Sunday, August 14

USFL Week 5: Tampa Bay Bandits outlast Michigan Panthers


Week 5 of the USFL season kicked off with a fun matchup Friday, as the Tampa Bay Bandits topped the Michigan Panthers.

The Bandits improve to 3-2 on the season, while the Panthers fall to 1-4.

Here are the top plays from Michigan and Tampa Bay:

Tampa Bay Bandits 27, Michigan Panthers 20

Panthers strike first

The Panthers pulled off a wild, double-pass touchdown as QB Shea Patterson threw to WR Joe Walker, who then hit TE Ryan O’Malley for the 30-yard score to put the Panthers on the board early.

Shea Patterson, Panthers complete a DOUBLE-PASS TD against the Bandits

Shea Patterson, Panthers complete a DOUBLE-PASS TD against the Bandits

Shea Patterson and the Michigan Panthers brought out the tricks for a USFL style touchdown against the Tampa Bay Bandits.

Trick play!

On Tampa Bay’s ensuing drive, the Bandits answered with a score of their own — in a nontraditional way.

Running back Juwan Washington fumbled the ball, which was picked up by Bandits QB Jordan Ta’amu, who then tossed a 50-yard touchdown to wide receiver Derrick Dillon.

Bandits’ Ta’amu throws a deep shot to Dillon on flea flicker for game-tying TD

Bandits' Ta'amu throws a deep shot to Dillon on flea flicker for game-tying TD

Tampa Bay Bandits QB Jordan Ta’amu throws a deep shot to WR Derrick Dillon on the flea flicker for the game-tying touchdown against the Michigan Panthers.

Things were knotted up at 7-7 headed into the second quarter.

More where that came from

The Panthers continued to pour on the trick plays, as kicker Cole Murphy connected with RB Cameron Scarlett for a 9-yard gain and a clutch first down, which resulted in a field goal and 10-7 lead for Michigan.

Ground game strong

Washington redeemed himself with a rushing score late in the frame to give the Bandits a 13-10 edge.

Not so fast!

The Panthers’ defense was relentless in the final moments of the first half, sacking Ta’amu.

Too fast

The Panthers had once final possession to get some points before the half, and they did just that.

Patterson found receiver Lance Lenoir for a much-needed 41-yard gain, followed by another Michigan field goal to knot things up at 13 headed into the break.

Bandits bounce back

Tampa Bay was the first to strike in the second half, as Ta’amu launched a 43-yard TD bomb to WR John Franklin, giving the Bandits a 20-13 advantage.

Ta’amu finds John Franklin III for a 43-yard TD to put Bandits up

Ta'amu finds John Franklin III for a 43-yard TD to put Bandits up

Bandits QB Jordan Ta’amu finds WR John Franklin III for a 43-yard touchdown pass, as Tampa Bay takes a seven-point lead.

Misfortune strikes Michigan

The Panthers struggled on the following possession, as Patterson was picked off while trying to make a play in the red zone. It remained a seven-point game headed into the fourth quarter.

Bombs away!

The Panthers’ luck turned midway through the fourth quarter, thanks to this dazzling connection from Patterson and tight end La’Michael Pettway. Just like that, it was a tie game once again.

Shea Patterson throws an absolute DIME to even score against Bandits

Shea Patterson throws an absolute DIME to even score against Bandits

The Michigan Panthers level the score against the Tampa Bay Bandits, thanks to Shea Patterson’s beautiful TD pass.

Pulling away

The Bandits found the end zone and took a 27-20 lead on the following drive, courtesy of this smooth 30-yard TD from Washington.

Game-sealing play

The Panthers made a run for it on their ensuing possession, but it was another miscue for Michigan. After reeling in a throw from Patterson, Scarlett fumbled the ball at midfield, and it was recovered by Tampa Bay.


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