UNI Panthers Advance to Quarterfinals, Tough Match-up Ahead
The University of Northern Iowa football team picked up a decisive Saturday (Dec. 5) to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2015 Football Championship Series Playoffs.
The Northern Iowa Panthers jumped out early on sixth seeded Portland State (9-3) and led 16-3 at halftime. The Vikings never got their offense moving and the Panthers would go on to win 29-17 in the second round match-up, which was played in the rain.
UNI improved to 9-4 this season and 5-2 against ranked opponents.
UNI finished the game with two rushers with over 200 yards on the ground, totaling 401 as a team. Tyvis Smith rushed for a career-high 207 yards, adding two touchdown while Aaron Bailey threw in 200 yards on the ground and two more rushing scores.
On defense, Jared Farley notched a game-high 12 tackles, also grabbing a key interception. Brett McMakin had UNI’s second interception of the game, also racking up 10 tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss. Isaac Ales also turned in a strong performance after moving to defensive tackle, recording eight tackles, one sack and two tackles for a loss of nine yards.
The road to the 2015 FCS Championship continues to get harder. The Panthers now face the four-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State Bison, who defeated Montana 37-6 to advance to the quarterfinal game against UNI. NDSU scored on two interception returns and a 100-yard kickoff return.