USFL Score, highlights: Tampa Bay Bandits keep playoff hopes alive with 13-3 win over the Houston Gamblers

USFL Week Five - Michigan Panthers v Tampa Bay Bandits
Photo by Emilee Chinn/USFL/Getty Images

Tampa Bay continues its bid for the final USFL playoff slot. The Bandits needed to win their final three games to clinch the berth and are off to a positive start with a 13-3 win over the Houston Gamblers.

Tampa Bay (4-4) got out to a 13-0 lead by halftime and held the Gamblers to just one field goal on the day.  After an underwhelming performance in last week’s 20-13 loss to New Jersey, quarterback Jordan Ta’amu completed 12 of 21 attempts for 98 yards, including a touchdown pass to Derrick Dillon, the only touchdown of the day. Bandits kicker Tyler Rausa made two of three field attempts. 

The Houston Gamblers (1-7) were eliminated from playoff contention following last week’s 35-24 loss to the Philadelphia Stars. Kenji Bahar started at quarterback for the Gamblers with Clayton Thorson still out with an elbow injury. Bahar struggled, only completing 19 of 34 attempts. They’ll face the Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers to finish off their season.

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 Houston Gamblers and Tampa Bay Bandits

The Gamblers are led by 57-year-old Kevin Sumlin, who has experience coaching in Texas. He was the coach at the University of Houston for four years before taking a job at Texas A&M. 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.

Houston Gamblers vs. Tampa Bay Bandits score, results, highlights

2nd quarter, 15:00 (Bandits): T.Rausa 36 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-R.DiSalvo, Holder-B.Wright.

2nd quarter, 4:56 (Bandits): J.Ta’amu pass complete to HOU 7. Catch made by D.Dillon at HOU 7. Gain of 7 yards. D.Dillon for 7 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

2nd quarter, 1:33 (Bandits): T.Rausa 33 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-R.DiSalvo, Holder-.

3rd quarter, 10:23 (Gamblers): N.Vogel 44 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-T.Addington, Holder-.

Houston Gamblers vs. Tampa Bay Bandits reaction and coverage

7:00 p.m. EST: Bahar runs the ball down to the 3-yard line as time runs out. Final score from Legion Field: Tampa Bay Bandits 13, New Orleans 3

6:57 p.m. EST: Bahar keeps the ball for a gain of 18 to take the Gamblers inside of the 20-yard line. Houston is down by 10 with 0:38 left to play.

6:47 p.m. EST: The Gamblers go for it on fourth-and-10. Bahar connects with Tyler Simmons, shy of a first down. Houston turns it over on downs, the Bandits will take over at their own 34.

6:43 p.m. EST: Ball back to Houston as Bydarrius Knighten intercepts Ta’amu’s pass! Gamblers take over at the Tampa Bay 42.

6:20 p.m. EST: Houston ball as the Gamblers’ defense recovers a fumble. Houston will have possession at their own 49-yard line, with a 10-point deficit and 10:20 to play.

6:08 p.m. EST: The third quarter comes to an end with Tampa Bay on top by 10.

Houston will have a third-and-16 at their own 43-yard line to start the fourth.

6:02 p.m. EST: Gamblers defense holds Tampa Bay to a field goal attempt. Tyler Rausa is no good from 47 yards and we still have a 10-point game with 2:05 left in the third quarter.

5:48 p.m. EST: Houston recovers their own onside kick. The Gamblers will have possession at their own 40-yard line.

5:43 p.m. EST: Houston is on the board as Nick Vogel is good from 44-yards. Bandits 13, Gamblers 3 with 10:17 left in the third.

5:36 p.m. EST: Second half is about to get underway from Birmingham!

5:24 p.m. EST: The first half comes to a close. Tampa Bay leads 13-0.

5:10 p.m. EST: Tampa Bay’s pick results in a 33-yard field goal attempt for Tyler Rausa. The kick is good and the Bandits are up 13-0 with 1:28 left until halftime.

5:01 p.m. EST: Kenji Bahar’s pass is intercepted by Anthony Cioffi. Tampa Bay has the ball at the Houston 27 with 3:12 left in the half.

4:53 p.m. EST: Touchdown Bandits! Jordan Ta’amu connects with Derrick Dillon for a 7-yard touchdown.

Tyler Rausa’s extra point attempt is good and Tampa Bay extends their lead to 10-0 with 4:46 left to play in the half.

4:41 p.m. EST: Houston goes for it on fourth-and-1. The Bandits defense holds them to no gain, turnover on downs and Tampa Bay willl take over at their own 41-yard line.

4:35 p.m. EST: Tyler Rausa’s 36-yard field goal attempt is good to put Tampa Bay on the board first.

Bandits 3, Gamblers 0 at the start of the second quarter.

4:30 p.m. EST: The Gamblers’ defense pushes the Bandits back from the Houston 5 to the 19 as the first quarter comes to an end. We’re 0-0 from Birmingham.

4:23 p.m. EST: Nick Vogel’s 55-yard field attempt is no good and the score stays at 0-0 with 5:15 remaining in the first quarter.

4:02 p.m. EST: Our final matchup of Week 8 is getting ready to kick off from Legion Field!

Everything you need to know about the USFL:

What time and channel is the Gamblers vs. Bandits?

RELATED: How to watch the Houston Gamblers vs. Tampa Bay Bandits

  • When: Sunday, June 5 at 4 p.m. ET on Peacock
  • Where: Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama