It’s official, on Tuesday Feb 7, the USFL issued the 2023 schedule. As the team who recently changed head coaches, the Michigan Panthers are very excited to start off the season with Mike Nolan at the helm.
Now, let’s take a look at the Michigan Panthers Schedule and the exciting teams they will face:
2023 Michigan Panthers Schedule
Week 1: Sunday, April 16, 12 p.m. @ Houston Gamblers in Memphis
New Head Coach Mike Nolan will make his debut on the road against the Houston Gamblers who went 3-7 last year, coached by former Texas A&M boss Kevin Sumlin. They won their last two games against the two best teams in the USFL the New Orleans Breakers and the Birmingham Stallions.
Week 2: Sunday, April 23, 7 p.m. @ Philadelphia Stars in Canton
Looking to avenge a regular season blowout (46-24) last year, the Panthers will travel to Canton to take on last year’s USFL runner-up in the Philadelphia Stars. The Stars had a magical run to the USFL championship game with Case Cookus at quarterback. This year, if the Panthers want to show they’ve improved, they will have to try to shock the world by upsetting the Stars in their own hub.
Week 3: Sunday, April 30, 4 p.m. vs. New Jersey Generals in Detroit
This contest begins a four-game stretch at home for the Panthers. The New Jersey Generals are led by the reigning USFL Coach-Of-The-Year and veteran coach Mike Riley. The team under Riley went 9-1 in the regular season with their only loss coming by the way of the Birmingham Stallions in week 1. Riley also helped produce kick returner/wide receiver KeVontae Turpin glide into the NFL as he signed with the Dallas Cowboys after last season.
Week 4: Saturday, May 6, 7:30 p.m. vs. Memphis Showboats in Detroit
Let’s welcome the Memphis Showboats to the league, formerly the Tampa Bay Bandits. The team brings with them head coach Todd Haley who has many years coaching in the NFL. Last season as the Bandits, they defeated the Michigan Panthers (27-20) in week 5. We shall see if the Panthers can beat these newly-named “Showboats” this season.
Week 5: Saturday, May 13, 12:30 p.m. vs. Pittsburgh Maulers in Detroit
Last season’s matchup was a battle of the basement in the USFL. After a disastrous 1-9 season, former Pittsburgh Maulers head coach Kirby Wilson resigned, allowing the Maulers to bring in Ray Horton as their new head coach. This year’s matchup will be the battle of new head coaches who will look to rebuild their teams into competitive and championship winning teams.
Week 6: Saturday, May 20, 4 p.m. vs. Birmingham Stallions in Detroit
The Panthers are once again playing at home and it may be at the right time. They have a gauntlet of an opponent to face when they take on the defending USFL champion Birmingham Stallions at Ford Field. The Stallions are clearly the best team in the league right now and are lead by head coach Skip Holtz (Lou Holtz’s son). Right now, the Panthers are at the bottom of the USFL, but Birmingham is what they will be striving for during the tenure with Mike Nolan.
Week 7: Sunday, May 28, 5:30 p.m. @ New Jersey Generals in Canton
This time, the Panthers will head to Canton Ohio and face the Generals on the road. Depending on where Michigan sits in the standings, they’ll most likely be playing spoiler to the Generals divisional championship hopes. Still, a potential upset like this will show how much progress the Panthers have made throughout this season.
Week 8: Sunday, June 4, 4 p.m. @ New Orleans Breakers in Birmingham
It’s a road trip down South this week y’all. The Michigan Panthers are heading down yonder to Birmingham, Alabama to face the New Orleans Breakers. And guess what, Larry Fedora is head coach no more. It’s now longtime NFL offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. The last time these two teams met up, Michigan lost a close one (31-27), but it was a darn near classic game.
Week 9: Saturday, June 10, 12 p.m. @ Pittsburgh Maulers in Canton
This will be the final of two meetings between the Michigan Panthers and the Pittsburgh Maulers during the 2023 regular season. Last year, the Panthers won both contests with the second-game clinching the team the number-one draft pick in 2023. Hopefully this contest will mean a lot more than draft spots this season.
Week 10: Sunday, June 18, 7 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Stars in Detroit
The final game for the Panthers keeps them at home against the Philadelphia Stars. Hopefully with having the home field advantage and the team stepping it up this year, it will give the Stars the push they need to give them the “W”.
It looks like it is going to be an exciting season; from new coaching, to playoff teams, and future NFL stars. The USFL is surely packed with a lot of thrilling and hard hitting plays.