Order the book, The United States Football League, 1982–1986.
Pittsburgh 14 at New Jersey 161984 Week 13 - Monday, May 21, 1984
Attendance: 41,212, TV: ESPN
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Generals quarterback Brian Sipe thinks a narrow victory over a team tied for the worst record in the United States Football League isn't much to cheer about.
"We just about laid another egg," said Sipe after the Generals defeated the Pittsburgh Maulers 16-14 Monday night. "We had opportunities. We had been so good at getting into scoring position and score, but we failed so miserably (against Pittsburgh)."
In July, the Generals want to be in the USFL championship game. They are in contentionfor one of two wild card playoff spots in the Eastern Conference with their 10-3 record. Philadelphia, 12-1, holds a two-game lead over the Generals in the Atlantic Division with five games remaining in the regular season. The Maulers, 2-11, are tied with the Washington Federals for the worst record in the league.
"We seemed to take turns screwing up," said Sipe, who completed 11 of 25 passes for 138 yards with no interceptions against the Maulers. "As they say, it's back to the drawing board. We've got to play better than that to be where we want to be in July."
Meanwhile, placekicker Roger Ruzek, who kicked three field goals, including a club-record 52-yarder, was pleased with his performance. "It's nice to get the feeling you were the margin of victory," Ruzek said. "I'm thrilled. It was my first opportunity to get into the spotlight." In addition to his 52-yarder, which tied Memphis' Alan Duncan for the longest kick this season in the USFL, Ruzek booted field goals of 43 and 35 yards.
Herschel Walker, who rushed for a total of 141 yards, was instrumental in the third-quarter drive that set up the 35-yarder, rushing for 41 yards. Ruzek split the uprights to give the Generals their first lead of the game at 9-7.
Walker then provided a cushion when he burst 38 yards off left tackle early in the fourth quarter to increase the lead to 16-7. "We knew if we kept plugging, we'd get one," said Walker, who carried the ball 22 times while registering his fourth 100-yard of the season.
Pittsburgh put a scare into the Generals in the final moments as Mickey Sutton scooped up fullback Maurice Carthon's fumble and raced 44 yards to cut the Generals' lead to the final two-point margin with 1:08 to play.
The Maulers then recovered the ensuing kickoff when the ball bounced off the chest of linebacker Bob Horn, but what they hoped would be the winning drive stalled when Jim LeClair intercepted a pass by Pittsburgh's Tom Rozantz.
"The defensive line put great pressure on and (Rozantz} just threw up it," LeClair said. Rozantz, starting for the first time this season because Glenn Carano was nursing a sore elbow, was teamed in the Maulers' backfield with, another backup, halfback William Miller.
Miller, who subbed for injured Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier, gave the Maulers a 7-0 lead on his 2-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
The Maulers reached the Generals' 1-yard line in the second quarter, but New Jersey dropped Rozantz for a three-yard loss on fourth down.
May 21, 1984 New Jersey Generals - 16 Pittsburgh Maulers - 14 at Giants Stadium 41,212 Pittsburgh 7 0 0 7 -- 14 New Jersey 0 6 3 7 -- 16 1st Quarter PITT - Miller 2 run (Schubert kick) 2nd Quarter NJ - FG Ruzek 43 NJ - FG Ruzek 52 3rd Quarter NJ - FG Ruzek 35 4th Quarter NJ - Walker 38 run (Ruzek kick) PITT - Sutton 44 fumble return (Schubert kick) TEAM STATS: PITTSBURGH NEW JERSEY First downs 14 21 Rushes-yards 35-116 41-222 Passing yards 87 128 Return yards 143 68 Passes 10-21-1 11-25-0 Sacks by 1-10 1-15 Punts 5-46.8 3-31 Fumbles-lost 2-1 4-3 Penalties-yards 4-48 8-55 Time of possession 29:55 30:05 INDIVIDUAL STATS: RUSHING = Pittsburgh: Miller 25-60, Holman 4-29, Anderson 1-13, Albright 2-9, Rozantz 3-5. New Jersey: Walker 22-141, Carthon 18-79, Knight 1-2. PASSING = Pittsburgh: Rozantz 9-20-81-1, Swider 1-1-21-0. New Jersey: Sipe 11-25-138-0. RECEIVING = Pittsburgh: Raugh 4-52, Flowers 2-33, Holman 3-14, Miller 1-4. New Jersey: Spek 4-63, McConnaughey 1-28, Knight 2-36, Walker 2-8, Bowers 1-5, Carthon 1-(-2). MISSED FIELD GOALS = Pittsburgh: Schubert 47.