UNI Football picked third in the Valley - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI Football picked third in the Valley

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

The University of Northern Iowa football team has been picked to finish third in the Missouri Valley Football Conference this season, it was announced today by the league. UNI tallied 269 total points in the poll.

The North Dakota State Bison were tabbed to win the conference with South Dakota State coming in second in the voting. Illinois State and Youngstown State rounded out the top-five coming in fourth and fifth respectively.
The Panthers spent 99 straight weeks in the Top 25 until October of 2012. The Panthers played last season with a young and talented squad led by sophomore quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen and junior running back David Johnson.
UNI landed six student-athletes on the 2013 MVFC Preseason Team as well. Johnson and Dan Kruger both landed on the offensive team with Kollmorgen, Brett LeMaster, Tyler Sievertsen and Jake Farley all earning honorable mention status.
Johnson finished last season with five multi-touchdown games and 1,021 rushing yards for 13 rushing touchdowns and 18 total touchdowns. He will enter the season with 30 career touchdowns which is good enough for 10th all-time at UNI in career touchdowns. He is also ninth all-time at UNI in rushing TDs with 22.
Kruger was an integral part of Johnson's success last season helping Johnson and Carlos Anderson combine for 1,424 yards. He helped UNI finish with 1,637 total rushing yards during the 2012 season.
Kollmorgen, the MVFC Newcomer and Freshman of the Year in 2012, averaged 228.4 yards per game last season and finished second in passing average per game with 222.7. He passed for over 200 yards in nine games and led the MVFC in touchdown passes with 21 and passing efficiency with a 141.88 rating.
LeMaster finished with a team-leading 601 yards through the air off of 32 receptions. The Wichita, Kan. native finished the season with four touchdowns, including a season-long 76-yard reception against Southern Illinois.
Sievertsen finished second on the team in scoring during the 2012 season with 71 points off of 10 field goals and 41 extra points. He notched a career-best distance of 49 yards against Iowa and finished the season 10 of 13 from field goals. He finished the season as the FCS active leader in career field goal percentage (84.9).
Farley finished the 2012 season tied for first on the team in tackles with 85. He notched 46 solo tackles and 39 assisted while starting for the Panthers in five games after transferring from the University of Kansas.
The Panthers will open the 2013 season in 33 days against the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames, Iowa. The game is set to start at 7:00 p.m.
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