Miles Fallin’s long wait came to an end this past Saturday.
For the first time in his six-year college career, the Northwestern State senior strode onto a college football field as a starting quarterback, leading the Demons on the field to face No. 2 Montana in front of a rabid Washington-Grizzly Stadium crowd.
“Something I always told myself was I wasn’t waiting for the opportunity,” Fallin said. “Rather, I was preparing for it. It was definitely exciting.”
Despite opening his NSU career with his back to the end zone – NSU’s first possession started at its 5-yard line – Fallin came out with the poise of an established veteran. He completed his first three passes, erasing a second-and-21 situation from the Demon 5.
Those three quick completions, including a 14-yard connection with Zach Patterson to convert a third-and-14, started Fallin on a course to a 30-for-43, 193-yard performance. His 30 completions were the most by a first-time Demon starting quarterback since Kaleb Fletcher rung up 30 connections against Houston Baptist on Oct. 27, 2018.
Although the Demons were unable to dent the scoreboard against a formidable Montana defense, Fallin impressed those around him with his performance.
“Not throwing a college pass and going up against a Montana defense with what they did last year, who all they had coming back doing schematically what they do, I thought he did a good job of handling that,” fifth-year head coach Brad Laird said. “Offensively, we were put in a lot of bad situations. We were backed up. He showed poise in getting us out of those situations. For the most part, he took care of the football. He did a great job of managing the team.”
Fallin’s poise and maturity helped him navigate the first change of his collegiate career this summer when he transferred from the University of Kansas to Northwestern State.
A 6-foot-5 product of Santa Clarita, California, Fallin is one of 30 newcomers on the 2022 Northwestern State roster.
“It was rather quick,” Fallin said of his assimilation into the program. “I got on campus this summer, and the guys all had open arms. There are a lot of new faces, but no doubt, we’re a close team.”
As the Demons prepare for their first matchup against state foe Grambling since 2018 and Fallin readies for just his second start since high school, their goals are identical.
“Just flipping the page – putting (the Montana) game behind us,” he said. “Realizing the things we’re good at. There are quite a bit of those. We’ve got to have confidence, play loose. It’s a new opportunity, and we’re excited.”
It also gives Fallin and the Demons a chance to put the words they preached most of the summer into action.
“We have to stay positive,” he said. “There are going to be times when adversity comes. It’s here. It’s one think to talk about it, but it’s something else to act on and be positive after something like that happens.”