GREELEY, Colo. — Mark Farley wasn’t asking too much from his Northern Iowa football team Saturday. Whatever it took to win an FCS nonconference game on the road would do.
For the No. 7-ranked Panthers, mission accomplished via a 26-7 victory over Northern Colorado at Nottingham Feld.
The Panthers put points on the board in every quarter, including 13 in the fourth period when standout running back David Johnson dashed in from 18 yards as the Panthers put the Bears away for good.
The Panthers are 3-0 heading into a home contest next week against McNeese State.
The Bears are 1-3, while three straight losses have come to different levels of NCAA competition — Division II, FBS and now UNI, which is ranked No. 7 in FCS at 3-0.
Farley was pleased to get the win against what he called “a good Big Sky (Conference) team.”
“We were able to get the best of them,” Farley said.
UNI kicker Tyler Sievertsen (Cedar Rapids Kennedy) had field goals of 28 and 25 yards in the first half — later adding field goals of 31 and 27 yards in the fourth quarter — to complement a 7-yard touchdown pass from
Kollmorgen to Chad Owens (7 catches, 77 yards) on the Panthers’ first possession. They scored on six possessions and were still able to feature their potent running attack, with Johnson grinding out 121 yards and a
touchdown — an 18-yard run that capped a 10-play, 86-yard drive.
“He (Sievertsen) has kicked well all season and it showed again today,” Farley said. “He was solid in making all four field goals.”
On the contrary, UNC place-kicker Dave Eden had the worst day of his career, missing two field goals that kept the Bears playing from behind from the get-go.
Eden’s 0-fer day started in the first period when he missed left from 25 yards out. He then missed from 37 yards in the second quarter.
A roughing-the-passer penalty aided UNI’s next possession that ended with Sievertsen’s first field goal.
“For me, we have to stop shootin’ ourselves in the foot,” a dejected UNC coach Earnest Collins Jr. said. “Whether it’s us as coaches, players executing, it’s us as a group, as a family.”
Life isn’t that good for the family, which has lost three straight and seems to be stuck in neutral.
“Penalties, mistakes … we have to fix it and fix it in a hurry,” Collins said. “I’m not satisfied waiting until the last half of the season to get on a run. … I want to do it now.”