CEDAR FALLS — After a near upset at Iowa State, the Northern Iowa Panthers now get set for their home opener against Southern Utah. The Panthers have won four of the five games in the series but the Thunderbirds won the last meeting in 2017.That’s UNI coach Mark Farley who does not believe there will be a letdown after a hard fought game in Ames.Quarterback Will McElvain passed for 228 yards in his first start and Farley felt the redshirt freshman played well.Farley says McElvain needs to be better in the pocket.Farley says that is the next step to becoming a complete quarterback.Kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for 4 o’clock EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — After signing Kirk Cousins to a fully guaranteed contract last year, the Minnesota Vikings have given their quarterback even more to work with this time. There’s a new offense being implemented, with plans for more time under center and a higher volume of play-action passes. There are high draft picks at center and tight end, too. This season will surely be a crossroad of sorts for both Cousins and the Vikings, their trajectory toward that elusive Super Bowl victory inescapably intertwined. IOWA CITY — Offensive lineman Kyler Schott is quickly becoming Iowa’s latest walk-on success story. With Cole Banwart sidelined with injury and tackle Alaric Jackson going down with a knee injury Schott entered the game and played well in a win over Miami of Ohio. The redshirt sophomore could get his first start at right guard in the Hawkeyes Big Ten opener against Rutgers.Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has not been surprised by Schott’s success.Ferentz say Schott worked hard to get into the lineup.Kickoff between Iowa and Rutgets is scheduled for 11 o’clock Saturday morning, with the pre-game show starting at 9 o’clock on AM-1300 KGLO BOSTON (AP) — Mookie Betts knows the Boston Red Sox are running out of time to be patient.The reigning AL MVP homered on the first two pitches he saw from José Berríos on Wednesday night, collecting four hits and five RBIs in all to help Boston beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2.The game was delayed 47 minutes at the start by a rainstorm, then two Twins outfielders took the wrong positions for the first inning.It got even stranger at the end.Willians Astudillo was hit on the forearm while swinging in the ninth, and he was initially called out before returning to complete his at-bat. Then plate umpire Ramon DeJesus was hit on the left hand by a pitch, sending his pitch counter flying; while the Boston trainer was tending to him, second base ump CB Bucknor ran off to the umpire’s room to get a chest protector and was still missing when the game resumed after DeJesus decided to stay in the game.Bucknor returned for the next batter.Meanwhile, Minnesota put two on with one out before Brandon Workman got Nelson Cruz on a game-ending 1-4-3 double play. The AL Central-leading Twins, who had won seven of eight, fell to 5½ games ahead of second-place Cleveland in the division. MASON CITY – The NIACC volleyball team dropped a 3-2 decision to DMACC in its Iowa Community College Athletic Conference opener Wednesday night in the NIACC gym.DMACC won 25-21, 25-23, 21-25, 20-25, 15-10.In the fourth game, the Lady Trojans jumped out to a 15-0 lead and held on for the five-point win to force the fifth and deciding game.NIACC was led by sophomore Kennedy Meister with a career-high 29 kills. She also added 21 digs and two assists.Also for the Lady Trojans, Shelby Heston had 10 kills and eight digs, Bri Powers had 19 digs, Tessa Sienknecht had eight assists and nine digs, Kayla Lentz had 21 digs, Becca Steffen collected 33 assists, 21 digs, seven kills, five ace serves and two blocks and Alexa Loftus had 14 digs.NIACC (6-3 overall) returns to action Friday and Saturday at the Rochester Community and Technical College Yellowjacket Invitational in Rochester, Minn.