The Michigan Panthers will hit the road for the 2nd week in a row taking on the Memphis Showboats who hope to end a 3 game-losing slide. The Panthers will be without quarterback E.J. Perry who left the game late last week due to what appeared to be a leg injury and was subsequently placed on injured reserve. Danny Etling will be under center for the Panthers who had a good 4th quarter last week completing 11 of his 14 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown with 1 interception.

Game Details:

Date/Location: Sunday, April 28 /Memphis, TN, Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium
Kickoff Time: 3 PM ET, 12 PM PT
Channel: Fox Sports

If you do place bets please do so responsibly and seek help if you have a gambling problem.

Spread: Michigan +1.5 (-110), Memphis-1.5 (-110)

Moneyline: Michigan +100, Memphis -120

Over/Under: 40.5 (Over -110, Under -110)

Michigan Panthers (2-2): 

The story so far for the Panthers has been strong play on defense while the offense has been inconsistent in large part due to some struggles on the offensive line. The Panthers are coming off a game in which they allowed 6 sacks and saw their starting quarterback sustain an injury.

Michigan’s run defense was a bright spot in week 4’s loss to San Antonio as they held running back John Levet to 35 yards on 13 rushes (2.7 yards per carry).

Memphis Showboats (1-3): 

The Memphis Showboats are in many ways very similar to the Michigan Panthers. Both teams have struggled in run blocking and pass protection this season. Both teams have a star running back who joined them from a USFL team that folded with both runningbacks having limited production at times with frequent run stops. And both teams have very good run defense.

The Showboats are on a 3-game-losing slide and have only looked worse as the season has gone on since their week 1 victory over the Houston Roughnecks. Over the last 2 weeks, they have lost by a combined margin of victory of 34 points with losses coming against strong teams falling to the Birmingham Stallions and St. Louis Battlehawks.

Panthers Keys to the Game

Exploit Memphis’ Struggles in Pass Protection

The Panthers need to get to Showboats’ quarterback Case Cookus early and often and disrupt Memphis’ offense from finding a rhythm in the passing game.

Don’t Let Darius Victor Get Going in the Run Game

Darius Victor is coming off of his best game having rushed 11 times last week for 58 yards (5.3 average). Over the 3 games before he rushed 29 times for 56 yards (1.93 yards per carry). The Panthers’ run defense will need to be vigilant to keep him limited and ensure he does not return to his 5.5 yards per carry he had last season with the New Jersey Generals.

Get Wes Hills Going Already

Last week I wrote about this as well. Hills had 4 explosive runs for 18 yards or more in week 1. Last week he had a 24-yard run which came on a fake punt directly snapped to him. Outside of those 5 carries he has 32 rushes for just 36 yards, barely over a yard per carry.

To see this level of production from a player who led the USFL a year ago with 679 rushing yards with the New Orleans Breakers is sub-optimal.

Quick Passes From Danny Etling

The great thing about E.J. Perry playing quarterback for the Panthers is that his mobility haled to alleviate the effectiveness of the opponent’s pass rushing. Last week the Panthers allowed 6 sacks, 7 if you count one that came on a 1-point conversion attempt. In week 3 there were no sacks allowed but in the week prior against Birmingham, there were 7 sacks allowed.

The Panthers are going to need some good play design from offensive coordinator Marcel Bellefeuille which allows for Danny Etling to get rid of the ball quickly.

Panthers to Watch

#26 RB Matt Colburn II

Rushed 9 times for 28 yards and a touchdown last week.

Over the last 2 weeks, Colburn has rushed 16 times for 55 yards (3.4 average) and a touchdown.

#9 WR Marcus Simms

Simms has a 70+ yard touchdown in both week 2 and week 3. He continued his touchdown streak last week on a 41-yard strike. Simms leads the league in receiving yards with 281 over 13 receptions.

#18 WR Trey Quinn

Quinn has the most receptions on the team having caught 16 passes for 148 yards this season.

#5 LB Frank Ginda

Ginda is coming off a team-leading 8 tackle performance with 1 tackle for a loss. Ginda is tied for first in the league in tackles with 31.

#48 DE Kenny Willekes

Willekes had a sack last week as well as a pressure last week. He also helped with a run stop.

#21 S Kai Nacua

Over the last 2 weeks, Nacua has 4 breakups and 2 interceptions. He is the only player with multiple interceptions in the league so far this season. He is also 9th in the league in tackles with 24.

Showboats to Watch

#11 RB Darius Victor

Coming off his best game of the season after rushing for 58 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 1,128 yards and 13 touchdowns over the 2022 and 2023 seasons with the New Jersey Generals and was the 2022 USFL Offensive Player of the Year.

#83 TE Sage Surratt

Has 14 receptions for 134 yards on the season.

#12 WR Jonathan Adams

Leads the team in receiving with 13 receptions for 174 yards.

#24 S Jarey Elder

Last week Elder had 7 tackles and 2 tackles for a loss. He was involved in 2 run stops and also made a stop against a short passing play.

#21 Delrick Abrams

Abrams has been solid in pass coverage this season and is tied for first in tackles on the team with 20. 

#94 NT Daylon Mack

Last week Mack made 5 tackles, 4 of which were solo. He was involved in 3 run stops last week including a stop on a 1-pt conversion.

Depth Charts, Injuries, Inactives

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Score Prediction:

I don’t have a lot of confidence in the Memphis Showboats based on the optics of their play over the last couple of games as well as problems that were apparent to me dating back to week 1. I predict the Michigan Panthers to take this one 24-14.

@JonathanClink on Twitter

author avatar
Jonathan Clink
Jonathan Clink will work as UFL News Hub's primary correspondent covering the Michigan Panthers for the 2024. He has written over 250 articles covering the Canadian Football League prior to joining UFL News Hub. Clink is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba and currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has a background in several other sports as well having played soccer, basketball, and hockey competitively.

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