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San Diego 3
Next up: UNI @ No. 7 SDSU
Time/Date: Dec. 7 – 2 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN3
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Trevor Allen, RB, UNI — Allen scored the lone offensive touchdown while rushing for 46 yards.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Brawntae Wells, DL, UNI — Returned an interception 34 yards for a TD in the first quarter.
OTHER STAT STANDOUTS:
Emilio Martinez, RB, USD – 6 rec. for 71 yards
Dalton Kincaid, TE, USD – 6 rec. for 63 yards
Isaiah Weston, WR, UNI – 2 rec. for 58 yards
Marcus Vaivao, LB, USD – 14 tackles, 11 solo, 2 TFLs, 2 FF
Bryce Flater, LB, UNI – 10 tackles
FCS COACHING CHANGES: The List – And Why
THE TURNING POINT
Holding on to a 10-3 lead in the fourth quarter in this dead-even game, UNI got the big play it needed with under three minutes left in the final quarter. Christian Jegen picked off a Reid Sinnett pass and returned it 52 yards to the 7-yard line. On the next play, Trevor Allen scored a rushing touchdown for the Panthers to seal the game.
For the second straight season, UNI found itself in a close battle in the first round. Last year was a 16-13 win against Lamar. This game against San Diego had a similar flavor where the Panthers just couldn't get into a rhythm on offense. Credit that to a tough Toreros defense. This team is much more talented than maybe some gave them credit for.
But UNI capitalized on big plays from its defense. The Panthers intercepted three passes. The first was a pick-six by Brawntae Wells two minutes into the game as the Panthers clung to the lead from there.
San Diego came in looking to get a win. No doubt the Toreros are disappointed in the loss, but they showed they belonged with a top team in a top FCS conference. This was an even matchup on the field and on the stat-sheet. UNI had a 268-213 total yards advantage. The Panthers had 82 yards rushing to San Diego's 26. The Toreros had 187 yards passing, one more yard than UNI.
PREVIEW OF NEXT WEEK
UNI and SDSU are no strangers to each other. They play in the same conference (MVFC) and the Jackrabbits knocked UNI out of the 2017 playoffs in the second round, 37-22.
It was just two weeks ago when the Panthers visited Brookings. The result was an ugly one with SDSU winning 38-7. The Panthers need a shot in the arm offensively. SDSU, meanwhile, has had a week off to get healthy. UNI has been a popular pick as an unseeded team to make a playoff run. We'll see if the Panthers can get going offensively to push seventh-seeded SDSU. Or else the Jacks will advance to their fourth-straight quarterfinals.
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