UNI Panthers Post 53-17 Playoff Win Over No. 24 Eastern Illinois
The University of Northern Iowa posted a 53-17 win over No. 24 Eastern Illinois Saturday, earning a spot in the second round of the FCS Playoffs. The Panthers improved to 8-4 overall this season.
Aaron Bailey finished the game with 162 yards through the air and a career-high three passing touchdowns. Tyvis Smith rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown, his third consecutive game with 100 or more yards. Charles Brown and Daurice Fountain brought in three combined receiving touchdowns, with Fountain grabbing two catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, UNI was led by Makinton Dorleant, who finished with six solo tackles, an interception and a key forced fumble. Isaac Ales and Jared Farley both chipped in six tackles each, with Brett McMakin adding five and a forced fumble.
Junior quarterback and MVFC Newcomer of the Year, Aaron Bailey, is now second all-time in Missouri Valley Football Conference history in rushing yards by a quarterback in a season (1,101). He trails former UNI quarterback Tirrell Rennie, who rushed for 1,291 in 2010.
Tyvis Smith has now rushed for over 100 yards in three consecutive games, finishing with 147 against Eastern Illinois.
UNI has scored 40 or more points in four consecutive games, including their 53 against Eastern Illinois. The last time UNI had four straight games with 40-plus points was in 2004 when UNI won its final four games of the season.
Aaron Bailey finished the game with a career-high three passing touchdowns against Eastern Illinois. He went 7-11-0 for 162 yards. His 52-yard pass to Charles Brown for a touchdown in the third quarter was his second-longest passing touchdown of the season.
The Panthers will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 5 when they take on Portland State on the road for the second round of the FCS Playoffs. The game is set to start at 9:00 PM-CT.