The Mark Farley interview: Dec. 11 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

The Mark Farley interview: Dec. 11

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Mark Farley of the Northern Iowa Panthers and the Panthers finishing a great season 9-5 with a tough loss to Illinois State but on the whole coach --what a great season?

Mark: It was a great season and you go back to the run we made with the wins over the number one and number five ranked teams and the win over Stephen F. Austin and the great plays we made

Rick: And this team--the resilience of this team--Last year the injuries and tough losses--it seemed like one tough loss would turn into two--but this year there was a different mentality--how did that happen?

Mark : This team had mental toughness--they showed a lot of grit.. I had one assistant who said on paper we had about a 5 percent chance of beating Illinois State and North State back to back..but the grit of this team was incredible --the defense the way they played and the amount of points they scored --the special teams and then the offense turned it around mid-season.

Rick What were those practices like during the tough times when you were 3-4?

Mark: Actually what we said at that time was --just treat them like men and let them make the decision for themselves..they've got a dream--let them live their dream..so there wasn't a lot of hollering going on ..Let's go to work we know who we are and what we can do and slowly but surely they go on the field and got better and better and more confident...

Rick: You say goodbye to 18 great seniors--David Johnson.. those shoes are tough to fill

Mark Real hard to fill and I don't know if you can fill them I think we have to find the next best players to become who they are in this program.. David is.. we were all lucky to see a great athlete put up huge numbers-- 200 yards on kick returns.. rushing and receiving.. they were all great seniors and you can talk about each one of them but it was David Johnson that people will remember but the defense as group and what they were able to do stands out for me.

Rick: The schedule you have next year which is tremendous starting out at Iowa State.. and in the conference road games at both Illinois state and North Dakota State..

Mark: We've got to go to NDSU and Illinois State and Cal Poly-- E. Washington comes here so there is no rest you find out this is division one football it is tough and intense very competitive..

Rick Thanks a lot coach for sharing this great season with us.. and sharing it with us here

Mark: I enjoyed it and it was fun coming out every week..

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