USFL Week 5: Tampa Bay Bandits Survive Michigan Panthers

Week 5 of the USFL season started Friday with a nice matchup, as the Tampa Bay Bandits at the top of the Michigan Panthers

The Bandits improve to 3-2 on the season, while the Panthers drop to 1-4.

Here are the best plays from Michigan and Tampa Bay:

Tampa Bay Bandits 27, Michigan Panthers 20

Panthers strike first

The Panthers made a wild double pass touchdown when 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.

Shea Patterson, Panthers complete a DOUBLE-PASS TD against the Bandits

Shea Patterson, Panthers complete a DOUBLE-PASS TD against the Bandits

Shea Patterson and the Michigan Panthers pulled out the tricks for a USFL-style touchdown against the Tampa Bay Bandits.

Play trick!

During the ensuing drive from Tampa Bay, the Bandits replied with their own score – in a non-traditional way.

Running back Juwan Washington fiddled with the ball, which was picked up by Bandits QB Jordan Ta’amu, who then threw a 50-yard touchdown to wide receiver Derrick Dillon.

Bandits’ Ta’amu throws a deep shot at Dillon on flea flicker for TD draw

Bandits' Ta'amu throws a deep shot at Dillon on flea flicker for TD draw

Tampa Bay Bandits QB Jordan Ta’amu throws a deep shot to WR Derrick Dillon on the flea flicker for the tying touchdown against the Michigan Panthers.

At 7-7, things entered the second quarter.

More where that came from

The Panthers continued to pull in trick plays as kicker Cole Murphy connected with RB Cameron Scarlett for a 9 yard win and a first clutch resulting in a field target and a 10-7 lead for Michigan.

Ground game strong

Washington redeemed himself with a hasty score late in the frame to give the Bandits a 13-10 lead.

Not so fast!

The Panthers defense were relentless in the closing moments of the first half, firing Ta’amu.

Too fast

The Panthers once had final possession to take some points before halftime, and they did just that.

Patterson found receiver Lance Lenoir for a much-needed 41-yard win, followed by another Michigan field target to get things together at 1 pm on the way to the break.

Bandits bounce back

Tampa Bay was the first to strike in the second half, when Ta’amu fired a 43-yard TD bomb at WR John Franklin, giving the Bandits a 20-13 advantage.

Ta’amu finds John Franklin III for a 43-yard TD to set up Bandits

Ta'amu finds John Franklin III for a 43-yard TD to set up Bandits

Bandits QB Jordan Ta’amu finds WR John Franklin III for a 43-yard touchdown pass, while Tampa Bay takes a seven-point lead.

Misfortune hits Michigan

The Panthers struggled with their next possession as Patterson was eliminated trying to make a play in the red zone. It remained a seven point game en route to the fourth quarter.

Bombs away!

The Panthers’ luck turned midway through the fourth quarter, thanks to this dazzling connection from Patterson and the tight end of La’Michael Pettway. So it was another draw.

Shea Patterson Throws An Absolute DIME To Score Even Against Bandits

Shea Patterson Throws An Absolute DIME To Score Even Against Bandits

The Michigan Panthers tie the score against the Tampa Bay Bandits, thanks to Shea Patterson’s beautiful TD pass.

Pull away

The Bandits found the end zone and took a 27-20 lead on the next drive, thanks to this smooth 30-yard TD from Washington.

Game sealing game

The Panthers made a run on their subsequent possession, but it was another miscue for Michigan. After getting a throw from Patterson, Scarlett fiddled with the ball in midfield and was recovered by Tampa Bay.


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