UNI Coach Mark Farley Names Starting Quarterback for 2022
For the head coach of the Northern Iowa Panthers Mark Farley, there's always a quarterback competition going into training camp.
Like he said at UNI's media day just a couple of weeks ago:
My belief is that it's not time to pick the quarterback this early in camp. We have to find the players (around the QB) to build the continuity and the chemistry of the team. That's more important than just the quarterback.
Just within the last few years, there are several QB competitions to reference: Eli Dunne and Colton Howell. Will McElvain and Jacob Keller. Theo Day and Will McElvain.
In 2022, it was Day -- the incumbent starter -- versus Matt Morrissey, a JUCO transfer that earned time on the field in 2021 during blowout wins and then when an ankle injury placed Day on the sideline during the first round of the FCS Playoffs. In that game, Morrissey went 10-28 for 126 yards and threw two interceptions.
After two weeks of camp and going through an offensive install with new co-offensive coordinators Ryan Clanton and Bodie Reeder, Farley has officially named his 2022 starter.
The former three-star, Michigan State transfer and last season's starting quarterback for ten games, Day will once again be the starter for the UNI Panthers to open up the season.
According to members of the staff and players that have watched Day continue to learn the new offense and become more comfortable throughout camp, the common sentiment was that he had separated himself as the clear starter over the last week of practices.
In 2021, Day took over for then-starter McElvain halfway through the second game of the season at Sacramento State. At the half, the Hornets held a 9-7 lead over the Panthers, and McElvain struggled to get going. He went 2-6 for seven yards along with one rush for six yards.
Day came in and tore it up, going 6-11 and passing for 120 yards and two touchdowns. UNI won the game 34-16.
In the following ten games, Day went 5-5 as the starter and completed 155 passes for 2,316 yards and 16 touchdowns en route to earning a spot on the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer Team.
McElvain entered the transfer portal several weeks later and is expected to start for the Central Arkansas Bears in 2022.
The Panthers open their season against Air Force in Colorado Springs on September 3. The Falcons went 10-3 last season.