USFL Week 5: Tampa Bay Bandits outlast Michigan Panthers
Week 5 of the USFL season kicked off Friday with a matchup between the Panthers and the Bandits. Here are the top moments.
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.
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.
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.
The Panthers had one 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.