Posted on

UNI pours it on in 53-17 win against Eastern Illinois

UNI pours it on in 53-17 win against Eastern Illinois

CEDAR FALLS — One bad play can't turn into several.

As No. 15 Northern Iowa has rolled from 2-4 to the FCS playoffs, the Panthers have mastered overcoming or limiting the damage from the few mistakes they have made. Saturday's first-round 53-17 trouncing of No. 24 Eastern Illinois in a FCS first-round playoff game at the UNIDome was a perfect example.

Michael Malloy fumbled on the Panthers (8-4) first play of the game. Instead of falling into an early deficit, UNI was bailed out when Makinton Dorleant intercepted a Jalen Whitlow pass to take away any momentum EIU had hoped to gain.

UNI eventually trailed for the first time in 15 quarters later in the first quarter, but once the Panthers settled in, EIU had no chance. UNI scored 23 unanswered second quarter points to lead 23-7 at halftime, and it's offense never slowed down as it scored 40 or more points for the fourth consecutive time, the first time it has done so since 2004.

It was the largest-margin of victory for UNI in a FCS playoff game.

'I wasn't happy,' UNI head coach Mark Farley said of the fumble. 'We have been really good with the football. That might be our first fumble since Iowa State. It was disappointing. But it was good to get it right back with the defense.

'That kind of represents the team right now. That is what is good about this team right now. It knows it can overcome things. They didn't flinch.'

The victory earns UNI a trip to Portland State next Saturday where it will face the sixth-seeded Vikings (9-2) in a 9 p.m. (Central) kickoff.

Social Share