CEDAR FALLS – Mark Farley dodged, skipped and ducked around the question Monday.
After leading Northern Iowa to touchdowns on his first four possessions and rallying the Panthers to a 34-16 victory over Sacramento State late Saturday night, Theo Day would appear to have earned himself a start in UNI’s home opener against St. Thomas.
Farley would not go as far during his weekly press conference to say as such. Farley also did not say Day was not his starting quarterback going forward.
As of Monday, Day will remain listed on the same line as two-year starter Will McElvain at the top of the Panthers depth chart at quarterback.
“I was very pleased, of course, with how Theo played on Saturday,” Farley said.
After McElvain completed just two of five pass attempts for seven yards in the first half and the Panthers trailing 9-7, Farley switched to the 6-foot-5 Michigan State transfer to open the third quarter.
After UNI’s defense forced a quick three and out, Day completed a long throw to Quan Hampton on a comeback route for a 12-yard gain. Then on play action on the very next play he hit Isaiah Weston in stride for a 48-yard gain that set up a Tyler Hoosman 1-yard touchdown run and a lead UNI never relinquished.
The Panthers then turned a Hornet turnover into another score making it 21-9. And after another three-and-out by Sac State, Day went back to work with Weston hitting the 6-foot-4 speedster with a 34-yard toss for a 28-9 lead.
“It was just something where I felt we needed sometime of spark of momentum in that football game,” Farley said of the decision. “Just felt like we needed to do something and I thought the time was right to do it at the beginning of the second half.
“And then Theo…when you give somebody an opportunity…Theo took advantage of the opportunity.
“As we sit right now on the depth chart it is either/or. Obviously, Theo had a great game and I will make that final choice before we go to practice tomorrow. Theo…I was very pleased with his demeanor and how prepared he was for the game,” finished Farley.
Day finished 6 for 11 for 120 yards and also rushed the ball three times for 14 yards.
Cuvy honored: After leading the team with 15 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble against the Hornets, middle linebacker Spencer Cuvelier has been named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week as well as Stats Perform National Defensive Player of the Week.”
Close but maybe not this week: Wide receivers Logan Wolf and Tysen Kershaw are both listed as questionable heading into Saturday’s game with the Tommies.
Wolf has been dealing with a hamstring injury, and Farley said he wants to give Wolf plenty of time to get that injury completely healed. Kershaw’s injury is undisclosed.
Additionally, senior offensive tackle Matthew Vanderslice should be available to go after missing the game with Sac State.
“Matthew should be available this week. He could’ve played Saturday, but we thought a week off he’d be better off,” Farley said.
Up next: Former Division III school St. Thomas will be UNI’s opponent for its home opener Saturday inside the UNI-Dome.
The Panthers and Tommies have played two previous times...in 1926 and 1927. UNI won the 1926 contest 20-0, and the two times tied (6-6) the following year.