Oregon lost Marcus Mariota to the NFL after last season but the Ducks are still favored to be a contender to win the Pac 12, largely because of QB transfer Vernon Adams from Eastern Washington.
Adams picked Oregon to finish his career over many other top-flight division one programs, and he had his first chance to show what he could do for the Ducks in their opener on Saturday, coincidentally, against his former team.
There’s no way to tell if Adams leaving EWU was a motivating factor in the obvious cheap shot laid upon him by Eagles’ linebacker John Kreifels, but it was one of the more obvious choices for dirtiest hit of the weekend.
Adams was clearly giving himself up on the play by sliding, but Kreifels went right at him anyways, leading with his head and knocking Adams square in the helmet.
Unsurprisingly, Kreifels was ejected, but he didn’t exactly appear to be remorseful about his dirty hit.
Adams left the game after the hit, and was tested for a concussion, but he told reporters after the game that he wasn’t hurt and that he “doesn’t know” if the hit was a cheap shot.
According to SI Now staffer Lindsay Schnell, most of Adams’ former teammates understood his decision to leave and would not support Kreifels’ blow.
The Ducks are certainly fortunate that Adams injuries appear to significantly less damaging than they could have been. They will need their quarterback much more next week than they did against Eastern Washington, as they take on Michigan State in East Lansing.