Two-quarterback system works for the Stallions as they enter divisional play

Birmingham plays Memphis this Saturday at home on WBRC FOX6 News
Head coach Skip Holtz on Stallions 2023 season opening win
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 12:01 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With the 2023 United States Football League (USFL) season officially underway, head coach Skip Holtz was pleased with what he saw Saturday inside Protective Stadium, not only from his team but also the fans in attendance.

“I thought the crowd and the environment was awesome,” Holtz said Monday during Good Day Alabama. “That set the tone for a pretty magical opening to the start of the 2023 season.”

The defending USFL Champions left Protective Stadium with a 27-10 win Saturday after taking a 17-10 halftime lead and never looked back.

Smith went 10-of-15 passing for 160 yards, a touchdown, and an interception in the season opener. Meanwhile, Alex McGough completed seven passes for 68 yards and a score. He also rushed for 51 yards and an additional touchdown.

“I thought J’Mar was really efficient in the first half when he played, going 10-for-15,” Holtz said. “Alex McGough came in and went 7-for-10 and created an awful lot of offense with his legs.”

Holtz said the team has confidence in both quarterbacks and believes both will play a part in the Stallions’ season.

“I think it works because of the personality and the unselfishness of the two young men,” he said. “They cheer for each other. They’ve got a great relationship, they’re very close. They work together. They’re always hanging out together, joking around.”

He said both will serve a role on this season’s offense, adding that both are good enough to win with.

“We’re very fortunate that it’s not a quarterback controversy,” Holtz said. “Love them both, glad they’re both with us and they both bring a lot to the table.”

The Stallions now prepare to enter divisional play when Memphis travels down Interstate 22 to Birmingham.

The Showboats, coming off a 27-23 loss to Philadelphia, are playing their inaugural season this year after replacing the USFL’s Tampa Bay team this year.

Holtz wants fans to come out this weekend as the Stallions look to make another run in the South Division and, hopefully, the playoffs.

“We need everyone out there,” he said. “I encourage everybody, if you haven’t been, come out to a game. They’re entertaining, they’re quick, this team is a lot of fun to watch. But we certainly need your support.”

Birmingham and Memphis is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. this Saturday inside Protective Stadium. The game will air on WBRC FOX6 News.

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