Greg Reaves, Bandits defense clamp down late to edge Panthers

 Greg Reaves, Bandits defense clamp down late to edge Panthers


By RJ Young
FOX Sports Writer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In the contest showing No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in the inaugural United States Football League Draft, two former AFC head coaches and nearly 700 yards on offense, the Tampa Bay Bandits covered a 27-20 victory against Michigan Panthers on Friday night.

The South Division remained undefeated against the North Division at 5-0.

Jordan Ta’amu led the Bandits against the Panthers, 27-20

Jordan Ta’amu led the Bandits against the Panthers, 27-20

The Tampa Bay Bandits defeated the Michigan Panthers 27-20 thanks to a 207-yard pass and two touchdowns by Jordan Ta’amu.

The match was still in balance with less than two minutes left when bandits linebacker Greg Reaves forced the Panthers to run back to Cam Scarlett to fumble, this after Scarlett got a pass that made it Shea Patterson is only the second quarterback this season to pass 300 yards or more with 1:47 left in play.

“Turnovers are the game,” said Bandits linebacker Christian Sam. “Turnovers win games.”

Sam recorded seven tackles – including one tackle for loss – three passes were defended and one interception. His pick was from a pass given by Reaves.

As Sam sat next to his head coach, Todd Haley, and opposite quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, he wondered why he was even asked to speak at the postgame media conference.

“Greg balled,” Sam said. “I don’t know why I’m up here and he’s not. Greg is playing hell.”

Reaves finished the night with seven tackles, including two tackles for loss, and created two turnovers that won a game that turned into a shootout.

Patterson finished the night completing 23 of 37 passing attempts for 306 yards with a touchdown and interception. It was the best game played by No. 1 overall pick in the USFL.

Fisher said Patterson’s game is an indication of a player who has pitched and set the middle mark of the season.

“That’s right,” Fisher said. “It’s more time, more reps, and the offense. You know, he pitched, made some good passes, but that’s the immediate response.”

The Panthers put up 409 yards on the Bandits ’273 offense, though Ta’amu and the Tampa offense only came off 49 snaps to Michigan’s 70. Ta’amu completed just 15 of his 24 innings. passing attempts, but two of them were hit by touchdowns. . He also completed passes on seven different targets.

Ta’amu’s 207 -yard passing meant the two former Ole Miss and Kansas City Chief teammates combined to pass for 513 yards in their first game against each other at any level.

CORBIN CONTENT

Entering Week 5, the Panthers boasted No. At the start of the game, Eric Marty’s offense seems to try to keep cooking using the recipe for offensive success with an anemic passing attack.

After the Panthers defense forced Tampa to score its first possession, running back Reggie Corbin showed why he was the league’s top rusher and was busted in the middle for a 20-yard win.

Corbin has averaged 142 rush yards per game in his last two fights and 100 rushing yards for the season before being held back by Pepper Johnson’s Bandit defense.

Corbin finished with just 28 rush yards on 12 carries.

FLEA FLICKER FOR MOLUWAT

A double pass from Patterson to Joe Walker to Ryan O’Malley’s tight end went 30 yards for six and was O’Malley’s first touchdown of the season.

The Panthers completed a double-pass touchdown against the Bandits

The Panthers completed a double-pass touchdown against the Bandits

The Michigan Panthers released tricks for a USFL-style double-pass touchdown against the Tampa Bay Bandits involving Shea Patterson, Ryan O’Malley and Joe Walker.

O’Malley was activated after former Ohio State tight end Marcus Baugh couldn’t go, and he was the one who received Walker’s remarkable arm – a former Delaware quarterback who passed 2,200 yards.

The pass takes advantage of a new USFL rule where a double-pass is not only allowed but the first pass can be a forward pass as long as it is thrown behind the line-of-scrimmage.

Tampa responded with his own trick play-a flea flicker-running back as Juwan Washington returned to Ta’amu, only for Ta’amu to fumble the ball, recover it, spin, and then throw a jump ball to former LSU wideout Derrick Dillon in the middle. Dillon snatched it from the air and made it a 50-yard touchdown.

“I’ve always been taught when everything around me is chaotic that I need to stay calm and collect, and I still need to bring it back,” Ta’amu said. “I knew there was a bounce to get it and something would happen. I would throw it, but soon I was holding the ball I saw Derek Dillon in my sight, making a spin move and he was given a 50-50 shot. “

Bandits Jordan Ta’amu throws a TD with a flea flicker

Bandits Jordan Ta'amu throws a TD with a flea flicker

Tampa Bay Bandits Jordan Ta’amu passed a deep shot to Derrick Dillon with a flea flicker for the game that tied the touchdown.

“I’d say that’s one of the most games I’ve seen in my entire career,” Haley said. “It’s not the way we drew it. It was our first game, but we backed it up. So, when we called it, Jordan did it.

After a quarter, Walker passed and more yards on a pass than Patterson (0-for-2). While Ta’amu started better – 2 -for -3 for 52 yards with a TD – the Bandits held the ball for just two minutes and six seconds into the first quarter.

TRADING BLOWS

Patterson completed nine of 16 passing attempts for 128 yards in the first half. He has passed 67 yards on 17 tries in his entire past outing and 115 in total in his last two games. With those 128 yards in the first two periods, Patterson has already played his second -best statistical game of the season.

Ta’amu only completed four of nine passes for 57 yards in the first half, but the Bandits ’offense held the ball in half -time (9:46) as did the Panthers’ offense (20:14).

Michigan specialist Cole Murphy both survived to drive through a fourth down pass with a fake punt, and then put the Panthers ahead with a 36-yard field goal.

With 4:01 left in the half, the Bandits quickly counter-struck, with Washington finishing with a six-game drive to take a 13-10 lead, after no more points. of kicker Tyler Rausa.

But Murphy added another field goal with 12 seconds left in the half to tie the score at 13-13.

The Michigan defense gave up just nine points (all field goals) in the second half of the entire season, but Ta’amu changed all that when he found wide receiver John Franklin III for six with 43-yard touchdown toss. It gave the Bandits a 20-13 lead.

Patterson tried to resist, but after driving into the red zone, he threw a pass that deviated from the line and was blocked by Sam to end the Panthers drive.

Patterson will get another chance, though, and he will take advantage of a touchdown pass on former Iowa State Cyclone La’Michael Pettway for 25 yards. It turned out to be 20-20 with the remaining six minutes.

The Bandits needed just over two minutes and six games to respond with a go-ahead touchdown behind Washington’s 30-yard rush. With the sidelines of starter BJ Emmons, Washington is essentially managing the running duties on his own.

His play signifies the kind of grit that Haley loves on his team.

USFL Helmet Cam: Juwan Washington cuts a 30-yard run

USFL Helmet Cam: Juwan Washington cuts a 30-yard run

Watch the eyes of RB Juwan Washington of the Tampa Bay Bandits as he broke a 30-yard winning TD and hit “Griddy” afterwards!

“I say the same thing I say every time with these guys,” Haley said. “I really enjoyed being around them. They cared. They loved football. They ran around the walls and did everything necessary to get ready to play and everyone didn’t go our way in the game, but together them and found a way to win a game we desperately needed. ”

RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast ”The No. 1st Rank Show with RJ Young. ”Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Youngand subscribe to “The RJ Young Show“on YouTube. He’s not on a StepMill.


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USFL - Panthers vs..  Bandits - 5/14/2022 USFL – Panthers vs.. Bandits – 5/14/2022





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