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Eli Dunne


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The answer was an emphatic, "No!"

Northern Iowa head football coach Mark Farley is hopeful starting quarterback Eli Dunne will be cleared to play Saturday in the Panthers' season-finale against Indiana State on Senior Day at the UNI-Dome.

Asked if there was a scenario, with as well as the defense has been playing and the team's confidence in back-up Colton Howell, if he'd rest Dunne, even if he was healthy, Farley was quick to answer.

"There is no rest for anyone," Farley said. "That word is not in my vocabulary. We better get this thing lined up. We cannot afford to even take a hesitant step if we are going to improve. We will take the same approach if not a tougher approach to get ready for this weekend's football game."

Dunne was hurt with 5 minutes, 1 second left in the first quarter, when he scrambled away from a potential sack. As he dove forward, he was hit hard in the chest and Farley said it is an injury to the sternum that is bothering Dunne more than anything.

Farley said Dunne's status is questionable.

If Dunne can't go, it will be Howell, who completed 12 of 20 passes for 129 yards in the win over Missouri State. If Howell were to get hurt, Farley said it would be either senior Reggie Schulte or red-shirt freshman Christian Ellsworth.

THE INJURY REPORT: Farley, chuckled lightly, when he said the injury list he got was two pages Monday morning.

What was encouraging, however, is nobody that missed or were injured in the win over Missouri State has been ruled out against the Sycamores.

"I'd tell you if they were out and they are not out," Farley said. "They are not in, but they are not out, either."

The list is extensive, starting with Dunne and moving on to offensive linemen Bryce Sweeney, Cal Twait and Nick Ellis, tight end Elias Nissen, safety A.J. Allen and outside linebacker Keelon Brookins.

"I think we will get Twait back," Farley said of his offensive linemen. "The other ones are questionable. Twait will practice today. The rest have moved into questionable which is a plus."

Farley is pleased that UNI has been able to operate the last two weeks despite the fact many times the offensive line was playing just two of the five that started the Panthers' first game at Iowa State.

"I'm pleased we can mix and match and still be productive," he said.

SENIORS: Fifteen seniors will play their final regular-season game Saturday inside the UNI-Dome lead by senior captains Daurice Fountain, Jared Farley, Adam Reth and Preston Woods.

"It takes great leadership to go through what we went through," Farley said. "I think that speaks for itself, Daurice Fountain, Jared Farley, Adam Reth and Preston Woods ... they kind of Sam Kuhter is in that mix ... all the seniors. Elijah Campbell, the transfers, Keelon ... you see a lot of unselfishness. You see a lot of determination, and you see a lot of good football players.

"How the team has kind of did a 180 for us and you need an internal force to do that and that is where you credit your seniors."

Other seniors are Brookins, J'Veyon Browning, Elijah Campbell, Lee Carhart, Rashadeem Gray, Xavier James. Sam Kuhter, Tyrell Lyons, Reggie Schulte, Sweeney and Malcolm Washington.

The seniors have helped UNI win 29 games, 13 of them over ranked foes.


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