For Efficient Effort in 54-29 Win, “Big Play VA” Wins Sports Network National Player of the Week Honors

Walter Payton Award Candidate Vernon Adams has a near-perfect passing performance in a perfect offensive game for No. 3 Eagles in romp past No. 4 Montana State

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Perfection rewarded.

For directing a perfect 8-for-8 performance by the offense in third-ranked Eastern Washington University’s 54-29 victory over fifth-ranked Montana State, sophomore quarterback Vernon Adams has been selected by The Sports Network as its co-National Offensive Player of the Week.

Adams, a 6-foot, 190-pound sophomore from Pasadena, Calif., also earned national player of the week honors from College Sports Madness and Beyond Sports Network, and was the College Football Performance Awards FCS Quarterback Performer of the Week. In addition, he was selected as the Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season and fifth time of his career.

The Walter Payton Award candidate completed 16-of-18 passes for 300 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions against the Bobcats, and also rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown. Adams finished with an efficiency rating of 302.2, barely missing on school and Big Sky Conference records.

“Vernon was special and the receivers were special,” praised Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. “Just two incompletions -- that is impressive. That is just the type of player he is. He keeps getting better, and he keeps working at it.”

Adams became the school’s single-season leader in passing touchdowns against MSU, and his 39 are just three shy of the Big Sky single-season record of 42. Eastern, which scored on all eight of its offensive possessions in the game, ran 48 offensive plays for 591 yards, a Big Sky single game record of 12.3 yards per play.

Now 16-3 as a starter at EWU, Adams has 26 pass completions already in his career of at least 40 yards, including 17 for touchdowns. All but four of those have come this season, and three of them came versus the Bobcats.

Adams is ranked No. 1 again this week in passing efficiency in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. With a 67.4 percent completion rate (213-of-316 to rank seventh in FCS), 3,378 yards (third), 39 touchdowns (second) and nine interceptions for the season, he has a rating of 192.2. Eastern also leads the nation with a 191.5 team rating. Adams is second in FCS in points responsible for with an average of 26.2 per game (total of 260 to rank first, with 39 TD passes, four rushing touchdowns and one two-point conversion). He is also second in FCS in total offense per game (384.8) and third in passing yards per game (337.8 per game).

More Vernon Adams Facts . . .

  • In the last three games, he has passed for 1,189 yards and 15 touchdowns. Adams completed his first 10 passes versus MSU and nearly broke the school record of 310.4 set by Eastern’s Mark Tenneson versus Sonoma State in 1992 (10-of-14/71 percent, 265 yards, 4 TDs, 0 Int.). Tenneson’s performance stood as the Big Sky Conference record until it was broken earlier this season by Montana’s Jordan Johnson of 322.3.
  • One game earlier, Adams passed for 432 yards and five touchdowns in a 55-34 win over Idaho State on Nov. 2 and he had the fifth-best performance in school history one week earlier with 457 against Montana.
  • His 39 TD passes this season ranks second in Big Sky history behind the 42 Brian Ah Yat for Montana had in 1996. It also ranks 14th in FCS history. Jimmy Garoppolo from Eastern Illinois currently has 40 to rank ninth. Ah Yat is seventh, with the record 56 shared by Willie Totten of Mississippi Valley (1984) and Bruce Eugene of Grambling (2005).
  • Adams is on pace to set the school record for passing efficiency (192.2) and is currently second in passing yards per game  (337.8), with his total of 3,378 passing yards and 3,848 yards of total offense ranking eighth and seventh, respectively.
  • He currently has a career passing efficiency rating of 179.5 which ranks as the school record (64.8 percent, 5,339 yards, 59 TD, 17 INT). A starter in 19 of the 22 games he has played in his career, Adams has a career average of 242.7 passing yards per game to currently fifth all-time at EWU. His 59 TD passes are already fourth, his 5,339 yards are sixth and his 6,151 yards of total offense are fifth. He is now 16-3 as a starter, with his lone losses coming against Southern Utah in 2012 and Toledo and Sam Houston State in 2013. Adams was selected as the Freshman of the Year on the College Sporting News “Fabulous 50” All-America team in 2012, and was also on the College Sports Journal Freshman All-America squad. Adams was also one of 20 players on the ballot for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the top freshman in FCS by The Sports Network (he finished sixth in the voting, which occurred prior to the playoffs). Adams ranked fourth in FCS in passing efficiency (160.80), and was the only freshman in the top 24 of the rankings. His efficiency rating also ranked fourth all-time in school history. In nine games as a starter and three as a sub, he completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 1,961 yards, 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
  • The top plays and honors of Adams have been encapsulated in a new web site located at Featured are some of the top plays by Adams, including his incredible scramble and touchdown throw against Sacramento State on Oct. 20, 2012, which was one of eight finalists for the GEICO Play of the Year. His game-winning touchdown run against Oregon State on Aug. 31, 2013, is also on the site, is again a finalist for GEICO Play of the Year. He had a school-record of 518 yards of total offense in the 49-46 upset over the Beavers in only the fourth-ever win by a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision school over a ranked member of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision. The many accolades Adams won as a result of the OSU victory are also featured, as well as an interview on the Jim Rome Show. His complete bio, statistics and information on EWU tickets and the Gateway Project are also prominent.
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