116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR FALLS — Despite a 22-year tenure as Northern Iowa’s head coach with a reputation as one of the FCS’s best defensive minds, Mark Farley spoke plenty at Wednesday’s media day about points.
Whether it be the quarterback competition between returning starter Theo Day and sophomore Matt Morrissey, or the hiring of co-offensive coordinator Bodie Reeder and a subsequent build of an entirely new offense, Farley kept coming back to “points.”
“Brought Bodie Reeder in here to score points. Brought receivers in here to score points. The quarterback has got to make decisions to score points,” Farley said. “Which quarterback will drive the field (in) a two-minute offense? Who’s going to be able to take the field with that kind of demeanor to win the game?”
Day, who threw for 2,316 yards and 16 touchdowns in 11 games last season, said he’s excited to operate the new scheme.
“(Excited for) the amount we’ll probably throw the ball this year and just spreading it out and getting wider splits with our receivers and just letting it fly,” Day said.
When it comes to scoring points, Reeder enters this season in the spotlight alongside co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Ryan Clanton, for having collaborated on the creation of the new offense.
“I’ve been here for a long time now and I’ve seen different offenses come and go, but this one has definitely been built to stand the test of time,” Clanton said. “It’s electric. There’s a lot of different movement and formations. I just think there’s a lot of explosive plays and that’s what I like the most about it.”
Among the new wide receivers Farley mentioned bringing in are Minnesota transfer Peter Udoibok, Iowa transfer Desmond Hutson, West Virginia transfer Devell Washington and Ankeny’s Brady McCullough.
“Peter Udoibok has really done a nice job. (Hutson) was really good in the spring and really like Brady McCullough, the freshman we took out of Des Moines,” Farley said. “We have others that are still competing (like) Devell Washington.
“The receiving corps we wanted to establish because of the type of style of offense that we want to create. We tried to get as many receivers in here as we could because we have to find five great ones, not just good ones.”
After spring practices, Farley noted how well the offense was working operationally. Wednesday, 3 1/2 weeks before their season opener at Air Force, he poured a little cold water on the unit.
“I’m OK with where we’re at, (but) I’m not pleased with where we’re at,” Farley said. “Because I know where we need to get to. They’ve done nothing wrong, I just haven’t got them there yet.”