May 25, 2024

Jake Bates goes five-for-five with game-winner for Michigan

Say what you will about the UFL, but some of the games are fun to watch.

A fun one played out at Ford Field on Sunday, with a back-and-forth affair between the Arlington Renegades and the Michigan Panthers.

Kicker Jake Bates, who made a 64-yarder earlier this year and prompted complaints that NFL teams were contacting him improperly, went five-for-five in field goals for Michigan — including another 60-yarder. He capped the day with a 42-yard game winner that gave Michigan the 28-27 victory.

The kick was the last score in a yo-yo final few minutes, with Michigan taking the lead and then Arlington taking it back before a long kickoff return by Marcus Simms capped with a facemask foul on Arlington setting up the game winner.

Before that, Bates hooked a 47-yarder on a play that was blown dead because Arlington had too many men on the field — like Buffalo against Denver during the 2023 NFL season. (Hopefully Arlington won’t fire its offensive coordinator tomorrow because of it.)

Bates might have missed the kick that didn’t count because he was hit. No flag was thrown, and it wasn’t entirely clear he hadn’t been injured.

If he was, it didn’t keep him from making the kick.

The loss dropped Arlington to 0-6. Michigan moved to 4-2.

A crowd of 7,428 showed up for the game. Which is actually an improvement for the Panthers. It’s still weird to see kicks flying toward stands that are entirely empty.