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Transfer Portal Roundup: Week 5

Many Penn State football transfers suited up in their new digs this weekend, while others remained sidelined due to lingering injuries.

Former Penn State football players Jarvis Miller and Brandon Polk each played minimal roles for UMass and James Madison, while Zech McPhearson impressed with Texas Tech against No. 6 Oklahoma.

Here’s our summary of how each of these players performed throughout the past week:

Zech McPhearson, Texas Tech

The Texas Tech and Zech McPhearson had a tough matchup against Oklahoma Saturday, which the team lost 16-55.

One of the few bright spots for the Red Raiders was McPhearson, who rallied for six tackles — five unassisted. The cornerback has had minimal impact in stopping opposing teams’ passing attacks, but his ability to impact the run makes him an imposing presence.

Next week, No. 21 Oklahoma State will visit McPhearson and the Red Raiders in what will likely result in a Big 12 shootout. If they have any chance, McPhearson and the Red Raiders defense will need to be alert in stopping Heisman contender and Cowboys running back Chuba Hubbard.

Jarvis Miller, UMass

Jarvis Miller’s UMass team captured its first win of the season against Akron 37-29. Miller contributed sparsely with two assisted tackles.

Even though this was a quiet game for Miller, he’s had a solid season with his new squad, recording 21 tackles on the season.

Brandon Polk, James Madison

James Madison might not be the most well-known football program, but it’s certainly a powerhouse in the Colonial Athletic Conference, standing at 4-1. While Brandon Polk has contributed tremendously early on, he had a light week with only one reception for 21 yards.

The Dukes took down Elon 45-10 in a complete beatdown Saturday. Polk made his mark on the game with his blocking even though it won’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet.

Even with the quiet week, Polk still leads this team in receptions (21) and receiving yards (333).

Tommy Stevens, Mississippi State

The Mississippi State Bulldogs assumed Tommy Stevens would finish with a happy ending to his career with them, but it has been far from that with injuries keeping him off the field.

Stevens played just one possession in a 56-23 loss to No. 7 Auburn before being taken out. He completed one pass for seven yards in the short stint. His throwing shoulder is still hurt, which is an injury that has plagued him dating back to his time with the Nittany Lions.

The Bulldogs’ next game is at Tennessee, which is also struggling. The fact that Stevens played one possession is optimistic, but with his replacement, Garrett Shrader, playing well, a tough decision for head coach Joe Moorhead is coming up.

Juwan Johnson, Oregon

It is not looking good for Juwan Johnson who is still hurt with a lingering calf injury. He is one of Oregon’s top-three wide receivers who are currently unavailable, which is hindering the team’s potential.

The Ducks had a bye week, but even coach Mario Cristobal has no idea on the status of Johnson’s injury. He said a timetable is “just not quite there” when asked this week.

Oregon plays Cal next in a tough conference match-up. Cal will be hungry due to its gut-wrenching 24-17 loss to Arizona State. Johnson’s surprise return would provide a spark for the Ducks, but it looks highly unlikely for now.

Mark Allen, Duquesne

Mark Allen had a career game last week against Dayton, racking up 169 yards on 30 carries. However, he came back to earth against New Hampshire this past week.

Duquesne lost 23-6 and Allen finished with 13 carries for 50 yards. The running back’s lone bright spot was his one catch for 30 yards.

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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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