USFL 2022 schedule: Week 1 matches released

USFL 2022 schedule: Week 1 matches released

By RJ Young
FOX Sports Writer

The 2022 United States Football League schedule is being released throughout the day Monday, starting with the unveiling of the four Week 1 matchups.

The inaugural season will kick off Saturday, April 16, when the New Jersey Generals face the Birmingham Stallions at 7:30 pm ET in a game that will be simulcast nationally on FOX, NBC and Peacock.

The USFL will then showcase a tripleheader on Sunday, April 17, with the Houston Gamblers meeting the Michigan Panthers at noon ET, the Philadelphia Stars playing the New Orleans Breakers at 4 pm ET and the Tampa Bay Bandits battling the Pittsburgh Maulers at 8 pm ET .

Tickets for all games will drop at 7 p.m. ET Monday on theUSFL.com.

All tickets will be “single day,” allowing fans entry to every USFL game played on any one date. Adult tickets for the regular season are priced at $10, and each adult with a general-admission ticket can receive up to three free single-day tickets for children under 15.

“Football is America’s favorite sport, so we’re proud to give fans 10 weeks of highly competitive regular-season matchups this spring,” said Daryl Johnston, USFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “We’re confident and ready to kick off our inaugural season on April 16. Our eight teams are loaded with incredible players, and we anticipate heated rivalries to develop as the season unfolds. We purposely backloaded divisional matchups down the stretch to make for an exciting run-up to the playoffs.”

The USFL’s most exciting players

The USFL's most exciting players

RJ Young breaks down why two Michigan Panthers quarterbacks top his list of the most exciting players to watch in the 2022 USFL season.

With the four Week 1 games now set, FOX Sports’ RJ Young breaks down what to expect on opening weekend:

New Jersey Generals did Birmingham Stallions
7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, April 16
FOX, NBC and Peacock

This game features several contrasting matchups: The Generals are led by a former NFL and college head coach in Mike Riley, with an accomplished college quarterback in Ben Holmes as the presumptive starter. The Stallions feature a head coach in Skip Holtz who will coach his first game as a professional head coach, with an NFL veteran in Alex McGough as his presumptive starter.

Why Mike Riley will take QB Ben Holmes to the next level

Why Mike Riley will take QB Ben Holmes to the next level

The USFL’s Daryl Johnston joins RJ Young to discuss New Jersey coach Mike Riley’s coaching past, why he’s a great fit for the USFL and why he’ll take Ben Holmes to the next level.

Holmes, who was 23-2 as a starter at Tarleton State, will be able to distribute the ball to a dizzying assortment of skill-position players, including Texas Christian wide receiver and former freshman All-American KaVontae Turpin.

In the backfield, New Jersey can turn to a running back with an accomplished résumé in Mike Weber, a former Big Ten Freshman of the Year and All-Big Ten performer at Ohio State. Weber won a Super Bowl ring with the Chiefs in 2020.

Defensively, the Generals and Stallions feature two of the better linebackers selected in the USFL Draft. New Jersey’s Chris Orr was an All-Big Ten performer at Wisconsin, and Birmingham’s Scooby Wright was a unanimous All-American, Nagurski and Bednarik Award winner and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year (2014) at Arizona.

Houston Gamblers did michigan panthers
Sunday, April 17

The Panthers feature three standouts who made my list of the 10 most exciting players in the USFL.

It all starts with former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson, who is no stranger to big games and was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the inaugural USFL Draft.

Why Kevin Sumlin is a great fit for the league

Why Kevin Sumlin is a great fit for the league

Daryl Johnston and RJ Young discuss why Houston Gamblers coach Kevin Sumlin is well suited for the USFL.

Patterson will look to go deep to receiver Jeff Badet, who features 4.2 speed in the 40-yard dash. Michigan also features one of the league’s deepest QB rooms, with former first-round NFL pick Paxton Lynch in the mix.

There’s plenty of talent on hand for longtime NFL coach Jeff Fisher, who spent 22 seasons in the NFL and took the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV.

The Gamblers’ offense boasts former Florida running back and JUCO All-American Mark Thompson, a player who was cited by Johnston as one of the league’s most intriguing talents.

“I’m excited to see what Mark Thompson does with this opportunity,” Johnston said, “because I think he’s one of those guys that knows that there’s not a lot of time left for him. And if he’s going to have that opportunity to get to the NFL level, he’s got to have a breakout season in the USFL. And when you watch him on film, he is fully capable of doing that.”

Gamblers coach Kevin Sumlin, who coached Heisman winner Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, won’t be afraid to attack through the air with former Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson.

Philadelphia Stars did New Orleans Breakers
4 p.m. ET Sunday, April 17

The Stars feature The Spring League MVP, Bryan Scott, reunited with his former head coach in that league, Bart Andrus. The two proved formidable in The Spring League, leading their team to the championship in 2020.

RJ Young’s 10 most USFL exciting players

RJ Young's 10 most USFL exciting players

RJ Young unveils his list of the 10 most exciting players in the inaugural season of the USFL.

Former St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild also worked with Andrus and Scott in TSL. All of that familiarity could give Philadelphia a high-scoring attack. Scott will look for receiver Brennan Eagles, who starred at Texas.

“Bart will put them in ‘gun, and they’ll throw it around a little bit,” Fairchild told FOX Sports.

On defense, Stars outside linebacker Jordan Moore is a stellar athlete who was a hurdles champion in both the Big 12 (TCU) and SEC (LSU).

Breakers coach Larry Fedora makes the leap to the pro game after leading explosive offenses at North Carolina and Southern Miss.

New Orleans quarterback Kyle Sloter will certainly try to get former Ohio State wide receiver Johnnie Dixon involved early and often.

Tampa Bay Bandits did Pittsburgh Maulers
8 p.m. ET Sunday, April 17

The final Week 1 game is one of my most anticipated matchups on the entire USFL schedule.

Kirby Wilson will go “above and beyond”

Kirby Wilson will go "above and beyond"

Kirby Wilson brings a wealth of NFL coaching experience to his first head-coaching role with the Pittsburgh Maulers in the USFL.

The Bandits and Maulers feature two head coaches who were once on the same NFL staff: Pittsburgh’s Kirby Wilson (running backs) and Tampa Bay’s Todd Haley (offensive coordinator) were members of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s 2012 coaching staff. The two are more than a little familiar with each other, and it will be the first chance either of them has to face the other.

The Maulers also boast one of the best constructed teams in the league, according to Johnston. The three-time Super Bowl champion said he was impressed with how Wilson built his team in the draft, landing quarterback Kyle Lauletta from Richmond and edge rusher Carlo Kemp, a former standout at Michigan.

“I thought Kirby Wilson and [Maulers general manager] Chris Watts, the combo there in Pittsburgh, had a heck of a night at the draft, and I’m really excited to see what they do,” Johnston told FOX Sports.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jordan Ta’amu has a terrific arm and will throw to John Franklin III, a Super Bowl champion with the Bucs.

RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The No. 1 Ranked Show with RJ Young.” Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Youngand subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube. He is not on a StepMill.


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