Eastern Washington upsets Oregon State, continues rise of the FCS in Week 1

Sunday September 1st, 2013

Eastern Washington QB Vernon Adams had plenty to celebrate after racking up 518 total yards and six TDs. [Jaime Valdez/USA Today Sports] Eastern Washington QB Vernon Adams starred with 518 total yards and six TDs. [Jaime Valdez/USA Today Sports]
Eastern Washington is one of those sneaky good FCS teams, but there are really no excuses for Oregon State here. The Beavers' quarterback competition took up much of coach Mike Riley's attention during fall camp, but following their stunning 49-46 upset loss to the Eagles in Week 1, it's clear he should have focused more on the defensive side of the ball.

Oregon State gave up 23 points in the second quarter and trailed 29-17 at the break, but bounced back to take a 32-29 lead in the third. Eastern Washington, however, would not go away. The teams traded leads six times over the game's final 20 minutes, with the Beavers going up 46-43 on junior running back Terron Ward's four-yard touchdown run with fewer than five minutes remaining. But with just 18 seconds left, Eagles quarterback Vernon Adams raced two yards for the winning touchdown.

Oregon State's Sean Mannion was surprisingly good (and accurate) under center, completing 37-of-43 for 422 yards and three scores. But he was outdone by an all-world effort from Eastern Washington's Adams, a sophomore who threw for 411 yards, ran for 107 more and accounted for six touchdowns. There is absolutely no excuse for a Pac-12 team to give up 625 total yards to any opponent -- whether it went to the the FCS semifinals last year or not.

It was an incredible performance by the Eagles, and another indication that the rise of the FCS is for real. Eastern Washington's blood field -- though it didn't host this game -- has its first sacrifice of the season:

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.