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Paxton Lynch airs it out as Panthers clinch No. 1 pick

Apr 17, 2022; Birmingham, AL, USA; Michigan Panthers quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) looks to pass against Houston Gamblers at Protective Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Paxton Lynch threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns to guide the Michigan Panthers past the Pittsburgh Maulers 33-21 on Sunday afternoon in Birmingham, Ala. The Panthers earned the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 USFL Draft.

With both teams entering Sunday at 1-8, the USFL made an abrupt rule change before the game as an anti-tanking measure, saying that the winner of the game would receive the first pick in each round of the draft.

Michigan (2-8) built a 21-0 lead behind two Lynch TD throws and a 63-yard fumble recovery touchdown by Cory Rahman. Lynch, a former first-round draft pick in the NFL, completed 22 of 30 passes and also threw one interception.

DelVon Hardaway made six catches for 100 yards and Isiah Hennie hauled in two touchdowns for Pittsburgh (1-9), which finished with the worst record of the revived USFL’s first season.

–Field Level Media