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Transfer Portal Roundup: Week 4

A lot of Penn State football’s former players suited up for their new teams while the Nittany Lions were idle during week 4 of the college football season.

This weekend wasn’t as busy for the Penn Staters who transferred away, as the injury bug kept a handful on the sideline.

Brandon Polk and Jarvis Miller featured for James Madison and UMass, respectively, and Mark Allen had a breakout performance for Duquesne. Here’s our summary of how each of these players performed over the course of the past week:

Mark Allen, Duquesne

Mark Allen mostly played as an understudy to Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders during his Penn State career, but he had himself a game in Duquesne’s 35-31 victory over Dayton.

Allen scored two touchdowns and racked up 169 yards on 30 carries throughout Saturday’s FCS game. He found the back of the end zone from a yard out late in the first quarter before scoring the game-winning touchdown with 7:13 to play in the fourth quarter.

It’s been a tough few weeks for some of Penn State’s transfer departures, but Allen had a career day and helped his team take down a 2-0 Dayton squad.

Tommy Stevens, Mississippi State

Mississippi State thought it was getting a consistent starter in Tommy Stevens, but injuries kept him off the field against Kentucky this past weekend.

Stevens was pulled from his last start against Kansas State because of an injury to his throwing shoulder, and the setback was severe enough to keep him out of the lineup against the Wildcats over the weekend. Led by freshman signal-caller Garrett Shrader, Joe Moorhead’s Bulldogs beat Kentucky 28-13 in their SEC opener.

Mississippi State’s next game will come against No. 7 Auburn on the road. Stevens’ status for that contest is currently unclear, but his return to the lineup would definitely help the Bulldogs’ chances of pulling off a stunner at Jordan Hare Stadium.

Juwan Johnson, Oregon

Juwan Johnson might be the most talented player of all those who transferred away from Happy Valley, but injuries have kept him off the field. No. 13 Oregon beat a banged-up Stanford team 21-6 without its top three wide receivers — including Johnson — in the lineup.

Johnson hasn’t played a snap for the Ducks yet this season due to a lingering calf injury. There was some optimism that the big wideout would be ready to play against the Cardinal, but he ultimately didn’t, and his status going forward is currently unclear.

Brandon Polk, James Madison

James Madison might not be the biggest football program, but it’s been successful this year, in no small part thanks to Brandon Polk.

The transfer and James Madison took down Chattanooga 37-14 in dominating fashion. Polk led the Dukes with 84 receiving yards and a touchdown on four receptions as they improved to 3-1 on the year.

With a team-leading 20 receptions, 312 receiving yards, and two touchdowns, Polk is off to a flying start to his time with James Madison. He and the Dukes will face Elon next week.

Jarvis Miller, UMass

Jarvis Miller plays for an 0-4 UMass team, but he’s established himself as a key player for the Minutemen’s defense. He totaled three tackles and a sack in his team’s 62-28 loss to Coastal Carolina.

Although the Minutemen haven’t found the win column yet this season, Miller is off to a nice start for his new squad. He’s currently third on the team with 19 tackles, which is already a single-season career-high, and his sack against Coastal Carolina was the second of his collegiate career.

Zech McPhearson, Texas Tech

Zech McPhearson and Texas Tech rounded out non-conference play with a 28-14 loss to Arizona, but the cornerback put together another standout performance for the Red Raiders.

McPhearson made a career-high six tackles — one of which resulted in a loss of yardage — against the Wildcats. He hasn’t broken up a pass since week 1, but he’s a regular fixture in Texas Tech’s rotation on defense.

Like Tommy Stevens and Mississippi State, the Red Raiders have a tough road test against a top-10 opponent to deal with in week 5. Texas Tech will travel to Norman for a grudge match against No. 6 Oklahoma in its conference opener.

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About the Author

Ben Geller

Benjamin Geller is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. He grew up in Weston, Florida but ironically loves the New York Jets. Ben loves to play golf and tennis but hates the Florida heat. If you want to see posts about everything sports then check out or my twitter @BenjaminGelle12. Send anything else necessary to [email protected]


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