Source:Real Life Journal
“The high-priced running back who left the University of Georgia a year early for a $5 million, three-year contract, did score the game’s first touchdown. But he gained only 65 yards on 16 carries and by the second quarter, was largely forgotten by the crowd of 34,002 in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Instead, all eyes were on Tom Ramsey and Tony Boddie as the Los Angeles Express beat the Generals 20-15 in a season-opening United States Football League game, one of five played that Sunday.”
Ramsey, who played his college ball in the same stadium last year when he was the nation’s college passing percentage leader, turned things around when he replaced former National Football player Mike Rae with the Express trailing 9-6.
Boddie, a 12th-round draft choice out of Montana State, rushed for 77 yards on 13 carries and caught five passes for 49 yards.
Meanwhile, Walker was generally ineffective. Usually a prime pass receiver as well as a runner, the Heisman Trophy winner caught only one pass for three yards.”
From USFL Forever
I can see why ABC Sports and the USFL would want New Jersey and Los Angeles for their week 1 matchup on ABC. The biggest markets in America in Los Angeles and New York/North Jersey. And try to get a big week one TV rating from this game. And maybe they did, but the New Jersey Generals were 6-12 in 83 and were much better in 84 and 85, but they were a bad team in 83, at least as far as what they showed. And the Los Angeles Express were 8-10 a mediocre team that again were better in 84 and 85.
I think what is rememberable about this game is that it was Generals running back Herschel Walker’s first professional football game. No question the best college running back in 1982 and instead of playing in the NFL, he ends up in the USFL because he lost his college eligibility for speaking to pro agents too soon. Either a bad rule or big mistake on Herschel’s part. Because had Herschel played his whole career in the NFL, we are talking about a guaranteed first ballot hall of famer. But that is how good the USFL was as far as the talent that they had and the players they brought in.