The Michigan Panthers are back at home this Sunday to host the 0-5 Arlington Renegades at Ford Field. Despite the poor start to the Renegades season, they were the 2023 XFL Champions and possess a dangerous passing offense led by Luis Perez.

Game Details:

Date/Location: Sunday, May 5 /Detroit, MI, Ford Field
Kickoff Time: 1 PM ET, 10 AM PT
Channel: Fox Sports

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

Spread: Michigan -3.5 (-115), Arlington +3.5 (-115)

Moneyline: Michigan -175, Arlington +150

Over/Under: 42 (Over -110, Under -110)

Michigan Panthers (3-2): 

The Michigan Panthers are coming off a key win on the road over a divisional opponent after beating the Memphis Showboats 35-18. The victory put them in a 2 game lead over third place in the USFL Division aiding their playoff chances. Had they lost they would have been tied for 2nd in the division.

The Panthers had a lot of success on the ground in week 5 as runningback Wes Hills rushed for 82 yards and 3 touchdowns on 16 carries. Matthew Colburn II added 68 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Quarterback Danny Etling also had a rushing touchdown in addition to his 175 passing yards.

On defense, the Panthers had a 6 sack performance last week with defensive end Breeland Speaks leading the way with 3 sacks.

Arlington Renegades (0-5): 

The Renegades are a bit of a sleeping dragon possessing the ability to be dangerous Arlington is coming off a game in which they lost 15-25 to the San Antonio Brahmas who are now 4-1. They have only lost 1 game by more than 1 score which came in week 1 when they lost to the Birmingham Stallions 14-27.

The Renegades have had some success on the offensive side of the ball but have struggled defensively. The Renegades are 5th in points differential despite being 8th in the standings. Pro Football Focus has graded their offense to be the third-best offense in the league currently. However, they have the lowest-graded defense by PFF at this point of the season.

Panthers Keys to the Game

Stop the Run

Rushing the passer seems to be a whole lot easier when defenses can eliminate the run game and get the offensive line playing the game on their heels. That’s exactly what happened last week as Michigan held Memphis’ running back Darius Victor to 17 yards on 9 carries. They then proceeded to poor the pass rush on extra thick as Michigan collected 6 sacks.

Tight Coverage

Luis Perez is a quarterback with a lot of composure. He is capable of still making plays under pressure so the Panthers’ cover defense will need to be on point. While the Renegades have struggled in run blocking this season, they have the third-highest PFF pass-blocking grade so it’s not out of the question the Renegades receivers may have time to get open at times despite Michigan’s forceful pass rush.

Play Smashmouth Football

Michigan’s run game has been quite inconsistent this season. Last week was by far their best game in this area. If they can keep running the ball similar to how they did in week 5 then they could really be contenders in the UFL this season.

Quick Passes

Michigan has by far the lowest pass-blocking grade by PFF so far this season. The Panthers will need a lot of players in which receivers get open quickly.

Renegades Keys to the Game

Establish the Run

The Renegades have struggled to establish the run this season and need to find a way to provide some run support.

Protect Perez

The Renegades have done a decent job in pass protection this season. They will have a difficult test this weekend facing the Panthers’ pass rush.

Neutralize the Run Game

If Arlington can neutralize Michigan’s run game they will have their opponent in serious trouble. With the Panthers’ struggles this season in pass protection, being able to have run support is absolutely needed.

Get to the Quarterback

As mentioned the Panthers have had struggles in pass protection. Arlington currently has the lowest pass rush grade from PFF but they have an opportunity to play the lowest-graded team in pass protection.

Panthers to Watch

#26 QB Danny Etling

Etling played well in his first start of the season last week as he completed 14 of his 21 passes for 175 yards. He rushed 5 times as well for 10 yards and a touchdown.

#31 RB Wes Hills

At times the frequency at which Hills is stopped is concerning. Despite this he has the most rushing yards among running backs in the UFL this season with 226 over 53 rushes (4.3 average) and 3 touchdowns. Last week he had 82 yards and 3 touchdowns.

#26 RB Matt Colburn II

Colburn has rushed 36 times for 133 yards (3.7 average) and 2 touchdowns. While he has not had the explosive plays that Hills has had, he has been very good at maximizing plays in which defenses plug holes at the line and has been the more consistent back.

#21 S Kai Nacua

Nacua leads the league in interceptions with 3. He also has 20 solo tackles and 9 assisted tackles.

#48 DE Kenny Willekes

Willekes has been a versatile pass rusher and run-stopper this season. He has 11 total tackles and 2 sacks so far. Willekes is the all-time leader in tackles for loss for Michigan State.

#57 DE Breeland Speaks

Speaks is coming off a 3 sack performance. He has 12 solo tackles and 3 assisted tackles so far this season and 5 sacks.

Renegades to Watch

#12 Luis Perez

Perez leads the league in passing yards. He has completed 105 of his 161 passes (65.2%) for 1,150 yards with 6 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

#3 WR J.P. Payton

Has 15 receptions for 247 yards and 2 touchdowns.

#8 WR Tyler Vaughns

Vaughns has 23 receptions for 239 yards and a touchdown so far this season.

#90 DT Jalen Redmond

Redmond has been a good run-stopper recording 17 tackles as well as 5 sacks so far this season. He was a nonparticipant in Wednesday’s practice after missing week 5 due to an ankle injury. If he’s able to play this weekend he will be a problem.

#9 CB Delonte Hood

Has 9 tackles this season and has provided good pass coverage.

#42 DE Vic Beasley

Beasley has 8 total tackles and 2 sacks this season.

Depth Charts, Injuries, Inactives


Score Prediction:

While the Arlington Renegades present the potential to be a perfect trap game I am expecting the Panthers defense to continue playing strong in front of their home fans. I also expect Michigan to build on their performance last week on the ground and run Arlington into the ground.

Predicting a Michigan victory 27-13.

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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