Birmingham Stallions' head coach, Skip Holtz, was the USFL Coach of the Year. His quarterback, Alex McGough, was the USLF's Most Valuable Player. The Stallions were 9-2 on the season while their opponent, the Pittsburgh Maulers, were 5-6. So, it was no surprise that Birmingham beat Pittsburgh 28-12 in the USFL Championship game on Saturday night in Canton, Ohio. The Stallions are now 21-3 in the USFL's two seasons, with two championships.
It's surprising that Holtz has found this success in the USFL. As a college coach, he was 152-121 while never leading a Power 5 team. His first HC gig came at came at UConn when that school was in the FCS. Stops at FBS members East Carolina, USF, and Louisiana Tech followed. In his 3 seasons at USF, his teams got worse every year as the Bulls went 8-5 in his first season, followed by campaigns of 5-7 and 3-9. In 16 seasons as a Group of Five head coach, his teams lost at least 5 games in 14 of those seasons.
It's also surprising that this game wasn't a bigger blowout, and that the spread was only 7.5.
Pittsburgh was kept out of the endzone, scoring all 12 points off the foot of Chris Blewitt who went 4-5 on field goals. His miss from 48 began with a bad snap. He had converted kicks from 38, 36, 55 and 51.
Meanwhile, McGough was 18-of-25 for 243 yards and 4 touchdowns for victors. He added 64 yards on 9 rushes, despite losing 26 yards and fumbling the football on a play that looked to have helped Pittsburgh close the gap. The score was 21-12 and Birmingham was driving to put the game out of reach, but McGough kept scrambling backwards on a Mauler's blitz. The fumble was returned for a touchdown, but an illegal forward handoff during the return negated that score and brought the ball back to the Birmingham 34. After 5 plays netted just 3 yards, Blewitt missed the field goal.
For complete coverage of this game, USFL.com.