Preview: Sycamores @ Panthers



UNI last met Indiana State on Nov. 9, 2019. The Panthers took down the Sycamores in the UNI-Dome, 17-9.

CADEN SHEA, Sports Editor

The UNI Panthers will defend the UNI-Dome against the Indiana State Sycamores in football action this weekend. The Panthers look to continue their winning streak after coming off of a dominant win over Western Illinois 52-17. Indiana State comes into this game with a record of 1-2 while the Panthers enter with a 1-3 record. This game marks UNI’s annual blackout event where all of the fans are encouraged to wear black in support of the Panthers. 

The Panthers win over Western Illinois was a good one for the program. Junior defensive back Woo Governor notched a Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) Defensive Player of the Week award after his performance last weekend. Governor tallied two interceptions returned for a touchdown, tying a record that dates back to 2013. These two touchdowns helped the Panthers to lead the MVFC in defensive touchdowns while giving them the number three spot in the entire nation. The entire Panthers team achieved a number of season high statistics in the game against Western Illinois including three touchdown passes, two touchdown rushes, 197 rushing yards and 468 total offensive yards. These achievements put the Panthers in a mentality of one-upmanship as they consistently look to better these statistics in every single game. 

UNI’s quarterback Theo Day is currently ranked sixth in the nation and is leading the MVFC with 1,150 total yards this season. Day will attempt to better those stats this weekend with a win against the Sycamores. Likewise, his receivers will try to aid the Panthers to victory as well. Deion McShane currently has the second most receiving yards in the MVFC with 321 while Sam Schnee is in the number five slot with 255 receiving yards for UNI. UNI’s rushing front is led by Dom Williams who averages 62.5 yards per game while totaling four rushing touchdowns on the year so far. The defense also looks to continue their streak over the last three games of totaling at least two sacks. Defensive lineman Devin Rice helped the Panthers notch two of them last week against Western Illinois. 

The Indiana State Sycamores enter this game with a two game losing streak after winning their first game in overtime. The first lost to Purdue with a final score of 56-0 and then to No. 2 ranked Montana 49-14. The game against the Panthers will mark the Sycamores first conference game this season. Quarterback Gavin Screws will lead the charge for Indiana State on the offensive side. He totaled 115 passing yards in the last game against Montana. Dante Hendrix, Harry Van Dyne and Kevin Barnett lead the receiving end of the Sycamores game, each grabbing three passes from Screws in their game against Montana. Their rushing is led by Justin Dinka, a redshirt sophomore who averages 56 yards per game. He had a 54-yard rushing touchdown in the contest against Montana, a career-long. The defensive side of the Sycamores brigade is led by Maddix Blackwell who tallied a sack in their last game as well as holding the number three slot in forced fumbles in the conference. Indiana State defensive back Jonathan Edwards is second in the conference for passes defended with an average of 1.3 per game.

Kickoff for this contest against the Indiana State Sycamores will be at 4 p.m. in the UNI-Dome. The theme is blackout so don’t forget to wear black as you cheer on the Panthers.