EWU Football: Quarterback, Coach Both National Finalists - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Eastern Washington Football

EWU Football: Quarterback, Coach Both National Finalists

Coach Beau Baldwin and quarterback Vernon Adams are both up for national awards this season (Photo: EWU Athletics) Coach Beau Baldwin and quarterback Vernon Adams are both up for national awards this season (Photo: EWU Athletics)

by EWU Athletics

Eastern Washington University head coach Beau Baldwin and freshman quarterback Vernon Adams are finalists for national awards presented by The Sports Network in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.

Baldwin is one of 20 coaches on the voting list for the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the national coach of the year in FCS. Adams is one of 20 players on the ballot for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the top freshman in FCS.

Baldwin has now been a part of four Big Sky Conference championships as either an Eastern assistant coach (2004, 2005) or head coach (2010, 2012). In addition, he has been a part of five FCS Playoff berths – two as an assistant (2004, 2005) and three in four seasons as head coach (2009, 2010, 2012).

He coached in his 100th Eastern game when the Eagles rallied to beat Montana 32-26. He is now 42-18 in four-plus seasons as a head coach (2008-12), and was 25-22 as an EWU assistant coach for four seasons (2003-06), for a collective total of 67-40. His .750 winning percentage in Big Sky Conference games (30-10) is the best-ever by an Eastern head coach and currently ranks eighth in the 50-year history of the Big Sky Conference. His .700 percentage overall is 11th.

Adams ranks eighth in FCS in passing efficiency (152.38), and is the only freshman in the top 14 of the rankings. In nine games as a starter and one as a sub, he has completed 62.4 percent of his passes for 1,586 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions.

The Jerry Rice Award, in its second year, is named for legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice, who was a two-time first-team All-American in the FCS (then Division I-AA) at Mississippi Valley State. The Robinson award is named for Eddie Robinson, the College Football Hall of Fame coach, who retired in 1997 after 56 years at Grambling State University.

Both awards – as well as the Walter Payton Award (top player in FCS) and the Buck Buchanan Award (top defensive player) -- will be voted on by a national panel of about 160 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries this week. The awards will be presented at the FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation on Dec. 17 in Philadelphia.

In addition, an incredible scramble and touchdown throw by Vernon Adams against Sacramento State on Oct. 20 is a finalist for the GEICO Play of the Year. For eight weeks, fans voted for the GEICO Play of the Year, and Adams won the Play of the Year voting for Week 8. The eight weekly winners will be shown on GEICO Best of College Football 2012 on CBS on Nov. 23 at 10:30 a.m. Pacific time. Voting for the GEICO Play of the Year took place through Nov. 12.

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