CEDAR FALLS – UNI closed out the regular season with multiple records in a 41-3 win over Western Illinois (2-9 / 2-6 MVFC).
UNI improved to 6-5 / 4-4 MVFC while setting records for most sacks in a single game and the longest touchdown run in UNI history.
Western Illinois was able to tie up the score in the second quarter, but wasn’t able to overcome a stingy UNI defense. A UNI record of 12 sacks kept WIU’s rushing total to -46 yards. The Leathernecks’ offense was limited to 117 yards.
The sack record tops a four-way tie of 11 sacks that was most recently matched in 2010 against North Dakota State.
Seven Panthers contributed to the record. Riley Van Wyhe, Jared Brinkman, Caden Houghtelling, Khristian Boyd and Jevon Brekke each had two sacks. Bryce Flater and Devin Rice each added one.
While UNI was fairly balanced in offensive yards, Dom Williams gave the rushing numbers a boost with a record-setting touchdown run. Williams rushed for career-high 168 yards and broke the UNI record for longest rushing touchdown run with his 99-yard play. It breaks the old standard of 98 yards set by Arnold Paulsen against Augustana in 1951.
UNI added 241 yards in passing. Sam Schnee led UNI in receiving yards with 82, and freshman Terrance Kamara chipped in 60 yards.
OTHER UNI NOTES
Bryce Flater notched his second forced fumble of the year.
Third time this year UNI’s defense held its opponent to 15 points or fewer.
Zac Kibby had his first career interception.
Terrance Kamara, a freshman from Minneapolis, Minn., made his first touchdown as a Panther with a 14-yard rushing touchdown.
Most points UNI has scored since the home opener against St. Thomas on Sept. 18.
UNI went 7-15 on third down conversions.
Nate Murphy kicked his first career field goal. He was good from 24 yards out in the fourth quarter.
Austin Evans had his first two interceptions of the season, including a pick-6 for 46 yards.
Q1: UNI fumbled on its first possession, but made a stop on Wester Illinois’ 44-yard line to take over on offense. Back-to-back sacks led to a Matthew Cook field goal from 33 yards to put UNI up 3-0 midway through the first quarter.
Q2: A UNI fumble late in the first quarter set up a Western Illinois drive that ended just seconds into the second quarter with a 23-yard field goal. The Leathernecks pinned UNI on the one-yard line, but Dom Williams broke through to set the new record for UNI’s longest touchdown run with his 99-yard carry. The first half ended with UNI up 10-3.
Q3: UNI’s Terrance Kamara would get his first touchdown as a Panthers with a 14-yard rush to put UNI up 17-3. Sam Schnee would add another 30-yard touchdown on a pass from quarterback Theo Day to extend UNI’s lead to 24-3. Austin Evans picked up his first interception of the season off WIU quarterback Connor Sampson to take it back for a 46-yard touchdown. UNI finished the quarter up 31-3.
Q4: Nate Murphy kicked his first career field goal to go up 34-3. Vance McShane grabbed a 32-yard reception touchdown to wrap up UNI scoring 41-3.
Eleven conference champions automatically qualify for this year’s playoffs. An additional 13 teams earn at-large bids selected by the FCS Playoff Committee. The complete 24-team bracket will be selected Sunday, Nov. 21. The selection show is scheduled to broadcast on ESPNU at 11:30 a.m. CT.
The FCS Playoffs conclude with the national championship in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.