Around the XFL: Week 1

Story posted February 10, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

The XFL is officially back. With its original stint dying after just one season back in 2001, Vince McMahon’s reborn league showed promise in its inaugural week. With a bigger emphasis on the game itself than the entertainment aspect, we saw a much better pool of talent on the field than we did 19 years ago.

The first game of the weekend saw the Seattle Dragons traveling to Washington D.C. to take on the Defenders. DC was heavily favored as it was able to snag one of the league’s better quarterbacks in former Ohio State national champion Cardale Jones. Jones had a great debut, as he threw for close to 300 yards and two touchdowns on the day. The defense also had a strong performance with two interceptions off Seattle quarterback Brandon Silvers, as well as a blocked punt early on. The Defenders ended up victorious as they pulled away after a close first half, winning the game 31-19.

The second game Saturday featured the Los Angeles Wildcats and the Houston Roughnecks. Former Temple quarterback Phillip Walker could have earned the league’s player of the week award with an impressive four touchdowns in the Roughnecks’ 37-17 victory. Los Angeles couldn’t get much offense going in the second half, as the Wildcats failed to score a point in the final two quarters. Former Rams receiver Nelson Spruce proved to be the Wildcats’ only source of offense with 103 yards on 11 catches as the main target for quarterback Charles Kanoff.

MetLife Stadium was the host of the New York Guardians’ opener on Sunday, welcoming the Tampa Bay Vipers. The Guardians’ defense was too much for Aaron Murray and the Vipers offense, as they never even saw the end zone. Murray was picked off twice and sacked five times, as the Vipers offense put up only three points. All Guardians quarterback and Penn State alumnus Matt McGloin had to do was be a game manager, and he did just that. McGloin recorded two touchdowns, including one on the ground in the 23-3 win for New York.

The final game of Week 1 took place in Dallas, as the Renegades welcomed the St. Louis BattleHawks. The man who was proclaimed to be the face of the league, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones, sat out due to injury, allowing Phillip Nelson to take over. Nelson struggled to move the ball downfield, and despite Dallas relying on him heavily, he couldn’t put the ball in the end zone. Dallas came into the game as 9.5-point favorites but became the fourth favorite in Week 1 to lose. The defensive battle ended with Nelson throwing a pick to Will Hill to secure a 15-9 BattleHawks victory.

 

Logan Bourandas is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.