CEDAR FALLS -- The next man in motto was certainly in effect Saturday for the University of Northern Iowa football team.

With several starters already expected to miss the game, UNI saw several more go down throughout its 25-10 victory over Missouri State.

The Panthers started the game without starting offensive tackles Bryce Sweeney and Cal Twait, tight end Elias Nissen and strong safety A.J. Allen.

By the end of the game, UNI was also without starting quarterback Eli Dunne, outside linebacker Keelon Brookins, and Nick Ellis, who made his first career start in place of Sweeney at right tackle.

"We evolved in a lot of ways today," UNI head coach Mark Farley said. "All week long Sweeney, Twait and Elias were out and then we lose Eli in the first quarter and that is a trump card on it.

"Now you are wondering, can we do this to the level you need to win this football game, and they did. That is what I'm most pleased about."

Tyler Putney became the fourth different player to play right tackle for the Panthers when he replaced Ellis in the third quarter.

True freshman Matthew Vanderslice got his first start at tight end when UNI opened with a two tight-end set. Defensive tackle Adam Reth also saw time on offense and linebacker Jared Farley played at least a dozen snaps at fullback. Colton Howell took over for Dunne.

"Ellis went in and did a great job, Putney played well," Farley added. "Of course, Colton played an excellent game because we just needed to make sure we got this win and had to do it without a lot of what you'd call first-team offensive players."

DUNNE'S STATUS: Dunne, who had played every snap this season, was seen walking the sidelines after his injury. He will be in concussion protocol as UNI begins preparing for Indiana State Monday.

"He looked fine in the locker room, but that doesn't always tell the whole story," Farley said. "We will get Twait back next week, and I think both Sweeney and Elias will be ready to roll by next week.

COIN FLIP: As part of Veterans Day, U.S. Army Colonel Thomas A. Duncan II, a 1991 graduate of Northern Iowa, helped with the coin flip prior to the game,

Duncan was commissioned into the Army through the UNI ROTC program and is currently serving at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., as assistant commander and represented Major General Savre Saturday.  

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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