UNI Panthers

UNI football takeaways: Why the bye week was productive

QB Will McElvain has new challenges, TE Briley Moore could be out for year

Northern Iowa running back Trevor Allen carries the ball against Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports)
Northern Iowa running back Trevor Allen carries the ball against Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports)

CEDAR FALLS — After a bye week, Northern Iowa football coach Mark Farley met the media Monday.

Here’s what we learned as the 10th-ranked Panthers (1-1) prepare for Saturday’s home game against Idaho State (1-1) at 4 p.m.

Bye week was productive

With a week of practices completed after two games against two considerably different opponents, Farley was pleased on Monday. The 19th-year coach said his team came away from a physical week of practice with no additional injuries.

“It was good because we got some things done personnel wise,” Farley said. “Just cleaned some things up. Nothing drastic. We had a couple physical practices. Feel very good about it.”

Farley believes the running game will be better.

The Panthers are averaging only 2 yards per carry and rank ninth in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in yards gained. Farley is looking for progress after Trevor Allen was able to gain 72 yards on 15 second-half attempts in the win over Southern Utah on Sept. 7.

“Schematically we worked on it. I think it will come with the growth of the offense,” Farley said. “Probably the easiest answer is a better understanding of personnel and coaches being that there are so many new people — offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, we found out what (quarterback) Will (McElvain) can do — so between all those questions through camp I think we answered those so we can kind of solidify what we’re going to do on offense from here on out.”

Will McElvain was given new challenges

After openly challenging McElvain to be better from the pocket ahead of the Southern Utah game, Farley described Monday how new challenges were again thrown the redshirt freshman’s way during the bye week.

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“It wasn’t just look at the upcoming opponent, it was to see now how can we expand the (offense’s) package based off his skill-set and what he can do,” Farley said. “There’s still much more to his game, as much more to the offensive game, because of his skill-set and the people surrounding him.”

Briley Moore could be out for the season

Farley once again was non-committal to a timeline for tight end Briley Moore’s return after a shoulder injury he suffered in week 1 against Iowa State, explaining that he’s been to multiple doctors for consultations as a result of the uniqueness of the injury.

“Briley’s out for awhile. It may be for the season. We’ll see,” Farley said. “There won’t be nothing new on Briley probably until three quarters of the way through the season. It’ll be getting into October before we even have to start seeing where he’s at with things right now.

“I couldn’t even tell you for sure what (the injury) is if I tried because it’s not a muscle tear. So it’s kind of unique to the situation. All in all I think he’s gotten a good report, it’s just that it doesn’t take surgery right now.”

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