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Northern Iowa readies for a return trip to Fargo


Northern Iowa readies for a return trip to Fargo

CEDAR FALLS | The vision has been narrow for the Northern Iowa football team.

The focus for the Panthers has never wavered from the closest Saturday. The next practice. The next game. It was continue through the process and that path will allow UNI to get to the final destination it wants to achieve.

But admittedly, the Panthers hoped that path might run back through Fargo, N.D.

Nine weeks ago, UNI (9-4) lost a hard-fought, back-andforth 31-28 decision to the Bison. Now the two teams find each other blocking the others path to its ultimate goal, a berth in the FCS semifinals and a shot at the FCS national title game in Frisco, Texas on Jan. 9.

UNI and NDSU are set to square off in a nationally televised FCS quarterfinal Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Fargo Dome.

While hoping to see the Bison once again. one word, however, is not being spoken by the Panthers — revenge.

“Maybe intrinsically for some guys,” defensive end Karter Schult said when asked if UNI was out for revenge.

“I know it’s a heated rivalry between us because we are two good football programs. But for us, coach Farley (Mark) has been telling us it is a process.

“Coach Farley has been telling us it is a process and not necessarily about North Dakota State, the rivalry we have. It is about January 9th. That is what our goal is with the process. This week it just happens they are in the way of our goal.”

Farley said Monday revenge is never a factor in a game and that what he is telling his team and how he is preparing the Panthers.

“Never is,” Farley said of revenge. “When you play with that edge it lasts for about a quarter, maybe at best. It is like everybody throws that out. I’ve heard other teams do that not even involving us. I think when you throw that factor in … you are not playing for the right reason. You are not in the right mindset to make plays the way you need to for four quarters.

“It is going to come down to our preparation and our talent verses theirs. It is a bottom line business. For four quarters those things will shake themselves out.”

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