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the Panthers should take advantage of the Maulers struggle to score and use their solid rushing attack to dominate the time of possession and scoreboard.
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USFL Player Frank Ginda (5) as tight end on the San Jose State Spartans
This USFL Week 10 North Division basement battle features two one-win teams that will be watching the upcoming postseason from their coaches, the Michigan Panthers and the Pittsburgh Maulers, teams filled with players who see this final game as one last NFL audition.
Last week, the Panthers stayed with the Divisional champs, the New Jersey Generals, for the first half, but in the second half the Michigan offense sputtered out and could only put a field goal on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, a typical loss for HC Jeff Fisher’s one-win team.
Despite a perfectly executed fake punt by the Maulers in Week 9 that included a no-look backwards toss by the holder and a one-handed grab and toss by the punter for the touchdown, that 10-3 Pittsburgh halftime league became a 16-17 loss as HC Kirby Wilson lost his eighth.
Take a look at the predictions for the USFL Championship, here!
The Panthers may have only won a single game, but it’s not because their rushing attack is weak, so far ranked second in the league behind the mighty Generals of New Jersey, a Michigan run game that averages 141.4 yards per game with 11 ground TDs on the season.
This game might not mean much in the standings, but winning players earn an extra $850 and chances are the NFL scouts are watching these final USFL games for standout players to invite to camp, something players from both teams here most likely know about, more fuel for the fire.
Michigan’s best rusher is Reggie Corbin, a powerful runner with 85 carries this season for 514 yards and 2 TDs, a 26-year old former Illinois playmaker who is 5’ 9” and 205 pounds, a solid call carrier who is also a dependable check down receiver who is tough to tackle with the ball.
One way the Maulers can improve is to become more productive with their pass game, ranked second last in the league after averaging just 150 yards through the air per game for a total of 1,455 passing yards and 8 passing touchdowns on an average of 33 attempts per game.
Of course, it would help to have the same QB from week to week, and that has not been happening under HC Kirby Wilson’s reign, lately with mostly Vlad Lee and sometimes Roland Rivers sharing snaps, though last week Lee through two interceptions in a 16-17 loss.
Michigan is decent against the pass, keeping opponents to about 165 yards through the air per game, still it’s a chance for Pittsburgh to rise above their normal output and use Week 10 to finally put some respectable points on the board, so far averaging just 14 per week.
The Panthers have the 3rd most productive tackler in the league in LB Frank Ginda, a 6’ 1” 230 pound take down artist who used to play for San Jose State, now responsible for 82 Panther tackles with 6 of those for a loss, along with a sack and forced fumble in his 9 games.
This Week 10 matchup will be the perfect NFL audition for Ginda, and not his first, so far with NFL camp experience (Cardinals, Dolphins, Saints) as well as in the AAF (Fleet) and XFL (Guardians), a 25-year old pro player with the size and youth to still compete in the big league.
Against the Maulers, Ginda will have his hands full, with Pittsburgh typically using a two-headed attack out of the backfield starring Madre London and Garrett Groshek (see below), the perfect showcase for Ginda to display his wares, his ability to tackle runners a definite forte.
If Pittsburgh hopes to win this final game of their season, all playmakers must step up including the two in the backfield, RBs Madre London and Garrett Groshek, a pair of troublemakers for any tired defense, each with a different style of attack that is difficult to stop repeatedly.
With London the former Michigan State and Tennessee star, his 6’ 1” 218 pound frame is tough to tackle, his experience in The Spring League (Alphas) and the ELF (Centurions) was invaluable and is paying off now as he has carried the ball 92 times for 397 yards and a TD.
The other playmaker out of the Maulers’ RB room is Garrett Groshek, a former Wisconsin player who is more of a wrecking ball at 5’ 11” and 220 pounds, his experience in NFL camps (Raiders, Vikings) a plus, so far this season with 108 rushes for 329 yards and a TD for Pittsburgh.
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|Panthers vs Maulers Information
|Michigan Panthers vs Pittsburgh Maulers
|Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama
|Sunday, June 19, 2022; 4:00 PM ET
|How to watch
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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