1. Why fear the Cougars? They have a strong transfer quarterback in Kedon Slovis from Pitt (and prior to that USC), who was not remarkable at Pitt, but there’s still that potential. He threw for 2,400 yards, had 10 touchdowns and 9 picks in 11 games. Add in running back Aidan Robbins who rushed for 1,011 yards and 9 touchdowns at UNLV and Kody Epps, who was one of the leading receivers last year, as well as a pretty good offensive line and you have what looks like a defense that can probably keep pace with a lot of the Big 12 teams.
2. The Best Jimmy’s and Joe’s. This is a list of players on preseason All-Big 12 teams. It is strange for transfers to receive that sort of preseason love, but Robbins definitely deserves and Slovis has a chance to deserve it. The defense wasn’t great last year so they’ll need all the help they can get.
- QB Kedon Slovis
- RB Aidan Robbins
- WR Kody Epps
- OL Kingsley Suamataia
- OL Connor Pay
- DL Tyler Batty
- LB Ben Bywater
- CB Micah Harper
3. Transfer Report. Kedon Slovis, the Pittsbugh signal caller, Aidan Robbins, the running back from UNLV, and Caleb Etienne, the offensive lineman from Oklahoma State, are the only offensive transfers. BYU added a few more defensive players, with linebacker AJ Vongphachanh from Utah State, two defensive linemen from Boise State, Jackson Cravens and Isaiah Bagnah, and cornerback Eddie Heckard from Weber State.
4. Tough to Replace. Quarterback Jaren Hall is a great place to start after he threw for 264 yards a game, 8.4 yards per attempt, 31 touchdowns, and just 6 picks. Left tackle Blake Freeland was drafted in the 5th round and helped a BYU offense only allow 13 sacks all year, good for 13th in the nation. Receiver Puka Nacua led BYU with 48 receptions and 5 touchdowns as well as rusher Chris Brooks who averaged 74 yards a game and had 6 touchdowns. Defensively, I believe that cornerbacks Kaleb Hayes he had 41 tackles and 7 pass break-ups and D’Angelo Mandell had 36 tackles and 4 pass break-ups.
Ed Note. This is what I worked on while on flights. I tried not to get too deep because that would be incredibly difficult to do this for 14 teams and I think most of us want a cursory idea of what opposing teams. I also found the idea of who is transferring in as more important than the freshmen arriving. That’s definitely changed over the course of years. I also thought that knowing who is being replaced is relevant more than most things.