USFL Score, highlights: New Jersey Generals clinch a spot in the playoffs, defeat Tampa Bay Bandits, 20-13

·8 min read

The New Jersey Generals are the first team in the USFL to secure a playoff spot, defeating the Tampa Bay Bandits 20-13. New Jersey, leading the North Division, moves to 6-1 and extends their winning streak.

New Jersey got out to an early lead and were up 17-3 at halftime. After a scoreless third quarter for the Generals, they faced a fourth quarter surge from Tampa Bay. The Bandits outscored the Generals 10-3 in the second half and nearly tied the game, as quarterback Jordan Ta’amu led his team all the way down to the New Jersey 12-yard line late in the fourth quarter. The Generals defense held strong to clinch the win and their spot in the playoffs.

The Generals were led by backup quarterback Luis Perez after starter De’Andre Johnson sustained a left ankle injury in last week’s game against Houston. Perez completed 19 of 25 attempts for 174 yards, including one touchdown pass to KaVontae Turpin. Running back Darius Victor continued his dominance on the ground, leading New Jersey in rushing with 72 yards and one touchdown. Generals kicker Austin Jones completed two of three field goal attempts on the day.

Tampa Bay moves to 3-4, with their first losing streak of the season. They sit in third place in the South Division behind the New Orleans Breakers. New Orleans faces the Michigan Panthers later tonight in Birmingham.

The top two teams in each division will advance to the playoffs following the 10-week regular season. The playoff games will take place on Saturday, June 25 in Canton, Ohio.

Head coaches for the New Jersey Generals and Tampa Bay Bandits

The Generals and Bandits are two of three teams in the USFL with head coaches who have NFL head coaching experience. New Jersey is led by 68-year-old Mike Riley, who was the head coach of the San Diego Chargers for three seasons from 1999-2001. His most recent head coaching job came in 2019, where he led the San Antonio Commanders in the AAF.

Meanwhile the Bandits are led by Todd Haley, who spent 22 seasons as an NFL coach, including three seasons with the Chiefs. He has worked as the offensive coordinator for the Cardinals, Steelers and Browns. The Cardinals appeared in Super Bowl XLIII during his tenure. Haley also had coaching stints with the Bears and Cowboys.

Generals vs. Bandits score, results, highlights

Final score: New Jersey Generals 20, Tampa Bay Bandits 13

1st quarter, 5:37 (Generals): L.Perez pass short right complete to TB 14. Catch made by K.Turpin at TB 14. Gain of 15 yards. K.Turpin for 15 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

2nd quarter, 14:46 (Bandits): T.Rausa 34 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-R.DiSalvo, Holder-B.Wright.

2nd quarter, 7:42 (Generals): D.Victor rushed to TB End Zone for 6 yards. D.Victor for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

2nd quarter, 2:00 (Generals): A.Jones 35 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-S.Flanick, Holder-.

3rd quarter, 0:16 (Bandits): T.Rausa 37 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-R.DiSalvo, Holder-.

4th quarter, 12:05 (Generals): A.Jones 43 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-S.Flanick, Holder-.

4th quarter, 10:06 (Bandits): J.Ta’amu pass deep middle complete to NJ End Zone. Catch made by J.Franklin at NJ End Zone. Gain of 20 yards. J.Franklin for 20 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Generals vs. Bandits reaction and coverage

2:58 p.m. EST: Tampa Bay turns it over on downs. The Generals take over and let the clock wind down. Final score from Birmingham: New Jersey 30, Tampa Bay 13.

2:52 p.m. EST: Jordan Ta’amu leads the Bandits down into New Jersey territory on a critical drive. Tampa Bay face second-and-12 at the New Jersey 16 with 0:49 left in the game.

2:35 p.m. EST: Tampa Bay converts on fourth-and-3 to keep their drive alive. Ta’amu finds Derrick Dillon for a gain of 14 yards.

2:22 p.m. EST: Ta’amu finds John Franklin III for a 20-yard touchdown. Rausa’s extra point is good to cut Tampa Bay’s deficit to 7 with 10:02 left on the clock.

New Jersey 20, Tampa Bay 13

2:15 p.m. EST: Tampa Bay holds New Jersey to a field goal attempt. Austin Jones’ 43-yard attempt is good to extend the Generals’ lead.

New Jersey 20, Tampa Bay 6 with 12:00 left to play.

2:12 p.m. EST: Luis Perez finds Alonzo Moore on second-and-10 for a gain of 35. The Generals are down at the Tampa Bay 27.

2:08 p.m. EST: The clock winds down, bringing us to the end of the third quarter. The Generals will have the ball on their own 39 to start the fourth in Birmingham.

2:05 p.m. EST: Tyler Rausa’s 37-yard field goal attempt is good. Tampa Bay trails 17-6 with 0:16 left in the third quarter.

2:03 p.m. EST: The Bandits go for it on fourth-and-10. Ta’amu keeps the ball and runs for a gain of 11 to keep the drive alive.

1:47 p.m. EST: Jordan Ta’amu throws his third interception of the day, ending an otherwise promising opening drive for Tampa Bay to start the second half. Ta’amu’s pass was picked off by Shalom Luani and the Generals will take over at their own 13.

1:24 p.m. EST: Another interception for Dravon Askew-Henry! Askew-Henry picks off Jordan Ta’amu’s pass and the Generals take over as time winds down in the half.

New Jersey 17, Tampa Bay 3 at halftime.

1:17 p.m. EST: The Generals are held to a field goal attempt. Austin Jones is good from 35 yards to extend New Jersey’s lead.

Generals 17, Bandits 3 with 2:00 left in the half.

1:04 p.m. EST: Austin Jones’ 52-yard field goal attempt is no good for the Generals.

1:02 p.m. EST: Generals pick! Jordan Ta’amu’s pass is intercepted by Dravon Askew-Henry. New Jersey will take over at the Tampa Bay 35.

12:55 p.m. EST: Darius Victor rushes six yards into the end zone for the Generals. Austin Jones’ extra point is good and New Jersey continues to lead.

Generals 14, Bandits 3 with 7:28 left in the half.

12:38 p.m. EST: Tyler Rausa’s 34-yard field goal attempt is good and the Bandits are on the board.

New Jersey 7, Tampa Bay 3 with 14:42 left in the second quarter.

12:33 p.m. EST: That’s the end of the first quarter. Generals lead 7-0.

12:30 p.m. EST: The Bandits go for it on fourth-and-3. Jordan Ta’amu connects with Corbin Kaufusi for a gain of 31 yards and the Bandits are down to New Jersey’s 17-yard line.

12:22 p.m. EST: Touchdown New Jersey! Luis Perez finds KaVontae Turpin for a 15-yard touchdown.

Austin Jones’ extra point is good. Generals 7, Bandits 0 with 5:40 left in the first quarter.

Everything you need to know about the USFL:

What time and channel is the Generals vs. Bandits?

RELATED: How to watch the New Jersey Generals vs. Tampa Bay Bandits

  • When: Saturday, May 28 at 12:00 p.m. ET on USA Network

  • Where: Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama

USFL Score, highlights: New Jersey Generals clinch a spot in the playoffs, defeat Tampa Bay Bandits, 20-13 originally appeared on NBCSports.com