Vernon Adams excelled in his Oregon debut Saturday night but left the game early after taking a late hit in the fourth quarter.
Adams was making his first start at quarterback for the Ducks against his old team, Eastern Washington. While scrambling in the fourth quarter, he was hit in the head by a former teammate in the Ducks' 61-42 win.
EWU linebacker John Kreifels, the man who made the hit, was called for targeting and ejected for the game. Adams, who was woozy after the hit, walked off the field and didn't return, though he stayed on the sidelines.
Adams put up some nice numbers before he left. He was 19-of-25 passing for 246 yards and two touchdowns while he had 14 carries for 94 yards rushing. Adams was replaced in the fourth quarter by Jeff Lockie.
Adams and Lockie, Marcus Mariota's backup in 2014, were competing for the starting job heading into 2015. A graduate transfer from EWU, Adams was eligible to play immediately in 2015 but had to wait until his summer math class was completed (and passed) before he could join the Ducks in Oregon.
He threw for nearly 3,500 yards, 35 touchdowns and eight interceptions for EWU in 2014 as he finished as the runner up for the Walter Payton Award, the FCS version of the Heisman.
Oregon running back Royce Freeman, the man who will carry the bulk of the rushing load for Oregon in 2015 after Thomas Tyner's shoulder injury, had 180 yards rushing and three touchdowns on just 21 carries. Kani Benoit, a sophomore running back, had 83 yards on 11 carries as Oregon ran for 485 yards as a team.
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