The USFL released the 2023 schedule for upcoming teams for 2023 on Tuesday. Starting with the Michigan Panther at 8am, fans of the USFL waited every hour to see each teams schedule come live via twitter in preparation for the 2023 USFL season. For the Panthers they return home to Michigan playing their games at Ford Field this April.
Week One: Michigan Panthers at Houston Gamblers
April 16th Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium Memphis, Tennessee
The Panthers and Gamblers go back-to-back seasons opening the USFL against each other. Last year the Gamblers defeated the Panthers 17-12, despite the Gamblers anemic offensive efforts. This year the Gamblers are without Defensive Stalwarts, Chris Odom, Micah Abernathy, Will Likely, Ahmad Gooden, Reggie Northrup, and Donald Payne, which anchored the 2022 team to victory last season.
The Gamblers come into 2023 with questions at Quarterback but do return leading rusher Mark Thompson, and steady Tight Ends Brandon Barnes and Julian Allen. With the Panthers seemingly much faster in 2023, they could be off to a quick start in 2023 if this offense gets going early.
Week Two: Michigan Panthers at Philadelphia Stars
The Panthers were embarrassed twice last year by the Stars, once by a missed 21-yard field goal by “kicker” Michael Carrizosa and later in the season by Case Cookus scoring 5 touchdowns in a 46-24 blow out. With the Stars still unsure about their Quarterback situation and the Panthers having one of the top-tier Special Teams units in the league the Panther are in prime position to make things very difficult for the North Division’s Championship representative in 2023.
Week Three: New Jersey Generals at Michigan Panthers
April 30th Ford Field Detroit, Michigan
The Panthers continue their 2nd of 5 straight home games by hosting the New Jersey Generals of Canton, Ohio in week Three. The Northern Division Champs, led by the USFL’s most experience Head Coach Mike Riley, will be without Garrett McGhin, Darrius Shepherd, USFL MVP Kavontae Turpin, and Luis Perez for 2023.
The Generals do bring back Darius Victor, Alt-Football Vet Terry Poole, and defensive standout Shalom Luani for 2023, but will rely heavily on Quarterback DeAndre Johnson to shoulder the majority of the Quarterbacking duties, if late season signing Kyle Lauletta is not able to compliment Johnson’s skillset. Last season the Panthers and Generals both showcased hard fought games that were decided by a combined Five points. Expect more of the same come 2023.
Week Four: Memphis Showboats at Michigan Panthers
May 6th Ford Field Detroit, Michigan
The Panthers go into May by welcoming the return of the Memphis Showboats at Ford Field. Memphis who underwent a complete overhaul from not only the team name but also with its player. The Panthers were defeated by the Bandits/Showboats last season 27-20, which was one of six losses decided by one score or less. Memphis comes into the 2023 season like many USFL teams with questions at Quarterback and Offensive Line as the team led the USFL in Sacks Allowed and Sack Yards Lost last year. With the Panthers upgrading their Defensive line with Garrett Marino, Breeland Speaks, and Robert Nkemdiche, look for them to feast on the Showboats Quarterbacks whether it be Cole Kelley or Brady White this May.
Week Five: Pittsburgh Maulers at Michigan Panthers
May 13th Ford Field Detroit, Michigan
The Panthers welcome their favorite team in the USFL, the new look Black and Yellow Pittsburgh Maulers to Detroit on May 13th. The Panthers defeated the Maulers twice last season including their week 10 finale that saw Paxton Lynch secure the number one draft pick and player of the week honors. With a complete overhaul on both sides of the ball, multiple players departing for the NFL, and a new coach these Maulers should provide a more competitive edge in 2023 than the Purple and Orange predecessor.
Week Six: Birmingham Stallions at Michigan Panthers
May 20th Ford Field Detroit, Michigan
The Panthers close out their Five game homestand by welcoming the 2022 USFL Champion Birmingham Stallions. The Stallions come into 2023 as the most complete team in the USFL, retaining the most of their original core talent in addition to adding NFL-caliber players for the 2023 season. Last season the Stallions overmatched the Panthers despite Michigan’s best efforts to keep the game competitive. For the Panthers to have a chance this year, they’ll need to contain Running Back Bo Scarbrough as he torched the Panthers for 105 rushing yards and a touchdown in addition to Jojo Tillery winning Defensive Player of the Week during the Stallions 33-17 victory in Week 6 of 2022.
Week Seven: Michigan Panthers at New Jersey Generals
May 28th Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium Canton, Ohio
The Panthers dropped their second game to the Generals last season 25-23, in a more offensively friendly game than in their initial 10-6 loss in week two. Coming off their Five game Homestand the Panthers will be in prime position to end the season strong playing the final three out of four games on the road and more importantly against Northern Division teams.
Week Eight: Michigan Panthers at New Orleans Breakers
June 4th Protective Stadium Birmingham, Alabama
The Panthers open June by returning to Birmingham to take on the Kyle Sloter-less New Orleans Breakers. The Panthers lost to the Breakers last season in an overtime game 31-27. The Panthers Week 8 match vs the Breakers is the final out of conference game for Michigan as they close the 2023 season. It is also the game only game they play in Birmingham in 2023.
Week Nine: Michigan Panthers at Pittsburgh Maulers
June 10th Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium Canton, Ohio
The Panthers go to Ohio to take on the Maulers for their final stretch of divisional games of 2023. By this point in the season for the Panthers sake these games should be “get right” games in preparation for the 2023 Playoffs.
Week 10: Philadelphia Stars at Michigan Panthers
June 18th Ford Field Detroit, Michigan
The Panthers end the season at home against their hub mates on June 18th, as both teams look to be vying for a playoff spot in the final week of the USFL season. Look for Michigan to remain competitive after dropping two games to Philadelphia last season, and not wanting embarrass themselves due to allowing the Stars to share a hub with them.
With the schedule set, fans and media alike can begin planning their travel to visit their favorite cities to see their favorite teams. With the USFL gearing up for their second season fans will expect the next several weeks to be full of USFL news. With the Draft, Training Camp, and then Kickoff less than 70 Days away, season two is primed to build on the initial success of the 2022 USFL season.