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Week 4 Preview: Getting to know the Tampa Bay Vipers

Former Virginia Tech lineman Ricky Walker and former Georgia QB Aaron Murray are just two of the Tampa Bay Vipers recognizable names

The DC Defenders (2-1) look to rebound from their first loss of the 2020 XFL season when they travel to Tampa, Fla., to take on the Tampa Bay Vipers (0-3) on Sunday, March 1 in Week 4.

A 39-9 loss to the Los Angeles Wildcats took the wind out of the Defenders' sails following two impressive victories at home. While the Vipers have yet to win a game, their offense continues to improve, despite have a muddled quarterback situation.

Aaron Murray, Taylor Cornelius, and Quinton Flowers have all gotten reps under center thanks to an injury that sidelined Murray for two weeks.

The Vipers have a handful of skill position players who are capable of hauling in bulk yardage despite the offense recording just two touchdowns in three weeks, both coming on quarterback runs.

Week 4 between the DC Defenders and Tampa Bay Vipers takes place on Sunday, March 1 at 7 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium and will be broadcast on ESPN2.

KNOW YOUR OPPONENTS: TAMPA BAY VIPERS

  • Home Field: Raymond James Stadium
  • Team Colors: Green, yellow, and white
  • Team President: Josh Bullock
  • Head Coach: Marc Trestman
  • Record: 0-3 (3-23 Loss at Guardians, 9-19 loss at Dragons, 27-34 loss to Roughnecks)

STAT LEADERS: TAMPA BAY VIPERS

Passing:

  • Taylor Cornelius -- 32-for-58, 347 yards, 1 passing TD, 3 INTs. 6 carries for 33 yards, 1 rushing TD.
  • Aaron Murray -- 16-for-34, 231 yards. 2 INTs.
  • Quinton Flowers -- 8-for-15, 106 yards. 1 INT. 16 carries for 78 yards. 1 rushing TD.

Receiving:

  • Dan Williams -- 11 receptions for 180 yards on 20 targets. 16.4 avg. 1 TD. Long of 42 yards.
  • Jalen Tolliver -- 13 receptions for 157 yards on 25 targets. 12.1 avg. Long of 44 yards.

Rushing:

  • De'Veon Smith -- 42 carries for 174 yards. 4.1 avg. Long of 13 yards.
  • Jacques Patrick --- 32 carries for 123 yards. 3.8 avg. Long of 21 yards.

Defense:

PLAYERS YOU MAY KNOW: TAMPA BAY VIPERS

  • #9 QB Quinton Flowers, USF: 2016 AAC Offensive Player of the Year. USF all-time leader in rushing touchdowns, passing touchdowns and total touchdowns.
  • #11 QB Aaron Murray, Georgia: SEC all-time leader in passing touchdowns and passing yards. Named to second-team All-SEC in 2011. His older brother, Josh, was a contestant on the 2014 season of 'The Bachelorette.'
  • #24 De'Veon Smith, Michigan: Was a member of the Washington Redskins during 2018 training camp.  Was a college teammate of Defenders CB Tyree Kinnel at Michigan. 
  • #32 CB Jalen Collins, LSU: No. 42 overall pick in 2015 NFL Draft. College teammates with Malachi Dupre.
  • #41 Terrance Plummer, UCF: Spent 2015 with Washington Redskins. Finish 2015 preseason third on the team in tackles with 12.
  • #49 DT Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest: Two-time All-ACC selection. Was named to Bednarik Award watchlist in 2013. Spent the 2015 season as the starting fullback for the New York Giants.
  • #50 OG/C John Yarbrough, Richmond: Two-time All-CAA selection. Named 2018 Offensive Lineman of the Year in the state of Virginia.
  • #52 LB Reggie Northrup: Signed by Washington Redskins in May 2016.
  • #69 OT/G Na'Ty Rodgers, Houston: From Pomfret, Md. Attended The McDonough School. 
  • #71 OG/T Isaiah Williams. Akron: Spent 2016 and 2018 training camp with the Washington Redskins. Spent 2019 training camp with the Baltimore Ravens.
  • #73 OT Martez Ivey, Florida: Former five-star prospect, High School All-American and two-time All-SEC selection.
  • #91 DT Bobby Richardson, Indiana: Spent a month on Washington Redskins practice squad in 2016.
  • #97 DT Ricky Walker, Virginia Tech: From Newport News, Va. Named to second-team All-ACC in 2018.