Week 4 Game Preview: MEMPHIS MANIAX (1-2) @ LOS ANGELES XTREME (2-1)



Sunday, Sunday, February 25, 2001 – 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Los Angeles Coliseum 
TV: UPN (Chris Marlowe and Brian Bosworth) 


After back-to-back home losses to division foes Las Vegas and San Francisco, the Memphis Maniax seek to even their record at 2-2 and keep their road record unblemished when they visit the Los Angeles Coliseum for a Sunday date with the Los Angeles Xtreme. 

QB Jim Druckenmiller will make his first start at Los Angeles. He completed six of 10 throws for 85 yards with two interceptions in relief of Marcus Crandell last Saturday. Either Crandell or Craig Whelihan will back up Druckenmiller. 

Look for Running Back Rashaan Salaam to continue to carry the load for the Maniax. He carried the ball 17 times for 82 yards against the Outlaws and 16 times for 42 yards vs. San Francisco. 

The focus this week in Memphis is turnovers: In the last two contests, the Maniax have turned the ball over seven times. 

The Maniax scored 19 points on three touchdowns in the first 22:34 of the game at Birmingham in the season opener… Since that time, Memphis has been limited to just four field goals and the Maniax have gone nearly 10 ½ quarters without a touchdown. 

The Los Angeles Xtreme return to the LA Coliseum to host the Memphis Maniax after surviving another last-second win over the Las Vegas Outlaws, 12-9. Look for the Xtreme to return to the four- and five-wide sets that catapulted the team to its double-overtime victory over the Enforcers in Week Two. 

The Xtreme’s defense looks to duplicate its dominant performance from last week. In Las Vegas, the Xtreme defense shut down the Outlaws star running back, Rod Smart, a.k.a “He Hate Me.” The Xtreme defense stifled Mr. Me to minus-nine yards on five carries at halftime. Smart finished the game with just 24 yards on 15 carries for an average of 1.6 yards per carry. 

Based on K Jose Cortez performance last week, the Xtreme is confident it can win games without scoring touchdowns. One week after QB Tommy Maddox questioned whether they should even try field goals on national TV, the El Salvador native saved the day and possibly his job with four consecutive field goals including the game winner from 48 yards as time expired against the Outlaws. 

Xtreme WR Darnell McDonald, who caught two TDs in week two, sat out last Saturday with injured ribs. His status will be decided later in the week. 

The seasons of the Xtreme and the Maniax appear to be going in opposite directions. After losing in its season opener 15-13 to the Demons, the Xtreme return this week to the Coliseum with a two-game win streak. The Maniax, who won its season opener on the road 24-22 over the Bolts in Birmingham, have dropped its last two games-both at home. 

Last Saturday night on national television, Shawn Stuckey and fellow linebacker Juan Long had a little surprise for He Hate Me. When Stuckey and Long came out on the field for the first time at 8:46 of the first quarter, Stuckey had “I HATE HE” and Long had “I HATE HE TOO” written on the back of their jerseys in place of their own names. On the first play from scrimmage in the Outlaws second drive, “I HATE HE TOO” (Long) greeted “HE HATE ME” at the line a scrimmage for no gain. Long had four tackles on the night. Stuckey added one. “I had a lot of fun with it,” said Stuckey. “I think it was good for the game and I think it was good for the league.” 

[Hitmen at Enforcers | Bolts at Rage | Outlaws at Demons | Maniax at Xtreme]

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