2022 UNI football preview



Mark Farley is entering his 22nd season as UNI’s head football coach. Farley enters the season with 168 in his career, a UNI record.

CADEN SHEA, Sports Editor

There is a slight chill in the air throughout the Cedar Valley. The area is slowly being filled by college students returning to their classes. There are many notable things that signify the emergence of fall in Cedar Falls, but none like the beginning of the football season. The University of Northern Iowa Panthers are once again looking to take over the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) this fall. The team is looking impressive this year with many returning standouts to go along with the arrival of some new faces under the helmets as well. The fall 2022 college football season is upon us, and the Panthers are looking to stake their claim at the top of the FCS.

Many players have been awarded the distinction of being selected as a part of the MVFC preseason teams. There were three of them selected to the first team, making them must-see Panthers. Two of the first team members are a part of the defensive side of the game: linebacker Spencer Cuvelier and defensive back Benny Sapp III. Cuvelier is looking to bounce back this season after an injury that unfortunately kept him on the sidelines for most of the 2021 season. His impressive game changing defensive skills made him one of the most touted players on the UNI roster. Sapp is UNI’s resident ball hawk with four interceptions last year, giving him the third most in the MVFC. His tackling skills and all around athleticism lead him to be a definite player to watch this season. The special teams received some love with kicker Matthew Cook, a Cedar Falls native, obtaining the third spot on the preseason team. Cook was near automatic last season with a field goal percentage of 86.4%, the twelfth best in the nation. Cook boasted a spotless PAT record in the 2021 season going 33-33. Other standout players that received preseason honors were linebacker Bryce Flater, defensive linemen Caden Houghtelling and Devin Rice, defensive back Korby Sander, wide receiver Quan Hampton and offensive lineman Erik Sorensen.

The Panthers have a pretty balanced schedule with a lot of road games in the first half of the schedule before having the home field advantage for the bulk of the latter half of the season. UNI kicks off their season on Sept. 3 as they travel to Colorado to face Air Force in what shouls be a very physical first game. The next week on Sept. 10, the Panthers will face the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks in a fun matchup. On Sept. 17, Sacramento State comes to the UNI-Dome in the home opener for the team at 4 p.m. The team will face the Western Illinois Leathernecks in an away game on Sept. 24. Indiana State and Illinois State will make the trip to Cedar Falls the next two weeks of the season. Utah Tech will be in town on Oct. 15 and Missouri State the following week. The Panthers will venture to Southern Illinois on Oct. 29. UNI will end its season against teams from South Dakota with a home game against South Dakota State and an away game against South Dakota.

The Panthers look primed for another great season and look forward to playing in a packed UNI-Dome for every home game this season.