USFL Week 7 best plays: Big-man catch, huge fake punt and more

USFL Week 7 best plays: Big-man catch, huge fake punt and more

May 30, 2022

With the playoffs rapidly approaching, Week 7 of the USFL season was filled with thrilling moments.

And while the New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions grabbed the headlines by clinching postseason berths, there were plenty of huge plays from across the league.

Here are the best plays of Week 7.

Big-man Catch of the Week: Corbin Kaufusi, Tampa Bay Bandits

Offensive linemen aren't usually known for their soft hands, but most of them didn't play college basketball either, as Kaufusi did at BYU. Kaufusi showed off those hands Saturday against the Generals, snatching the ball out of the air and rumbling 32 yards.

"That man is 6-foot-9, 320. He catches the ball over his shoulder," Shannon Sharpe said on "Undisputed." "… That's a heckuva play. That's very impressive, a man that size to catch the ball like that. That's not easy." 

Game-winner of the Week: Kyle Sloter, New Orleans Breakers

The Breakers-Panthers game Saturday night went to overtime, the first time that has happened in this inaugural USFL season. Overtime in the USFL is almost like a soccer shootout, with each team getting just one play to score from the 2-yard line, in a best-of-three situation.

The Breakers stopped the Panthers on their first two attempts while also scoring on their first try. Then, on New Orleans' second attempt, Sloter recognized that while his receivers were covered, he had a wide-open path for the game-winner.

"[Sloter] keeps making the highlights," Sharpe said. "Almost every single week there's a play, either a throw or he's doing something with his feet. At some point in time I'm sure NFL teams are watching these guys."

"You can see he's got some speed," added Skip Bayless, who noted that Sloter has spent time in several NFL training camps. "He's auditioning for yet another shot at the next level."

Trick Play of the Week: Bobby Holly, Birmingham Stallions

The Birmingham Stallions were struggling to get their offense going Sunday against Pittsburgh, so coach Skip Holtz decided to light a spark with a fake punt.

It worked to perfection, as up-man Holly took the snap and dashed right up the middle, 52 yards for a touchdown.

"Ya'll trying to block a punt at midfield?" Sharpe said. "You know more often than not, teams are gonna hit you with the fake at midfield. You set up a punt block? … And the guy's like ‘OK, I’m gonna take it to the house.' And he has a knee brace on!"

Sack of the Week: Terry Beckner Jr., Pittsburgh Maulers

The Maulers didn't beat the Stallions on Sunday, but they made it a battle, and Beckner was a big reason for that.

The defensive tackle out of Missouri had three tackles on the day, including a burst up the middle for a ferocious sack. And it caught the attention of former NFL defensive end Marcellus Wiley on "Speak For Yourself."

"Inside hands always win in football, as you can see," Wiley said. "Once you get the inside hands, you've got the leverage, you've got the vision, you give 'em the skinny shoulder … open up, so you can have a wide radius and get that quarterback in."

Aerial Connection of the Week: Case Cookus and Jordan Suell, Philadelphia Stars

The Stars were trying to rally late in their game against Houston on Sunday, when Cookus and Suell connected for the exact play they needed. 

Cookus scrambled to avoid pressure, then launched a 39-yard dart to Suell in the end zone. The score pulled Philly within 24-20, and they would eventually win 35-24.

"He rolls out, but here's my favorite part of it — keep your eyes downfield," Emmanuel Acho said. "Defenders were scrambling when you get out of the pocket. He finds Suell. Great throw, great catch is going to beat great coverage every single time."