Flacco Leads Delaware In Upset of No. 1 UNI

Flacco threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns

Dec. 1, 2007

By Kent Schmidt

Special to CSTV.com from CollegeSportingNews.com


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Led by quarterback Joe Flacco, the Delaware Blue Hens (10-3) came to a winter weathered eastern Iowa and upset top seeded UNI (12-1) 39-27 in front of 15,803 fans inside the climate controlled UNI-Dome.


Flacco threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for another.


Running back Omar Cuff ran for 102 yards and a score to aid in the Blue Hen victory.




"We have two of the top players in America on offense," said coach K.C.Keeler.


Flacco's last touchdown - a one yard run sealed the victory with 41 seconds left in the game.


Delaware led at halftime 19-13.


UNI took the lead back to open the third quarter 20-19 with a Corey Lewis seven-yard touchdown run.


After that, Delaware scored the games next 13 points to cut the game nearly out of reach.


The Blue Hens scored on two field goals by Jon Striefsky - one of 47 yards and the other of 46 yards.  The two field goals sandwiched around Cuff's lone touchdown run - a 15 yard scamper. The final field goal put the Blue Hens up 32-20 with 5:43 left in the game.


UNI would score a touchdown on a Eric Sanders throw to tight end Austin Howard to cut the lead to 32-27 with 2:51 left but this was as close as the Panthers would get.


Delaware opened the game with the first possession but were forced to punt after seven plays.


UNI opened with the game's first 10 points.  On the Panthers first drive of the game, UNI drove 64-yards in five plays and led the game 7-0 on running back Corey Lewis' 25-yard touchdown scamper.


UD punted again on their second possession.  UNI drove as far as the Fighting Blue Hen 11 yard line but were forced to settle for a field goal - a 33 yarder from Billy Hallgren - to put the Panthers up 10-0.


"The crowd was everything we thought it would be," said Keeler.


The two teams exchanged punts on the next two possessions, but after that the game started to change for Delaware.


With the aid of a short punt and good return by Aaron Love, Delaware drove just 37 yards to get on the scoreboard with a seven play drive that ended with a Mark Duncan catch of seven yards from Flacco.  The extra point, however, was blocked to give the Hens a 10-6 deficit.


The teams exchange punts on the game's next three possessions and Delaware took the lead after that.  The Blue Hens drove 12 plays and 80 yards and ended with another Flacco touchdown throw--this one also seven yards to tight end Robbie Agnone but again, the point after was blocked to give the Blue Hens a 12-10 lead.


UNI would take the next possession but on their second play on that drive would fumble the ball.  Blue Hen linebacker Erik Johnson would score a 55-yard touchdown after he picked up a fumble by Panther wide receiver Victor Williams after Williams made a reception.  The Blue Hens would make this extra point to go up 19-10.


"That was definitely the turning point in the game," said UNI coach Mark Farley.  "Whenever you let the defense score it is a turning point."


Just before halftime, UNI closed the gap by driving 60 yards and ended the drive at the11 yard line. Hallgren converted a 29-yard attempt to close the deficit to six, 19-13.


The Panthers were led offensively by running back Corey Lewis' 150 yards rushing and two touchdowns.


UNI quarterback and Payton Award finalist Eric Sanders ended his career by throwing 291 yards on a touchdown, but also fumbled on a key play in the third quarter.