UNI punter wins Missouri Valley Football Conference POW honor




CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – UNI football Nate murphy is the second Panther in a row to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference Special Teams Player of the Week award.

Murphy, a punter from West Des Moines, Iowa, punted throughout the season in UNI’s victory over the South Illinois No.3. His 59-yard punt exceeds a 53-yard punt against South Dakota State and a 52-yard punt in the season opener against Iowa State.

Kicker Matthieu cook was named the Special Teams POW last week.

Murphy is the son of Craig and Shaunda Murphy, both graduates of UNI.

This week’s Missouri Valley Football Conference Player of the Week also includes LB Ferrin Manuleleua of Missouri State; and QB Jason Shelley of the State of Missouri.

Special teams player of the week
P Nate murphy, UNITED
6-1, 185 pounds, Jr., West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley High
Murphy punted throughout the season with 59 yards in UNI’s victory over the South Illinois No.3. Murphy totaled 246 yards on his five attempts, averaging 49.20 yards per punt.

Offensive player of the week
Newcomer of the week
QB Jason Shelley, State of Missouri
5-11, 197, Sr., Frisco (Texas) Lone Star High / State of Utah
Shelley tied a Missouri state school record with 29 wins and scored four touchdowns to help the Bears secure a thrilling home victory over North Dakota. Shelley crafted the winning command in the final 1:39 as he stepped over 76 yards for the Bears in just eight plays before shooting a two-yard pass in favor of Isaac Smith for the win with 15 seconds left. His 12-yard rushing touchdown and the two-point conversion pass that followed a few minutes earlier helped cut the Bears’ 11-point deficit and made heroism possible late in the game. He finished 29 of 42 (0.690) for 349 yards and 3 passing touchdowns. Also noteworthy in Shelley’s big day was Shelley’s 10th-best total passing yards (349) in program history, tying a program record with his eighth passing game for 200 yards in a season (all in his first eight games), and moved into the program’s top five in a single season for passing touchdowns (16), passing yards (2,254) and top seven total offensive yards ( 2,254) – with three games remaining on the calendar. It was also Shelley’s third win in the fourth quarter of the season.

Defensive player of the week
LB Ferrin Manuleleua, State of Missouri
6-1, 230, Jr., Manteca (Calif.) High, Modesto JC
In his 13th start in just two seasons with the Bears, Manuleleua racked up 10 total saves as part of a strong MSU defensive effort against North Dakota. Manuleleua helped neutralize a deadly UND game late in the game and also had a key quarterback pressed in the second half. Equally critical, he was instrumental in Missouri State’s two fourth-quarter take-away fumbles that made the late-game comeback possible.

UNI will hit the road for two games before returning to wrap up the regular season at home against Western Illinois on November 20. The Panthers face the Illinois State Redbirds at noon CT on November 6. In addition to the Panthers Sports Radio Network, fans can tune into ESPN + for the game.

UNI has won the last three clashes with Illinois State. In the last game, UNI won 20-10 on March 6, 2021. Illinois State (3-5 overall / 1-4 MVFC) just lost 38-31 to Western Illinois.


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