With just two weeks left in the regular season, only one USFL playoff berth remains unclaimed.
The New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions each clinched a postseason spot in Week 7. In Week 8, the Philadelphia Stars joined the playoff party, thanks to a 46-24 victory over the Michigan Panthers on Sunday.
The blowout came in large part due to quarterback Case Cookus, who proved to be a handful both with his throwing arm and his surprisingly nimble feet.
As such, Cookus dominated the best plays of Week 8. Here they are!
Case Cookus’ pair of TDs highlight top USFL plays of Week 8
Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe break down their top USFL plays of Week 8, including a pair of touchdowns from Philadelphia Stars QB Case Cookus and a historical field goal from Pittsburgh Maulers kicker Ramiz Ahmed.
Pass of the Week: Case Cookus, Philadelphia Stars
Cookus wasn’t even Philly’s starting quarterback to start the season, but he took over after Bryan Scott was injured. And although he has been solid this season, this weekend’s game felt like a coming out party.
Exhibit A? Check out the nimble footwork and strong arm on this 51-yard bomb to Pro Wells.
The defensive back’s view of the play was pretty amazing, too.
Run of the Week: Cookus, again!
Cookus also had the best run of the week. The quarterback, who is not known for his speed, took off on a scramble and dashed 79 yards for a touchdown, later saying that was the farthest he had ever run in a football game.
“There’s not a whole lot of veteran guys who can take off and go 79 yards,” Sharpe said.
“His car can go 80,” Sharpe laughed. “Tom Brady is not running for an 80-yard touchdown.”
Pittsburgh has struggled this season, but Ahmed provided a huge highlight with his USFL-record 61-yard field goal against the Generals.
“That looked like it would have been good from 70 yards. It hit the back of the net!” Sharpe said. “That didn’t just squeak over the crossbar.”
Added Bayless: “I’m glad he’s getting his showcase because he has a thunder foot. And that was thunderous.”
Catch-and-run of the Week: Isiah Hennie, Maulers
Anytime a receiver can turn a little play into a big one, that gives the offense a huge edge. That’s what Hennie did for the Maulers on his 25-yard TD catch — which was mostly a run — off a quick pass from Roland Rivers.
“When you see it’s man-to-man, the room is all inside because there’s no defenders,” T.J. Houshmandzadeh explained on “Speak For Yourself.” “… Touchdown all YAC.”
Roland Rivers-Isiah Hennie TD is top play of Week 8
Marcellus Wiley and TJ Houshmandzadeh break down their top USFL plays of Week 8, including Pittsburgh Maulers QB Roland Rivers connecting to Isiah Hennie, who breaks multiple tackles for a TD.
Hit of the Week: Dondrea Tillman, Birmingham Stallions
A little bit quicker and Tillman would have had a sack — Marcellus Wiley explained why he was a split-second late on “Speak For Yourself.”
“In this moment, if Dondrea had his other foot down, this would be a sack,” Wiley said. “Instead he had to do a gather step, stutter, flip his hips. That split-second is the difference between a sack and an interception.”
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