Eastern Washington football coach Beau Baldwin promised that Saturday’s scrimmage would be very “situational.”
For a few players, the situations were a little out of the ordinary.
First there was redshirt freshman running back Jabari Wilson, who had a chance to make an impact because of injuries to Demitrius Bronson and Quincy Forte.
Next up: former running back Jordan Talley, who is now playing linebacker.
And finally there was wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who even as a redshirt freshman showed more signs that he could be quarterback Vernon Adams’ main target this season.
Different situations for sure, but all promising.
“Coaches told me to be ready, so I’ve got to prepared,” said Wilson, who gained 42 yards on nine carries at Roos Field.
Talley, converted from running back last spring to shore up a thin linebacking corps, had no tackles, but broke up one pass as he continues to adjust to the other side of the ball.
“I definitely had opportunities building on the spring, and learned more and go deeper into our coverages and the philosophy behind our defenses, so it’s going well,” said Talley, a redshirt sophomore.
The defense gave up 466 total yards and eight touchdowns in the 86-play scrimmage, but Baldwin also watched the defense force two turnovers – including a 55-yard pick-six by cornerback Todd Raynes – and break up five passes.
“I thought it was the type of scrimmage where both sides did great things,” Baldwin said. “We got to hit a lot of different things that could happen during the season, like our backs are against the wall coming out, red zone and sudden change.
“We hit them with a lot of no-huddle stuff, but we also used our up-tempo offense a bunch.”
None of the changes, including a switch to the zone read for much of the scrimmage, seemed to faze Kupp, who caught nine passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns.
“Obviously with the zone read … you have some changes,” Kupp said. “You have to play as fast as you can, but not be in a hurry.”
Adams completed 17 of 27 passes for 159 yards, and scrambled six times for a team-high 45 yards. Backup Anthony Vitto was 12 for 16 for 105 yards.
Adams led TD drives of 85 and 87 yards, but the majority of the scrimmage consisted of short-field, game-like situations for the offense.
Zach Bruce, Jordan Thompson and Albert Havili led the defense with seven tackles each.