September 25, 2012 in Sports

Eastern’s QB starter remains big question

By The Spokesman-Review
The Spokesman-Review photo

Eastern Washington University logo.
(Full-size photo)

Only Beau knows.

Not the fans, not the media, and certainly not the opposition, who will be guessing for the rest of the season as to who starts at quarterback at Eastern Washington.

That’s the message EWU coach Beau Baldwin delivered before Tuesday’s practice at Roos Field, where the seventh-ranked Eagles (2-1) are preparing for their home opener against No. 21 Montana on Saturday. After starting Southern Methodist transfer Kyle Padron for the first two games of the season, Baldwin went with redshirt freshman Vernon Adams at Weber State last week. Adams stunned the unprepared Wildcats and staked the Eagles to a 20-3 halftime lead en route to a 32-26 win in their Big Sky Conference opener.

At least the Grizzlies know what’s coming, but they’ll be compelled to prepare for two quarterbacks with vastly different playing styles. Against Weber State, Adams completed 7 of 12 pass attempts for 75 yards and rushed for 62 more, mostly on successful third-down scrambles.

“I don’t know that I’ve had a quarterback who’s so straight-out athletic,” Baldwin said. “And that gets twisted sometimes, because he also throws the ball really well.”

“This was something that goes back a lot farther than people think,” Baldwin said of the quarterback competition during fall camp. “It was competitive, even if people didn’t think it was. They thought I was just saying that.”

Adams got the word a couple of days before the game.

“Coach said it was probable that I was going to start,” Adams said Tuesday. “I thought I was going to be nervous, but I wasn’t,” noting that this was his first game under center in almost two years.

After leading the Eagles to four scores in five possessions in the first half, Adams succumbed to cramps caused by dehydration. That won’t be a problem this week, regardless of whether he starts or not.

“I’ve been drinking so much water and Gatorade every day,” Adams said.

Against Weber State, Padron was 11 for 17 for 149 yards. He threw an interception on the Eagles’ first possession of the second half, but recovered and directed three scoring drives, one that ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Kaufman.

In this game, you can never get too high with the highs or too low with the lows,” said Padron, who in three games is 50 for 104 with four touchdowns and four interceptions.

The official depth chart, which through last week listed Padron as No. 1, now puts him and Adams on equal footing.

“It adds to what a team is thinking about and if there’s uncertainty, then there’s an advantage for us,” Baldwin said.

So who will it be on Saturday?

“You’ll just have to come out Saturday and see what happens,” Baldwin said.


Linebacker Zach Johnson and wide receiver Nick Edwards, both injured at Weber State, were on the sidelines during practice. … The Eagles will practice today and Thursday, both at 4 p.m.

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