Panthers prepare for Cyclones - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Panthers prepare for Cyclones

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- It's hard to know which team needs the victory more on Saturday - Iowa State or Northern Iowa.

A win will be a big boost for both programs. For the Panthers a win over an FBS program will put them in the conversation of national elite in FCS football.

The Panthers are coming off Saturday's tough 22-20 loss to Stephen F. Austin at the UNI-Dome.

Panther head coach Mark Farley says playing the Cyclones now is a little different than previous years.

"It's odd that we're playing Iowa State in the third game instead of the first game usually," Farley said. "Usually we've got someone, a St. Francis or somebody in there that we could have found some of these things out. But, you know, we've already played two very good teams. The downside is we had to figure out some of these things the way we did. The upside is, maybe it challenged us enough since January that we had to do all these extra things. Maybe it challenged us enough to put us at this level of play at this time."

Iowa State enters the game against UNI in a must win mode. The Cyclones are looking to avoid a three game losing streak after opening the year with a win over Northern Illinois.

Much of the blame for Iowa State's losses at Iowa and Kansas State is being placed on the Cyclones' offense that has averaged less than 14 points and 284 yards of total offense in the two defeats.

"We've been inconsistent right now, but the only thing that's going to help that is practice," ISU Quarterback Austen Arnaud said. "Willpower to know that we can move the ball when we want."

The game starts at 6 p.m. Saturday in Ames. UNI won the last meeting in 2007.

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