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Tuesday, September 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Big Sky notes: Perhaps benched Dakota Prukop should have stayed at Montana State

Dakota Prukop transferred to Oregon from Montana State, but struggles against Pac-12 teams like Washington State have landed him on the bench. The Bobcats, who host Eastern Washington on Saturday and are off to their worst start in 16 years, could have used Prukop this season. (Young Kwak / Associated Press)
Dakota Prukop transferred to Oregon from Montana State, but struggles against Pac-12 teams like Washington State have landed him on the bench. The Bobcats, who host Eastern Washington on Saturday and are off to their worst start in 16 years, could have used Prukop this season. (Young Kwak / Associated Press)

Perhaps Dakota Prukop should have stayed at Montana State.

The former MSU quarterback is riding the bench at Oregon and his former team is riding a four-game losing streak as third-ranked Eastern Washington comes to Bozeman this weekend.

Prukop and the Bobcat offense had thrived together for two years, but he followed in the footsteps of former EWU star Vernon Adams Jr. and transferred to Oregon as a graduate student.

Demoted to second string in Eugene, Prukop must be second-guessing his decision. After all, he and the Bobcats played some thrillers against Eastern. Two years ago in Bozeman, the Eagles finally prevailed 52-51; last year, Prukop ran wild in a 55-50 loss in Cheney.

Times have changed for MSU, which is 2-5 overall and dead last in the Big Sky Conference at 0-4. First-year coach Jeff Choate has used two quarterbacks to no avail as the Bobcats are off to their worst start since the 0-11 season of 2000.

Junior Tyler Bruggman is 79-for-149 for 853 yards, six touchdowns and four picks. Now Bruggman is sharing time with true freshman Chris Murray, who’s more mobile but is completing less than half his passes.

The Eagles are preparing for both quarterbacks, but EWU defensive coordinator Jeff Schmedding conceded that Murphy “adds a dimension of athleticism.”

MSU managed just two touchdowns in losses to North Dakota (17-15) and Northern Arizona (20-14), then fell behind by three scores last weekend in a 45-27 defeat at Weber State.

“As a head coach, I did not have these guys ready to play,” Choate said. “We lacked energy from the start, and I accept responsibility for that.”

Murphy ran for 131 yards at Weber State, but was 10-for-18 for 199 yards and was picked off twice.

EWU is projected as the second overall seed in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs by STATS FCS Football. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
EWU is projected as the second overall seed in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs by STATS FCS Football. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

STATS projects Eagles as No. 2 seed

In its first bracketology foray of the season, STATS FCS Football picks Eastern as the second overall seed in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

If that holds true, the third-ranked Eagles (5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big Sky Conference) would be guaranteed to host postseason games though the semifinals.

STATS has North Dakota State as the top seed, followed by EWU, Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State.

STATS predicts that at least four Big Sky teams will qualify: Eastern, Montana, North Dakota and Cal Poly. Weber State is a bubble team, STATS says.

Former Eastern Washington star Vernon Adams looks set to make his first start for the Montreal Alouettes this weekend. (Michael Conroy / Associated Press)
Former Eastern Washington star Vernon Adams looks set to make his first start for the Montreal Alouettes this weekend. (Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Report: Adams to start for Montreal

The Vernon Adams era is about to begin in Montreal.

The former Eastern Washington star will make his first start this weekend for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, according to reports.

Adams will start on Saturday at Regina, according to CFL analyst Didier Orméjuste. He replaces Rakeem Cato, the starter after the team traded veteran backup Kevin Glenn to Winnipeg on Sept. 11.

If Adams starts, he would be one of four protégés of Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin to see action this weekend in the CFL.

The others are former EWU stars Bo Levi Mitchell (Calgary) and Matt Nichols (Winnipeg) and ex-Central Washington star Mike Reilly (Edmonton). Reilly played for Baldwin during the latter’s one-year stint in Ellensburg in 2007.

“I anticipate he’ll have the same kind of success,” Baldwin said this week.

The Alouettes acquired Adams Jr. in a trade from the BC Lions in the off-season, surrendering their first round pick in the 2017 CFL Draft.

Adams has seen little action so far for the 4-11 Alouettes, completing four out of nine passes for 35 yards. He also has 17 carries for 33 yards and a touchdown.

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