It was the first FCS playoff appearance for No. 6 seed UC Davis (10-2), which will play at third-seeded Eastern Washington (10-2) in a quarterfinal next Saturday. The Aggies lost 59-20 at EWU on Nov. 10.
Tehran Thomas had 87 yards rushing on 13 carries, and Ulonzo Gilliam added 48 yards and a touchdown run for UC Davis. Max O'Rourke made three of his four field goal attempts.
Eli Dunne was 22-of-40 passing for 273 yards and threw two interceptions for Northern Iowa (7-6). Trevor Allen ran for 62 yards and a touchdown. Austin Errthum made 3 of 5 field goals.
Maier tossed a 4-yard pass to Wesley Preece for the only touchdown in the first half, and the Aggies led 16-6.
Gilliam's 1-yard run stretched the lead to 23-6, and UNI answered when Allen bullied in from the 1 to cap a six-play, 74-yard drive midway through the third quarter.
Errthum's 45-yard field goal with 14:09 left capped the scoring. The Panthers' last two drives ended with a missed field goal, and a turnover on downs at the UC Davis 36.
It was the first meeting between the schools.
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