FB: Panthers Fall in FCS Quarterfinals

FB: Panthers Fall in FCS Quarterfinals


The UNI Panther defense did what it has done all year long, stand tall in their own territory, create turnovers and cause havoc in the defensive backfield, but the Panther offense couldn’t find a rhythm and the Panthers fell to James Madison 17-0 Friday night in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Panther defense held the Dukes 27 points below their season average and to their lowest point total since only scoring 13 points against West Virginia in the season opener.

The Dukes scored late in the first quarter, added a field goal in the second quarter, and led 10-0 at the half.

The Panthers then held JMU out of the end zone until the final minutes of the game when UNI turned the ball over on downs on the one-yard line in a last-ditch effort at the end of the game. The Dukes scored on the ensuing play to fix the final margin of victory.

The loss caps a season that saw UNI outpace any expectation, despite being decimated by injuries on the offensive side of the ball. The Panthers faced a brutal schedule, including road games against three of the other seven teams in the FCS quarterfinals and a road game against a ranked power-five team.

UNI was picked to finish fifth in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and persevered to finish alone in the second spot in the MVFC and among the top-eight teams in the nation.

In the loss to JMU, UNI was shut out for the first time since a 27-0 loss against Iowa State in 2010.

The Panthers ended the season 10-5. It was the first 10-win season since 2011 and the first trip to the quarterfinals since 2015.