Redbirds Trail #8 UNI, 24-10, After Three Quarters
Oct. 11, 2008
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Illinois State head coach Denver Johnson and his staff effectively managed the first half against No. 8 Northern Iowa, but after the Redbird offense stalled on a potential game-tying drive to open the second half, UNI regained control in the third quarter and leads 24-10 heading into the final frame.
The Panthers used a 22-yard completion on a tipped pass to keep a scoring drive alive and intercepted a Kevin Brockway pass in the end zone to hold the Redbirds at bay. After ISU's opening drive to the second half stalled, UNI took a 24-10 lead on an 8-yard touchdown run by Pat Grace. The key play in the drive occurred five plays earlier when UNI's Schuylar Oordt hauled in a 22-yard tipped pass as the Panthers faced a third-and-21 situation.
Illinois State tried to counter, but Brockway's pass attempt at the UNI 8-yard line on fourth down was intercepted by UNI's Terrell McMoore.
The Redbirds got on the board at the 10:41 mark of the second quarter with a 27-yard field goal by Steven Fetzer. The UNI defense didn't make it easy as the ISU drive covered 69 yards on 20 plays and took 9:50 off the clock. The drive was the longest of the season for the Redbirds in both plays and time of possession.
ISU's methodical drive didn't slow down the UNI offense. Five plays after Fetzer's field goal, the Panthers claimed a 17-3 lead after Grace connected on a 50-yard touchdown pass with Victor Williams.
The Redbird offense returned to the field and countered with a 16-play, 86-yard scoring drive that resulted with a 1-yard touchdown run by Brockway. The ISU score closed the gap to 17-10, and set the Redbirds up for the second half after ISU won the pregame coin toss and deferred.
UNI jumped out to a 7-0 lead after taking the opening drive 72 yards on 11 plays for a touchdown. The drive culminated with a 5-yard pass from UNI's Pat Grave to Ryan Mahaffey, which was the first touchdown allowed by the Redbird defense since the fourth quarter of the Eastern Illinois game.
After holding the Redbird offense to a three-and-out, the Panthers again moved the ball down field. The ISU defense bent, but didn't break, and held UNI to a 33-yard field goal by Billy Hallgren after the Panthers gained 75 yards on the drive.