Halfway through the 2023 USFL season and fans of the league have seen extreme volatility at the Quarterback position. While McLeod Bethel Thompson and Alex McGough have seemed to standout as the front runners of the USFL. While other Quarterbacks like Troy Williams and Cole Kelley have established themselves in the next tier, the USFL is still struggling to find the next set of Quarterbacks who consistently put out a stellar performance for their teams with five weeks left in the season.
Montell Cozart made his debut for Gamblers this week after spending the 2022 season as a reserve Quarterback for the Birmingham Stallions. Cozart was a part of a Two-QB system for Houston this week playing in a couple seasons getting his feet wet for Houston with turning to Terry Wilson for Week 5 with Kenji Bahar out due to injury.
10. Josh Love Michigan Panthers Previous Ranking #8
Stats: 8/12 68 Passing Yards 1 TD 1 INT 1 Rushing Attempt 3 Rushing Yards
Love’s workload has continued to decrease over the past two weeks which may signal a move to see Carson Strong as the full time starter. Love did his best dinking and dunking his way to a Touchdown to Cole Hikutini however his success has been limited since his Week One resurgence.
9. Carson Strong Michigan Panthers Previous Ranking #8
Stats: 13/23 94 Passing Yards 0 TD 1 INT 3 Rushing Attempts 10 Rushing Yards 1 Fumble
Strong was a bit more mobile this weekend and did a decent job of moving the football at times for the Panthers however, it appears the continue to struggle with finishing drives and scoring touchdowns. Regardless as it appears with Josh Love the Panthers are running out of opportunities and while the Two-QB system had success in for many USFL teams in 2022, it appears that in 2023 that trend has ended.
8. Terry Wilson Houston Gamblers Previous Ranking #9
Stats: 9/14 117 Passing Yards 1 TD 0 INT 6 Rushing Attempts 41 Rushing Yards
In his spot start for the injured Kenji Bahar, Wilson did a great job limiting mistakes and playing within himself. His dynamic rushing ability has continued to allow the Gamblers to take their shots which led to a beautiful strike to Anthony Ratliff Williams for 50 Yards down field on a play action pass.
7. Case Cookus Philadelphia Stars Previous Ranking #8
Stats: 18/30 125 Passing Yards 0 TD 0 INT 4 Rushing Attempts 21 Rushing Yards
Cookus took another beating this week for Philadelphia, however, did enough to manage his team to a victory on the leg of Luis Aguilar. Cookus managed to play a turnover free game for the Stars which prompted them to their 2nd win of the year. With the Stars still 2-3, in a weak Northern Division, Philadelphia will need to sure up their Offensive in hopes of giving Cookus enough of an opportunity to utilize the Stars dynamic playmakers.
6. DeAndre Johnson New Jersey Generals Previous Ranking #5
Stats: 7/12 79 Passing Yards 0 TD 0 INT 7 Rushing Attempts 62 Rushing Yards 1 TD
An injury forced Johnson out of the Generals Week 5 defeat to the Stars, that was once again priming him for another consecutive solid passing performance. Johnson has made some strides the past several weeks of the USFL while still being equally dangerous as a rusher making him the leagues 5th best rusher in 2023. With Mike Riley clearly trusting the former “Last Chance U” Star as his QB1, it appears only injury will be what stops him from leading the Generals back to the playoffs.
5. Kyle Lauletta New Jersey Generals Previous Ranking Unranked
Stats: 10/12 111 Passing Yards 0 TD 1 INT 1 Rushing Attempt 1 Rushing Yard 1 TD
Despite Three Fumbles from Darius Victor and an unsolicited interception on a dropped pass, Lauletta continued to pick up from the success of DeAndre Johnson and almost led the Generals to a comeback victory. While the status of Johnson is unknown for Week 6, it’s clear that Generals fans have a lot more confidence in Lauletta this go around after his cameo with the Maulers in 2022.
4. Cole Kelley Memphis Showboats Previous Rankings #4
Stats: 24/36 224 Passing Yards 1 TD 1 INT 5 Rushing Attempts 4 Rushing Yards 1 Fumble
Kelley has also been a consistent model for the Showboats despite being under an extreme amount of duress in Week 5. As always Kelley’s big body has continued to be resistant to the opposing Pass Rushers giving the Showboats an opportunity to avoid 2nd/3rd and longs, by keeping down and distant manageable. After the Showaboats defeat of the Breakers Kelley currently has the opportunity to push Memphis into the playoff push for 2023.
3. Troy Williams Pittsburgh Maulers Previous Ranking #6
Stats: 15/19 184 Passing Yards 2 TDs 1 INT 10 Rushing Attempts 59 Rushing Yards 1 TD 1 Fumble
Williams has become one of the most exciting Quarterbacks and Players to watch in the 2023 USFL season. After earning Player of the Week honors in Week 5, Williams has emerged as a riser and stabilizing force for the Maulers since Coach Horton has transitioned to Williams as his full time QB1. For the Maulers it’s obviously Williams is the premiere option for Pittsburgh in their hopes for a 2023 rebound.
2. Alex McGough Birmingham Stallions Previous Ranking #2
Stats: 24/37 209 Passing Yards 2 TDs 0 INT 6 Rushing Attempts 76 Rushing Yards
McGough has been running for his life from what it seems over the past few games. His athletic ability has been a much-needed spark for Stallions who obviously miss the consistent passing ability of J’Mar Smith. McGough has been in the top echelon statistics in 2023 currently ranking in the Top-3 of Passing Statistics and placing Top-6 in Rushing Yards currently.
1. McLeod Bethel-Thompson New Orleans Breakers Previous Ranking #1
Stats: 25/35 206 Passing Yards 1 TD 1 INT 0 Rushing Attempts 0 Rushing Yards 2 Fumbles
Despite the loss, MBT continues to be the most consistent Quarterback throughout the 2023 season. While his Week 5 performance was obviously his worst output of the season, MBT coupled with the consistent ground game of Wes Hills despite the Breakers loss, MBT continues to a guiding force for New Orleans going further into the season.