CEDAR FALLS — Mark Farley was all smiles Saturday after Northern Iowa’s 34-14 domination of Southern Utah.
It was victory 150 for Farley, and that was something to be happy about, but more than anything the 19th-year Panther head coach is really enjoying this team.
While there were some outside concerns that UNI could have a letdown after a strong performance in a triple-overtime loss to Iowa State last week, Farley said the message leading up to the game with the Thunderbirds had little to do with keep the Panthers in perspective.
In fact, he encouraged the team to continue to relish in that performance as long as it continues to work hard in practice.
“We were trying to build off it more than trying to bring them back down,” Farley said. “That was a very positive game for us (the ISU game). That was a fun sideline.
“It was a young football team with freshmen at key positions that played well. It was a game we could learn from and take into this game and that was the key. They needed to enjoy that we played well.”
WIN 150: Farley became the 10th coach in FCS history to reach the 150 win mark, running his career record to 150-79.
“The real thought of it is just the number of people who were part of the 150, whether it was players or coaches ... the people who come up to you who were somehow, some way factored into that. You don’t win 150 without a lot of other people doing good things.
“It is great and a great school to do it at.”
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All 150 of Farley’s career wins have come at UNI.
NO DIAGNOSIS: Farley had no further update on preseason All-America tight end Briley Moore’s upper body injury.
“He is out for a while. I really don’t know how bad it is,” Farley said. “He is still getting second opinions and stuff like that. It is significant enough you won’t see him for awhile.”
Farley added it would be great if Moore could return sometime this season, but added Moore never took a redshirt and that remains an option if the injury proves to be season-ending.
UNI moved offensive tackle Matthew Vanderslice, who started at left tackle against Iowa State, to tight end Saturday.
Vanderslice and redshirt freshman Jayden Scott played numerous downs at tight end in addition to starter Tristan Bohr. The 6-foot-8, 282-pound Vanderslice was recruited as a tight end.
OMAR REBOUNDS: UNI had a scary moment in practice when true freshman cornerback Omar Brown was briefly injured. Brown had to be helped off the practice field and eventually took a ride in a golf cart back to the Panther lockerroom.
“Omar had a big scare,” Farley said. “Fortunately, it wasn’t as bad as we thought. We thought it was a significant injury, but it came around and he practiced on Thursday.”
After recording 11 tackles and a pass break-up against Iowa State, Brown recorded his first interception Saturday and made nine tackles, one for loss, and had another pass break-up.