UNI hopes native Iowans lead playoff return - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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UNI hopes native Iowans lead playoff return

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UNI running back David Johnson had over 1,600 all-purpose yards last season. UNI running back David Johnson had over 1,600 all-purpose yards last season.
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KTIV) -  The Northern Iowa football team has made seven playoff appearances in the last 13 seasons. But the Panthers missed the postseason for the second straight year in 2013. They have the talent and experience to play for a title this season. The Panthers return 18 starters, ten on offense and eight on defense from last year's 7-5 team.
    
UNI won their first four games and were ranked fourth in the country before losing five of their last eight.

Running back David Johnson is back for his senior year after over 1,600 all-purpose yards last season. Quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen started the first nine games last year before suffering a concussion.
    
If the Panthers return to elite status, they'll do it with home-grown players.

"If you look at our football team there's a lot of Iowans," said head coach Mark Farley. "I think there's like 63 Iowans on this football team out of 95 on the roster. Players from Iowa have been successful here. They stay the course, they get their opportunity and just because of their culture, they take advantage and they work their way into it. Those players have all earned their opportunities and then they take advantage of them."

UNI is third in the Missouri Valley preseason poll behind North Dakota State and South Dakota State.

The Panthers open the season against the Hawkeyes on August 30th. After a week off UNI goes to Hawaii on September 13th.
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