Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college football, where Georgia Tech needs to start over with the place-kicking unit after four blocked kicks in two games:
FOURTH QUARTER: HOW GOOD ARE YOUR TRANSFERS?
The instant infusion of talent and experience from a quality transfer is in demand more than ever, and we’ve already seen the impact they can have this season. The Dash looks at five who have played thus far, and one who will finally get his chance Saturday after a delayed season start.
Phil Jurkovec (31), Boston College quarterback. Where he came from: Notre Dame. Why he transferred: Ian Book was going to be the Fighting Irish starter for the third straight season, and Anthony Brown’s departure for Oregon created an opening in Chestnut Hill. What he did Saturday: Completed 17 of 23 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 26-6 victory over Duke, in his first start since 2017 when he was in high school. Jurkovec left Notre Dame for BC in January but didn’t gain immediate eligibility until August. Last Eagles quarterback to throw for 300 yards with multiple TD passes and a 70% completion rate? Matt Ryan in 2007.
D’Eriq King (32), Miami quarterback. Where he came from: Houston. Why he transferred: The transition to new coach Dana Holgorsen wasn’t a thing of beauty. The Hurricanes appealed to King because of new coordinator Rhett Lashlee and the promise of not having to win shootouts on a near-weekly basis, as was often the case at Houston. What he’s done so far: King has led Miami to a 2–0 start, and while it is absurdly early he is on pace for the highest single-season pass efficiency rating at The U since Vinny Testaverde’s Heisman Trophy–winning season in 1986.
Chase Brice (33), Duke quarterback. Where he came from: Clemson. Why he transferred: Two words—Trevor Lawrence. OK, a few more words—quarterback master David Cutcliffe offered an immediate opportunity to win an ACC starting job. What he’s done so far: Not a lot, frankly. Brice doesn’t appear to have a very explosive cast of skill players to work with, hence averaging just six yards per pass attempt and having just one pass play of longer than 30 yards. Brice has yet to throw a touchdown pass as a Blue Devil, and his passer rating is 43rd out of 49 quarterbacks thus far nationally.
Tarik Black (34), Texas receiver. Where he came from: Michigan. Why he transferred: Due to injuries and a crowded receiving corps, Black never got his career untracked in Ann Arbor. After graduating in the spring he was immediately eligible with two years to play for the Longhorns, who graduated both their top 2019 receivers. What he’s done so far: Black won a starting spot for the opener against UTEP and produced five catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. That tied his career high for receptions, which he set way back in 2017.
Chris Naggar (35), SMU place kicker. Where he came from: Texas. Why he transferred: Naggar answered a plea from then-coach Charlie Strong for walk-on kickers but didn’t get much of an opportunity. Last year, due to injuries at punter and holder, Naggar performed both of those duties—but he still wasn’t in line to handle placements. At SMU, he’s the guy. What he’s done so far: Naggar is 4-for-4 on field goals and 12-for-12 on extra points, and he’s also recorded 10 touchbacks on 16 kickoffs for the 2–0 Mustangs.
Khalil Herbert (36), Virginia Tech running back. Where he came from: Kansas. Why he transferred: The transition to Les Miles didn’t go very smoothly. Herbert went from a star turn to out of Lawerence in a week’s time last year, rushing for 187 yards against Boston College and then only getting seven carries the next week in a loss to West Virginia. That’s when Herbert unexpectedly checked out on the season, preserving a season of eligibility. What he’s done so far: Nothing, other than rising to the top of the depth chart. After multiple COVID-related postponements, the Hokies may finally have their season opener Saturday, against North Carolina State. (Coach Justin Fuente said Monday, “I hope we’re able to play.”) Fellow transfer Raheem Blackshear from Rutgers also figures to get playing time at the position.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Pittsburgh (37) coach Pat Narduzzi loves to bring pressure at opposing quarterbacks. But nothing brings out his attacking instincts like the sight of Syracuse. Against a suspect Orange offensive line last year, the Panthers racked up a whopping nine sacks. This year the total was seven. The ‘Cuse is last in the nation in sacks allowed thus far this season, after ranking 128th out of 130 teams last year. Pitt has a lot to do with that.
COACH WHO EARNED HIS COMP CAR THIS WEEK
Skip Holtz (38), Louisiana Tech. September had been a near-total loss for the Bulldogs until late Saturday night in Hattiesburg, Miss. A hurricane and an onslaught of positive COVID tests left Tech without a game until this matchup with Southern Mississippi, and the short-handed Bulldogs were trailing 27–10 midway through the third quarter. Then the game turned with two quick touchdown drives. But still trailing 30–24, Tech mounted a last-gasp drive to the USM 4-yard line. Facing a fourth down, quarterback Luke Anthony threw a pass to the back of the end zone and tight end Griffin Hebert somehow got a foot down barely in bounds for the winning score. That was a quality victory.
COACH WHO SHOULD TAKE THE BUS TO WORK
Mike Gundy (39), Oklahoma State. His team was wildly unimpressive in a debut win at Tulsa, trailing 7–0 into the third quarter before rallying for a 16–7 win over an opponent that committed 15 penalties. Gundy’s Cowboys didn’t complete a pass to top receiver Tylan Wallace until the third, and left him standing on the sideline for long stretches of the game. But the thing that put Gundy’s Saturday over the top was his very on-brand refusal to wear his sideline mask any higher than his chin. Give it up for the OAN Cowboy.
When hungry and thirsty in Columbia, Mo., The Dash always recommends a visit to Shakespeare’s Pizza. Get the Panda’s Pepper pie to go and then pick up some locally brewed Logboat Snapper IPA (40) to go with it. Thank The Dash later.
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