September 3, 2013 in Sports

Breakthrough

Adams hauls in honors after Eagles upset No. 25 Beavers
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

Eastern’s Vernon Adams slips between Beavers Ryan Murphy and Michael Doctor (40) to score the game-winning touchdown.
(Full-size photo)

FBS vs. FCS

Eagles join exclusive club

Eastern’s 49-46 victory at No. 25 Oregon State on Saturday, was just the fourth time since the division was created in 1978 that an FCS (formerly known as I-AA) team defeated a ranked FBS opponent. Here are the four times that feat has occurred:

1983 - Cincinnati (Ohio) def. (20) Penn State 14-3

2007 - Appalachian State def. (5) Michigan 34-32

2010 - James Madison def. (13) Virginia Tech 21-16

2013 - Eastern Washington def. (25) Oregon State 49-46

Follow EWU reporter Jim Allen on Twitter @srjimallen

The game of football is slowing down for Vernon Adams.

The other stuff? That’s moving at warp speed, much as the Eastern Washington quarterback did in Saturday’s 49-46 win over Oregon State.

On Monday, the Eagles’ sophomore collected a handful of regional and national awards after he finished with a school-record 518 yards of total offense.

The Sports Network selected Adams as its NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Offensive Player of the Week; the Big Sky Conference and CBS Sports named him their Offensive Player of the Week; he was College Sporting News Offensive All-Star and named the Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.

In addition, Adams was also one of four FBS/FCS nominees for Capital One Impact Performer of the Week.

Adams had four touchdown passes, rushed for two touchdowns, and scored the winning points on a 2-yard run with 18 seconds left. During the Eagles’ 75-yard game-winning drive, Adams accounted for 78 yards because of a 3-yard loss on another running play.

“We were playing to win,” Adams said after the game. “I’m just so blessed and thankful.”

He had 411 yards (17th-most in school history) and those four touchdowns on 23-of-30 passing, and added 107 yards and the two TD on the ground.

“It was pretty impressive; he wasn’t afraid of the situation,” Eastern coach Beau Baldwin said after the game. “When it was time to run he took off and ran, and made them pay with his legs. But he didn’t just force the run – he found guys downfield.”

All of that with no turnovers.

Eastern outgained the Beavers 625 yards to 527 in a game that featured seven lead changes – six in the final 25 minutes. The 625 yards were the seventh-most in school history, and the most since EWU had 626 in the FCS playoffs against McNeese State in 2007.

Adams broke the previous school record for total yards of 493 set by Todd Bernett against Montana in 1994. With Saturday’s performance, he picked up where he left off last season when he had 364 passing yards in the second half alone of EWU’s 45-42 loss to Sam Houston State in the FCS playoffs.

The difference? Adams credited Baldwin and quarterbacks coach Zak Hill, as well as his work since spring with a new group of receivers.

“They were just getting open all the time,” said Adams, who did a good job of freezing the Beavers’ defensive backs as he rolled out.

The Eagles are home Saturday against Western Oregon. The following week, Sept. 14, they face another FBS team, traveling to Toledo.

“Let’s just keep it going, do it as a family and have fun,” Adams said.

Big Sky awards

Montana State defensive end Brady Daly, whose stats in a little more than two quarters in a 42-24 win over Monmouth included six tackles, four for loss, and a forced fumble, is the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Special teams honors went to Southern Utah’s Colton Cook, who kicked three field goals, including the winner as time expired in a 22-21 upset of South Alabama.

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