Vernon Adams, the FCS leader in total offense and passing efficiency, is the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week after breaking the league’s single season offense record
The football awards season got off to a rousing start Monday (Nov. 25) when Eastern Washington University quarterback Vernon Adams, the new Big Sky Conference record holder in single season total offense and touchdown passes, was selected as the final ROOT Sports Offensive Player of the Week by the Big Sky Conference.
Freshman sensation Cooper Kupp was rewarded with the team’s offensive player of the week accolade after he and Adams led a record-breaking performance in a 42-41 victory over Portland State Saturday (Nov. 23) to wrap-up a perfect 8-0 season for the playoff-bound Eagles.
All-Big Sky Conference honors will begin to be released on Tuesday (Nov. 26), with voting taking place this week for national FCS awards presented by The Sports Network. Eastern has finalists in all four categories – Adams for the Walter Payton Award given to the top player; Kupp for the Jerry Rice Award given to the top freshman; linebacker Ronnie Hamlin for the Buck Buchanan Award given to the top defensive player; and head coach Beau Baldwin for the Eddie Robinson Award given to the coach of the year. The winners will be announced Dec. 16.
Kupp ended the regular season as the leader in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision with 18 touchdown catches for the season, including two versus PSU to earn sole possession of the FCS record for consecutive games with a TD reception. The 2012 graduate of Davis High School in Yakima, Wash., has caught at least one TD in all of the games he has played in his 12-game EWU career.
Adams, who has now been honored by the Big Sky four times this season and six in his career, is ranked No. 1 again this week in the FCS in passing efficiency (185.7). That mark continues to rank as a school and Big Sky record while ranking fourth all-time in the FCS. He is also leading the FCS in total offense per game (379.2) and is third in passing yards per game (338.3 per game).
The sophomore from Pasadena, Calif., had five touchdown passes versus PSU, including the game-winner with 31 seconds left to Kupp to cap a frantic four-play, 74-yard drive that started with a minute to play. Adams broke Big Sky season records for total offense and touchdown passes as he completed 34-of-56 passes for 457 yards. He had career highs for attempts and completions, and equaled his career-high of 457 yards, which ranks fifth in school history.
With 481 total yards against the Vikings, Adams broke the Big Sky record of 4,400 set by Cameron Higgins of Weber State in 2008 and the school record of 4,224 yards set by Erik Meyer in 2005.
Adams’ 46 touchdowns are now fourth all-time in FCS, and broke the Big Sky single season record of 42 TD passes set by Brian Ah Yat of Montana in 1996 and the school record of 37 set by Bo Levi Mitchell in 2010.
His 25-yard pass to Kupp on the game-winning drive against PSU broke the school record of 4,009 yards set by Bo Levi Mitchell in 2011. Adams now has 4,059 passing yards this season to rank fourth in BSC history and 19th all-time in FCS.
Besides his FCS-leading statistics, Adams also ranks nationally with a 66.4 percent completion rate (261-of-393 to rank ninth in FCS), 4,059 yards (third) and 46 touchdowns (second). He is third in FCS in points responsible for with an average of 25.3 per game (total of 302 to rank second, with 46 TD passes, four rushing touchdowns and one two-point conversion).
Kupp has 77 catches this season – a TD for every 4.3 catches so far – and is averaging 17.9 yards per reception. The next-best freshman in FCS has seven receiving TDs. Kupp is fifth in FCS and tops among freshmen in receiving yards per game (114.8), second in receiving yards and 17th in receptions per game (6.4).
In other individual national rankings, senior receiver Ashton Clark is 49th in receiving yards (76.2 per game, with a total of 914 to rank 34th) and 47th in receptions (5.3 per game, with a total of 63). Sophomore Shaq Hill is 54th in all-purpose yards per game (113.9, with totals of 761 receiving and 490 on kickoff returns). Senior cornerback T.J. Lee, who is in sole possession of the school record for career forced fumbles with seven, has four this season to rank ninth in FCS in average per game (0.33). He also is 34th in fumble recoveries per game (0.25), with a total of three. Jake Miller is 18th in FCS in average per punt (42.7).
As a team, EWU is leading FCS in passing efficiency (185,3), and is fourth in total offense (531.1 per game), third in passing (359.3), 52nd in rushing (171.8) and eighth in scoring (40.4). Defensively, EWU is 103rd in total defense (454.3), 74th in rushing (179.7), 114th in passing (274.7) and 75th in scoring (29.0). In addition, the Eagles are the eighth-most efficient team in red zone offense (88.6 scoring percentage), eighth in third-down conversions (48.7 percent), third in passing yards per completion (15.4) and eighth in pass completion percentage (66.5 percent).
Postseason statistics are included in team records and rankings. Below is a complete list of milestones for the EWU football team heading into its game Dec. 7 at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash., in the FCS Playoffs.
Vernon Adams TD Passes (46) . . . His 46 touchdowns are fourth all-time in FCS. Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois leads the nation in 2013 and is third in FCS history with 48 (he had six Nov. 23 in a 70-22 win over Tennessee-Martin). The record of 56 is shared by Willie Totten (Mississippi Valley 1984) and Bruce Eugene (Grambling 2005). Adams broke the Big Sky single season record of 42 TD passes set by Brian Ah Yat of Montana in 1996 and the school record of 37 set by Bo Levi Mitchell in 2010.
Vernon Adams Total Offense (4,550) . . . Adams ranks sixth in FCS history, just 22 yards from moving into fifth (Willie Totten, Mississippi Valley, 1984), 26 from fourth (Dustin Long, Sam Houston State, 2004) and 468 from third (Bruce Eugene, Grambling, 2002). With 481 yards versus Portland State, Adams broke the Big Sky record of 4,400 set by Cameron Higgins of Weber State in 2008 and the school record of 4,224 yards set by Erik Meyer in 2005.
Vernon Adams Passing Yards (4,059) . . . Currently fourth in Big Sky history, he is just 418 from the record of 4,477 (Cameron Higgins, Weber State, 2008). He is 66 from moving into third (Jamie Martin, Weber State, 1991) and 117 from second (Dave Dickenson, Montana, 1995). Adams ranks third this season in FCS behind the 4,489 by Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois and the 4,268 of Brady Attaway from Stephen F. Austin. Adams needs 246 yards to move into the top 10 in FCS history. In eclipsing the 4,000-yard mark for just the 22nd time in FCS history, he broke the previous school record of 4,009 set by Bo Levi Mitchell in 2011.
Vernon Adams Passing Efficiency (185.7/66%, 4,059 yards, 46 TD, 12 Int.) . . . Adams currently ranks fourth in FCS history, and is better than the current Big Sky record (175.2, Doug Nussmeier, Idaho, 1993/61%, 2,690 yards, 33 TD, 5 Int.) and the EWU mark (171.4, Erik Meyer, 2004/68%, 3,707 yards, 31 TD, 9 Int.).
Cooper Kupp Receiving Touchdowns (18) . . . With a touchdown reception in all 12 of the games he has played in his EWU career, hebroke the record of 11 consecutive games with a TD catch previously held by Randy Moss from Marshall in 1996 and Cal Poly’s Ramses Barden in 2008 (EWU’s Brandon Kaufman is incorrectly listed in the NCAA record book). Currently second in school history with 18 TD catches for the season, Kupp is now one from the school record (19 shared by Nicholas Edwards, 2011, and Eric Kimble, 2004) and the FCS record for most touchdowns by a freshman (Moss with 19 in 1996).
Cooper Kupp Receiving Yards (1,378) . . . Kupp owns the FCS record for receiving yards by a freshman, which was previously 1,196 yards by Sean Price of Appalachian State in 2012. He is currently fourth in school history and needs 41 to move into third and 75 to move into second. The school record is 1,850 set by Brandon Kaufman in 2012.
Cooper Kupp Receptions (77) . . . Is four catches from the FCS record for receptions by a freshman (81, Sean Price, Appalachian State, 2012). He is currently sixth in school history, and is just six from fifth and eight from fourth. The school record is 95 set by Nicholas Edwards in 2011.
Team Scoring (485) . . . EWU is just three points from equaling the school record of 488 set in 2004.The Big Sky record is 537 points set by Montana in 2009.
Team Touchdowns (68) . . . EWU is four touchdowns from the Big Sky record of 72 set by Idaho in 1993. The Eagles broke the school record of 67 set in 2004.
Team Total Offense (6,373). . . EWU is 362 yards from equaling the Big Sky and school records of 6,735 yards set in 1997.
Team TD Passes (49) . . . EWU has already broken the school record of 38 set in 2010 and the Big Sky record of 43 set by Montana in 1996. There is no FCS record for overall touchdown passes, but the record for passing TDs per game is 6.4 set by Mississippi Valley in 1984 (64 in 10 games).
Team Passing Efficiency (185.3/67%, 4,312 yards, 49 TD, 12 Int.) . . . The Eagles are on pace to break the school record of 162.3 set in 2004 (65%, 3,784 yards, 31 TD, 11 Int.). There is no Big Sky record, but the FCS mark is 197.3 set in 2007 by San Diego (68%, 3,270 yards, 48 TD, 2 Int.). Eastern is also on pace to break the school record for completion percentage of 65.5 percent set in 2004.
Vernon Adams Passing Efficiency (176.9/65%, 6,020 yards, 66 TD, 20 Int.) . . . Although he is just shy of the minimum of 425 completions required (he has 392), Adams currently ranks ahead of the FCS record (176.7, Josh Johnson, San Diego, 2004-07/68%, 9,699 yards, 113 TD, 15 Int.). His mark also ranks ahead of the former FCS record holder (now No. 2), which are also the Big Sky and EWU records (166.5, Erik Meyer, 2002-05/66%, 10,261 yards, 84 TD, 17 Int.).
Vernon Adams TD Passes (66) . . . Already fourth in school history, he is just four from moving into third (70, Bo Levi Mitchell, 2010-11). The school record is 96 (Matt Nichols, 2006-09), which is second in Big Sky history and 14th all-time in FCS.
Vernon Adams Passing Yards (6,020 yards) . . . Already fifth in school history, he is 1,142 yards from moving into fourth (7,492, Mark Tenneson, 1989-92). The school record is 12,616 (Matt Nichols, 2006-09), which is the Big Sky record and eighth all-time in FCS.
Vernon Adams Total Offense (6,853 yards) . . . Already fifth in school history, he is 575 yards from moving into fourth (7,428, Mark Tenneson, 1989-92). The school record is 13,308 (Matt Nichols, 2006-09), which is the Big Sky record and ranks sixth all-time in FCS.
Ronnie Hamlin Tackles (322) . . . Listed as a senior but hopeful to receive a sixth year in 2014, Hamlin is eighth in school history with a current total of 322 tackles. The next player to catch is Zach Johnson (324 in 2008, 2010-12), with Joey Cwik (331 from 2002-05) ranking sixth. The school record is 432 (J.C. Sherritt, 2007-10), which is third in Big Sky history and ranks 15th in FCS history.
T.J. Lee Tackles (238) . . . Currently 16th in school history, he needs five tackles to move into 15th (243, Brandon Keeler, 2002, 2004-06) and seven to move into 14th (245, Justin Guillory, 1994-97).