BIRMINGHAM – The Birmingham Stallions didn't just survive Saturday night while playing without several key players. The Stallions thrived during a 42-2 USFL victory over Memphis at Protective Stadium.

The performance was thorough. For Birmingham head coach Skip Holtz, though, it wasn't surprising.

"I heard all week about what we didn't have, what we lost," Holtz said. "Really, we just started talking (to the team) let's talk about what we do have. We have a quarterback that's played a lot of football, has a lot of talent. He was the first Birmingham Stallion. We have a young running back, nobody's heard of yet because he's been sitting in third place. I said, we've got talent on this team, everybody's been working. I was impressed with what I saw tonight."

The quarterback – Alex McGough – threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns. The young running back – Zaquandre White – carried the ball eight times for 75 yards with two touchdowns, including an electrifying 35-yard score. And the defense, which also played without some key pieces, was magnificent, allowing 183 yards and holding the Memphis offense scoreless.

If you want to go there, perhaps the only thing to nitpick was the safety that kept the Stallions' defense from officially getting a shutout.
"I'm going to buy them whatever they want," said McGough, tackled in the end zone after dropping back for a pass late in the third quarter. "I'll buy them doughnuts."

That was just a small blip in an outstanding game for McGough, who was at the forefront of the Stallions' most lopsided victory in the 14 games the team has played since the rebirth of the USFL. The original plan called for McGough and J'Mar Smith to share the quarterback snaps. That changed last week when a hand injury ended Smith's season.

The game's first two drives were definitely a sign of things to come. Memphis' opening possession finished with a first down. Birmingham's first drive lasted seven plays and covered 87 yards, with McGough hitting Davion Davis on a 16-yard scoring pass.

The second possessions for both teams were similar. Memphis went three-and-out. Birmingham went 81 yards on 11 plays, with White scoring on a 1-yard run.

By halftime, the Stallions added a 25-yard scoring pass from McGough to Jace Sternberger, and the rout was on. That connection was successful all night, with Sternberger catching five passes for 126 yards.

"It was fun night watching Alex throw it the way he did, seeing the field the way he did," Holtz said. "I thought he was poised. I thought he was under control. I'm really proud of the effort he put forward tonight."

McGough added touchdown passes of seven yards to Thaddeus Moss and three yards to Myron Mitchell in the second half. Overall, the Stallions ended with 463 yards on 61 plays.

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