Los Angeles Wildcats vs Houston Roughnecks: XFL Game Preview

The XFL is back! Introducing your Houston Roughnecks.

by Angel Rick Leal

Game Info
Los Angeles Wildcats vs Houston Roughnecks
Saturday February 8 – 4 p.m. CT
TV: Fox
TDECU Stadium – Houston, Texas

Records Before Game
Los Angeles Wildcats ( 0-0 )
Houston Roughnecks ( 0-0 )

The XFL is back and hoping to learn from its mistakes as it debuts for the second time on Saturday. The league was unable to explode in 2001 but is back with eight teams as well as a new set of rules as it attempts to draw the interest of football fans.  The ten game regular season XFL schedule will be followed by two weeks of playoffs and completing the 2020 season with the XFL Championship Game on April 26.

Coaching the Houston Roughnecks will be June Jones.  As an American collegiate coach, Jones’s offenses rarely run the ball, favoring a wide open, pass heavy offense, the run and shoot approach. Coach Jones resume includes Coaching the Houston Oilers, USFL’s Houston Gamblers, and a former head coach in the NFL, CFL and at the major college level.  Jones is entering his 35th season as a football Coach.

Former Temple star P.J. Walker will be the starting quarterback for the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks this season after winning a competition with former Raiders quarterback Connor Cook. The Roughnecks officially named Walker their starter Wednesday, three days before their season opener against the Los Angeles Wildcats.  The 5-foot-11 Walker played under current Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule at Temple and led the Owls to back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2015 and 2016.  Walker is Temple’s all-time leader in virtually every passing statistic, including yards (10,668), touchdowns (74) and completions (830).

For the Houston Roughnecks entire roster you can view it here: XFL Houston Roughnecks

When the XFL Opening Weekend kicks off on Feb. 8, the league is promising some exciting gameplay innovations that deliver what football fans have requested — a faster pace of play and more action.  

I won’t go into detail about the change or addition of rules brought by the XFL but it should make it more interesting. Here’s the link: XFL Rules.

Prediction
The Roughnecks have stood out in terms of roster construction and talent. They have the biggest potential difference-maker on defense in the league in lineman Kony Ealy, and now they look likely to be facing a backup quarterback in Week 1. With June Jones run and shoot offense, I look for the Roughnecks to run away with this one.

Final Score
Los Angeles Wildcats 18
Houston Roughnecks 45