USFL Week 1 highlights: Philadelphia Stars hold off Memphis Showboats in thriller

USFL Week 1 highlights: Philadelphia Stars hold off Memphis Showboats in thriller

Apr 15

Week 1 of the 2023 USFL season is here, and we've got you covered with all the action on FOX and the FOX Sports App!

The season began in Memphis, where the USFL's newest addition, the Memphis Showboats, fell to the Philadelphia Stars, 27-23. The Stars got off to a good start in the first half, scoring three touchdowns to take a 20-10 lead into the break. The Showboats battled their way back, making it a three-point game at one point before making it a four-point game. But Memphis' final drive stalled around midfield, ending its comeback bid in its USFL debut.

Later Saturday, the reigning USFL champion Birmingham Stallions will play host to the New Jersey Generals.

See the full regular-season week-by-week matchups here.

Here are the top plays!

Philadelphia Stars 27, Memphis Showboats 23

Going the other way!

Channing Stribling got things going for Philly by opening up the new season with an interception, ending Memphis' promising drive just minutes into the game.

However, Stribling thought he should've reached the end zone on his interception.

Rowland running to the end zone

Chris Rowland scored the first touchdown of the new season, getting open right end front of the end zone to run in for the easy score and give the Stars an early lead.

Don't leave Davis open!

Rashard Davis made his way past Philly's secondary with ease, getting open and running into the end zone untouched for the 43-yard score to put the home team on the board with its first touchdown of the season.

Stealing a play from the other Philadelphia football team

The Stars took a page right out of the Eagles' playbook, using their backfield to help push quarterback Case Cookus for a first down on fourth-and-one.

The chef's all fired up!

Case Cookus couldn't help but be excited after his scramble turned into a first down as he was hit while running out of bounds.

A cold touchdown that'll leave 'em burning

Matt Colburn II slipped open on third-and-goal and was able to make the reception out of the backfield to give the Stars another touchdown.

Dex on the dot

Dexter Williams was able to shake off defenders for a 12-yard touchdown to put the Stars up 20-7 in the first half.

Big block!

Jeremiah Valoaga got up the middle to block Philly's field goal attempt and keep it a 20-10 game going into halftime.

Airing it out!

Ryan McDaniel came down with the grab from White to cut the Stars' lead to three in the third quarter, capping off an 80-yard touchdown drive.

Gray day!

Devin Gray kept his eye on the ball and secured the grab while remaining in play for the touchdown grab to extend the Stars' lead to 27-17 late in the third.

Afterward, Gray broke down the play on the tablet. 

All in the end zone, Alex

Alex Collins worked his way into the end zone on third-and-short to help Memphis cut Philadelphia's lead to three again.

Defense steps up!

Greg Reaves got the big third-down sack for Memphis to make sure it got the ball back with just over five minutes to go.

Pregame setup

It was a lovely day for football in Memphis as the USFL readied to begin Season 2.

The "Boats" arrived early, strutting in with confidence ahead of the big game … 

… but Channing Stribling and the Stars came in looking equally cool, which is not surprising considering they reached the championship game last season.

The Stars also welcomed a talented new player to the mix this season, former first-round NFL draft pick Corey Coleman.

Warmin' up

The starting quarterbacks got loose ahead of Saturday's season-opener. Brady White starts for Memphis while Case Cookus has the starting job for Philadelphia.

Message from the president

USFL President of Football Operations Daryl Johnston had some words for fans as we ring in the new season.

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