Farley sees football as complementary in win over Western Illinois

Ethan Petrick

Cedar Falls — Northern Iowa coach Mark Farley stirred up the old wisdom of “high tide lifts all boats” when asked about the death of legendary former soccer coach Daryl Modra, on Saturday.

However, the same principle can be applied to UNI’s 52-17 win over Western Illinois.

Teamwork – or the complementary nature of UNI’s defense – stood out as the most important thing since the win that stood out to Farley.

“I was pleased with the fact that we made the changes, and made the bags – the team effort,” Farley said. “It took a quick pass to get interceptions, but at the same time you had to do a good job against the accelerating attack to create a passing game.”

For weeks, the Air Force loss afflicted the Panthers’ defense. The weeks he spent preparing for an attacking style the Panthers would never play again had a ripple effect. Farley often noted that he felt the first week of true defense preparations came the week after the inaugural season.

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But, on Saturday, the defense got rid of that ghost that had been looming for nearly a month now. Farley, on Monday, noted that he felt his team had shown what a majority of Saturday’s win could be.

“After that first streak, when we got out there, I really think we only had one bad streak after that,” Farley said. “We played really well together while the match was going on.”

While some might point to WIU’s standing as a bottom feeder in the Missouri Valley Football Conference – the Leathernics have a 2-13 record in their last 15 games – Farley doesn’t subscribe to that line of thinking.

“It’s a starting point for whatever happens because of what we’ve done,” Farley said. “They had to do it on the road. There’s a lot of adversity you go through no matter who you play… how they prepared, the things they’ve been through, they’ve done a great job preparing themselves.”

The UNI setup was demonstrated in a pair of intercepts returned for landings—both by the junior defensive linebacker Woo Governor—and in keeping the WIU at a low conversion rate of 3 of 12 thirds and 0 for 1 on its fourth landing attempts.

The position his team played was another takeaway for the 22-year-old coach. After their third straight loss to Sacramento State, last week, Farley said his team needed to play with the right attitude to solve their defensive issues.

Farley saw this situation on Saturday at Macomb despite Hanson Field’s mundane nature.

“They should have done it in the West,” Farley said. “It’s not the most exciting place to play where you need to use your energy to make that happen… Our guys went in there, played with the character you need to play the game and had to take it out themselves… They thought they came out and did a really great job and we’ll build that next week.”







UNI FBall vs Western Illinois 5

His teammates celebrate with Quan Hampton (4) after he scored a goal on Saturday against Western Illinois.


Ethan Petrick, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier


Although thrilled with the performance of the Panthers, UNI has not yet reached its potential according to Farley.

“We’ve upped our game,” Farley said. “But there’s more meat on the bones.”

Farley updates Wolf’s injury case, Ellis: UNI Junior recipients saw a surprise absence from Saturday’s Panthers attack.

Wolff – who got 34 yards from a touchdown pass in the penultimate UNI series against Sac State – watched Saturday’s win from the sidelines.

“He couldn’t play,” Farley said. “He got hurt last week in the last two plays. Nothing serious, but something you have to be smart about so you can keep it all year long.”

Farley said Wolff was able to participate in a training in limited capacity ahead of Western Illinois, but was excluded from the game out of precaution.

“We weren’t in the comfort zone to get him out there and we might miss him for an entire season,” Farley said.

The depth of UNI at the receiver was cited as another reason for the decision.

On the offensive line, Nick Ellis, Farley said the news was still positive and that he was wearing walking boots on his injured left leg as a way to keep swelling at bay.

“Nick always gets as good news as he can be,” Farley said. “But, it’s bad enough news that he can’t play yet… He has a chance to progress when he’s back to health. It’s something he can’t come back from.”

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