Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough has entered his name into the transfer portal and 247sports believes they have a potential best fit for his next destination.
Shough won the quarterback battle over senior Anthony Brown last season for the Ducks and started all seven games as a sophomore. He threw for 1,559 yards, 13 touchdowns with six interceptions. He also rushed 271 yards and two scores.
The Ducks went 3-2 in their shortened regular season, and because of Covid-19 issues at Washington, they stepped into the Pac 12 Championship game and defeated USC, taking home the conference crown and securing a bid in the Fiesta Bowl.
Shough was mediocre in the win over USC, completing eight of 15 passes for 91 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He was then benched in the Fiesta Bowl for Anthony Brown after going seven of nine with an interception and failing to get anything going on offense in an eventual 34-17 loss at the hands of Iowa State.
Despite those struggles, 247sports believes he is an ideal fit for Penn State Football.
“The Nittany Lions return starter Sean Clifford, but he struggled last season and is not as multiple as Shough in the Shotgun. The addition of newly-hired offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich from Texas opens the door for changes on offense, both schematically and with personnel.”
“Clifford threw eight interceptions during Penn State’s first ever 0-5 start to the truncated 2020 season. He improved down the stretch, but did so against some of the worst teams in the conference in victories against Michigan, Rutgers, Michigan State and Illinois. Coach James Franklin subsequently made a change at offensive coordinator after just one year with former Minnesota play-caller Kirk Ciarrocca running the show.”
“The area in need of biggest improvement is in the red zone, where the Nittany Lions ranked 107th nationally inside the 20-yard line last season. Yurcich wants a running quarterback Clifford lost three fumbles in the nine-game season. Shough can be a better fit inside the 20.”
“If Shough picks Penn State, and a quarterback battle was waged, the gut feeling here is the former Oregon starter would win.”
The last comments rings the loudest.
As 247sports believes Sough would beat out Clifford in a quarterback battle over the spring and summer. That is entirely possible, as the two are very similar in their skill sets and with new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich’s arrival, Clifford does not have an upper hand with prior knowledge of the offense.
In only his first season under center, Shough was efficient in the passing game, completing 63.5% of his passes, averaged a stellar 14.3 yards per completion to go with a quarterback rating of 74.2.
In comparison, Penn State Football quarterback Sean Clifford completed 60.6% of passes while averaging just over 12 yards per completion and a quarterback rating of 69, trailing Shough in all categories.
Stats do not tell the whole story though, as the former Oregon quarterback did most of his damage against Washington State, Oregon State and UCLA, teams with pores PAC 12 defenses. He also was bad when it counted the most, being benched in the Fiesta Bowl against their best opponent all season, and was basically told to not screw it up against USC, failing to even throw for 100 yards.
Penn State Football fans, and rightfully so, believe Clifford is not the guy because he is more of a game manager, and cannot get this program over the hump and to the College Football Playoff or win a national championship.
That may all be very true, but then what is Shough? if Clifford threw for 91 yards in a big game, they would be calling for the backup at Beaver Stadium.
Clifford is also a better athlete then Shough, running not only for 335 yards but his ability to have some longer runs last season was a big addition to the Nittany Lions offense.
Penn State Football fans have fell in love with the portal this offseason, gaining five players who were starters at their previous schools. However, not all transfers will work out how you imagine it, and it is important to keep in mind, why is this player transferring?
For Shough, he was benched in his last game as a Duck. Does he think he won’t win the job this season with Brown back in the fold?
Penn State Football should not be settling on a player who wasn’t even good enough at his last stop. This is not a Justin Fields, Joe Burrow or Jalen Hurts situation. They lost out on jobs to Jake Fromm, Dwayne Haskins and Tua Tagovailoa, two of which were eventual first round picks in the NFL Draft.
The article by 247 sports also fails to mention quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson who could be in line to win the job for the Nittany Lions as well, and what the potential ramifications could be for his future with the program if you brought Shough in.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.