VIDEO: Michigan Panthers Kicker Jake Bates Broke The Internet By Kicking Game-Winning 64-Yard Field Goal In UFL Debut, His First Since High School

VIDEO: Michigan Panthers Kicker Jake Bates Broke The Internet By Kicking Game-Winning 64-Yard Field Goal In UFL Debut, His First Since High School

Michigan Panthers UFL kicker Jake Bates lining up for a field goal.


To say that Michigan Panthers kicker Jake Bates could not have had a more thrilling and memorable UFL debut would be a massive understatement.

The Panthers needed a miracle to win their first ever UFL game, a Saturday afternoon home tilt against the St. Louis Battlehawks. Trailing by one point with eight seconds remaining, Michigan head coach Mike Nolan called for Bates to attempt a 64-yard instead of attempting a Hail Mary pass.

Not only are the odds against ANY kicker from making a 64-yard field goal, but Bates hadn’t even attempted a FG since high school. The odds of him making this certainly felt extremely slim, but the 24-year-old was more than up for the challenge.

Bates’ first attempt was successful, but St. Louis called a timeout in an effort to ice him. So Bates had to line up for the 64-yarder a second time, and he once again drilled it:

With that, the Panthers kicked off the UFL era with a 18-16 victory to start 1-0.

As noted by Jared Ramsey of the Detroit Free Press, Bates’ 64-yarder is tied for the second-longest field goal in the history of American pro football. Fittingly, Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker set the record at Ford Field (the site of the Michigan-St. Louis game) in the 2021 season with a game-winning 66-yarder against the Detroit Lions.

A Thrilling First UFL Weekend

The XFL and the United States Football League (USFL) announced back in December that they were merging the two leagues into one. And based on the thrilling game action, it has unquestionably been a successful first week for the UFL.

Earlier today, San Antonio Brahmas punter Brad Wing (a former New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers punter) threw a 40-yard touchdown on a trick play in the club’s 27-12 win against the DC Defenders.

With plays and game endings like this, the UFL is certainly off to a good start from an entertainment perspective.

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