Hampshire in First Round of NCAA FCS Playoffs
#1 University of Northern Iowa (11-0, 6-0 Gateway)
vs. #17/#15 University of New Hampshire (7-4, 4-4 CAA)
Game #12 • Sat., Nov. 24, 2007 • 6:35 p.m. (Central)
Cedar Falls, Iowa • UNI-Dome (16,324)
The No. 1-ranked University of Northern Iowa football team will play host to the No. 17-ranked University of New Hampshire Wildcats in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs Saturday at 6:35 p.m. in the UNI-Dome. UNI will be making its 13th playoff appearance, while New Hampshire is making its sixth appearance. The winner of Saturday's game will play the winner of the Delaware-Delaware State game on Dec. 1.
The teams met previously in the 2005 FCS playoffs with UNI coming away with a 24-21 victory in Durham, N.H.
UNI head coach Mark Farley is in his seventh season at the helm of the Panther sideline. Farley has posted a mark of 62-24 overall, which includes four trips to the NCAA FCS playoffs and four Gateway Football Conference championships. Sean McDonnell is in his ninth season at the helm of the New Hampshire football program. McDonnell has a mark of 60-45 at UNH.
The game will be broadcast on the UNI Sports Network. Gary Rima (play-by-play) and Scott Peterson (color) will have the call. The flagship station will again be KXEL-AM (1540 - Waterloo/Cedar Falls) and will be joined by KLMJ-FM (104.9 - Hampton), KGLO-AM (1300 - Mason City), KQWC-AM (1570 - Webster City), KWKY-AM (1150 Des Moines) and KQMG-FM (95.3 - Independence).
The game will be broadcast live on Cedar Falls Utilities (Ch. 17) and Mediacom (Connections Channel - Ch. 22). Mark Simpson (play-by-play), Jeremiah Longnecker (analyst) and Jeff Mickey (sideline) will have the call for CFU. Larry Morgan (play-by-play), Brad Clement (analyst) and Rob Brooks (sideline) will have the call for Mediacom.
NOTE: There will not be a live video stream for the UNI-New Hampshire game.
FIRST-EVER NO. 1 SEED FOR THE PANTHERS
The UNI Panthers earned the program's first-ever No. 1 seed in the FCS playoffs. UNI's best previous seed was the No. 3 seed in the 1996 playoffs.
13TH PLAYOFF APPEARANCE
UNI will be making its 13th apperance in the FCS (formerly I-AA) playoffs. UNI has tallied a mark of 15-12 all-time in the FCS playoffs.
The Panthers have posted a record of 11-2 in the UNI-Dome in postseason play. UNI has won its last five home playoff games.
UNI has won five straight opening-round games in the FCS playoffs. UNI won first-round games in 1995, 1996, 2001, 2003 and 2005.
The Panthers are 9-3 all-time in the first round of the playoffs.
UNI's First-Round History
1985 Eastern Washington W, 17-14
1987 Youngstown State W, 31-28
1990 at Boise State L, 20-3
1991 Weber State W, 38-21
1992 Eastern Washington W, 17-14
1993 at Boston L, 27-21 (ot)
1994 at Montana L, 23-20
1995 at Murray State W, 35-34
1996 Eastern Illinois W, 21-14
2001 at Eastern Illinois W, 49-43
2003 Montana State W, 35-14
2005 Eastern Washington W, 41-38
FARLEY'S PLAYOFF SUCCESS
UNI head coach Mark Farley has enjoyed plenty of success in the FCS playoffs. Farley's squads have posted a mark of 6-3 in nine playoff games.
Farley is a perfect 3-0 in first round games with wins over Eastern Illinois, Montana State and Eastern Washington.
PAYTON AWARD SHOWDOWN
Two of the front-runners for the 2007 Walter Payton Award will be on display when UNI and New Hampshire hook up on Saturday.
UNI will be led by senior quarterback Eric Sanders, while New Hampshire will be led by its senior quarterback Ricky Santos.
Santos is the reigning Payton Award winner after taking home the prize last season.
PERFECT REGULAR SEASON
UNI completed the first-ever perfect regular season in the 23-year history of the Gateway Football Conference with a record of 11-0.
UNI's 6-0 mark in Gateway play marked the ninth time in league history a team went undefeated against conference competition. It was the fifth time UNI has completed Gateway play with an unblemished record.
13 GATEWAY TITLES
In 23 years of league play, UNI has now captured at least a share of the Gateway Football Conference title in 13 of those seasons with nine of those being outright championships.
FIVE PICKS AGAINST T-BIRDS
UNI intercepted a season-high five passes in the 48-10 win over Southern Utah.
Junior Adam Roberts intercepted two passes, while three Panthers earned their first career picks. Sean McMoore, Ben Schmidt and Nick Nelson each tallied their first career interceptions in the win over SUU.
UNI has intercepted 21 passes this season - only six away from the school record of 27 set in 1975.
UNI LEADS THE NATION IN SCORING DEFENSE
The UNI defense has not only been stopping the run and forcing turnovers, but the unit has also been stingy when it comes to giving up points.
UNI ranks first in the nation in scoring defense (13.18 points/game).UNI opponents have scored 145 points through 11 games this season.
ROBERTS NAMED GATEWAY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF WEEK
University of Northern Iowa junior defensive back Adam Roberts (Oklahoma City, Okla./Southeast HS/NE Oklahoma CC) was named the Gateway Football Conference's Defensive Player of the Week for his play against Southern Utah.
Roberts intercepted two passes and tallied a pair of tackles in helping UNI to a 48-10 win over Southern Utah. Roberts caught a deflected Cody Stone pass in the second quarter for his first interception that allowed UNI to set up a short field at the 43-yard line.
Roberts' second pick came at the UNI five-yard line to thwart a third-quarter drive by Southern Utah. Roberts missed four games with a stress fracture in his foot, but returned to the Panther lineup last week against Indiana State.
UNI now holds the nation's longest win streak at 12 in a row.
UNI won its final game of 2006, a 38-27 win over Illinois State, and has added 11 in a row to begin the 2007 season.
The Panthers last loss came on Nov. 11, 2006, when the Salukis scored a 47-23 win in Carbondale, Ill.
12 STRAIGHT FOR UNI
UNI's 12-game win streak is tied for the longest in school history.
The Panthers' of 1908-1910 ran off a 12-game win streak over three seasons.
The Panthers of 1991 and 1992 possess the school's longest regular season win streak at 16 in a row. UNI won its final eight regular season games in 1991, before running off eight more to begin the 1992 season.
UNI REMAINS #1 IN NATION
The University of Northern Iowa football team retained its No. 1 national ranking in The Sports Network's Top 25 poll.
The Panthers gained 27 first-place votes and now have 97 (of a possible 113) first-place tallies.
The Panthers moved into the top spot in The Sports Network's FCS Top 25 poll on Oct. 15. It marked the first time the Panthers have been perched in the No. 1 spot in the nation since the Sports Network's poll on Nov. 5, 1992.
UNI was the No. 1-ranked team in the nation from Oct. 5, 1992 until Nov. 2, 1992. That was the only previous time UNI has been ranked No. 1 in the nation on the gridiron.
PANTHERS TAKE OVER TOP SPOT IN COACHES POLL
UNI is now the consensus No. 1-ranked team in the nation after taking over the top spot in the FCS Coaches poll.
UNI tallied 17 first-place votes, while Montana moved up to No. 2 and has seven first-place votes.
UNI EARNS VOTE IN AP POLL
Not only is UNI the No. 1-ranked team in FCS football, the Panthers tallied a vote in the Associated Press FBS Top 25 poll.
The Panthers received one point from the media panel, a 25th-place vote from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle.
FARLEY IN THE GATEWAY
Head coach Mark Farley improved his league mark to 35-13 with a 68-14 win over Indiana State, included in that stretch is record of 27-7 over the past five seasons.
Farley's 35 league wins ranks him third on the Gateway all-time coaches' win list trailing only Randy Ball (51 in 16 years) and Terry Allen (43 in 10 years).
Through 11 games, the Panthers lead the Gateway Football Conference in five team categories and three individuals lead their respective areas.
As a team the Panthers lead the league in rush defense (89.82 yards/game), scoring defense (13.18 points/game), total defense (290.27 yards/game), punt returns (15.95 yards/return), turnover margin (+1.73/game) and pass efficiency offense (174.61 rating).
Johnny Gray leads the league in receptions (4.73/game), receiving yards (66.91/game) and punt returns (17.71 yards/return).
Brannon Carter leads the conference in interceptions (0.45/game).
Corey Lewis is the league leader in all-purpose yards (156.36/game).
LEWIS AMONG TOP 10 RUSHERS IN UNI HISTORY
Junior running back Corey Lewis moved into the top-10 all-time rushing list at UNI in the Panthers' 38-17 victory at Missouri State (11/3).
Lewis has rushed for 2,319 yards in 35 career games. Lewis has also scored 23 rushing touchdowns in his UNI career.
Jeff Stovall is the Panthers' all-time leading rusher with 3,835 yards on 873 carries. Stovall starred for the Panthers from 1993-1996.
LEWIS CLOSING IN ON SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING MARK
Corey Lewis is zeroing in on the Panthers' single-season rushing record with at least one game remaining on the Panthers' schedule.
Lewis, who became the 18th 1,000-yard rusher in school history, has rushed for 1,143 yards this season to rank as the sixth-highest single-season total in UNI's history.
Adam Benge set the Panthers' single-season rushing record with 1,383 yards in 2001.
LEWIS ALSO FINDS THE ZONE
Corey Lewis has also been efficient when it comes to scoring rushing touchdowns.
The St. Paul, Neb., native has scored 23 career touchdowns. His 23 scores ranks sixth on the Panthers' all-time rushing touchdown list. Errol Peebles ranks fifth on the list with 25 rushing touchdowns.
Jeff Stovall holds the Panthers' rushing touchdown mark with 46 career scores on the ground.
AIR, GROUND SERVICE
Corey Lewis has been delivering on the ground and through the air this season by leading the team in rushing and ranking second in receiving.
Lewis has rushed for 1,143 yards (103.9/game) and 11 touchdowns. Lewis has caught 45 passes for 554 yards.
The St. Paul, Neb., native leads the Panthers with 1,720 all-purpose yards (156.4/game).
Lewis put together one of the finest all-purpose games in UNI history against South Dakota State (9/15) as he rushed for more than 100 yards and tallied 100-plus receiving yards.
As a result of his play against the Jackrabbits, Lewis was rewarded withthe Gateway Football Conference's Offensive Player of the Week honors.
He caught 10 passes for 164 yards, rushed 18 times for 125 yards and scored three touchdowns in leading UNI to a 31-17 victory at South Dakota State. Lewis tallied career-bests in receptions, receiving yards, all-purpose yards (289) and touchdowns.
Junior running back Corey Lewis has reached the 100-plus rushing mark 12 times in his Panther career.
Lewis trumped the 100-yard mark in UNI's 24-13 win over Iowa State with 130 yards on only 19 carries.
He eclipsed the 100-yard rushing plateau in UNI's 31-17 win over SDSU. Lewis rushed for 125 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns in the victory over the Jackrabbits.
Lewis went over the 100-yard mark against Drake with 108 yards on 20 carries.
Lewis ran his season-streak of 100-plus rushing efforts to four in a row after tallying 123 yards on 19 carries in a 23-13 win at Illinois State (9/29).
Lewis got back into the 100-yard swing with 166 yards in helping UNI to a 42-3 win at Western Illinois (10/20).
Lewis ran for a season-high 167 yards on 23 carries and scored on a 14-yard touchdown run in a 38-17 win at Missouri State (11/3).
Lewis rushed for 100-plus on five occasions in 2006 and once in 2005.
The St. Paul, Neb., native averaged 6.7 yards per carry and 99.3 yards per game in 2006.
PANTHERS VS. RANKED OPPONENTS (since 1985)
UNI has won four straight games against ranked opponents this season after dismissing No. 16 Illinois State, No. 7 Southern Illinois, No. 17 Western Illinois and No. 20 Youngstown State.
The Panthers are 57-33 against top 25 opponents since joining the Gateway Football Conference in 1985.
SANDERS SET TO CHALLENGE UNI PASSING STANDARDS
Senior quarterback Eric Sanders has passed for 8,407 yards and 68 touchdowns in 44 career games.
Sanders needs 682 more passing yards to catch all-time leader Ryan Helming (1997-2000). Sanders also trails Helming's touchdown total by nine.
Sanders ranks second on the Panthers' all-time completions list (661). He is in third place on the all-time passing yards list with 8,407 and is in fourth place on all-time passing attempts list with 952.
Sanders ranks first among active FCS players on the all-time completion percentage chart (69.43 percent).
He ranks No. 3 on the active leaders amongst FCS quarterbacks in passing efficiency (162.56 rating), passing touchdowns (68), total offense-touchdowns responsible for (81) and passing yards (8,407).
EVANS TAKES IT TO THE HOUSE
Senior linebacker Araf Evans return from a devastating upper arm/elbow injury is nothing short of spectacular.
Evans was lost for the season last year in week six when he suffered a broken upper left arm against Indiana State (10/14/06).
Evans rehab efforts continued through the spring and he even took part in spring drills for the Panthers.
Evans return to the field came on Aug. 30 in UNI's 41-14 win over Minnesota State. Evans tallied four tackles (two solos) in the victory.
The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native recorded his first collegiate touchdown against Drake. Evans pulled off a defensive trifecta in the Panthers' 45-7 win over Drake.
At the 1:34 mark of the first quarter, Evans wrapped up Drake wide receiver Travis Hardgraves, stripped the football and then returned it 35 yards for a touchdown to put the Panthers on top, 14-0. Evans finished the game with four total tackles, including three solo stops.
Evans made his comeback complete against Indiana State (11/10) as he intercepted a pass against the Sycamores to set up a Panther touchdown.
Evans ranks fourth on the team with 53 tackles through 11 games.
Linebacker De'Veon Harris, a junior college transfer from North Iowa Area CC, has made quite an impact for the Panthers this season.
Harris began the season as a backup at the middle linebacker slot but was inserted into the starting lineup against Iowa State and has now slowed down since.
Harris' balanced defensive effort comes in the form of 73 tackles, 6.5 tackles-for-loss, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and an interception.
KICKING WITH CONFIDENCE
Redshirt freshman placekicker Billy Hallgren is making clutch kick after clutch kick in helping the Panthers to a 11-0 start.
Hallgren, 37-of-37 on extra points and 14-of-20 on field goals for the season, has made 12 of his last 14 field goal attempts.
Included in that stretch of 12 made field goals was a career-best 53-yarder in UNI's 30-24 win over Southern Illinois (10/13).
The Coal Valley, Ill., native leads the Panthers in scoring with 79 points.
CARTER MAKES CLAIM FOR GATEWAY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONORS
Senior linebacker Brannon Carter is making a strong case for the Gateway's Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Carter intercepted his fifth pass of the season, recovered a fumble and registered eight total tackles in helping UNI to a 38-17 win at Missouri State. Carter and the Panthers limited the Bears to zero yards in the third quarter and only 11 total yards in the entire second half.
Carter leads the league in interceptions this season with five. Carter has tallied 72 total tackles (28 solos), five pass breakups and 3.0 tackles-for-loss.
MATCHING HIS COACH
Linebacker Brannon Carter's five interceptions ties him with his head coach Mark Farley, who also secured five picks in 1984, for the most interceptions by a UNI linebacker in the past 25 years.
THREE BACKS REACH 100-PLUS RUSHING PLATEAU
UNI running backs Darian Williams, Derrick Law and Taylor Brookins all topped the 100-yard rushing mark against Indiana State.
Williams rushed for a game-high 115 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries. Law and Brookins each rushed 17 times with Law totaling 105 yards and a touchdown, while Brookings netted 101 yards.
It is the first time in school history that UNI had three players reach the 100-plus rushing mark in the same game.
Junior wide receiver/returner Johnny Gray (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach HS) electrified the UNI-Dome crowd with a spectacular 67-yard punt return for a touchdown in UNI's 68-14 win over Indiana State.
Gray returned two punts for 97 yards, caught two passes for 42 yards and a touchdown, while accumulating 139 all-purpose yards against the Sycamores.
The 67-yard return for a score was the second punt return touchdown of Gray's career. He returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown against Western Kentucky in 2005.
MONTARI MAKES PLAYS
True freshman wide receiver Montari Leonard (DeLand, Fla./Mainland HS) recorded his first two collegiate touchdown receptions and went over the 100-yard receiving mark with three catches for 102 yards in leading UNI to a 68-14 victory over Indiana State.
Leonard latched on to a 35-yard scoring strike from Eric Sanders in the second quarter, and then tallied a 53-yarder in the third quarter from Pat Grace.
Leonard came into the game having caught one pass for three yards this season.
UNI SETS GATEWAY SCORING MARK
The Panthers set their own Gateway scoring record with 68 points against Indiana State. UNI's previous high-point total in the league came in a 58-6 win over the Sycamores in 2004. Southern Illinois set the Gateway scoring record this season with 72 points against Indiana State.
LARGEST MARGIN FOR UNI IN A LEAGUE GAME
The Panthers also topped its previous margin of victory record in a Gateway game with the 54-point win over the Sycamores. UNI' 58-6 win over Indiana State in 2004 was the previous best.
THE ROAD STANDARD
UNI became the first-ever Gateway Football Conference school to win all six of its regular season road contests in a single season.
Only 12 teams in league history have won five road games in a season.
No previous Gateway team has claimed six road victories in a season, although both Western Kentucky (2002) and Youngstown State (1997) won six away from home in a season as each won the national title in those respective seasons.
Team Road Home Total
WIU (1988)* 5-1 5-1 10-2
UNI (1991)* 5-2 6-0 11-2
WIU (1996)* 5-2 4-1 9-3
WIU (1997)* 5-1 6-1 11-2
YSU (1997)* 5-1 7-1 13-2^
Ill. St. (1999)* 5-3 6-0 11-3
UNI (2001)* 5-3 6-0 11-3
WIU (2002)* 5-1 6-1 11-2
WKU (2002)* 5-2 6-1 12-3^
WIU (2003)* 5-2 4-2 9-4
Ill. St. (2006)* 5-3 4-1 9-4
UNI (2007) 6-0 5-0 11-0
*earned FCS playoff berth;
^neutral site win (national championship)
THE SCHUYLAR'S THE LIMIT
Redshirt freshman tight end Schuylar Oordt recorded his first collegiate touchdown reception of the season in UNI's 38-17 win at Missouri State.
Oordt also made one of the season's most important catches and helped propel the Panthers to a 14-13 win over No. 20-ranked Youngstown State (10/27).
Facing a 3rd-and-10 with just over five minutes remaining, Oordt got past the YSU defense and made a 34-yard catch to set up the Panthers' go-ahead touchdown.
Oordt had an impressive collegiate debut against the Minnesota State Mavericks. Oordt caught five passes for 63 yards, including a long of 22 yards.
Oordt is comfortable playing games in the UNI-Dome as he played prep football for Cedar Falls High School, which also plays its home games in the UNI-Dome.
In 2007, Oordt has caught 10 passes for 170 yards and touchdown.
For the first time in school history, UNI played and won four consecutive road games.
UNI opened the season at home Aug. 30 against Minnesota State with a 41-14 win.
The Panthers then won road games at Iowa State (24-13), at South Dakota State (31-17), at Drake (45-7) and at Illinois State (23-13).
To prepare for the September road test, UNI head coach Mark Farley had the players dress in their white jerseys for the team's annual media day on Aug. 3.
BIG CROWDS FOLLOW THE PANTHERS
UNI has drawn at least 10,000 fans in each of its first 11 games this season. UNI drew 15,056 in its home opener against Minnesota State, Mankato.
But the Panthers have also been drawing well on the road. In all four road games during the month of September there was at least 10,216 fans in attendance for each game.
The biggest draw came during the Iowa State contest, which set Jack Trice Stadium record with 56,795.
UNI - 2007 MYTHICAL STATE CHAMPIONS
The UNI Panthers can lay claim to the 2007 `mythical' state championship after scoring in-state wins over Iowa State (24-13) and Drake (45-7).
Iowa State tallied a 15-13 win over Iowa only one week after the Panthers had beaten the same Cyclone team on the same field in Ames, Iowa.
GATEWAY SLAYS THE GIANTS
UNI's 24-13 win over Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, and SIU's 34-31 win over Northern Illinois in DeKalb, Ill., marked only the second time in league history (Sept. 22, 2001) that the Gateway had recorded two FBS wins on the same date.
The Gateway has a total of 27 victories against FBS schools since 1985, including at least one every year from 1996 through 2003, and three in the past two seasons. Southern Illinois (at Indiana in 2006, and at Northern Illinois in 2007) became the first Gateway school since Western Illinois (2002 and 2003) to win against an FBS opponent in back-to-back years.
9TH WIN OVER FCS OPPONENT
In scoring its first win over Iowa State since 1994, UNI improved its record against teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) to 9-15 since 1985.
The Panthers boosted their overall record against non-conference opponents since 1985 to 100-45 and extended their streak of consecutive seasons with at least two non-conference wins to 23.
UNI is the only original member of the Gateway Conference to claim at least two non-conference wins in each season since the league began play in 1985.
A BIG DRAW
For the second consecutive year, the Panthers and Cyclones played in front of a record crowd at Jack Trice Stadium.
The throng of 56,795 fans eclipsed Iowa State's previous attendance mark of 55,518 -- set in the Sept. 30, 2006, UNI-ISU clash.
It is the fourth-largest crowd ever to see a UNI football game, with the Panthers' all-time record coming at Iowa on Sept. 17, 2005 - a crowd 70,585 at Kinnick Stadium.
SANDERS NARROWLY MISSES NATIONAL RECORD
Senior quarterback Eric Sanders completed 19-straight passes in UNI's 31-17 victory at South Dakota State. It is one completion shy of the league and FCS record for consecutive completions.
Austin Moherman (Missouri State) set the record with 20-straight completions against Indiana State in 2000.
8,000 PASSING YARDS
Senior quarterback Eric Sanders became the fourth Panthers' signal caller to eclipse the 8,000-yard passing mark in the win over Missouri State.
The only other three UNI quarterbacks to pass for more than 8,000 yards includes Ryan Helming (9,089), Mike Smith (9,067), Sanders (8,407) and Jay Johnson (8,341).
RINEHART EARNS ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONOR
University of Northern Iowa senior offensive tackle Chad Rinehart has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Football University Division District VII first team, selected by CoSIDA and announced by coordinating officials.
For being selected to the first-team, Rinehart's name will now appear on the ballot for consideration for the honor of Academic All-American.
It is the first time Rinehart (Boone, Iowa/Boone HS) has been honored as an academic all-district selection. He was a second-team academic all-Gateway honoree in 2006. Rinehart has been on the Dean's List each of the past three semesters and five times overall.
Rinehart, who has a 3.27 GPA in physical education - sports psychology, has started all nine games for the Panthers this season. Rinehart was named a preseason All-American by Sports Network, Lindy's College Football Preview, Street & Smith's College Football Preview and College Sporting News. He was ranked as the No. 1 offensive tackle in the nation by The Sports Network in its preseason breakdown. Rinehart was named to the 2007 preseason all-Gateway team. He was a second-team All-America pick in 2006 by The Sports Network.
As a member of the Panthers' offensive line, he was a part of the unit that was named the Gateway Football Conference's Offensive Player of the Week vs. Western Illinois (10/20).
District VII includes schools in the states of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Selections are open to student-athletes who have reached sophomore academic standing and carry at least a 3.20 G.P.A. The University division includes all Division I schools.
The academic all-district team honors student-athletes who excel both on the playing field and in the classroom. The awards are sponsored by and voted on by the members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
FARLEY NAMED FINALIST FOR EDDIE ROBINSON AWARD
University of Northern Iowa head coach Mark Farley is among the 16 coaches announced by The Sports Network as a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award.
The Robinson Award, named for the legendary former Grambling coach, has been given annually by The Sports Network to the FCS national coach of the year since 1987.
Farley has guided Northern Iowa to its first No. 1 ranking since 1992. The current 12-game winning streak for UNI, the champion of the Gateway Conference, is the longest in the nation.
A one-time walk-on from the small Iowa town of Waukon who worked his way to an All-American at Northern Iowa as an inside linebacker, Farley has spent 23 of his 27-year coaching career with the Panthers, including the past seven as the head coach. Just two years removed from taking UNI to the national title game, Farley has coached the Panthers to a perfect record in 2007.
Farley is 62-24 as a head coach and has taken UNI to the playoffs four times in seven seasons. The Panthers have shared or won the Gateway title four times during his tenure as head coach.
This year's winner will be announced on Thursday night, December 13 at the Sports Network's annual awards banquet to be held at the Marriott Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
SANDERS AMONG CANDIDATES FOR WALTER PAYTON AWARD
Senior quarterback Eric Sanders is one of the final 16 candidates For the Walter Payton Award, as announced by The Sports Network.
Over 100 voters, representing sports writers, broadcasters, sports information directors and other college football experts will decide on the Payton, Buchanan and Eddie Robinson awards.
Elon wide receiver Terrell Hudgins and Holy Cross quarterback Dominic Randolph have been added to the Walter Payton Award watch list, as the Sports Network announced its final revisions on Monday.
Hudgins and Randolph will join 14 other players on the ballot for the 21st annual Payton Award. Ballots will be sent to voters this Sunday, and voting will conclude before the start of the FCS playoffs on Nov. 23.
Eight players were added to the list last month: Cal Poly wide receiver Ramses Barden, Georgia Southern quarterback Jayson Foster, Richmond running back Tim Hightower, Southern Illinois quarterback Nick Hill, Hofstra running back Kareem Huggins, Citadel quarterback Duran Lawson, North Dakota State running back Tyler Roehl and Colgate running back Jordan Scott.
Those players joined eight other candidates on the revised list. The other Payton candidates include quarterback Liam Coen of Massachusetts, running back Omar Cuff of Delaware, running back Herb Donaldson of Western Illinois, quarterback Josh Johnson of San Diego, running back Mike McLeod of Yale, running back Kevin Richardson of Appalachian State, quarterback Eric Sanders of Northern Iowa and quarterback Ricky Santos of New Hampshire.
The winner of the 21st Walter Payton Award will be announced at the annual Sports Network awards banquet on Dec. 13 in Chattanooga, TN, at the Marriott Hotel. The Buck Buchanan Award, the Eddie Robinson Award and the Sports Network Cup will also be awarded.
The Buchanan Award goes to the top defensive player annually in FCS, while the Robinson Award is given to the top coach in FCS. The Sports Network Cup is awarded to the No. 1 Mid-Major team in FCS.
Earlier this season, the squad voted all 16 Panther seniors to serve as captains for the 2007 season.
This year's senior class includes: WR Terrell Allen (Wellford, S.C.), CB Nick Alvarez (Pompano Beach, Fla.), OL Barret Anderson (Rochester, Minn.), LB Brannon Carter (St. Charles, Mo.), LB Araf Evans (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), OL Adam Falk (Lodi, Wis.), FB Josh Firstley (New Orleans, La.), OL Eric Hoffman (St. Cloud, Minn.), OL Brandon Keith (McAlester, Okla.), DL Jordan Lacy (Jefferson City, Mo.), WR Whitney Lewis (Oxnard, Calif.), DL Jeff McGaster (Seaside, Calif.), OL Chad Rinehart (Boone, Iowa), QB Eric Sanders (Oelwein, Iowa), DB Clifford Waters (Kirkwood, Mo.) and RB Darian Williams (East Moline, Ill.).
UNI put its first football team on the field in 1895. The Panthers' all-time record is 583-367-47 in 997 games.
HOME SWEET DOME
UNI is 159-40-1 (.798) in the UNI-Dome. The Panthers have gone undefeated at home in a season seven times since 1990. Prior to 1998, the Panthers had two consecutive undefeated seasons in the Dome. The Panthers have posted three perfect home seasons under head coach Mark Farley, including 2001 (6-0), 2003 (6-0) and 2005 (7-0).
Prior to a September 24, 1994, loss to McNeese State, UNI had won 29 straight regular-season games in the Dome dating back to the 1989 season when it lost 22-14 to Mankato State in the first game of the year.
The Panthers are 59-12 in home Gateway games, leading the league in home conference victories. UNI defeated Southern Illinois, Youngstown State and Indiana State at home this season.
LAST TIME AROUND ... UNI 24, NEW HAMPSHIRE 21 (12/3/05) DURHAM, N.H. -
The University of Northern Iowa hung on for a thrilling, 24-21, victory over No. 1-ranked New Hampshire on Saturday in the NCAA I-AA quarterfinals.
"This was probably the biggest win in the history of UNI football, because it came in the quarterfinals of the NCAA playoffs and we had to do it on the road," UNI head coach Mark Farley said. "What makes it even more special was that (New Hampshire) was an elite football team. I give credit to both football teams. It was a matter of inches whether it would be UNH or UNI."
The Panthers jumped out to a commanding 21-0 lead only 23 minutes into the game, but needed a fourth quarter field goal from junior Brian Wingert to earn the win.
Senior running back David Horne rushed for career-high 144 yards on 28 carries. Horne also scored the first two touchdowns of the game, including a 40-yard run on the opening series of the contest. Horne then caught a 32-yard middle screen from sophomore quarterback Eric Sanders to give the Panthers a 14-0 lead with 9:36 to go in the second quarter.
Senior running back Terrance Freeney finished off the first half scoring for the Panthers on a 1-yard run with 7:03 left in the second quarter. The Panther touchdown was set up by a blocked punt by sophomore free safety Chris Parons.
New Hampshire's powerful offense seemed to come alive down 21-0. Led by Walter Payton Award finalist sophomore quarterback Ricky Santos, the Wildcats cut into the Panthers' lead with two touchdown passes in the final two minutes of the half.
Santos hooked up with junior wide receiver David Ball for an 8-yard score with 1:49 left in the second quarter. The tandem then hooked up again for a 29-yard score.with only 40 seconds left in the half.
New Hampshire was able to knot the game at 21-21 with 1:39 to go on Santos' third touchdown pass of the game to Ball. The scoring play was a 29-yard strike and it came on a nine-play, 83-yard drive.
But the Panthers responded with a dominating defensive effort in the fourth quarter and an important 22-yard field goal from Wingert.
After forcing two fumbles in the third quarter, the Panthers tossed a shutout in the fourth quarter to protect the three-point advantage.
UNH drove to the UNI 27-yard line and faced a 4th-and-2 with just over eight minutes to go. UNH went for it, but the pass was knocked down by senior John Hermann and the Panthers took possession of the football.
UNH then committed its biggest turnover of the game after a UNI punt. On another 4th-and-2 with three minutes to go, UNH's Keith LeVan took a handoff from Santos and appeared to have the first down in sight, but he fumbled the ball and the Panthers' Hermann fell on the ball to clinch the victory. UNI recovered three fumbles on the day and committed only one turnover.
"Turnovers and fourth down conversions were the difference," UNH head coach Sean McDonnell said. "UNI created a lot of turnovers and they did a great job trying to strip the ball. You can't lose the turnover battle like we did today."
UNH dominated the total offense numbers in the game with 631 yards of offense to only 351 for the Panthers. UNH also tallied 30 first downs to only 16 for UNI.
Sanders passed for 185 yards on 15-of-25 passing. Sanders had one touchdown and one interception on the day. Sanders was sacked twice by the UNH defense.
"We find a way to fight through the adversity and we win football games," Sanders said. "It starts in two-a-days but this is what you work for all year long."
Horne led the rushing attack with his career-best 144 yards and a touchdown. Senior Justin Surrency led the Panthers' wideouts with four catches for 45 yards.
Senior linebacker Darin Heideman racked up a game-high 17 tackles. Senior linebacker Brett Koebcke tallied 16 total stops in the game.
Santos passed for 345 yards on 27-of-42 passing. Santos had three touchdowns and did not throw and interception. Santos also rushed for 106 yards on 21 carries.
"We said all year that we were the only team that could stop us," Santos said. "We shot ourselves in the foot all day long."
UNH's John McCoy rushed for a game-high 157 yards on 26 carries. Ball also caught a game-high 10 balls for 188 yards and three touchdowns.
UNI head coach Mark Farley's radio call-in show will be broadcast live on the UNI Sports Network every Thursday throughout the season. The show will take place at Pepper's Sports Bar & Grill in Cedar Falls and will run from 6:05 p.m. - 7 p.m.
WEEKLY PRESS LUNCHEONS
UNI head coach Mark Farley or a member of his staff will be available at the weekly Press Luncheons held each Monday beginning at 12 noon in the back room of Pepper's Grill and Sports Pub located on 18th Street in Cedar Falls.
Last edited by Wesley; 11-23-2007 at 09:15 PM.
Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.
Re: UNI Gme
Haha....still empty seats remaining?
That, and I feel sorry for the fans that have to watch on Mediacom. Larry Morgan and Rob Brooks? Yuck. I'm surprised they couldn't find Mac MacCausland to do color.
Re: UNI Gme
Man, only mediacomm only? I really wanted to watch this game.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin 1775
Re: UNI Gme
Congratulations. You just broke the record for longest post. wow
Re: UNI Gme
How many credits did you get for that whopper?
Re: UNI Gme
Come on New Hampshire!!!!
Re: UNI Game
thank god for copy and paste?
There are not many crowds or places in the country that have a better impact on the game than at Iowa State. The Cyclone fans are truly a sixth man. The place is so loud and always a fantastic crowd." - Former Kansas and current North Carolina head coach Roy Williams
Re: UNI Game
Didn't UNI upset then #1 New Hampshire in the first round a couple years ago? Like '05 I think?
"Seven minutes to glory."
Re: UNI Game
Originally Posted by Cyclone62
You are correct. This game probably matches two to the best QB's in D1-AA.
Re: UNI Game
Since 2003 I have really begun to hate UNI, I am getting to the point where I root for them to lose everytime I see they are playing anything. Sorry, their fans are turning into Hawk fans. (I know mostly hawk fans go to that school too.)
Re: UNI Game
I asked because that win wasn't in the first round history of UNI in that article...
Originally Posted by rbrook
"Seven minutes to glory."
Re: UNI Game
Originally Posted by Cyclone62
It was in the quarter finals game.
Re: UNI Game
I'll be there!
It'll be really exciting watching a team put up as many defensive points as ISU had on offense.
Re: UNI Game
Speaking of FCS, I really wanted Delaware State to rip Delaware, but it ended up the other way.