CEDAR FALLS — After being snubbed for a top-8 seed and a first-round bye in the 24-team FCS Playoffs, Northern Iowa hosts Pioneer League champion San Diego (9-2, 8-0) on Saturday at 1 p.m. for a first-round game at the UNI-Dome.
UNI (8-4, 6-2) has never played the Toreros, but is 5-0 all-time against Pioneer League opponents.
Here’s what we learned at UNI head coach Mark Farley’s weekly news conference Monday:
1. Scouting San Diego
Farley and his staff’s game planning for San Diego was still in its beginning stages when he met the media Monday. However, the Panthers coach said it didn’t take long to see the Toreros are led by an offense averaging 41.7 points and 498.8 yards per game.
“They’re exceptional on offense,” Farley said. “It’s multiple formations. It’s about every formation you can draw on a board. It’s well-run (and) well-coached. It’s a very good football team as you watch (them) on film. They do a lot of things very well.”
2. UNI injury report
A first-round bye would have been extra helpful to this particular UNI team, with a number of its top contributors dealing with injuries.
Running back Tyler Hoosman (ankle) is doubtful against the Toreros. Tight end Briley Moore (shoulder), receivers Isaiah Weston (lower body) and Deion McShane (undisclosed), defensive end Seth Thomas (undisclosed) and defensive back Micah Mayberry (lower body) were all deemed questionable by Farley.
Freshman cornerback Omar Brown (lower body) is probable after being shaken up in last Saturday’s win against Western Illinois.
If UNI advances, Hoosman, Moore, Weston, McShane and Thomas could all be probable for a potential second-round rematch with No. 7-seed South Dakota State on Dec. 7.
3. Logan Wolf’s redshirt status
Freshman receiver Logan Wolf has played only two games this season — UNI’s last two — but with a possible five games remaining and continued injuries at receiver, Farley didn’t rule out the possibility of the Cedar Falls native being needed in enough games to lose redshirt eligibility.
“That will unfold as this all transpires, too,” Farley said. “He’ll play this weekend, for sure. So, we’ll just kind of let that unfold as all this other stuff (does). (The bracket) changed some things timeline wise.”