USFL Players of the Week: Josh Love, Josh Simmons earn Week 7 honors

USFL Players of the Week: Josh Love, Josh Simmons earn Week 7 honors

May 30

USFL fans were treated to a thrilling Memorial Day weekend slate of games, highlighted by four matchups, all decided by one score.

The Birmingham Stallions kicked off the action with a 24-20 victory over the New Orleans Breakers, while the Michigan Panthers closed out the weekend with an impressive 25-22 win over the New Jersey Generals.

Before we move on to Week 8, here's a look at who took home Player of the Week honors from Week 7.

Offensive Player of the Week: Michigan Panthers QB Josh Love

Love was outstanding in the Panthers' 25-22 win over the Generals. He completed 16-of-29 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns with a 120.5 passer rating. 

The former San Jose State signal-caller led the Panthers on a pair of first-half drives, which resulted in field goals to help give them a 6-3 lead at the break.

In the second half, Love turned it on. He completed a deep 28-yard pass to Trey Quinn to get the Panthers deep into Generals territory on one of the first plays of the half. Two plays later, he found Quinn again for a 22-yard touchdown pass to give the Panthers a 12-3 lead.

The Generals scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive to make it a 12-10 game. After both teams traded punts over the remainder of the third quarter, Love helped the Panthers find the end zone again on a 10-play, 66-yard drive in which he completed four passes for 54 yards. His final throw of the drive was a 23-yard touchdown pass to tight end Cole Hikutini, which gave the Panthers a 19-10 lead early in the fourth. 

The Generals responded again by scoring a touchdown to make it 19-16 with just over five minutes left. On just the second play of the Panthers' next drive, Love found Joe Walker over the middle and the wide receiver took it the distance for a 68-yard touchdown to give the Panthers a 25-16 lead and help seal the victory.

Defensive Player of the Week: Birmingham Stallions LB Quentin Poling and Memphis Showboats DT John Atkins

It felt like Poling was everywhere in the Stallions' win over the Breakers. The linebacker recorded 11 total tackles (six solo) with three tackles for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery.

Poling recorded a nine-yard sack on the opening play of the second quarter, and then came up with a fumble recovery later in the drive.

Poling's biggest play of the game came in the fourth quarter when he took down Breakers running back Wes Hills on a 1-yard reception on a third-and-8, which forced New Orleans to settle for a field goal.

As for Atkins, he was a dominant force on the interior of the defensive line in the Showboats' 23-20 win over the Houston Gamblers. He had four tackles (three solo) with two tackles for loss, two sacks and five passes defended. 

Atkins' first sack of the day came in the first quarter, which led to a three-and-out for the Gamblers.

Atkins was mostly quiet after that, until the fourth quarter began. He recorded a 15-yard sack on a second-and-11 that stopped a Gamblers drive as they looked to get back into the game. He also recorded a pair of pass breakups in the fourth quarter.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Pittsburgh Maulers kick returner Josh Simmons

Simmons had an active day returning kicks in the Maulers' 37-31 loss to the Philadelphia Stars

After the Stars took a 10-7 lead late in the first quarter, Simmons took the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a score that gave the Maulers a 14-10 lead. He finished the day with 233 return yards.