The Birmingham Stallions will play a regular season road game for the first time since the new version of the USFL began. And the Stallions are looking to bounce back from a regular-season loss for only the second time.
Those are a couple of the storylines for the Stallions in Sunday’s USFL game against the Pittsburgh Maulers in Canton, Ohio. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT in Tom Benson Memorial Stadium.
Playing on the road shouldn’t be an issue in a stadium that is roughly two hours away from Pittsburgh. The Maulers, who share the USFL hub with the New Jersey Generals, are accustomed to the stadium, but the home-field advantage is not the same as it would be playing in Pittsburgh. The Stallions also are comfortable at Tom Benson Memorial Stadium after winning two playoff games, including the USFL Championship Game, in Canton last season.
Bouncing back from the 45-31 loss to the New Orleans Breakers is another matter. This is the first time since last season’s kickoff that the Stallions (2-1) are looking up at another team in the standings. The Breakers are the league’s only undefeated team and leaders in the USFL South Division.
The first step is returning to form on defense after struggling against the Breakers last week. The challenge won’t be as stringent as a week ago when the Stallions faced the league’s top offense. The Maulers (1-2) are last in the USFL in passing yards per game (77.3), sixth in rushing yards per game (96.7) and have just one offensive touchdown in three games. Chris Blewitt had five field goals in last week’s 21-13 win over the Philadelphia Stars.
Defensively, the Maulers have been solid, led by linebacker Reuben Foster. The former University of Alabama All-American is third in the USFL in total tackles (26) and tied for first in solo tackles (17). He has won the USFL Defensive Player of the Week twice in the first three games, including last week when he had 11 tackles, two tackles for loss, two pass breakups and an interception.
Stallions quarterback Alex McGough leads the USFL with seven touchdown passes.
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