Transfer Portal Roundup: Week 7
As we approach the midpoint of the college football season, we’ve gotten a pretty good glimpse of most of the former Penn State players who departed via the transfer portal during the offseason. However, for some, it’s taken some time to fully adjust to their new homes, due to injury.
This weekend was a busy one for many of the transfers who had big impacts on their teams’ performance. The highlights were Juwan Johnson’s Oregon debut and Tommy Stevens’ return to the field for Mississippi State, even if neither had much to show for it.
In an action-packed week, here’s our summary of these players’ performances:
Juwan Johnson, Oregon
Juwan Johnson finally made his Oregon debut this past weekend in a dominating 45-3 win for No. 12 Oregon against Colorado.
Johnson racked up 36 yards on two receptions in the contest. His workload was affected by his recent return from injury, but Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert finally got the chance to throw the ball to one of his top targets.
No. 12 Oregon will travel to No. 25 Washington for a gritty Pac-12 matchup. The Ducks may expect Johnson to have a much more significant impact after easing him back into game action on Saturday.
Tommy Stevens, Mississippi State
Tommy Stevens also returned to action for Mississippi State’s match-up against Tennessee. Taking on a 1-4 opponent seemed like the perfect opportunity for Stevens to bounce back, but it was quite the opposite.
Stevens went 6-for-11 for 67 yards and two interceptions in a 20-10 loss to the Vols and was benched for the second half of the game. The signal caller is going to need to produce if he wants to keep true freshman Garrett Shrader from taking over as the Bulldogs’ starter. His reunion with Joe Moorhead hasn’t gone to plan so far, as he’s accumulated only 515 passing yards through six games with Mississippi State.
Ayron Monroe, Temple
Ayron Monroe has quietly put together a strong season with Temple after leaving Penn State in the offseason.
Monroe totaled seven tackles a gritty 30-28 Temple win against a previously unbeaten Memphis team at Lincoln Financial Field. The Owls, who are 5-1 so far this season, will nest travel to No. 19 SMU in an American Athletic Conference battle.
Another dominant outing by Monroe may lift Temple over the edge to improve its record to 3-0 against ranked teams this season.
Brandon Polk, James Madison
Brandon Polk has been the most consistent contributor of all the Penn State transfers. He’s scored a touchdown in all but one game for James Madison, and the Dukes are 5-1 and in first place in the Colonial Athletic Conference in no small part thanks to Polk’s consistent production. Polk caught four passes for 44 yards and a touchdown in a 38-24 James Madison victory against Villanova.
Zech McPhearson, Texas Tech
Texas Tech and Zech McPhearson had plenty of opportunities in a 33-30 loss in double overtime to No. 18 Baylor. McPhearson fought hard with five tackles, but it just was not enough in a game with many lead changes.
McPhearson has registered 26 tackles so far this season, and he’s one of the most impactful performers for the Red Raiders’ defense. The team’s next game is at home in a critical Big 12 match-up against a 4-2 Iowa State team.
Jarvis Miller, UMass
Jarvis Miller and UMass got blown out by Louisiana Tech 69-21 this weekend. Miller contributed minimally with two solo tackles and one assisted.
Even with quiet performances in back-to-back weeks, Miller has put together a consistent season with 31 tackles for the Minutemen.
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