To start off your doubleheader on Sunday, Canton’s Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium is the host ballpark for a game 38 years in the making. It’s been June 1, 1985 since these two teams played one another.
Showboats and Generals Battle to Begin Sunday’s Action
The Memphis Showboats (4-3), who would have the No. 2 seed in the USFL’s South Division Championship Game if the season were to end right now, will travel to the Buckeye State. They’ll square off against Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium’s other hub tenant, the New Jersey Generals (2-5).
Both games in the doubleheader are airing on the very network that owns the league, FOX Sports. Kickoff time is set for just past 1 pm ET/ noon CT.
As previously mentioned, it was June 1, 1985 when Memphis and New Jersey last met head-to-head. That evening, in front of a nationally-televised audience on ESPN,the Generals survived an injury to quarterback Doug Flutie’s clavicle to best the Showboats 17-7 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford.
Sunny and Slightly Cooler Weather Expected on Sunday
The heatwave gripping much of America is expected to break in time for Sunday’s ballgame. Current weather forecasts project that clear skies will prevail with high temperatures expected to top out around 82 degrees.
Precipitation chances are only about three percent as of now. The teams will contend with an east-northeast breeze at 11 MPH.
Memphis Showboats vs. New Jersey Generals Betting Odds
As of Friday night, the oddsmakers have the New Jersey Generals installed as a -2-point favorite on the spread and a -133 favorite on the money line. Memphis counters as a +105 underdog on the money line.
The over-under for Sunday afternoon’s football game is set at 41 1/2 points. If you plan on betting on this or any other game happening over the weekend in the USFL, please wager responsibly.
Kerrith Whyte Hungry for More
Memphis running back Kerrith Whyte, a Florida Atlantic product, bounced around three NFLorganizations before finding his footing in the USFL. Last Sundayagainst the Houston Gamblers, he had his best game as a pro, rushing for a season and career-high 81 yards on 19 carries.
He’s featured in four of the last five games for the Showboats, only missing the team’s week six contest versus the Pittsburgh Maulershaving been put on the team’s inactive list ahead of the game. After going from team to team in the NFL, the USFL is his shot to break out.
If he has a huge game on Sunday, Kerrith Whyte could be NFL-ready once again.
Look for John Atkins to Pressure the Quarterback
As a team, the Showboats’ defensive line sacked Houston quarterback Kenji Baharfour times a week ago. Memphis nose tackle John Atkinspicked up his first two sacks of the season last Sunday afternoon.
The former Georgia Bulldog is in his second season with the Bandits/ Showboats organization, having assisted on a sack last season for Tampa Bay. Prior to that half of a sack in 2022, he’d gone through college football and the NFL without so much as getting to the man under center even once.
Atkins is a man whose name some football fans might not know, but he’s capable of making a name for himself. If he causes disruption up front, Sunday will be a big day for him.
Generals Need to Get Moore Open
New Jersey’s top receiver is Alonzo Moore. The Nebraskaproduct has appeared in all seven games for the Generals, catching at least five passes in each of the last three games.
A week ago Sunday, Moore recorded a season-best six receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns. He’s peaking at the right time, as well, having caught three touchdowns over the past two games.
All it takes for Moore to continue his breakout is just a sliver of daylight. Look for him to grab at least five passes on Sunday.
Will Bell Turn in a Great Performance?
On the defensive side of the football, the Generals were anchored by Mike Bell.The Fresno State product was cut by the Buffalo Bills during the 2021 NFL preseason after the team’s game against the Detroit Lions.
Upon getting cut, Bell joined the Generals ahead of last season. After having only recorded a single tackle in two of his last three games, he had a whale of a ballgame last time out with eight tackles.
Given the timing of the USFL season, players from each and every team in the league could very well find themselves on NFL rosters later on in July in time for training camp. If Bell has another good day this time around, the chances that he joins the latter league have to go right up.
Even though the New Jersey Generals can’t get mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, this is a playoff game for them in Canton. A loss here puts them at 2-6 with two games left to play. There’s no room for error.
Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew enjoys a good game and a better fight. When he's not writing, you can find him playing video games and listening to music.