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Panther football hosts Utah Tech in non-conference tilt

CEDAR FALLS - UNI football breaks up its four-game homestand with a non-conference opponent in Utah Tech this Saturday at 4 p.m. CT in the UNI-Dome.

CEDAR FALLS – UNI football breaks up its four-game homestand with a non-conference opponent in Utah Tech this Saturday at 4 p.m. CT in the UNI-Dome.

The Panthers (2-4 / 2-2 MVFC) are meeting the Trailblazers (1-4 / 0-2 WAC) for the first time in program history. It also marks the third non-conference opponent on UNI’s schedule.

UNI will be celebrating Youth Day, as area youth football teams will play during halftime. Fans are also encouraged to wear white.


UNI is coming off a loss to Missouri Valley Football Conference foe Illinois State where four Panthers recorded single-game highs in their careers:

Quarterback Theo Day had 11 rushing attempts, which matched a single-game high set Nov. 6, 2021, and last week. Both marks were against Illinois State.

Running back Vance McShane set a new personal record for rushing yards with 90. He also had a career game high two receptions that matches a mark from Oct. 30, 2021, against Southern Illinois.

Wide receiver Sergio Morancy caught a 53-yard pass, setting a new career long. It also led to a career game high of receiving yards with 67 yards. He had his third career receiving touchdown last weekend.

Running back Dom Williams pulled double duty, notching his longest career reception of 28 yards.

Averaging just 3.83 penalties per game, UNI leads the league and is No. 5 in the nation for fewest penalties per game.

Placekicker Matthew Cook needs one more successful kick to tie for seventh most made PATS on the all-time list with Michael Schmadeke, who went 100-105 from 2011-2015. Cook is currently perfect at 99-99 since 2019.

Quarterback Theo Day is in the nation’s top 20 in six stat categories:

Yards per pass attempt – No. 8 / 9.02 yards

Passing efficiency: No. 11 / 155.3

Passing yards: No. 12 / 1,542 yards

Passing yards per game: No. 18 / 257 yards

Passing yards per completion: No. 18 / 13.89

Total offense: No. 19 / 267 yards


Utah Tech is in its third year of transition to the FCS and took on a name change July 1. It was formerly a Division II school known as Dixie State that moved up to play in the FCS in the 2020-21 season. UT went 2-3 before its season was suspended Aug. 12, 2020, for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Trailblazers’ first year of NCAA play was in 2006. They have since joined the WAC and went 1-10 last year.

This is the first full year of WAC play for UT. Head coach Paul Peterson enters his fourth year with UT.

UT’s returning quarterback Kobe Tracy averages 307 passing yards a game. His favorite target is Joey Hobert, who averages 127.20 yards of the team’s average 314 receiving yards. Quali Conley leads the ground game averaging 92 yards in rushing. The team averages 113 yards in rushing. Hobert and Conley have combined for 10 of UT’s 17 touchdowns.

Defensively, Tyrell Grayson leads the Trailblazers with 42 tackles. He has one of UT’s interceptions and took the pass 51 yards. Syrus Webster has two of UT’s three sacks and has 5.5 tackles for a loss of 24 yards.

UT is coming off a bye week. This will be the fourth time UNI faces a team coming off its bye week. North Dakota, No. 7 Sacramento State and Indiana State also had a week off prior to their matchups with UNI. UNI will have the latest bye in head coach Mark Farley’s tenure that dates back to 2001.

Utah Tech (1-4 / 0-2 WAC) vs. UNI football (2-4 / 2-2 MVFC)

4 p.m. CT | Oct. 15, 2022

Cedar Falls, Iowa | UNI-Dome (16,090)

Watch: ESPN+ (Brad Wells: Play-by-Play / Justin Surrency: Analyst)

Listen: Panther Sports Network (J.W. Cox: Play-by-Play / Scott Peterson: Analyst)

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