USFL Week 1 highlights: Birmingham Stallions roll past New Jersey Generals

USFL Week 1 highlights: Birmingham Stallions roll past New Jersey Generals

Apr 15

The opening day of the USFL closed with a highly anticipated contest between the New Jersey Generals and the defending champion Birmingham Stallions, and we had you covered with all the action on FOX and the FOX Sports App!

The Stallions secured the double-digit win, 27-10, but fear they may have lost star receiver Marlon Williams for the season after an acrobatic catch left him with a torn Achilles. He spoke with FOX's USFL crew from the sidelines afterward.

Earlier in Memphis, the Philadelphia Stars came away with a narrow 27-23 victory over the Memphis Showboats, spoiling the inaugural home debut for the USFL's newest team.

See the full regular-season week-by-week matchups here. You can also check out FOX Bet's title odds for all eight teams.

Birmingham Stallions 27, New Jersey Generals 10


The Generals fumbled on the opening drive, giving the Stallions the ball early. 

Razzle Dazzle

Birmingham took the lead right out of the gate, 7-0, when quarterback with J’Mar Smith connected with Austin Watkins for a stunning 61-yard touchdown on the Stallions' very first snap of the game.

Skip Holtz is the only head coach in the league who began Week 1 with the same quarterbacks — Smith and Alex McGough — that he selected in the inaugural USFL Draft.

Taking flight!

Generals QB Dakota Prukop knotted things up to start the second quarter, capping off a nine-play drive with this score.

On the move

Smith linked up with tight end Jace Sternberger on the Stallions' following drive, moving the chains with ease.

Acrobatic catch

Stallions receiver Davion Davis kept the play alive with this big-time catch.

The drive resulted in a field goal, as Birmingham retook the lead, 10-7.

Ground game strong

The Generals found a rhythm late in the frame, highlighted by QB De'Andre Johnson's tough 29-yard scramble.

What could have been

The Generals weren't able to capitalize on the momentum, however, and turned the ball over on downs after a huge goal-line stop from the Stallions.

No quit

Smith was picked off on Birmingham's own 15-yard line on the next drive, giving the ball right back to the Generals, which turned the newfound possession into three points with another field goal to tie the game once again, 10-10.

The Stallions went straight to work making up for the turnover, as Smith turned on the jets to secure a crucial first down.

Star power

Stallions wideout Marlon Williams reeled in a clutch third-down pass from Smith to put Birmingham deep in the red zone.

Giddy up!

Then, McGough connected with Sternberger for a 6-yard score to give the Stallions the lead just before halftime.

They'll take that!

The Stallions went three-and-out on their first drive of the second half, but they got the ball back almost immediately after the Generals fumbled for the second time Saturday.

Pulling away

Birmingham grabbed a double-digit lead after McGough's monster 29-yard rushing touchdown on the following drive.

So close, yet so far away

The Generals turned the ball over on downs to begin the fourth quarter despite a huge 48-yard boost from reigning USFL Offensive Player of the Year Darius Victor, who rushed for 577 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

More of the same

Birmingham was a force to be reckoned with as the fourth quarter continued.

First, McGough found Davis for a 19-yard gain to move the chains. Then, the Stallions nailed a 49-yard field goal to extend their lead, 27-10, before the Generals turned things over on downs on the next drive for the third time.

New Jersey turned the ball over on down once more — for the fourth and final time — before things ended there.

Pregame setup

Pregame setup

The Generals were fired up and ready to go ahead of kickoff.

Meanwhile, the Stallions' championship banner was unveiled ahead of Saturday's game. Birmingham went 9-1 during the regular season last year en route to defeating Philadelphia in the 2022 title game.

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