\FARGO, N.D. | Northern Iowa's defense had to carry on in the second half against North Dakota State without one of its best players.
Junior linebacker Jake Farley, the Panthers' leading tackler in 2013, suffered a broken leg in the second half of UNI's 24-23 loss to the top-ranked Bison at the Fargodome.
When Farley went down, his teammates immediately waved to the Panther sideline for help. The junior stayed on the turf while being attended to by the training staff. Then, placed on a stretcher, Farley left the field on a cart, and he was eventually taken to a local hospital.
UNI head coach Mark Farley, Jake Farley's father, also went to the hospital. Assistant coach Bill Salmon appeared in the head coach's place at the post-game press conference.
"I knew right away what happened and I'm sure the players did, too," said Salmon. "When that happens, it's a bad deal."
Salmon said that Jake Farley will eventually be fine, and the team will regroup.
"It's no fun, but Jake will be all right and the kids will be all right," said Salmon.
David Johnson, UNI's star running back, also had to deal with an injury, although a less serious one. Johnson suffered a hip pointer and watched several key series from the sidelines as Tyvis Smith replaced him.
"I got hit in the wrong spot, and it started hurting," said Johnson, who still gained 142 yards rushing, including a career-best 85-yard touchdown run in the first half. "I tried my best to get back in the game."
Said Salmon, "He'll be a sore young man tomorrow."