CEDAR FALLS — UNI football’s placekicker Matthew Cook has the chance to be UNI’s and the MVFC’s field goal leader, and quarterback Theo Day is on the brink of cracking several top-10 lists as the Panthers gear up for the final regular-season game of the year.
UNI (5-5 / 4-3 MVFC) faces South Dakota (3-7 / 2-5 MVFC) on the road at 1 p.m. in USD’s DakotaDome.
Cook became UNI’s all-time consecutive PAT leader with 117 successful attempts in UNI’s last outing against South Dakota State. He has the chance to break the tie at the top of UNI’s list for most successful field goals. Cook is tied with Billy Hallgren for 64 career field goals. Cook has gone 64-for-80 since 2019.
Cook is No. 2 in the nation of active kickers with the most career field goals. Skyler Davis of Elon leads the nation with 67.
Quarterback Day cracked UNI’s all-time top 10 for most yards of total offense in a single season after UNI’s last outing against South Dakota State. Day currently has racked up 2,790 yards of total offense. He knocked off Jay Johnson at No. 10 on the all-time list. Johnson had 2,782 yards in 1992.
Day is on track to crack UNI’s top-10 lists for season records in pass attempts, completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns and passing efficiency.
Day has 189 completed passes. Steven Beard is No. 10 on the all-time list (197-360-12).
With 2,741 passing yards, Day is knocking on the door at No. 10 on the all-time list for single season stats. At No. 10 is Will McElvain with 2,778 yards in 2019 (203-382-7).
Day has thrown 21 touchdown passes so far this year. Several Panthers round out the top-10 (all tied at No. 7) with 23 for the season (Mike Smith – 1987, Jay Johnson-1992, Chris Berg – 1995. Eric Sanders – 2005).
Day’s 274.1 average passing yards per game is currently on track to be No. 4 on the all-time list for season stats between Mike Smith (284.1 yards / 1986) and Steven Sandon (251 yards / 1980).
Day has 2,790 yards of total offense. He knocked off Jay Johnson is No. 10 on the all-time list for single-season stats with 2,782 yards in 1992.
UNI leads South Dakota 30-20-1 in a series that dates back to 1899. It’s the oldest matchup in UNI’s history against any current MVFC school.
The Panthers are 9-8 at South Dakota. Head coach Mark Farley is 4-1 on the road against South Dakota and 9-3 overall against USD. Bob Nielson, who is in his seventh year as head coach for the Coyotes, is 2-3 against UNI.
UNI is coming off a bye week. In the Panthers’ last outing against No. 1 South Dakota State, UNI was edged out, 31-28. Quarterback Theo Day was added to the CFPA midseason watch list for National Performer of the Year, which will be announced Jan. 13.
Day leads the MVFC in eight categories.
Yards per pass attempt (9.35) – #5 in FCS
Passing efficiency (161.5) – #9 in FCS
Passing yards (2,471) – #10 in FCS
Passing yards per completion (14.5) – #10 in FCS
Passing yards/game (274.1) – #12 in FCS
Passing offense (279.3) – #13 in FCS
Passing touchdowns (21) – #15 in FCS
Total offense (430.1) – #21 in FCS
UNI’s offense leads the conference in five stat categories.
First downs offense (235) – #13 FCS
Passing offense (279.3) – #13 FCS
Passing yards per completion (14.47) – #10 FCS
Passing efficiency (161.51) – #9 FCS
Total offense (430.1) – #21 FCS
Head coach Mark Farley is 61-15 in the month of November.
SOUTH DAKOTA COYOTES
South Dakota fell to 0-6 on the road in last week’s outing against North Dakota. USD is second in the MVFC in multiple categories:
Fumbles recovered with seven – No. 41 in FCS
Net punting (38.89 yards) – No. 16 in FCS
Punt returns (14.38 yards) – No. 14 FCS
Red zone defense (81.6%) – No. 61 FCS
Wesley Eliodor and Travis Theis lead USD in several offensive stats, while Stephen Hillis is the USD and MVFC leader in tackles:
All purpose yards: Theis (93.3 yards – No. 5 in MVFC), Eliodor (89.8 yards – No. 7 MVFC)
Combined kick returns: Eliodor (455 yards – No. 2 MVFC)
Kickoff returns: Eliodor (25.3 yards – No. 4 MVFC)
Receiving touchdowns: Eliodor (6 touchdowns – No. 4 MVFC)
Yards per reception: Eliodor (15.82 – No. 6 MVFC)
Rushing yards per carry: Theis (4.72 – No. 8 MVFC)
Rushing touchdowns: Theis (5 – No. 11 MVFC)
Rushing yards: Theis (760 – No. 5 MVFC)
Rushing yards per game: Theis (76 – No. 5 MVFC)
Solo tackles: Hillis (5.3 per game – No. 1 MVFC)
Total tackles: Hillis (9.6 per game – No. 1 MVFC)
Hillis and Brock Mogensen are No. 1 and No. 3 in total tackles in the MVFC, averaging 9.6 and 9.1 per game.
UNI football (5-5 / 4-3 MVFC) at South Dakota (3-7 / 2-5 MVFC)
1 p.m. CT | Nov. 19, 2022
Dakota Dome (9,100) | Vermillion, S.D.
Watch: ESPN+ (Jay Elsen: Play-by-Play / Andre Fields: Analyst / David Brown: Sideline)
Listen: Panther Sports Radio Network (J.W. Cox: Play-by-Play / Scott Peterson (Analyst)