Week 4 in the rebooted USFL kicked off Friday with a late-night thriller between the Michigan Panthers and victorious Philadelphia Stars. Saturday saw one team extend its unbeaten start and left another still searching for its first victory.
USA TODAY Sports offers up some takeaways from all the Week 4 action:
Brutal finish for Jeff Fisher’s Michigan Panthers
It seemed a lock that the Panthers were going to level their record at 2-2 after running back Reggie Corbin plowed ahead for 2 yards on third-and-1 at the Philadelphia 5-yard line with 33 seconds to go. Philadelphia was out of timeouts and had yielded three third-down conversions on the Panthers’ drive that began with 5:17 to go.
Trailing 26-25, Michigan called timeout with 3 seconds to go to set kicker Michael Carrizosa up with a chip-shot field goal for the win.
Unfortunately, Carrizosa proved to be the goat rather than the hero. He booted the 21-yard field goal off the upright as the Stars hung on for a stunning victory.
Beyond dropping the Panthers to 1-3 on the season, the miss put a damper on what was a brilliant game for Corbin. He finished with 152 yards on 12 carries and scored an 88-yard touchdown that marked the longest run in the USFL this season.
Pittsburgh remains winless after lackluster effort against Generals
The Maulers are still the only team not to register a win in the USFL after a 21-13 loss on Saturday against the New Jersey Generals in a North Division contest. The Maulers came into the game as the league’s lowest-scoring team and nothing they showed against New Jersey improved on that.
The Generals got on the board first when De’Andre Johnson rolled to his left and found Alonzo Moore wide open and took it to the house for a 62-yard scoring strike.
New Jersey padded its lead to 11 early in the third quarter after a Cameron Echols-Luper kickoff return set the Generals up in great field position. The Generals hit pay dirt seven plays later on a Darius Victor 3-yard touchdown run. Victor leads the USFL with four rushing scores this year.
The Maulers could only muster 256 yards of total offense, while the Generals used an efficient passing game to move the chains, completing 20-of-24 passes to hold the ball for almost 35 minutes.
Birmingham Stallions remain undefeated
It was hardly the most aesthetically pleasing game, but the Birmingham Stallions did just enough Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Bandits, winning 16-10 to move to 4-0 on the season.
The Stallions – boosted perhaps by (understandably) having the most fan support of any team in the Birmingham, Alabama-based league – were superb on defense. They yielded just 158 total yards against the Bandits. Which is good, because the Stallions’ offense managed a mere 228 yards while posting essentially identical yards-per-play averages (3.5 for Bandits; 3.7 for Stallions).
Week 4’s action concludes Sunday as the Houston Gamblers (1-2) and New Orleans Breakers (2-1) battle at 3 pm ET on NBC.