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Birmingham Stallions trounce Memphis Showboats

Saturday was the home opener for the Birmingham Stallions, and they would not be denied the opportunity to show out for their fans at Protective Life Stadium. The nationally televised game turned into a showcase for the talent of the Stallions team. Birmingham scored 33 points, while holding Memphis to just 14 points the entire night.

Two-time USFL Champion Skip Holtz has returned for his third season coaching Birmingham.

"I think there were an awful lot of positive things out there today on the field," said Holtz. "I think our D-line can be really good. I was really proud of the way our defense played. Offensively we had a lot of big plays tonight. Made some good decisions. Made some great plays."

The Stallions at 3 and 0 are in sole position at the top of the standings for the USFL Conference of the Ultimate Football League (UFL). The UFL was formed in January with the merger of the USFL with the XFL. Birmingham won the championship in both years of the USFL's existence.

"The support we get from the groups of people has been awesome," Holtz said.

The Stallions led 18 to 12 at halftime; but Birmingham's defense took over in the second half stifling the Showboats' offense.

Quarterback Adrian Martinez got his first start for the Stallions and absolutely dazzled in the moment, throwing for 334 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown. The Stallions finished with 424 yards of offense on the day. Matt Corral started the first two games, but after Martinez's 188.1 passer rating and eyepopping 18 yards per pass average it is hard to see how Corral could possibly return as the starter for the Stallions. Saturday was the first day that the Stallions did not play a two-quarterback system where both QBs got significant playing time.

"It was a decision made that it was going to be Adrian's game and Matt was going to play a backup role," said Holtz. "He earned it."

The defense held Memphis to only 212 yards of total offense on the day, with only 20 yards of that coming on the ground in 12 attempts. The Stallions defense had 8 sacks costing the Showboats a crucial 47 yards. The Stallions on the other hand only gave up 3 sacks.

The Stallions did get 7 penalties so that is something that the coaches will work on moving forward.

"We had a number of communication problems," said Holtz. "We have got to get better."

"I complement the Showboats," said Holtz. "They did a great job." "We are happy to come out of it with a win."

The Stallions go on the road next week to play the Houston Roughnecks on Saturday at 6:00 p.m.

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