UNI whips Missouri State - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI whips Missouri State

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Despite losing junior Eli Dunne at quarterback in the first quarter on Saturday, 25th-ranked Northern Iowa battled against adversity to claim a 25-10 victory over Missouri State on the road.

 

With the win, UNI improved to 6-4 overall and 5-2 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. MSU fell to 3-7 on the season and 2-5 in league play.

 

Dunne left the game with 5:01 remaining in the first quarter after being hit at the end of a scramble. Fellow junior Colton Howell replaced Dunne under center for the rest of the game.

 

Howell finished Saturday with 129 yards through the air on 12-of-20 passing in relief. The appearance for Howell was his first since last season’s game against Indiana State (Nov. 5, 2016).

 

The Panthers gained 185 yards on the ground to aid Howell, with Marcus Weymiller leading the way with 131 yards rushing. The 100-yard game was Weymiller’s third of the season.

 

On the defensive side, UNI held MSU to only 215 yards on the day while forcing a key interception that was returned for a touchdown by Elijah Campbell. The Panthers were able to hold MSU’s Peyton Husling to 151 yards through the air and 46 yards on the ground, while picking off the Bear QB twice.

 

After playing four-straight top-10 foes, this week’s game against the Bears could’ve been a trap game for the Panthers, but UNI came out with focus and poise to score on its opening drive.

 

Weymiller capped a nine-play, 75-yard drive after walking in from two-yards out to open the game’s scoring. The extra point would be missed by the Panthers, with the score at 6-0 early. Dunne would be knocked out of the game following a hit late in the first quarter. with junior Howell called off the bench to lead the offense.

 

Despite missing the extra point early, Sam Drysdale bounced back to nail back-to-back field goals of 20 and 47 yards to extend the UNI lead to 12-0 late in the second quarter.

 

With the Bears hanging around late in the second quarter, the UNI defense made a huge impact on the game as Rickey Neal hit MSU’s Huslig to send his pass fluttering like a duck in the direction of Campbell. The senior safety took the gift 35 yards for the score as UNI jumped ahead 19-0.

 

With the lead at 19-0, the Bears would muster a drive of their own after going 75 yards in 10 plays to score on a Jason Randall six-yard rushing touchdown. Following a short kickoff before halftime, UNI’s Howell lobbed a 32-yard pass to Isaiah Weston to set up a 37-yard field goal from Drysdale to give the Panthers a 22-7 lead at the break.

 

After trading punts for most of the third quarter, the Bears put together a string of big pass plays with 3:05 remaining to set up a chip shot from the 25 yards out to trim the UNI lead to 22-10.

 

A 12-play, 70-yard drive ate up over six minutes on the clock late in the ball game, with the Panthers tacking on a Drysdale 22-yard field goal to move the final margin to 25-10.

 

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