CEDAR FALLS -- Caden Houghtelling should not fear any punishment.

A red jersey on the practice field usually means the player cannot be hit, and it is typically quarterbacks who wear them.

Saturday, in the middle of three live scrimmage sessions at Memorial Stadium in Waterloo, the University of Northern Iowa defensive end gained an advantage on the edge and came barreling into the backfield.

Maybe Houghtelling did not gauge how fast he was moving, but before he could pull up, Panther quarterback Jacob Keller was on his back.

"No penalties. They needed to get hit," said head coach Mark Farley with a laugh.

Following Wednesday's practice, Farley said he wanted to get more physical during UNI's second excursion outside to Memorial Stadium. By all means, it was the Panthers' most rough and tumble practice of the spring.

UNI ran 55 plays during its 12th practice in near perfect weather conditions, and it was a day won by the offense, highlighted by long touchdown receptions by Briley Moore, Jaylin James and Sam Ingoli and a 50-plus yard touchdown run by Tyler Hoosman. Nick Phillips also caught a scoring pass, and Hoosman scored a second, short rushing touchdown. 

"The offense did a pretty good job today," Farley said. "They had to put everything together for the first time, operating from the sidelines, letting the players line up and trying to execute a game plan. They did a good job.

"They were very balanced. They were productive, and there was extra effort downfield and it is those extra efforts downfield that make a difference. What the offense really did good today was spread the ball and use the field and use the quarterbacks. I thought they did a nice job of mixing things up."

Farley went on to say both sides of the ball learned a lot

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"You never are as far along as you want to be, but I wanted to come out here today in the worst way and tackle, and let the players save themselves," Farley said. "They can't expect calls, others to help them out. They have to be able to save themselves.

"The offense was productive, and the defense was trying to save themselves."

Defensive end Seth Thomas said the defense will take the loss, go to the film room and work to win the next day.

"It was a good day and we got something to improve on, and the good thing is you can improve off the failures and they are going to show on the camera," Thomas said. "The last practice was Wednesday, and the defense was strong. We were all pumped up and having a good time.

"Today, the offense came out stronger than us and they finished stronger. Got to go back to work to change that."

WINDING DOWN: UNI's 15th and final practice will be from 1-3 p.m. next Saturday in the UNI-Dome and will be open to the public.

There will be no spring game, but fans can expect between 50 and 60 live scrimmage plays.

"We will do something very similar to what we did today," Farley said.

SANDER UPDATE: Starting safety Korby Sander, who was injured early in spring practice, was without the knee immobilizer Saturday he had worn for two weeks on his left knee.

Farley said the team is still in a holding pattern on whether Sander will need surgery or not to repair the injury.

"It has been really positive since his injury," Farley said. "There is no finality to it, but it is very positive right now."

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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