USFL week 4: Recap & Review

USFL Week 4 in Review

Written and Edited by Seth Brown

After an exciting week four saw two close games come down to the wire, a dominant win by Houston, and Memphis become the final team to earn their seasons first win, here is everything that happened in Week four, after we missed our Week 3 recap due to college.

Gamblers Runningback Mark Thompson, with a carry in the dominant victory over Philadelphia

Gamblers Win Big Over Stars,    41-16

The Gamblers, in an unexpected twist, went into Ford Field an underdog and left it with a three score victory over last years North Division Champion Philadelphia Stars. After the Stars went 3-and-Out to kick the game off, the Gamblers would march down the field before Mark Thompson punched into the endzone for the games first score. After the Gamblers fumbled a handoff and lost the ball to the Stars, Matt Coulburn would find the endzone to tie the game at 7. Unfortunately for the Stars, the rest of the first half would be all Houston, with another Thompson rushing TD to go up 13-7, followed by Anthony Ratliff-Williams reeling in another score to take the 20-7 lead, followed by Keke Chism topping off the Gamblers hot second quarter by taking a short dumpoff 54 yards for the score to enter the half with a 27-7 lead, but not before Gamblers DB Elijah Jones picked off Case Cookus with just one hand to stop the Stars from stealing points before the break. After the break, Mark Thompson got right back to work as he punched in his third score of the game to take a 34-7 lead. Later in the third, Wilson would fumble in the redzone, allowing the ball to bounce into the endzone where it was recovered by Chism for another Gamblers TD to take a dominant 41-7 lead. The Stars would cap off the third quarter with a field goal to bring their total up to 10. Late in the fourth, Dexter Williams would find the endzone in an attempt to make the Stars efforts look a bit better, bringing the final score to 41-16. The Gamblers and Stars have seen opposite trends this year, as the Gamblers started 0-2 before getting 2 straight wins, while the Stars began 1-0 and have not won since.

Panthers Runningback Stevie Scott with a carry. The Panthers would lose their second game in a row at Ford Field to then-winless Memphis

Showboats Earn First Win of the Season over Panthers, 29-10

Detroit entered the night hoping to right the ship after their 2-0 start was halted by a loss to the Generals in their home opener, while Memphis entered hoping to snag their first win of the season after a horrible 0-3 start, which included a 42-2 stomping by the Stallions. Memphis would leave the stadium victorious, achieving their first win since the franchise returned. Neither team found the endzone in the first quarter, although Memphis kicker Alex Kessman would put up two 50+ yard kicks to take a 6-0 lead. Into the second quarter, Memphis would find the endzone first on a Cole Kelley 1 yard run to take a 13-0 lead early. After a Cole Murphy kick, the first half would end with a Showboats 13-3 lead. The third quarter would again see neither team find the endzone, although Kessman put up another field goal to enter the fourth up 16-3. The Panthers would strike first in the fourth as Josh Love found Joe Walker on a 3 yard touchdown pass to narrow the lead, 16-10. Just as the Panthers found themselves in a winnable game, Memphis would begin to pull away, as Kelley would run in another touchdown to take the 23-10 lead. After a Panthers fumble, the Showboats would put the game away, 29-10. After a 2-0 start, Michigan finds itself back at .500 and looks to right the ship against the Pittsburgh Maulers, who they have not lost too once since the USFL returned. Memphis, after its first win of the year, looks to get one step closer to the playoff hunt as they take on the undefeated Breakers on the road. 

Breakers Runningback Wes Hill with a carry in the win over New Jersey. With 6 weeks left in the season, Hill is just 1 rushing TD away from a USFL record.

Breakers Stay Perfect After Close Game With Generals, 20-17

Both teams entered this game on a similar note, as both had just went on the road the week before and knocked off undefeated favorites. The Breakers entered as the leagues lone unbeaten, but New Jersey looked to knock them off too. The Breakers would march down early and fast, capped off by a Wes Hill rushing score to take the early 7-0 lead. Darius Victor would then fumble the ball right back to the Breakers, who eventually punted afterwards. After the Generals pinned the Breakers at the 1, the Breakers would initially escape the trouble of a looming safety, before Bethel-Thompson threw an interception to give the Generals great field position. Despite the good position, the Generals left scoreless, but not before pinning the Breakers at the 1 again. After multiple scoreless drives from both sides, the Generals would break the silence with a 62 yard score from De'Andre Johnson to Cameron Echols Luper, tying the game up at 7. After a good kick return and a hefty penalty, the Breakers would return the favor with great field position on a Wes Hill rushing score to take the 14-7 lead. The first half would end on a Nick Sciba field goal to enter the break with a 14-10 score. After the break, Matt Coghlin would extend the breakers lead with a field goal, followed by Victor punching in a Generals score to tie the game at 17. Halfway through the fourth, Coghlin would hit another field goal to give the Breakers the lead. After both teams remained scoreless for the rest of the game, the Breakers would leave with their perfect record intact and a 20-17 victory. New Orleans looks to reach the halfway point of the season unbeaten against the 1-3 Showboats, while the Generals look to get over .500 against the 1-3 Stars.  

Stallions Quarterback Alex McGough, who accounted for two touchdowns in the nailbiting win over Pittsburgh

Late Return Touchdown Lifts Stallions Over Maulers, 24-20

Two tough defenses clashed on Sunday night as the Birmingham Stallions visited the Pittsburgh Maulers. After a strong kickoff return by Pittsburgh, the story of their season continued as a redzone drive ended in 3 points by Chris Blewitt. The Maulers defense gave the offense a break, however, as they came down with an interception on Stallions QB Alex McGough.  After getting down to the 2 yard line, the Maulers would yet again settle for 3 in the redzone to take the 6-0 lead. Despite the offensive woes, Pittsburghs defense was dedicated to keeping them in the lead, as they picked off McGough again. Blewitt would earn his third field goal of the game to take a 9-0 lead. The Stallions would avoid a first half shutout by putting up a field goal with 1:45 remaining to take a 9-3 score lead late in the first. After what seemed like a drive the Stallions would knee out and take a 6 point deficit into the half, the Stallions instead marched downfield before McGough ran in a score himself to enter the half with a 1 pt lead, 10-9. After the half, the Maulers would reach the redzone for the fourth time. And for the fourth time, they would settle for 3, taking a 12-10 lead. The Stallions would respond with a 14 play drive, capped off by mcGough evading sack after sack before hitting Davion Davis for the score to take the 17-12 lead. The Maulers would respond with an impressive score of their own, as Williams ran it up the gut for a 34 yard touchdown, followed by Hennie taking in the 2-pt attempt to take a 20-17 lead. After what looked like the Maulers defense could close out the win, the Stallions would put them on their heels and not even allow the Maulers defense a chance, as they ran the kickoff back 91 yards into the endzone, leaving the final score 24-20 with a Stallions victory. The Stallions look to improve to 4-1 against the Gamblers, who were their lone loss a year ago, while the Maulers look to win just their third game since returning in 2022 against the Panthers. 

Week 4 Power Rankings

Almost halfway into the season, these are how we believe all eight clubs stack up against each other.

Last rankings, which are what these rankings are compared to with the movement on the left, is our Week 2 rankings. Week 3 did not receive rankings or a recap.