Cooper Kupp Moves into FCS Lead for TD Catches;Adams is Big Sky - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cooper Kupp Moves into FCS Lead for TD Catches; Adams is Big Sky Offensive POW

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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.

  • College

    • Defense dominates in Eastern's first Fall scrimmage

      There were only compliments being passed around after Eastern Washington University defensive units held EWU's vaunted offense without a touchdown in EWU's 72-play scrimmage Saturday at Roos Field.

    • Griz offense shines in second scrimmage of fall camp

      The Montana Grizzly defense might have stolen the show last week in the first scrimmage of fall camp. But the offense would not be denied Saturday as they racked up 24 first downs and nearly 400 yards of total offense.  

    • Vandals to host open scrimmage on Saturday

      Idaho football will wrap up fall camp Saturday (Aug. 19), with a scrimmage at 10 a.m. in the Kibbie Dome. The scrimmage is open to the public and will be the final chance for fans to see the Vandals in action before the season opener Aug. 31, against Sacramento State.
    • Danielle Mauldin joins Eagles women's basketball coaching staff

      Mauldin is Saint Mary's and the West Coast Conference's all-time leading rebounder with 1,282 over four years and also set a SMC program record for double-doubles.

    • Zags women’s soccer home match versus BYU on ESPNU

      Gonzaga will host preseason No. 8 BYU from Luger Field in a meeting that will have first-year GU head coach Chris Watkins facing his former school.

    • Gonzaga women's soccer begins regular season Friday

      The Zags are unbeaten in their last five season-openers, dating back to the 3-1 win over South Dakota in 2012. GU beat Nevada in Hawaii in last season’s opener, 1-0.

    • Jake Browning named to Manning Award watch list

      Browning was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting after passing for 3,430 yards and a Pac-12, record-tying 43 touchdowns in 2016.

    • Vandals QB Linehan named to Manning Award watch list

      Linehan threw for 3,184 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior, earning second-team All-Sun Belt honors. He also went on to capture the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Most Valuable Player award, after leading the Vandals to a win over Colorado State.

    • Luke Falk named to Manning Award watch list

      Falk, a redshirt-senior, was also finalist for the Johnny Unitas Award and a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award and Maxwell Award last season after throwing for the third-most yards in the country (4,468) and tying his own school-record with 38 touchdown passes.

    • Raptors sign Kyle Wiltjer to a 1-year deal

      Wiltjer, 6-foot-10, 240 pounds, appeared in 14 games for the Houston Rockets last season, totaling 13 points and 10 rebounds in 44 minutes of action. He also averaged 20.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 35.9 minutes in 22 contests for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League.