CEDAR FALLS — For the first time in 10 years, UNI’s football team will end the season with a losing record.
UNI (2-6, 1-4 Missouri Valley Football Conference) has only three games remaining, and there may be younger players seeing more playing time.
“Right now you have to focus on the task at hand, and that’s Western Illinois, and at the same time work toward securing ourselves for a better position moving forward,” UNI Coach Mark Farley said Monday. “We’re looking ahead, too, whether it be in recruiting or off-season stuff. That stuff is way out there.
“I think our coaches owe it to the players, the seniors that we’re playing with right now, they’ve won three of the last four conference championships here. I think they owe it to the program to send our younger group of players into December on a positive upswing.”
UNI started two freshman safeties on Saturday for the first time this season.
“We’ve been playing a lot of younger guys, and it’s been good,” Farley said. “We’ve made some errors, they’ve made some errors and we’ve got to be careful as coaches that we can only put in so much stuff that they can handle.
Sawyer Kollmorgen, a red-shirt freshman, remains on the College Football Performance Awards Freshman of the Year watch list, but also may see reduced time due to the extended depth at the position. Kollmorgen was named the starting quarterback in the preseason over Jared Lanpher and Stephen Kaiser.
“I think we owe it to the seniors to get the wins, but I’m also always looking at the bigger picture of things the whole time,” Farley said. “Kollmorgen is our quarterback, but he’s banged up a bit right now so we’ll see what happens this week. You have to move forward in a strong way, and not just looking ahead.”