Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin said few believed him when he said the preseason competition at quarterback between SMU transfer Kyle Padron and redshirt freshman Vernon Adams was close.
Most had their money on the FBS transfer with the big arm.
But Baldwin has proven how highly he thinks of both quarterbacks, giving each chances to start before settling on what seems to be a true two-QB system. Both play depending on the situation.
“We’ve kind of gone into it with different plans that the outside doesn’t really know exactly what we’re thinking about with series, especially in the first half,” Baldwin said. “In the second half, we’re just trying to feel it out.”
They’ve each had marquee performances.
After the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Texas native opened the season as the starter, Padron threw for 379 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-20 loss at Washington State.
Two weeks later, Adams — a 6-foot, 180-pounder from Pasadena — passed for 353 yards and three touchdowns in a 32-26 victory over Montana.
In a 31-28 victory over Sacramento State two weeks ago, Adams scrambled in the backfield for 13 seconds on one play before throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Together, they account for 285.9 passing yards per game, which ranks 14th in the FCS.
“You almost have to have two different gameplans against them,” Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh said. “You’ve got to be understanding who’s in the game at all times. ... One guy’s athletic and can move around and make plays out of their scheme, and the other guys is a scheme guy. He’s going to make things happen within the scheme and make plays with his arm strength.”