How The Birmingham Stallions 2-QB UFL System Is Working | Matt Corral

How The Birmingham Stallions 2-QB UFL System Is Working

The Birmingham Stallions are 4-0. They’ve won 11 straight games dating back to a season ago. So far, they’ve taken care of business in the UFL, looking like the “top dog” in the spring football scene once again.

Given the amount of talent they roster both offensively and defensively, this isn’t a surprise. What is a surprise, though, is that the Stallions continue to shake up their starting quarterback from week to week. We’ve gotten a fair mix of both Matt Corral and Adrian Martinez this year, and seemingly this trend will continue.

On paper, it doesn’t make much sense. How can a team continue to win, when there isn’t stability at the quarterback position?

The bottom line: Head Coach Skip Holtz can do what he wants. When an organization is this solid from top to bottom, Birmingham has the freedom to put their quarterbacks on a carousel, without it affecting their production too drastically. Since day one, Holtz has been adamant about giving both his signal callers playing time, as they are both here to “get film”.

At the same time, both Corral and Martinez are two of the top quarterbacks in the UFL. Truthfully, if you put either one on almost any other UFL roster, they would be the starter. The main exception would be St. Louis, who features A.J. McCarron.

Let’s take a look at how we’ve gotten to this point, and what we can expect throughout the rest of the season.

Quarterback Play

To begin the season, Matt Corral was the starter. He split time with Martinez in the first half against Arlington – but an injury to Adrian allowed Corral to start the full second half. He played quite well down the stretch, leading Birmingham to a two score win on the road.

Week two told a bit of a different story. Corral started yet again, but Adrian Martinez was clearly the better quarterback on the field. His decision making and mobility brought an entirely new dynamic to the Stallions’ offense. Corral actually threw a late interception which allowed Michigan to have one more shot at a comeback.

This led to Martinez being handed the reins for week three. Against Memphis, he played every snap, and was absolutely sensational. Adrian posted almost 400 total yards of offense, leading the Stallions to a dominant 33-14 win in their home opener.

However, after we all thought that Martinez locked up the QB1 position, Holtz decided to start Matt Corral against DC.

While this game was closer from start to finish, Corral did what needed to be done in order to win. It also helped that new kicker Ramiz Ahmed went 4-4 with a game winner, but Matt’s overall stat-line was one of the best of his UFL career so far, with 240 passing yards and a touchdown to Amari Rodgers.

Comparing The Stats

Both quarterbacks have similar passing stats through four weeks, which makes sense given their near equal split in playing time so far.

Matt Corral: 36/62, 494 yards, 8.0 YPA, 2 TD, 2 INT
Adrian Martinez: 28/49, 448 yards, 9.1 YPA, 2 TD, 1 INT

When it comes to running the football, Martinez clearly is the front runner – no pun intended. Matt Corral typically uses his legs to extend plays, whereas Adrian isn’t afraid to use his blazing speed to take off whenever it’s necessary.

Matt Corral: 15 carries, 92 yards, 6.1 YPC
Adrian Martinez: 17 carries, 164 yards, 9.6 YPC, 1 TD

Martinez is actually the second leading rusher in the UFL right now, which is quite impressive considering he’s only truly played two and a half games.

PFF Grades

Pro Football Focus gives us some more insight on how each quarterback is performing. Both are at the top of the rankings in general, with A.J. McCarron being the only signal caller with a stronger overall grade.

Breaking it down by the numbers, each QB has graded out positively:

Matt Corral: 81.4 Off. Grade, 84.5 Pass Grade, 61.5 Run Grade | 73 Drop Backs
Adrian Martinez: 72.2 Off. Grade, 70.3 Pass Grade, 66.4 Run Grade | 63 Drop Backs

When it comes to snap discrepancy, Adrian Martinez has played 107 snaps this year. Matt Corral, on the other hand, has played 155. With that in mind, it’s impressive that both have stayed in the same relative boat when it comes to their overall production.

Both have protected the football – for the most part. Corral’s first interception was through the hands of Deon Cain. His only true mistake has been the late INT against Michigan. According to PFF, Corral only has one Turnover Worthy Play (TWP). Martinez isn’t too far behind, with 3 TWP’s of his own this year.

Moving Forward To Week Five & Beyond

For Skip Holtz, he doesn’t care about what the naysayers have to say. To be quite frank, why should he? Birmingham is 4-0, rolling into what should be a third straight Championship appearance.

The only unfortunate aspect of his 2-QB system is that neither is likely to win the MVP award if this keeps up. Both are candidates, but one has to wonder if either would qualify for the award with less overall snaps compared to other players.

That said, the goal of the UFL is to help these athletes get back to the NFL. Holtz has sent his fair share of players to the NFL, and is looking to do the same with Corral and Martinez. As he’s said time and time again, both are in the UFL to get film.

Earlier in this article, I asked the question: “How can a team continue to win, when there isn’t stability at the quarterback position?”

The answer is simple. There is stability, whether you like it or not. The 2-QB system is alive and well in a Skip Holtz scheme, and is working wonders with the Stallions so far. They don’t need to commit to one quarterback, when this team is so complete across the board.

Their offense isn’t even taking a hit from this strategy. They lead the UFL with 369.8 total yards per game, and are averaging 25 points per game (2nd).

Not to mention, Birmingham features the best defense in the UFL, and honestly, it’s not even close. They rank first in the following categories: Points Allowed, Total Yards Allowed, Rush Yards Allowed, PBU’s, and Sacks – just to name a few. They have an overall Defensive Grade of 89.9 per PFF; the next closest team is San Antonio, at 75.6.

Final Thoughts

When a team is as dominant and as cohesive as the Birmingham Stallions, you can make executive decisions such as the one Holtz is implementing here with his quarterbacks. Again, so far, it’s working.

In week five, Adrian Martinez will start against the Houston Roughnecks. It seems like Holtz is moving away from playing both QB’s each game, and instead is allowing both to get full control every other week. That said, don’t be surprised if he mixes things up yet again at some point. Skip always loves to keep ‘em guessing. It’s the Birmingham way.

What are your thoughts on the Birmingham Stallions 2-QB system? Should Matt Corral and Adrian Martinez keep seeing playing time like this? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!