UNI Names Starting Quarterback For This Weekend’s Game Against Iowa
When UNI began pre-season fall football camp on August 4th, Coach Mark Farley said he wasn't going to name the Panthers' starting quarterback until the week of the first game. Well, that week is here and Farley has made his decision.
Sawyer Kollmorgan will be under center for the Panthers when UNI opens the 2014 season at Iowa on Saturday (August 29th). The junior from Jenks, Oklahoma, won the job over senior Brion Carnes, who started UNI's final three in 2013 -- all wins -- after Kollmorgan was injured.
This will be the third-straight season that Kollmorgan has started at quarterback for UNI. Saturday will mark the fourth time he's led the Panthers into a big environment. He debuted as UNI's starting signal-caller in 2012, opening the season at Wisconsin before playing at Iowa two weeks later. Last year, Kollmorgan quarterbacked UNI to a 28-20 upset of Iowa State in the season-opener at Ames.
On Monday, Farley said Kollmorgan's consistency in all phases of the game is what helped him win the starting job over Carnes. The coach added, though, that Carnes will likely see some action against the Hawkeyes.
UNI enters Saturday's game as a heavy underdog against a team many college football experts are picking as a contender for the Big Ten Conference West Division title. This will be the 17th all-time meeting between the Hawkeyes and Panthers, a game that kicks off at 11 a.m. at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.
It's been 116 years since UNI beat Iowa on the gridiron. Since that 11-5 win in 1898, the Hawkeyes have won 15-straight games in the series.
What would a victory over Iowa mean for the Panthers on Saturday?
"I think it would mean a ton," Farley said. "This is one of those hurdles that we haven't conquered. That's part of the excitement of the game because it's something that hasn't been done, so we'll attempt that."
Win or lose, Saturday's season-opener provides UNI the opportunity to showcase its program on a large stage. Kinnick Stadium's seating capacity is more than four times the UNI-Dome's and the game is being televised to a regional audience on the Big Ten Network.
"What I hope when (the Panthers) walk off that field is that (the fans) know our team is equal (to Iowa) in ability, talent, aggression, and toughness," Farley said. "If we can show that with how we play, then we've had a good day. Hopefully, the score will show signs of that."