21 Jan

Generals, Stallions flex on defense, allowing a combined five points

The New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions tied for the best regular-season record a year ago at 9-1, and in USFL Week 2 they showed why they’ll likely be among the best teams this season — namely, stifling defense.

The Generals held the Pittsburgh Maulers to just 3 points on Sunday, but that wasn’t the best effort of the week, as a day earlier the Stallions held the Memphis Showboats to only 2.

In the Week 2 finale on Sunday night, the Michigan Panthers moved to 2-0 — after finishing 2-8 last season — with a win over the Philadelphia Stars.

The USFL’s biggest offensive fireworks came Saturday between the New Orleans Breakers and Houston Gamblers, who combined for 69 points.

We’ve got takeaways from all the Week 2 games below; first a look at the scores.

New Orleans Breakers 38, Houston Gamblers 31
Birmingham Stallions 42, Memphis Showboats 2
New Jersey Generals 20, Pittsburgh Maulers 3
Michigan Panthers 24, Philadelphia Stars 10

Sunday’s games
Panthers upset Stars, sit in first place
The Michigan Panthers managed just two wins all last season. Through two weeks, they’ve already equaled that win total.

Michigan running back Reggie Corbin was the star of the day, rushing for 131 yards and two TDs on 11 carries.

Standout RB Reggie Corbin with another huge performance for the Michigan Panthers in their 24-10 win over the Philadelphia Stars:

11 carries, 131 rushing yds, 2 TDspic.twitter.com/oJIp1x0C6h

— USFL Center (@USFLCenter) April 24, 2023
The Panthers also picked off Stars quarterback Case Cookus twice, holding him without a TD as he threw for 283 yards. Panthers quarterback Josh Love, coming off a monster Week 1, threw for 174 yards with a TD and 2 INTs of his own.

Generals bounce back, stuff Pittsburgh
The New Jersey Generals may have gone 9-1 last year but they were looking for their first win since last year’s regular-season finale after losing in the playoffs and dropping the 2023 opener to Birmingham.

New Jersey got the victory Sunday, and it did it with defense. As rain poured down in Canton, the Generals recovered two fumbles and had an interception, while also recording five sacks and holding the Pittsburgh Maulers to just three points. The Generals held Pittsburgh to just 166 total yards.

SACK BY @IAM_KJII 🔥@nbc | @peacock pic.twitter.com/7lopBfxeC5

— New Jersey Generals (@USFLGenerals) April 23, 2023
Darius Victor, last season’s USFL rushing leader, had 71 yards and a touchdown to spark the Generals offense. Backup quarterback Dakota Prukop had the game’s only passing touchdown.

Saturday’s games
Stallions put on a show against Memphis
The Birmingham Stallions are the defending USFL champions and if there’s any doubt about whether they’ll be in the mix to repeat, they’ve won their first two games by a combined score of 69-12.

It was all Stallions on Saturday night against a Memphis Showboats squad that had looked competitive in Week 1, losing to a Philadelphia Stars team that reached last year’s championship game by just four points.

Stallions quarterback Alex McGough went 21 of 28 for 301 yards and four touchdowns, including a 47-yard score to tight end Jace Sternberger.

Jace Sternberger popped OFF in yesterday’s win against the Showboats! 🐎 💪 @_Jstern pic.twitter.com/OtrpocSlQG

— Birmingham Stallions (@USFLStallions) April 23, 2023
Birmingham running back ZaQuandre White carried 8 times for 72 yards and two touchdowns, including a 35-yard score.

The Showboats’ only points came from a third-quarter safety.

Breakers win shootout over Gamblers
The weekend got off to a hot start as the New Orleans Breakers and Houston Gamblers got into a back-and-forth battle, with New Orleans holding on for a 38-21 victory to go to 2-0 after making the playoffs last season.

The biggest star of the game was New Orleans running back Wes Hills, who rushed for 110 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.

TOUCHDOWN BREAKERS! Wes Hills with the 19-yard TD run! 🙌

🎥: @USANetwork pic.twitter.com/VcwcdbuY5g

— New Orleans Breakers (@USFLBreakers) April 22, 2023
Breakers quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw for 251 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Gamblers quarterback Benji Bahar threw three TDs in a 266-yard effort, but also was picked off three times by the Breakers defense. Bethel-Thompson did not throw a pick.

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