For once, Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams is flying under the radar.
Earlier this week, new University of Washington coach Chris Petersen faced a roomful of reporters to deliver the news that Cyler Miles will start at quarterback when the Huskies face the Eagles on Saturday.
On Tuesday afternoon, in what passes for a press conference at Roos Field, Adams faced three television cameras and an iPhone – and was asked how he was preparing for Miles.
Adams politely replied that the Eagle defense would handle that assignment – and jogged onto the field.
No one is quite sure what to expect from the enigmatic Miles, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound redshirt sophomore and the heir apparent to Keith Price – until the dual-threat QB was involved in a pair of assaults after the Super Bowl.
No charges were filed because of a lack of evidence, but Miles was suspended in for spring ball as well as the opener last week at Hawaii.
“I messed up big time, and I’m willing to face the consequences,” Miles said on Aug. 6, his only interview since the incidents.
Miles entered fall camp with scanty knowledge of the playbook – not that it mattered last week. But sophomore Jeff Lindquist struggled against Hawaii, opening the door for Miles, now the biggest wild card in Saturday’s game against the Eagles.
“We’re going to give Cyler a chance to see what he can do,” Petersen said Monday.
“He can put things together pretty quickly, football-wise,” Petersen added. “For him to get no reps in spring and just get fall with us, he’s very much in tune, as much as other quarterbacks are, and now we get him more reps and see what can happen.”
Whatever that is, it will happen first to the Eagles, who got a good dose of the unknown in their opener against Sam Houston State. In that game, they struggled at times with the mobile-but-inconsistent Jared Johnson, who threw for 317 yards, ran for 79 more and accounted for three touchdowns.
Miles carries a higher pedigree; he was rated among the top 25 prep recruits – at all positions – by Superprep. After redshirting in 2012, he played extensively in several games and completed 37 of 61 passes for four touchdowns and two interceptions. “He has plenty of arm, he can put the ball down the field, so it’s going to be a challenge,” Eastern defensive coordinator John Graham said.
Miles also ran 23 times for 200 yards, but 89 of those came in mopup duty during a 56-0 win over Idaho State. Late in the season, when Price was injured, Miles started in a 69-27 Husky romp at Oregon State.
Said Eastern coach Beau Baldwin, “He can make every throw in a college offense, but we can’t let him get loose – we have to make him make more traditional football plays.”
Griz out of the record book
For 12 years, Montana was tied for the longest winning streak in FCS history with Penn. That mark was surpassed last Saturday as North Dakota State won its 25th straight game, downing Iowa State 34-14. Montana won their final 14 games of the 2001 season en route to the national championship. The Grizzlies opened the 2002 season with 10 consecutive wins, before the streak ended with a loss at Eastern Washington.
Montana State, UC Davis and Weber State all featured quarterbacks making their first collegiate starts last week. All three opened against FBS teams, including two that were ranked. Montana State sophomore Dakota Prukop took over for the graduated DeNarius McGhee. Prukop completed 14 of 26 passes for 142 yards with two interceptions. He gained 42 yards on the ground, but all but 4 yards were wiped away by sacks. …UC Davis started senior London Lacy in a 45-0 loss to No. 11 Stanford. Lacy completed 12-of-22 passes for 54 yards with two interceptions. He was sacked twice. Sophomore BYU transfer Billy Green completed 14-of-29 passes for 156 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in a 45-15 loss to No. 19 Arizona State. Idaho State’s Xavier Finney rushed for 133 yards in the Bengals’ loss to Utah… …Sacramento State’s 49-13 win over Incarnate Word was its largest margin of victory since a 69-19 win over Saint Mary’s in 2003……Portland State reserve QB Paris Penn rushed for a career-high 112 yards and scored on runs of 58 and 11 yards against Oregon State.
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