The Philadelphia Stars continue to catch unfortunate breaks when it comes to their backfield. For the second straight USFL season, the team will be without Matt Colburn in the postseason – if they make it, that is.
Last year, Colburn went down in the semi-finals with an ankle injury, and was unable to play in the Championship game. This was a tough blow, given how efficient Matt was down the stretch in 2022.
Now, Philadelphia is staring down the barrel of a very familiar situation. With Colburn placed on IR so late in the season, he’s essentially done for the year.
After a relatively slower start than usual, Matt Colburn came into his own for Philadelphia during their winning streak. He was a key piece to their win against Pittsburgh in week seven, rushing for 82 yards and two scores as the Stars finally got above the .500 mark.
In week eight against Birmingham, things went downhill fast. His first carry went for 13 yards, but suffered an injury going to the ground – which presumably ended his season. Now, the Stars will have to find a way to get their ground game back on track, without their top rusher.
Week Nine Struggles
It was a far from ideal outing for Darnell Holland and Dexter Williams in week nine, struggling to provide Case Cookus with much help at all. Cookus led the team with 59 rushing yards, averaging over 8YPC.
Darnell Holland posted just 14 yards on five carries, also losing a fumble. This was Holland’s first action of the season, having been activated in Matt’s absence. However, he has since been released by the team.
Dexter Williams struggled as well, with only 30 yards on nine carries. That being said – Williams has been a valuable weapon for the Stars throughout the year. In fact, he joined the organization last season, playing his first minutes during the Championship. He was stellar, compiling over 100 total yards and making an impact from the first snap.
The Philadelphia Stars are bringing back a familiar face: Paul Terry. Terry was with Philadelphia in 2022, posting 169 yards and two scores, while averaging 5.4YPC. In addition, he scored the first three point conversion in USFL history.
Considering Terry has been with HC Bart Andrus in multiple leagues (playing for the Generals in the TSL), this move makes sense. Philadelphia needed someone who was already versed in Andrus’ system.
JAMYEST WILLIAMS!@jamy0602 extends the lead for GSU!
Jamyest Williams was also signed by the Philadelphia Stars, as a young prospect out of Georgia State. Williams ran for over 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns in his final two seasons. If Jamyest can provide quality minutes down the stretch, the Stars will be in good shape. Case Cookus has had too much pressure on his shoulders over the past couple of weeks – the running backs need to provide him with some stability.
Philadelphia simply needs to figure out how to generate success on the ground without Colburn. Matt’s one of the USFL’s most underrated rushers, showcasing remarkable burst and speed throughout the last two seasons.
However, Dexter Williams, Paul Terry, and Jamyest Williams are three very capable prospects. Dexter will likely take the brunt of the load in week ten, given the fact that he’s been with the team all season long. It will be interesting to see how Paul Terry is utilized, as he is primarily a third down back.
With a must-win matchup coming down the pipeline against Michigan, Bart Andrus will have his work cut out for himself.
What are your thoughts on the Philadelphia Stars backfield struggles? What can we expect from the new signings this week? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!