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College Football: UNI routes Idaho State, 41-17

POCATELLO, IDAHO – Career performances on both offense and defense were on display on Saturday as UNI football rolled to its first victory of the season at Holt Arena, a 41-17 rout of the Idaho State Bengals on the road.

With the win, head coach Mark Farley picked up the 175th victory of his coaching career in a game where the Panther offense totaled over 500 yards, and the defense recorded its first four sacks of the season.

UNI marched 91 yards down the field on its opening possession after forcing a punt on Idaho State’s first drive with a career-long 29-yard reception by Naran Buntin setting up Tye Edwards on a two-yard touchdown run, his second score of the year.

The Bengals looked to get something rolling on offense on their next possession until Tate Sander forced a fumble recovered by Cory Thomas Jr., his first at UNI and second of his collegiate career. UNI responded quickly with a two-play, 65-yard touchdown drive with a pair of receptions, capped by a 54-yard touchdown catch and run by Sam Schnee on a pass by Theo Day. Day has now recorded a touchdown pass in 25 consecutive games, extending his own program record. Idaho State would crack the scoreboard just over two minutes later on a 49-yard field goal, cutting the Panther lead to 14-3.

The Panthers continued to roll offensively in the first half as Matthew Cook drilled a pair of field goals from both 26 and 47 yards, set up by a 12-yard reception by Layne Pryor, a 19-yard catch by Schnee and Cordarrius Bailey’s first sack of the season to give possession back to the Panthers. Cook, UNI’s all-time leader in field goals made, became the first Panther kicker to reach 70 made field goals in his career with his second attempt on the day.

Idaho State threatened to score with just under four minutes remaining in the first half until Edwin Dearman picked off Jordan Cooke with his second career interception at the UNI nine-yard line. The Panthers seized on the Bengals’ second turnover of the game as Day pushed UNI down the field in nine plays, finding Schnee for his second touchdown reception on a 14-yard pass in the final seconds of the half to extend the lead to 27-3.

UNI struck first in the second half as Schnee set a new career-high for single-game receiving yards on a 32-yard catch, setting up Harrison Bey-Buie’s first rushing touchdown of the year from the three-yard line. The Bengals would find the endzone in the waning seconds of the third quarter as running back Aidan Taylor broke the goal line on a one-yard run.

The Panthers responded on their next drive as Josh Jenkins scored his first career touchdown on a 12-yard run, pushing the UNI lead to 41-10. Idaho State marched down the field following the Panther touchdown and recorded their second touchdown of the day on a 34-yard reception by Michael Shulikov.

Day finished the game with a career-high 388 passing yards and two touchdown passes, as Schnee tallied 174 receiving yards on seven catches. Jenkins led the Panther running game with a career-high 69 rushing yards to complement his fourth quarter touchdown, as Sergio Morancy, Alex Allen and Naran Buntin all recorded at least 35 yards receiving.

On defense, Bailey racked up a career-high three sacks, while Jahsiah Galvan led UNI with ten total tackles, including seven solo stops. Thomas Jr. and Sander both tallied six tackles, with Khristian Boyd, Ben Belken and Dalesean Staley each recording five tackles.


UNI improves to 4-0 all-time against Idaho State with Saturday’s win. The Panthers have outscored the Bengals 106-44.

The Panther victory marks UNI’s first against a Big Sky Conference opponent since defeating Sacramento State in California in 2021.

Sam Schnee’s career-high 174 receiving yards are the most by a Panther since Isaiah Weston hauled in 181 yards against North Dakota State in 2021.

Quarterback Theo Day moved into sixth all-time in program history in career passing yards (6,306), passing both Sawyer Kollmorgen (2011-15) and Steve Sandon (1978-81).

Matthew Cook extended his career streak of made PAT kicks. Cook has made all 130 PAT attempts in his career, becoming the third UNI kicker to reach 130 made kicks.

UNI heads into its bye week, but will return to action inside the UNI-Dome on Sept. 30 against Youngstown State in its Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) opener. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT with the game can be broadcast on the Panther Sports Network and the Panther Sports Radio Network.

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