Season two of the USFL goes on as the Pittsburgh Maulers travel to Memphis, Tennessee to take on the Showboats on Saturday.
The Maulers are coming off their best showing of the season. On the road, they took on the Michigan Panthers and won 23-7. Their offense exploded, and their defense dominated for all but one drive of the game. Pittsburgh truly showed what they were capable of against a solid team in the Panthers and they look to build on that momentum, against another team that’s had their fair share of struggles.
The Showboats have had a tough go of it, but are currently 2-3, on a two-game win streak. Coming off a decisive 17-10 victory against the New Orleans Breakers, and a similarly dominant 29-10 win over the Michigan Panthers. This should be a key measuring stick game for Pittsburgh. Sitting just below .500, both teams will be looking to take that next step and set themselves up for a big push down the stretch.
Line: Maulers -2.5 O/U 41.5
Date/Location: 12:30 PM EST, Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee
Weather Forecast: 69 degrees, cloudy skies, Humidity 75%, Wind: 11 MPH
Key Storylines for Maulers
The offense put up back-to-back weeks of successful production. Quarterback Troy Williams put up 299 yards combined on the ground and through the air, scoring three touchdowns. Bailey Gaither has stepped up as the true top wide receiver of this squad. Meanwhile, the defense continues its quiet dominance, racking up 13 sacks and six interceptions with two defensive touchdowns.
They just need to continue playing as a complete team. When both sides of the ball are clicking, it’s been proven that they can hang and beat the best of them. It’s just coming into games week in and week out, and being that complete unit. Consistency is what Pittsburgh is looking for, and maybe some help from some guys not named Williams or Gaither on offense. Look for somebody to carve out a huge role for themselves one of these weeks coming up, or even this one on Saturday.
Both of these teams are riding a high. The Showboats have won two straight, and the Maulers have won two out of three. Something has to give, but neither of these two teams looks too apt to give up their hot streak just yet.
I think that if the Maulers can add an additional element to their offense, they’ll run away with this match-up. But if it continues to be Troy Williams vs the world, eventually that’s going to catch up to them. The Showboats themselves have found productive days on both sides of the ball. So it’ll be a tight interesting matchup to the very end.
I do like what I’ve seen from Pittsburgh in the last few weeks, if they don’t let up the late big play, I think they slam the door on this Memphis team in a close, grind-it-out matchup, and get to that illustrious .500 mark for the first time in the two year history of this rendition of the USFL.
Final Score: 24-21, Maulers win (Improve to 3-3)