USFL Players of the Week: Troy Williams, Breeland Speaks shine bright in Week 5
Troy Williams and Breeland Speaks each had huge performances in Week 5, earning USFL Player of the Week honors.
Fox Sports Editorial Team
Week 5 of the 2023 USFL season was filled with excitement as three games were decided in the final minutes.
Sunday featured a pair of riveting games as the Philadelphia Stars defeated the New Jersey Generals, 24-21, on a walk-off 55-yard field goal. Following that game, the Memphis Showboats took down the New Orleans Breakers, 17-10, putting an end to the Breakers' undefeated season.
With Week 5 in the books, here is who took home Player of the Week honors on offense, defense and special teams.
Offensive Player of the Week: Pittsburgh Maulers QB Troy Williams
The dual-threat quarterback had himself a day in the Maulers' 23-7 win over the Michigan Panthers on Saturday. He completed 15 of 19 passes for 184 yards, two touchdowns and an interception with a 120.2 passer rating. He added even more yards with his feet, rushing for 59 yards on 10 carries and adding another touchdown on the ground.
Williams' lone mistake of the game came early when he threw an interception on the Maulers' second drive of the game. But Williams bounced back right after that. On his next pass, he completed a deep 31-yard throw to wide receiver Bailey Gaither. He then added an 11-yard scramble before completing a 5-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.
Williams built on the momentum when the Maulers took the field again following a Panthers' fumble on the ensuing drive. He completed a deep pass for 28 yards on their first play of the drive before rushing for eight yards on the next two plays and completing the drive with another 5-yard touchdown pass.
Williams was able to bury the Panthers for the day when he ran for a 13-yard touchdown with just three minutes left.
Defensive Player of the Week: Michigan Panthers DE Breeland Speaks
While the Panthers weren't able to come away with the win against the Maulers, a key member of their defense was able to put up one of the top defensive performances of the season.
Speaks recorded six combined tackles, one for loss, and had 2.5 sacks in the loss.
Speaks' first sack of the day came at a pivotal moment. The Maulers had the ball in Panthers territory, but on a third-and-10 from the 37-yard line, Speaks was able to get a 5-yard sack and force Pittsburgh to punt.
Speaks added his second sack of the game in the third quarter when he chased down Williams to force a third-and-long situation for the Maulers. Speaks combined with teammate Levi Bell to register another sack on a second-and-goal play from the 6-yard-line.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Philadelphia Stars K Luis Aguilar
Arguably no player has had a better performance in a USFL game this season than Aguilar.
The Stars kicker made eight field goals in Philadelphia's 24-21 win over the New Jersey Generals. Not only did Aguilar's eight field goals set the record for the most made in a USFL game, but it also tied the record for the most made in any professional football game in America.
Aguilar's biggest kick of the day came on the game's final play. After the Generals tied the game at 21-21 with 15 seconds left, the Stars were able to set Aguilar up for a 55-yard field goal with just seconds remaining. The Philly kicker did his thing, sinking the game-winning field goal as time expired to give the Stars the victory.