CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) — The chips are stacked against the UNI Panthers on Saturday. UNI opened the week as an 18 1/2 point underdog to Iowa State as they take a redshirt freshman quarterback in to Jack Trice Stadium.
Will McElvain makes his first career start against a Cyclone defense that was one of the best in the Big 12 in 2018. On offense, Brock Purdy returns for his sophomore campaign after helping lead Iowa State to an eight win season. That propelled the Cyclones in to the preseason top 25 for the first time since the 1970’s.
“They’ve got Big 12 players. They’re confident. They’re competitive, and when I say that it’s compared to other teams that we’ve played down there,” says Farley, “They have that internal mechanism that really makes them good just besides the talent on the field.”
As for the UNI quarterback battle. Farley says McElvain’s body of work going back to spring practice tipped the scales in his favor in a close battle with sophomore Jacob Keller.
“Jacob really did a nice job late in camp. He really came on strong on the backside, where as maybe Will came out a bit quicker,” says Farley, “but Jake made a nice run that last week and a half. We just made a choice. We felt that Will overall is the best person at this time to go in to this football game, so we chose him.”
UNI and Iowa State kick off in Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday at 11:00 am.